|Sonny Reagan (right) and former Gov. Bob Riley|
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.
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|
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?