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Friday, July 8, 2016

Mike Hubbard receives a hideously lenient sentence today, and that might be the first sign that post-trial skulduggery is in the works and gaining momentum

Mike Hubbard
The Mike Hubbard case always has been about more than the 23 counts of ethics-law violations against the speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives. In a big-picture sense, it's been about this: Do Alabamians have any reason to trust their dysfunctional state courts? The answer, after Hubbard was sentenced today, is a resounding no.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker III this morning sentenced Hubbard to four years in prison, eight years on probation and ordered him to pay a $210,000 fine on 12 felony ethics convictions. Hubbard was not ordered to pay restitution, even though evidence showed (and a jury found) that he used his public office to enrich himself by more than $1 million. Also, Hubbard was allowed to remain free, pending an appeal.

What kind of sentence is this? In a word, it is noxious.

Each count for which Hubbard was convicted carried a range of two to 20 years in prison. At a minimum, Hubbard was facing 24 years behind bars for his 12 convictions. But he got four years? We're supposed to believe that represents justice? We're supposed to believe Alabama judges take white-collar corruption seriously? We're supposed to believe Mike Hubbard didn't receive special treatment because he's white and male and "conservative"?

Most importantly, we're supposed to believe the rule of law holds in Alabama courts? Don't make me laugh.

The office of Attorney General Luther Strange started this charade by asking that Hubbard be incarcerated for five years. But less than two years ago, Strange asked for 50-year sentences in the ethics-law case of former state education official Deann Stone and her husband, Dave Stone.

How does "justice" work in "Big Lutha World"? If your name is Deann Stone or Dave Stone, Lutha wants to put you away for 50 years. If your name is Mike Hubbard, and you long have been connected to the Riley Inc. political machine, Lutha wants you to get five years -- and these are cases that were governed by the same law and presented similar facts, under the same attorney general.

Judge Walker, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and long has been part of the legal elite in east Alabama, is even worse than Strange. He sentences Hubbard to four years, orders no restitution, and allows the former speaker to remain free pending an appeal.. For good measure, Judge Walker had a clear conflict of interest all along, but Strange's office never bothered to challenge whether Walker was suited (under the law) to hear the case at all.

Judge Jacob Wlker III
We showed the other day that any matter involving Strange and Bill Baxley (Hubbard's defense lawyer) is likely to be suspect.  Did Strange, Baxley, and Walker know all along that Hubbard was going to receive an outrageously lenient sentence? A reasonable observer could say yes.

But that's not all. Consider Baxley's words today regarding an appeal:

"I believe with all my being after everything we’ve gone through that Mike Hubbard is absolutely innocent of every charge he was found guilty of," Baxley told Walker Friday.

That might just be the blathering of an old lawyer who gave up the moral high ground years ago to serve the interests of corrupt conservatives. But consider this from Baxley about one week ago:

"Mark my words, the verdict will not stand," Baxley said.

Is that more blathering or does Baxley have inside knowledge about how the appellate process is likely to play out? That's not an off-the-wall question when you consider that trial testimony showed Hubbard considered funneling $10 million to the state court system, just in case he might need a favor someday from Roy Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Consider these words from Joe Miller's report at The New Republic:

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.

Perhaps some Alabamians have been conned into believing that Hubbard's convictions before a jury of his peers in his home county mean state courts have been renewed. It's much too early to buy into that. It's hard to see where there were any errors of fact or law at the trial level. But don't be surprised if Roy Moore and Co. overturn Hubbard's convictions anyway. Don't be surprised if Mike Hubbard never sets foot in a prison cell.

Judge Walker's sentencing today might be the first official sign that something smells to high heaven in Lee County.


David in S. Alabama said...

After the Judge finished sentencing Hubbard his lawyers filed a motion asking for an investigation into jury misconduct. In it they quoted juror statements and the fact that one juror had consulted a private attorney during the trial. How could his attorney know such things? Maybe you can find this motion online.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, I've read a few stories about that this p.m., David. Thanks for sharing. My understanding is the affiant's name has been redacted. Until he/she is ready to stand behind his affidavit, it doesn't mean much of anything at the moment.

