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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mike Hubbard has accepted plea deal, with 18-month sentence in exchange for testimony against Bentley, Marsh, and Bob Riley, according to reports


Mike Hubbard
Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) and state prosecutors have reached a plea deal that calls for Hubbard to receive an 18-month prison sentence in exchange for testimony about alleged corruption involving Gov. Robert Bentley, Senate President Del Marsh, and former Gov. Bob Riley, according to multiple reports in the Web press.

The first report surfaced yesterday at The Meck, a Dothan-based blog published by David Meckley. Attorney Donald Watkins confirmed last night on his Facebook page that the deal had been finalized. What are details of the deal? Watkins has answers:

Hubbard will: (a) resign from public office; (b) plead guilty to public corruption charges; (c) agree to an 18-month sentence, 12 months of which will be served in the Lee County jail and 6 months of which will be suspended; and (d) be allowed to register as a lobbyist after serving his sentence. As part of his deal, Hubbard will cooperate with state and federal prosecutors investigating allegations of public corruption by Governor Robert Bentley, former governor Bob Riley, and Senate President Del Marsh.

Our Facebook news team first reported on April 17, 2016, that early "street" reports of the deal had been confirmed, including the 18-month sentence. TheMeck.blogspot.com reported additional details of Hubbard's deal in its story.

The Hubbard deal will be publicly announced after the legislature adjourns. The plea deal will be announced in open court on or before the start of Hubbard's scheduled May 16, 2016, criminal trial.

State Rep. Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) might have stepped in "doo doo" by issuing a threat last week to legislators who might consider supporting an effort to impeach Bentley. I have wondered publicly if Holmes stepped over the line into criminal extortion with his threat. (See comments at link.) Investigators apparently have the same concern. Writes Watkins:

Investigators are also looking into threatening statements made by State Representative Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) to fellow legislators last week to determine whether these statements rose to the level of criminal "extortion" under state law. Holmes threatened to "out" legislators who are engaging in extra-marital affairs if they voted in favor of the House's impeachment resolution against Bentley. Investigators believe Holmes may have crossed the line with his threat.

Breaking reports tend to answer some questions, while raising others. Perhaps the major question raised here is: Why are federal investigators checking into Del Marsh and Bob Riley, what information can Hubbard give them, and will that bring even more prominent Alabama politicos into the fray? Here is an even better question: Will unlawful actions of Indian gaming interests be unearthed, and will that help explain much of the corruption Alabama has experienced over the past 20 years? Come to think of it, could this create a trail that leads to national political figures who have turned Alabama into a legal and political sewer (hello, Karl Rove!)?

Sorry, but once you start thinking about all of the questions this raises, it's hard to stop. It's also hard to wipe the smile off your face at the thought of certain conservative crooks winding up in the orange jumpsuits they so richly deserve.

For now, we know for sure that the Web press has led the way in breaking this story and following its various leads. Writes Watkins:

David Meckley d/b/a TheMeck.blogspot.com, Yellowhammer News, the Alabama Political Reporter, Roger Alan Shuler d/b/a Legal Schnauzer.blogspot.com, and other online journalists continue to lead the state's news media by breaking all of the leading news stories relating to Alabama's high-profile public corruption scandals.

One note of caution: Plea deals, by their nature, are shaky--and this one has plenty of time to fall apart. Writes Watkins:

Hubbard has the legal right to walk away from his plea deal at any time prior to its acceptance by the Court. If he does, his trial will go forward as scheduled.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

A whole damn network of these guys. I wonder what they call themselves.

Watkins better be glad they didn't get his butt on some crap to shut him up like Roger here.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there is hope for Alabama yet.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for your comment, @12:50. I should clarify one point. These thugs don't have to actually have anything on you to try to shut you up. They didn't have anything on me. Rob Riley and Liberty Duke filed a defamation lawsuit that, court proceedings show, had no basis in fact or law. They then sought a preliminary injunction, which has been an unlawful prior restraint under more than 200 years of First Amendment law. They then asked to have me incarcerated on civil contempt because I allegedly violated a prelim injunction that was unlawful in the first place.

