Birmingham attorney Rob Riley, son of former Governor Bob Riley, reportedly reached out to current Governor Robert Bentley and a sitting federal judge in an effort to derail the ongoing Lee County grand-jury investigation. Our research indicates the federal judge in question is Bill Pryor, who sits on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals but perhaps is best known for nude photographs that tie him to 1980s and '90s gay pornography, via the Web site badpuppy.com.
Sonny Reagan was forced to resign as deputy attorney general for leaking information about the grand jury, which so far has focused mostly on House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn). But Bill Britt of Alabama Political Reporter (APR) writes that Team Riley still is trying to force the Lee County inquiry off balance, partly by attacking Prosecutor Matt Hart.
In an article released yesterday, titled "Is Conspiracy At Play To Thwart Justice in Hubbard Case?" Britt reports that Rob Riley and others are taking extraordinary steps to undermine the investigation. At the heart of the scheme is a game of legal musical chairs, with Rob Riley and Bill Baxley representing multiple clients in an apparent effort to use attorney-client privilege as a way to get inside information. Writes Britt:
The public face of Hubbard’s legal team has been J. Mark White, but the attorney of record is, and has been, Rob Riley. This was confirmed by Riley’s office. It is believed that Riley is the one who suggested that White represent Hubbard and that Baxley defend Moore.
Strange’s memo makes it clear that Reagan's representation by attorney’s allied with Moore and Hubbard, created an “irreconcilable conflict of interests,” that compromised his, “duties of loyalty and confidentiality to the State,” and undermined grand jury's investigation for “his own personal interest.”
Strange describes a situation where a sitting Deputy Attorney General is sharing confidential information with attorneys, who, under the guise of attorney/client privilege are free to use this information to protect and defend their clients in a manner the law never imagined.
Here, a cast of characters all linked to former Gov. Bob Riley through relationships, both familial and financial, are talking to Reagan and each other through their attorneys.
Such a scheme, Britt reports, dances dangerously close to criminal territory:
|Bill Pryor at badpuppy.com|
How desperate is Rob Riley? The answer appears to be "very," Reports Britt:
It had been known for months that Reagan worked in concert with others inside the Attorney General’s office to lay the foundation for a bogus complaint against Hart. It is not known at this time if Riley or Baxley had any influence in the plot to remove Hart, but it is not outside the realm of possibilities given Strange’s statement. It has been said by a number or political operatives that Rob Riley allegedly reached out to Gov. Bentley as well as a sitting federal judge in an attempt to thwart the Hubbard investigation.
It is believed that the Attorney General’s Chief Deputy Kevin Turner was instrumental in Reagan’s scheme to oust Hart and that he is still causing friction within the office designed to slow the investigation.
The federal judge in question almost certainly is Pryor. He sits on the Eleventh Circuit, which is based in Atlanta, but his "duty station" is at the Hugo Black Federal Courthouse in downtown Birmingham.
We strongly suspect that Rob Riley and Pryor have collaborated on dubious activities before, including my unlawful arrest in October 2013.. At least one investigative journalist has reported that Pryor essentially serves as a "fixer" for conservative interests represented by former Bush White House strategist Karl Rove. The journalist reports that Pryor's ties to gay porn are well known among Republican factions, and they use that knowledge to essentially blackmail him into making sure key cases turn out in their favor.
Would a sitting federal judge actually interfere with a state criminal probe? When you are talking about Bill Pryor, the answer probably is yes--and it's likely that Rob Riley knows that.