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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

More indictments expected from Mike Hubbard investigation, with former Deputy AG Sonny Reagan and "Yella Fella" Jimmy Rane among likely targets

Sonny Reagan (right) and former Gov. Bob Riley
More indictments from the Mike Hubbard investigation are expected, starting perhaps with former Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan, according to a new report from Bill Britt at the Alabama Political Reporter (APR). Other possible targets are several prominent businessmen, including "Yella Fella" Jimmy Rane, who were shown at trial to have given a "thing of value" to Hubbard.

Hubbard was convicted last Friday on 12 counts of ethics-law violations that largely involved such transactions. The same code section that forbids public officials or employees from taking such gifts, also prohibits "lobbyists, subordinates of lobbyists, or principals" from offering such gifts.

That could spell trouble for Tim Hamrick (American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc.), Michael Humphrey (Edgenuity), Will Brooke (Business Council of Alabama), Rob Burton (Hoar Construction), Jimmy Rane (Great Southern Wood), and James Holbrook (Sterne Agee), among others.

Perhaps the key unanswered question: How close will any future indictments get to key figures in Riley Inc., the political machine that seemingly is built around worship of former Gov. Bob Riley?

Why might the spotlight shine first on Reagan. He was forced to resign in December 2014 after Attorney General Luther Strange found he had leaked secret grand-jury information to political associates. Evidence released before the Hubbard trial started suggests Bob Riley, former first son Rob Riley, Hubbard attorney Bill Baxley, and Hubbard himself were among those who received Reagan's information.

Writes Britt:

There is a very real possibility, that former Deputy Attorney General, Henry T. “Sonny” Reagan, will be indicted, due to his alleged role in trying to hinder the investigation into the crimes of former Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard. Hubbard has been found guilty of twelve felony counts of public corruption, Reagan has been accused of participating in a scheme to thwart the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Unit, from ever bringing Hubbard to justice. . . .

It is believed Hubbard employed overlapping attorneys to gather information under attorney/client privilege. As this publication reported in April 2015, Hubbard used, “a matrix of overlapping attorneys seems to have allowed a free flow of secret information between Hubbard and individuals who have been named as material witnesses in the Hubbard indictments.” Court documents showed individuals who shared counsel with ties to Hubbard were Will Brooke, Jimmy Rane, Bob Riley and Minda Riley Campbell. Four of the seven individuals named in the Hubbard indictments shared attorneys.

According to court filings, when Brooke appeared before the Lee County Grand Jury he was accompanied by his attorney, “Mark White – the same attorney representing Hubbard. Similarly, Jim Pratt, another attorney representing Hubbard, accompanied Jimmy Rane during his appearance before the Grand Jury. Also, Hubbard’s attorney, Rob Riley, represents both Bob Riley and Minda Riley Campbell, and accompanied both of them to grand jury.”

Yella Fella Jimmy Rane
(From yellafella.com)
 In September 2014, the Alabama Political Reporter revealed that Reagan unsuccessfully tried to quash his subpoena to testify before the Lee County Grand Jury.

How far might new indictments reach? Britt provides clues:
Lead Prosecutor in the Hubbard case, Matt Hart, made it clear to former State Sen. Steve French during his testimony that he had broken his immunity with the Attorney General’s Office. . . .

Others who may be targeted could be APCI lobbyists Bill Ely and Ferrell Patrick. Former State Health Officer and current CEO of the Alabama Hospital Association, Dr. Don Williamson, could also face a perjury charge. Hart accused him of significantly changing his testimony during the Hubbard trial from what he had sworn to before the Lee County Special Grand Jury that indicted Hubbard.

The Lee County Special Grand Jury is still empaneled, which would seem to indicate more indictments are coming.

As for Riley Inc. (RI), it's hard to imagine that a serious inquiry into Sonny Reagan's misdeeds would not land close to the RI doorstep. Consider these words from our March 24, 2015, post titled "Mike Hubbard, and Bob and Rob Riley, received leaked grand-jury information as early as Dec. 2012":

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard; former Governor Bob Riley; and Riley's son, Birmingham attorney Rob Riley, received leaked information related to the Lee County grand jury beginning in at least December 2012, according to court documents released yesterday.

E-mails between Hubbard and Bob Riley, included in the court documents, make it clear former Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan was the source of the leaks. Reagan was forced to resign from the AG's office in December 2014 amid allegations that he had shared secret grand-jury information with targets of the investigation.

Documents also show that the grand jury filed a subpoena seeking to question Rob Riley. His lawyer, William Athanas of the Birmingham firm Waller Landsen Dortch and Davis, threatened to file a motion to quash the subpoena, and Rob Riley apparently has managed to escape testifying so far.