This is how bad our justice system is, and how corrupt individuals can use it as their plaything. They didn't "get my butt on some crap," but they didn't need to. That's why my arrest and incarceration were a glorified kidnapping.

It's possible they tried to find some "crap" on me and came up dry, so they resorted to bald thuggery. Not sure they would have pulled that with Mr. Watkins; he's a well-known guy with a good bit of power himself, so that probably presented a tough call for them.

I, however, am a small fish, and they just decided to illegally hook me, probably with plans to skin and fillet me (and my wife) down the road. I have no doubt our lives were in danger, and they might still be in danger here in Missouri.

If my wife, Carol, had not managed to avoid being abducted by cops in Alabama, I think we both would be dead right now.

Anonymous said...

As you note, this plea deal still could fall apart until the court accepts it. But I've been wondering for a while how Hubbard could go to trial. Just don't see how he has a defense that will stick. Plus, the judge is giving him no more delays, so it appears he is stuck.

Anonymous said...

Roy Moore has his sights set on the mansion

Whipporwill said...

A suggestion for investigators: You had better provide around-the-clock protection for Mr. Hubbard. His life will be in danger now. Also, you had better take steps to ensure he receives no communications from those against whom he is expected to testify. They will try to threaten him or buy him off or do anything to save their own butts.

Anonymous said...

Would love to be a fly on the wall when Hubby spills the beans on Bob Riley.

Claire Waites said...

I am so sorry to read about what has happened to you and your family.It appears there are very few honest men in Montgomery. I am a teacher and it appears every time we elect someone with an education background it falls through. Case in point our Baldwin County Rep. Thank you for keeping us informed!

Anonymous said...

Not buying it.

James Greek said...

I wouldn't get my hopes up Roger.

legalschnauzer said...

I hear you, James, and my hopes aren't up. I think it's an interesting development, but a lot of things can happen between now and beginning of trial. A criminal case involving Mike Hubbard and maybe Bentley/Riley/etc. isn't going to do much of anything to address the injustice Carol and I have experienced. We will have to pursue that via other avenues.

I do believe overwhelming evidence points to Bentley and Riley being crooks, and I think it would be good for Alabama to see these scoundrels exposed. But I'm not convinced either state or federal prosecutors are competent enough to make that happen.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean Mike Hubbard is going to have to change his kid's name? How can the Speaker help send Bob Riley to prison and still have a son named "Riley"?

legalschnauzer said...

Hah, hadn't thought of that one, @2:35. Of course, Bob Riley is a long way from being in prison, and we don't know for sure that Hubbard will go thought with plan to testify against him. I personally don't think Bob Riley, any members of his family, or any of his closest associates (except maybe Hubbard) ever will spend a single day in prison.

I do hope they wind up feeling the "burn" in a civil case or two of which I'm aware.

Anonymous said...

Hassert 15 months
Hubbard 18 months
Siegelman 78 months
It looks to me the more evil, twisted, and depraved your gets you the lesser sentence.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:50pm Its called the Dixie Mafia.

Anonymous said...

Guess they need to fast-track even faster (warp speed?) the build of those new prisons in the state so the good ole boys are comfy!

Marcus Echols said...

maybe that's why they want new super state of the art prisons because they know they will spend some time there and maybe the food will also get an upgrade from the "sodium laced" canned death their feeding them....just maybe.

legalschnauzer said...

Good point, Marcus. I know from my own jail experience that the food can be rough--and I'm not a picky eater. At Shelby County Jail, we had some fairly decent meals (and some were inedible, even by my standards), but you never got enough to fill you up. Breakfast, at 5 a.m., probably was the best meal of the day.

In five months, I lost 25 pounds, and it would have been quite a bit more without the junk food we were able to buy from commissary to supplement the jail "cuisine."

I found a big potential problem in jail/prison is dehydration. We had no cups, unless we "kept" the small ones that came with meals, and the only water came from the sink. I developed flu-like symptoms and had them for about a month before I finally figured out that I probably was dehydrated.

