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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Did Mike Hubbard plan to shift $10 million to the Alabama court system, in hopes that Roy Moore and the Supreme Court would overturn a guilty verdict?


Mike Hubbard
(From newrepublic.com)
Of all the political filth unearthed at the Mike Hubbard trial, perhaps this is the most disturbing: According to a report at The New Republic (TNR), Hubbard planned to shift $10 million to the state court system, run by Chief Justice Roy Moore. Hubbard, according to testimony at the trial, was under grand-jury investigation and hoped Moore might be able to do him a favor down the road. Was Hubbard hoping the $10 million would convince Moore and his colleagues on the Alabama Supreme Court to overturn a possible conviction in the House Speaker's ethics trial?

We don't have an answer to that question at the moment. But if such a plan was in the making--and it still could be in place right now--it points to criminality of a shockingly vile nature. It points to the possibility that Alabama's "justice" system is for sale--especially for those who are connected and moneyed enough to afford favors.

Joe Miller, who teaches nonfiction and journalism at Columbus State University, has written a four-part series at TNR that provides a splendid overview of Alabama scandals involving Hubbard, Moore, and Gov. Robert Bentley.

In part four of the series, Miller gives Legal Schnauzer credit for breaking the story of Bentley's affair with advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason--a fact the Alabama mainstream media (MSM) consistently ignores. Miller also notes the efforts of attorney Donald Watkins and I to expose the Bentley scandal in summer/fall 2015, long before the MSM was willing to take a serious look.

On the down side, Miller misspelled my name as "Robert Schuler" in the first version of his article. But he is trying to get that corrected, and all in all, I have to call myself a big Joe Miller fan. Also, I think TNR is doing a major public service by showing what can happen when so-called conservative interests and their corporate supporters take over all three branches of state government and have unfettered access to the public piggy bank.

The revelations about Hubbard and Moore can be found in part three of the TNR series. The issue arose during testimony about plans to give Alabama Pharmacy Cooperative Inc. (APCI), a client for Hubbard and several Republican lobbyists, a monopoly on the state's Medicaid prescriptions. Lobbyists Ferrell Patrick and John Ross were pushing for the plan in spring 2013 and scheduled a meeting with the Speaker and others to discuss it. From Miller's TNR report:

Patrick told them that he and Ross represented American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc., or APCI, an Alabama-based company that represents independent pharmacies across the state and country. Though APCI and its affiliates opposed the idea of privatizing the prescription drug program, Patrick said, they would change their position if they could receive the contract to run it.

The company had no experience running such a program, and Patrick told Hubbard and the others that they wouldn’t be able to save $20 million a year, which is what the governor’s office was hoping for with their plan. But they could probably save $10 million.

According to court testimony, everyone in the meeting was in favor of the plan. But Hubbard had multiple reasons for favoring it. Writes Miller:

Hubbard had his own reasons for saving $10 million that went beyond closing holes in the budget. According to testimony, he was hoping to carve off $10 million that he could shift to the state’s court system, which was run by Roy Moore. (Moore is currently under suspension for ordering court officials statewide to disobey a mandate from the federal courts to grant marriage license to same-sex couples.) Hubbard—who at the time was the subject of a grand jury investigation—reportedly believed that if he could help Moore, Moore might be of help to him at some point in the future. The parties involved were on board with this plan, too.

So Hubbard, and his "conservative" brethren in the meeting, were OK with shifting money to Roy Moore--for no apparent reason than that Moore possibly could do a favor for Hubbard in the future. With the Speaker under a state grand-jury investigation, it seems pretty clear what that hoped-for favor might be.

Did the $10 million actually make it to the court system that Roy Moore controls? Did it come with a "quid pro quo" attached?

Roy Moore
(From csmonitor.com)
It seems clear that Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and his staff are not capable of investigating such a scheme--and it probably invokes federal law, anyway.

Just one more reason that the Hubbard trial, regardless of its outcome, should not be an ending. It should be just the beginning of an effort, led by federal investigators, to unearth the unspeakable graft that has turned Alabama government into a sewer.

The feds reportedly are already targeting Bentley and Mason, so perhaps they can add Hubbard, Moore, and former governor Bob Riley to their list. Joe Miller focuses on the Bentley scandal in part four of his TNR series, titled "The Most Shameless Sex Scandal in American Politics." It was published on Monday:

Mrs. Bentley, for her part, tried to keep up appearances. She tweeted on July 24, the couple’s anniversary: “God has blessed us w/ 50 years of marriage. I thank him for health, family, faith and most of all His love and grace.” But a month later, she’d had enough. On August 28, she filed for divorce.

Almost immediately, the first reports of the governor’s affair appeared, on the blog Legal Schnauzer and in a series of Facebook posts penned by Birmingham attorney Donald Watkins. Bentley vehemently denied the allegations and went after Watkins and Legal Schnauzer author Roger Shuler by having his staff investigate them through state and federal criminal databases, according to Alabama Political Reporter.