My guess is that this is a white juror complaining about black jurors. I also would guess someone planned this little procedure well in advance.

Anonymous said...

Bill Britt posted something interesting at AL Pol. Reporter today. Here it is ---

Judge Jacob Walker, III, said at sentencing that this was a serious matter. He also said that there were no sentencing guidelines, because this case fell outside of any guidelines.

legalschnauzer said...

That is interesting, @7:47. Thanks for sharing. I wish Walker had expounded on that some, because it sure seems confusing. From my research, Hubbard was charged with a Class B felony, which carries a 2-20 year range. There were some changes to Alabama sentencing guidelines in, I believe, 2013. Was there something in those changes that forces this case outside guidelines? Walker really needs to explain this to the public.

Anonymous said...

This Hubbard chit looks to be more hooked up than a mobbed up towing company in Cicero Ill!

Phil Fleming said...

Where is Lee Harvey Oswald-when you really need him?!!??

George Fleming said...

Not just coincidentally, here is what some officers of the court had to say about another recent case in the news. Haven't we heard all of this before?

“Our office is committed to ferreting out and prosecuting all forms of corruption and fraud, regardless of who the offender is,” U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III said as the indictment was released Friday morning. “In our nation, no one is above the law.”

Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell: "Corruption erodes the public's trust in our entire system of representative government. One of the department's most important responsibilities is to root out corruption at all levels of government and to bring wrongdoers to justice."


Anonymous said...

Equal justice under law is a phrase engraved on the front of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. It is also a societal ideal that has influenced the American legal system. The phrase was proposed by the building's architects, and then approved by judges of the Court in 1932.


Anonymous said...

Mike and three jurors were invited to he Victoria to discuss Mike's conviction for speaking profanity. Riley took Mike aside and invited Mike to accompany him to the ships vault to view the wealth they had amassed. Mike replied,"Yes. Lets look at how much money we have.Men of my genius die with more money than they can spend in two lifetimes.
Riley produced a bottle of Medoc wine. We drink this bottle of Laffitte in honor of you Mike. Its boldness symbolizes your moniker.
As they progess deeper into the ships bowels, Mike stumbles in the low light. Mike! Lets enter the mess hall and rest. They enter the snipe's mess to be greeted by Carly Simon singing on the jukebox. Riley obtained a bottle of Da Grave wine. Mike blurted out" You keep high price wine in the peon's mess?" Riley replied that the crew is forbidden to touch the wine. He keeps it there to remind them of who owns the ship. Riley continued. This 2002 vintage year Chateau La Misson Haut-Brion was inspired by the greatest most brilliant Alabama Politician ever. Mike raised the bottle near his lips and said "To Mike Hubbard". Riley cut his eyes to the Family Creast on the bulkhead. When Mike lowered the bottle, he said to Riley "That sure is a big foot on the snake on that shield. And I have seen the words-Nemo me impune Lacessit- on a plack in Jr's office."
" Khoff Khak Khak!!" Come Mike. This cigarette smoke is not good for your health. As the mess hall door closed behind them, a country ballard could be heard ending on the juke box. Hey, Oney, Oney,

Anonymous said...

Time to move from Alabama. No hope

Phil Fleming said...

I remember when the press called John Gotti "The 'Teflon' Don". Can we compare The Alabama Republican Party to The Gambino Crime Family?

Anonymous said...

