By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Many questions surround the appointment of Luther Strange as US Senator, but Strange hiring Kevin Turner as his Chief of Staff is an unseen turn of events.
Turner served as Strange’s Chief Deputy until allegations of dubious actions in the criminal investigation of former Speaker Mike Hubbard surfaced. During the heat of the inquiry, sources from both within and outside of the Attorney General’s Office confirmed that Turner was orchestrating a plot to remove chief prosecutor Matt Hart from the Lee County Grand Jury investigation.
Testimony given at former Special Agent Howard “Gene” Sisson’s hearing claimed that the Attorney General’s Chief Deputy [Turner] was giving orders to secretly tape and file complaints against Hart.
Motions filed by Hubbard’s criminal defense attorney J. Mark White disclosed that former assistant attorney general Henry T. “Sonny” Reagan said Turner was instructing him to secretly tape conversations with Hart as well.
Both Reagan and Sisson left the Attorney General’s Office under a cloud of suspicion.
An internal memo from Strange in December 2014 obtained by The Alabama Political Reporter outlines Reagan’s forced resignation.
Sisson’s dismissal came soon after Reagan was forced out.
In April 2015, Strange announced Turner’s departure and appointed former US Attorney Alice Martin to take over the leadership position in the Alabama Attorney General’s office.
According to multiple sources in the Attorney General’s office, Turner was so disliked that a key staff member left the office rather than be subject to his leadership style (which some described as erratic and hostile).
Turner, once a Bradley Arrant attorney, began his close relationship with Strange as his driver during his 2010 campaign.