But the state’s legitimate news agencies, while acknowledging the “rumors,” held off on the story, and Bentley and Mason went on having a good time. Throughout the fall and early winter of 2015, the two traveled by state plane to Eva, Jacksonville, Decatur, Haleyville, Mobile, Fort Payne, Andalusia, and Birmingham. They took two trips to Gulf Shores, and one to Las Vegas, an Al.com investigation later revealed.

As for the Hubbard scandal, consider this: If Roy Moore, in fact, sold his office to Mike Hubbard. that makes Moore's problems related to gay marriage seem quaint by comparison.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be great to see Roy Moore dragged into this case? What a hoot!

Anonymous said...

Sure sounds to me like Mikey was trying to buy Ol' Roy and the gang. Interesting that Mikey was trying to buy the court with public money. Doesn't look like he used any of his own cash.

Anonymous said...

Makes me wanna vomit.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to figure out which of the ten commandments these Goat Hill moneychangers plan to use to justify crap like this.

legalschnauzer said...

If I'm Milton McGregor, I'm extremely interested in this aspect of the Hubbard trial. It seems clear someone has bought and sold the Alabama Supreme Court to hurt McGregor. Now it appears Hubbard might have tried the same thing, to help himself. Makes me think someone needs to turn over all the rocks surrounding Judge Moore & Co.

Anonymous said...

Ya know...as bad as Alabama looks, we are not alone. Of the last 7 Illinois Governors, 4 have ended up in prison. I know that has nothing to do with your post, but as an Alabaman it somehow makes me at least feel like this state is not alone for sleaze!

legalschnauzer said...

You are on target, #3:34. Alabama definitely has lots of company. I currently live in Missouri, and I've had some exposure to the court system, and it's an armpit also. If you Google "judicial corruption," you will find cases from California to Vermont, Washington to Florida. It's a coast to coast problem.

Anonymous said...

I would not worry over the spelling of your name. You are known as the man that had enough backbone to stand up against the most powerful corrupt people of Ala. They threw you in jail but still did not break you. Maybe others will be strong enough to follow you. Alabama more than ever needs people who will without fear report what they believe are facts. The shot callers of this state have put fear in the other news reporters so by whatever spelling you go by you are known as a brave man. Maybe with the Hubbard trial and the reporting on the governor that you did more people will wake up to what is going on here in Alabama. Our state has been high jacked by people willing to sell us out to the highest bidder. Maybe one day our history books will spell your name correctly in telling the story of how this great state came within a inch of being destroyed by greed and corruption had it not been for a brave news reporter named "legalschnauzer". Take care and keep up the good fight, Alabama needs you.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for your kind and encouraging comment, @4:22. For the record, Joe Miller was able to get the name thing corrected at TNR. Your comment reminded me of today's John Archibald column at al.com, titled "Mike Hubbard is just part of Alabama's problem." It's a pretty good piece, and I agree with much of what Archibald is saying. But here is the irony:

I made two trips to the Bham News' neighborhood, I think in the 2004-08 time frame, to tell them of blatant corruption in Alabama courts--much of it with ties to people who are connected to Riley Inc. and Mike Hubbard. Editor Tom Scarritt pretty much laughed as he gave me the "I ain't interested" sign and showed me out the door. I met Archibald at a coffee shop around the corner from News building, and while he was much more approachable than Scarritt, he never did a thing about what I had told him, which I supported with plenty of documents.

Bottom line: I've been writing about this stuff since 2007, long before anyone else in Alabama took notice. And I continue to believe much of the corruption grows from our dysfunctional court system. The Bham News had multiple opportunities almost 10 years ago to expose this muck. But the newspaper chose to take a pass.

I'm glad to see people like Archibald and Kyle Whitmire and Mike Cason finally are on the ball. But they are very late to the game.

Anonymous said...

is Shchuler or Shuler a more common surname?

Joe Miller, who teaches nonfiction and journalism at Columbus State University, has written a four-part series at TNR that provides a splendid overview of Alabama scandals involving Hubbard, Moore, and Gov. Robert Bentley.

In part four of the series, Miller gives Legal Schnauzer credit for breaking the story of Bentley's affair with advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason--a fact the Alabama mainstream media (MSM) consistently ignores. Miller also notes the efforts of attorney Donald Watkins and I to expose the Bentley scandal in summer/fall 2015, long before the MSM was willing to take a serious look.

Damn this is amazing congratulations Roger.

Anonymous said...

Friday May 13, 2016
Coming soon---
Connecting the dots:
The Bizarre Criminal Case of Caleb Moore
-------- What did the dropped charges in Moore's Pike County drug case have to do with a unanimous Alabama Supreme Court ruling on March 31,2016 in which the state of Alabama won the right to dispose of bingo machines and cash seized in a raid on Milton McGregors Macon County based Victoryland gaming establishment?--------