Lets look at what Big Luthers on going lee county grand jury did accomplish.
1. Sonny Reagan who lead Big L's crusade against Bingo fired for leaking grand jury information but not indicted. He is a witness in McGregors civil suit. Better keep his mouth shut'
2. Gene Sisson who worked with Reagan shutting down Bingo fired for undermining the grand jury but not indicted. He is a witness in McGregors civil suit. Better keep his mouth shut.
3. Tim Fuhrman former FBI who worked with Keith Baker prosecuting McGregor during the Bingo Trial. Hired by Big L. Fired for assisting Reagan and Sisson to undermine the grand jury but not indicted. He is a witness in McGregors civil suit. Better keep his mouth shut.
4.Steve French Former state senator who testified for prosecution in the Bingo Trial. Made a plea bargain during grand jury. Must testify to what Matt Hart determines is the truth. he is a witness in McGregors civil suit. Better keep his mouth shut.
5.Barry Moore Debra Moore (not his wife)was a witness in the Bingo trial.Barry found not guilty of lying to grand jury. Debra would be a witness in McGregors civil suit. Better keep their mouth shut.
6. Barry Mask State representative who testified for prosecution in Bingo Trial. He resigned in Sept 2013 during the grand jury investigation, Mask would be a witness in McGregors civil suit. Better keep his mouth shut.
7.Mike Hubbard He is the link to connect all the parts
8.do you get the picture yet.

Anonymous said...

9. Lowell Barron was a prosecution witness in the Bingo Trials. Big Luther brought ethics charges against him. He had been in the legislature for 28 years and knows where all the bodies are buried. Big Luther dropped charges like a hot potatoe. Barron is a witness in Mcgregor civil suit. He better keep his mouth shut.
10. Keith Baker the former FBI agent who prosecuted Don Siegelman and McGregor.He now works for Big Luther and investigated all the people listed above.(1 thru 9)

Anonymous said...

This continues to grow more incredible. So after being harassed by Agent Baker and accused of aiding McGregor, exactly how did the late, former Deputy Attorney General, Bob Caviness pass away? Was it the commonly implemented Southern suicide method–– bullet shot to the head? Former Agent Baker's now a valuable resource for the present state AG's office? Shameless!

How long will the gullible general public continue to buy these [suicide] stories without demanding thorough investigations?

Genuine condolences to the Caviness family! At some point the general public must demand answers.


Anonymous said...

Oh.. so extramarital affairs are the norm in Alabama government? No wonder Baker has a cushy job in the Attorney General's office?

[Keith] Baker, the federal government’s lead investigator on the case, had been involved in an extramarital affair with the court reporter — a breach of ethics for Baker, a possible conflict of interest for both and only the beginning of the sort of odd and unexpected twists that shaped the “Bingo trial.”

Details of Baker’s affair and an alleged coverup are contained in thousands of pages of previously-sealed motions, orders and transcripts from closed hearings and in-chambers conferences, all of which were recently made public when a federal judge granted the Montgomery Advertiser’s motion to unseal those records.

Anonymous said...

Mike Hubbard trial legal teams:
1.Big Luther Formerly worked for Bradley Arant
2. Alice Martin assistant attorney general Former U.S. Attorney for Alabama. Brought charges against Don Siegelman in 2004.
3.Matt Hart worked for Alice Martin in 2004
4.Keith Baker Former FBI who prosecuted Don Siegelman and Milton Mcgregor
5. Katie Langer prosecutor for Big Luther. She was the juror accused of misconduct in Don Siegelman's trial
1 White Attorney for McGregor in past cases. Job was to hammer prosecution misconduct. I give him a passing grade.
2.Baxley Job was to have Mike found not guilty on charges relating to Riley Machine. I grade him excellent.
3.Bell His job is to help Big Luther get out of the hole he finds himself in. I can not grade him until the motion he filed on juror misconduct is resolved.
Adams and Oliver Mike's attorneys. Have done an excellant job of not expending assets on issues that are a losing battle. Most of Mike's defense has been financed by others. They have only one handgrenade and will save it for the right moment. I grade them excellent.

Anonymous said...

When will Roy Moore cast the Ten Commandment tablets upon his own adulterous, scandalous political party? Looks as though leadership in Alabama is drowning in hypocrisy.

Phil Fleming said...

Amen."Mega Dittos".

