Monday, July 16, 2018

Rob Riley was among Alabama Republicans who pressured former Gov. Robert Bentley to launch AG investigation that would have halted Hubbard case

Rob Riley
Rob Riley was among several prominent Republicans who pressured former Gov. Robert Bentley to investigate the Attorney General's office during the Mike Hubbard trial, according to a report at Alabama Political Reporter (APR).

The revelation came from Bentley during a deposition in a wrongful-termination lawsuit brought by Spencer Collier, former secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). The pressure apparently was designed to target lead prosecutor Matt Hart and bring an end to the Hubbard case, reports APR's Josh Moon.

Jimmy Rane, owner of Great Southern Wood, was among others who joined Riley in pressuring Bentley. Reports Moon:

Former Gov. Robert Bentley said during a recent deposition that he was pressured by lawmakers, attorneys and major donors on numerous occasions during the Mike Hubbard trial to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Alabama Attorney General’s Office — a move that likely would have torpedoed the case against the former House speaker.

Under oath during a deposition in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Spencer Collier, Bentley said Great Southern Wood owner and mega-political donor Jimmy Rane contacted him three different times about appointing a special prosecutor.

Additionally, Rob Riley, son of former Gov. Bob Riley and a Hubbard attorney, also contacted his office about opening an investigation of the AG’s office. Two more of Hubbard’s attorneys, Augusta Dowd and Lance Bell, also contacted Bentley about appointing a special prosecutor, Bentley said. Bentley also said three sitting legislators pressured him, but he said he didn’t remember who they were.

Bentley was not keen on the idea of his office getting involved in the Hubbard case. Writes Moon:

“I did not want the governor’s office to be involved in that trial in Lee County,” Bentley said during the deposition. “I wanted to stay neutral, because I had been getting pressure to do other things. I told them I had no plans to do anything. I told them to leave me alone.”

The push to appoint a special prosecutor was widely viewed as a defense strategy by Hubbard’s lawyers, meant to undermine the credibility of the prosecutor on a case Hubbard’s attorneys couldn’t win. Hubbard’s defense team filed motion after motion claiming that lead prosecutor Matt Hart had overstepped the law during his investigation of Hubbard or that Hart had leaked grand jury information to the media.

Ultimately, Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Walker dismissed those complaints, and a quick investigation by ALEA determined that Hart had not leaked grand jury information during the case.

Bentley's statement has ties to tomorrow's primary runoff elections in Alabama, especially the Republican AG race between Steve Marshall and Troy King:

Oddly, some of the major players in that case have gone from calling for investigations of the AG’s office to financially supporting Steve Marshall, the incumbent AG appointed by Bentley.

Rane, who was directly involved in one of the counts for which Hubbard was convicted, has dumped hundreds of thousands in donations into Marshall campaign account or into political action committees that have donated to Marshall.

Through his Great Southern Wood company, Rane has contributed more than $1 million in Alabama over the last year, with almost all of that money going through PACs. In total, Great Southern Wood dumped $218,000 into 11 PACs that donated to Marshall. Those 11 PACs gave Marshall $217,500.

Through his law firm, Rob Riley, who is still listed as an attorney for Hubbard — a man with a pending appeal that Marshall’s office is fighting — has donated $2,500 to Marshall.


Anonymous said...

Big, big story. Unmasks a bunch of dirty Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Rob Riley has a history of pressuring Bentley to do things -- like having you arrested.

legalschnauzer said...

@3:30 --

Yep, profound point. The time frame fits. Bentley certainly was governor when I was arrested, with Luther Strange as AG. No doubt Strange was involved.

Anonymous said...

John Archibald is Tweeting like mad on this story. Gonna be a big 'un.

legalschnauzer said...

@3:31 --

John's got to be on top of it because he broke the story, ya know. Hah!

Anonymous said...

Rob Riley probably was afraid Hubbard would spill the beans on Riley Inc.

The Rileys might still be afraid of that.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't this sound like obstruction of justice?

legalschnauzer said...

@3:33 --

That's exactly what it is. Specifically, it's the state equivalent, which is something like "interference with government operations."

But yes, this is criminal -- and Bentley was too stupid to realize it.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the comment on your other post today, about Rob Campbell being gone from Bradley Arant. Could that be tied to this story? Could the Rileys finally be toxic.

legalschnauzer said...

@3:36 --

Good point. The Rileys have been toxic for a long time, but you are on point to wonder if even Bradley Arant is recognizing their toxicity.

Someone recognized Bill Canary's toxicity recently, and he's out at BCA. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

Rachel Maddow probably will have Archibald on tonight to discuss.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Rob Riley pressured Bentley re: your eviction in Missouri, the one where Carol's arm was broken?

legalschnauzer said...

@3:52 --

Wouldn't surprise me a bit. Wouldn't surprise me if my lawyer-brother was involved.

Anonymous said...

Rob Riley is the Gladys Kravitz of politics. Can't keep his nose out of other people's business.

Anonymous said...

Bentley didn't recognize crimes when they were right under his nose?

Too busy thinking about Becky's boobies?

Anonymous said...

Bentley denies in deposition that he had an "affair" with Home Wrecky Becky.

The old goat apparently has never heard of perjury.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to Home Wrecky Becky? Page 11 has the answer! She's Bentley's Office manager! For $5,000 a month?

Anonymous said...

You are mentioned in the Bentley depo several times. Page 207.