We proceeded to raise the following question, which remains pertinent today, perhaps more than ever before:

The actions of Rob Riley, Bob Riley, Hubbard, and Reagan involve attempts to obstruct the Lee County grand jury. Could this lead to criminal charges--perhaps under the state statute for obstructing governmental operations? Since the federal wires were involved via e-mails, could that lead to federal obstruction of justice charges?


Anonymous said...

Good grief. It only gets worse. These cases ought to provide you with enough material for years of reporting LS. Can't wait for you to tell us the "real" stories going on behind the scenes. Thanks for keeping us in the know!

Anonymous said...

I have little doubt that Reagan was directed by members of Riley Inc. to derail the Hubbard investigation. If Reagan goes down, I hope he takes Riley Inc. with him.

Anonymous said...

Edgenuity Inc is registered as an Arizona corporation.

What bank were Edgenuity's drafts to Hubbard drawn on?

Interstate commerce?

Anonymous said...

Yella Fella must be riding not quite so tall in his saddle.

legalschnauzer said...

Good point, @12:29. Wouldn't interstate commerce invoke federal jurisdiction?

Anonymous said...

Who can call up a state house speaker and ask him to divert state funds to his favorite charity? No wonder the rich keep getting richer. If Jimmy Rane wanted to rescue his favorite military school, why didn’t he just write a check instead of asking the house speaker to force the citizens of Alabama to pay for it? America’s millionaires and billionaires have often gone, without conscience, beyond ethical boundaries in taking whatever they can get for themselves. No wonder they are the 1% who control 95%+ of America’s wealth. They control the politicians, too–– obviously.

Anonymous said...

I bet sphincters are clenched so tight some folks are eating prime rib and Baked Alaska on their expense accounts and shitting BBs.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what made Minda and Bob Riley that they could get on the witness stand and make speeches about what a great guy Mike Hubbard is. Minda is a lawyer, her brother is a lawyer, but these people don't know how it works in court--direct examination, cross, redirect, etc.? You don't give speeches in court, you answer the questions put to you, nothing more nothing less. Are these people stupid or just hopelessly arrogant and entitled.

legalschnauzer said...

That's a great point, @2:10. And here's another point that a commenter made the other day. Based on news accounts, Bill Baxley tried four or five times to have Bob Riley entered to discuss the Alabama ethics law. It was as if they wanted Riley to testify as an expert witness on the ethics law, but Judge Walker wasn't having it. They should have known that Bob Riley did not remotely qualify as an expert witness on the ethics law. Again, stupid or arrogant--or both?

Anonymous said...

Someone once explained to me "If you don't ask then you don't get."

The former Governor on the stand testifying about his "expert" opinion on Alabama ethics laws would have been a major win for the Hubbard defense team.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Anonymous said...

Aboard the Eliza Battle, the crew was in the galley discussing their game-plan. Mike's childhood friend,Floyd, was singing some reminiscence songs of the class of 68. A friend of the Yancey's, Harold, had appeared to inform the Eliza Battle crew that his brother, Bobby, had procured the necessary signal flags to send the clandestine signal from the Victoria to the Camperdown. Mike was apprehensive that Bentley would question the six cables segment. The stranger in the shadows reminded him that if the plan suceeded, a fortune could be reaped. Floyd asked Mike what his idol would say if he was here today. Mike knew what ever optimistic Will Reilly would say."Stack me a cooler ,Floyd", the game is on. Mike asked Floyd to take the spy glass and watch for Bentley's return signal from the Camperdown. Floyd began narrating what he saw;I see some one by the flag locker. Okay,he has a flag with blue outlined by white. Mike looks in the flag manual and replied that signals S. He put the S on his head and is now lifting a blue over red flag. Mike responds that is an E. Floyd adjusts the spy glass. Now I see a red X and a whip. Mike responds WHAT! give me that spy glass. After glassing the Camperdown, Mike responds. Floyd, you need eye glasses. He is not signaling S.E.X. That S you saw is Beka's Kentucky Wild Cat under britches on his head. The E was her dress. The red X you saw was the straps on her garter. Floyd sheepishly responds that it looked like sex to him. Mike starts narrating what he sees.Ouch! she just hit him with the cat-o-nine tails. Okay he has something in his hand. It is the blue peter and he is holding it at the dip. Now he is getting it close up.
Upon seeing the blue peter close up, the crew of the Camperdown made their way back to the ship to embark on the voyage that would be Alabam's greatest Naval blunder.
Mike was indicted by Big Luther and convicted of speaking profanity.