Anonymous said...

This might sound naive and a little wishful thinking to go with it but is it possible that Hubbard's sentence was short because he cooperated with prosecution and investigators to receive a lighter sentence? Is Hubbard the type that would do that?

Robby Scott Hill said...

Right on anonymous 10 July at 9:34 AM. You could make a James Bond film with these people. Katie Langer should reprise the character "Bambi" from 1971's Diamonds Are Forever & bring back Halle Berry as "Thumper." It would be fun to watch them turn cartwheels & kick the shit out of people. Mark Fuller could play Willard Whyte, the not so intelligent cowboy who owns the big defense contracting conglomerate that is really controlled by SPECTRE, & he wouldn't even need to study for the role. Stan Stabler is absolutely the dumb ass sheriff who can't stop his men from stepping on their own dicks & crashing all their vehicles.. Finally, you gotta cast Bob Riley as Blofeld because he takes everybody's money & always gets away! As for Lee Harvey Oswald, whenever you need him, he has a double, much like Ernst Stavro Blofeld does. The Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge & Extortion gets a bad rap. They're just former government employees like us who recognized that the state is controlled by the Capitalists & who have recognized that the only way world peace can be achieved is outside the boundaries of the law.

legalschnauzer said...

Funny, funny stuff, Rob. Thanks for providing laughs this a.m. Just one question remains: Who plays Pussy Galore?

legalschnauzer said...

Very good question, @2:21. I have the same sort of wishful thinking. Would welcome insight from any of our legal types out there.

legalschnauzer said...

Lots of interesting questions, @9:34. Has McGregor already filed a civil case, or is that something he is planning to do?

Anonymous said...

@ 9:34 here
I have not seen a document. I have seen the people he would sue dissolve their physical assets. At this moment he could only sue the people in Auburn for personal damages. Once he opens Victoryland, he will sue for millions. Thus the on going lee co grand jury to force all the people he would subpoena to give "Billy Bird" testimony.
Billy Canary used it. A bird brain could remember to testify "I dont recall" Big Luther has lost control of Hubbard. He needs Hubbard to win this tainted jury appeal and accept a plea bargain. The Federal Govt made a Big Big mistake when they allowed Josh Moon to get those transcripts thru the FOIA. Don Siegelman could not get the time of day. Who knows, It could have been some one teed-off at Alabama for challenging the pre-clearance act, let them be released. You can rest assured that some one is frightened for them to pull this on going lee co grand jury scheme.

Anonymous said...

@9:34 Again
Mike Hubbard's trial and the on going lee co grand jury are two different issues. You will not see anymore indictments but it will stay empanelled. Poor ole Kyle wrote an article on who will be tried next, and was sent to Siberia to give a weather report.

Anonymous said...

Pussy Galore's first name is Jean. She sat in the front desk of my chemistry class in 1964. She wore tiiighttt shhorttt skirts. She would squirm around towards the end of class and you could see her garter strap. I wear a AU ( Chemical symbol for gold) ball cap to remind me of her. I also wear a Moses medallion on a chain around my neck to remind me of that garter strap that led you to the promised land. People mistake me for a white christian republican Auburn fan. I am actually a agnostic Bama fan. But I am a republican. Jean married a lawyer here in Alabama,

Anonymous said...

--"I believe with all my being after everything we’ve gone through that Mike Hubbard is absolutely innocent of every charge he was found guilty of," Baxley told Walker Friday.--

And no comment from Baxley on the Riley-connected charges of which he was found not guilty. lolol...

Robby Scott Hill said...

Sounds interesting @Anonymous 1:57 PM. If her husband was on Ashley Madison, like half the lawyers in this state, you might still have a chance. 70 is the new 50. Pussy Galore was a character from Goldfinger who was an acrobatic pilot based in Kentucky. I'm not sure we have anyone in the Montgomery Scene who can match her. That's why I'm up here in Huntsville with all the female test pilots & astronauts. Lol