I bought a large container from commissary and kept it filled with sink water. When I started drinking regular amounts of water, my symptoms went away.

In Rememberance of J said...

As they say "the friend of my enemy is my enemy" so one was lobbed one over the net toward Justice, we ALL benefit

George Owens said...

Rank this up there with Cruz daddy knowing Oswald

Anonymous said...

Wonder who all those other legislative- political-mistresses are in Montgomery? I'm sure all the politicians' wives-back-home would be real curious.

Anonymous said...

Why I think the deal will happen.

Lots of people don't want a trial of Hubbard.

Hubbard takes the deal, no trial and he does his time.
As soon as he's out he's a lobbyist and can collect "lobbying fees" (aka wingnut welfare) from some of the same folks who were glad he plead out.

This is a game of small ball imo, and no more than 3 further indictments will result from the "investigation" (There may be some defacto double jeopardy immunity granted if any of the investigations or prosecutions happen to be "botched" in some way.).

e.a.f. said...

Well I would suggest this about says it all. would have to say the blog, blogger, blogger's spousal unit have been vindicated.

it may yet come all tumbling down. How very nice it looks on all of them.

its that old line of, "you can fool some of the people all of the time but you can't fool all the people all of the time". Would say time is up for some of those in Alabama.

Anonymous said...

The name missing from this story is Strange. Does he factor into the plea deal either as a defendant or as leading the investigation? They all seem connected to me.

Anonymous said...

So why is this information not on the news? Is anything in this article true?

Anonymous said...

can you please detail your run in with hubbard?

legalschnauzer said...

What do you mean, @9:10? I'm not aware of ever having had a run-in with Hubbard. I knew him back in the days when I was a Bham sportswriter and he was assistant sports information director at Auburn, under David Housel. But Mike and I never had a run-in.

We apparently have different political views, but I never discussed politics with him back in the day. It wouldn't have been much of a discussion because my political views were not fully formed then.

legalschnauzer said...

It is on the news, @8:36, by the modern definition of news, which includes blogs, Web sites, etc. I assume you are referring to the mainstream news. I don't know if it's appeared at any such outlets or not. If it hasn't, you would need to ask them about why they aren't covering it.

legalschnauzer said...

I agree, @5:36, that Strange is a big name missing here, and I assume that's only because he is AG. But in terms of unethical and sleazy actions, he's right there with any of them, in my view.

Anonymous said...

This just in on AL.Com...

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/05/hubbard_lawyer_says_plea_deal.html#incart_river_mobile_home

Robby Scott Hill said...

Bill Baxley says the reports aren't accurate. Others are saying Baxley is saying that so he can say the jury pool is tainted. I don't know what to believe at this point. Seems like everyone has their own agenda lately & with so many powerful people under investigation & with so many possibilities on who could be left as acting Governor, Lt. Gov., President of the Senate & Speaker of the House when it's all over, I don't know who to trust. It's a very real possibility that some relative newcomers to the State Legislature could wind up in control of State Government when this is all over. I'm taking about first or second term Senators & Representatives running the show & that's pretty scary.

Anonymous said...

https://www.facebook.com/alreporter/posts/1268698833157815
I hate it but.......
Seems this might be just a rumor.

Itsmehoney said...

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-supreme-court-gets-ready-to-legalize-corruption

Anonymous said...

The description and the contents of the plea deal seem to be pretty detailed to be just some rumor. Aren't plea deals sealed a lot of times as well?

These sorry sobs are known to manipulate the hell out of the press to further their own agenda.

Anonymous said...

Baxley was Tom Coker's Attorney during the Bingo Trials.In the Judge's chambers,the Federal prosecutor told the defense attorneys that FBI agent Keith Baker erased his phone records from back-up computers at FBI Headquarters in Virginia;Santa Claus was real;and Elvis had a sex change and became Elvira.Adams White Oliver and Forbus L.L.P.will handle mike's plea deal.