Sentance keeping final report of smear campaign investigation locked up

June 19, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A final report on the scandal surrounding a smear campaign launched to torpedo the candidacy of Dr. Craig Pouncey, for State Superintendent of the Department of Education is hidden away in the office of the man who ultimately landed the job.

Superintendent Michael Sentance is holding the results of an internal investigation into the Pouncey matter, claiming it is a “draft copy” of the final report. However, according to well-placed sources within the system, the report was not delivered to Sentance as a draft but as a completed document. These sources, not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, say Sentance is stalling for time. An email from the State Superintendent’s Office to APR said the report might be ready for the next Board meeting to be held this Wednesday.
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Political Deceit Laid Bare

November 11, 2016

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The conversation in room 727 of the Alabama State House on Thursday afternoon had turned into something halfway between comedy and unchecked disbelief.

Standing before a Senate committee chaired by Sens. Gerald Dial and Quinton Ross, Hugh Evans, the longtime General Counsel for Alabama’s Ethics Commission, was attempting to explain why he and the Commission decided to publicly announce an investigation based solely on an anonymous complaint.
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Dial Committee Meets Again as The Plot Thickens

November 11, 2016

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

The committee set up by Senators Gerald Dial and Quinton Ross held their second session Nov. 10 to question State school board members and others in the on-going effort to determine how an anonymous “smear sheet” discrediting Jefferson County school superintendent Craig Pouncey became public knowledge.

Pouncey, a former chief of staff for retiring superintendent Tommy Bice, was one of six applicants vying for Bice’s old job. Mike Sentence of Massachusetts was hired on Aug. 11. However, both Dial and Ross would like to find out how a breach of confidential info occurred so they can take steps to prevent it from happening in the future.
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Committee to Investigate “Dirty Tricks” Meets This Week

October 18, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—A joint legislative committee will meet tomorrow at 11 AM to began an investigation into the events surrounding an anonymous ethics complaint against Dr. Craig Pouncey.

In early August, The Alabama Political Reporter was the first to reveal an anonymous complaint about Pouncey, who, at the time, was a contender for the position of State’s Superintendent of Education.

The unknown author accused Pouncey of using State resources and personnel to write his doctoral dissertation. Even though the claims were later debunked, it is widely believed that it cost Pouncey the appointment, handing it to Massachusetts lawyer, Michael Sentance.
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Lease Deal Ended, In-Fighting Still On

September 22, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Recently, the Alabama Political Reporter sat with Public Service Commissioner (PSC), Chris “Chip” Beeker and his attorney, James Anderson, at the Offices of Copeland Franco to review documents and recollections regarding a solar option to a lease offered to the commissioner.

Controversy grew around the proposed land lease after media reports revealed the potential conflict, because PSC regulates utility companies.

In February of this year, Beeker received a letter from Coronal Development Services about leasing some of his pasture land for a possible solar energy farm.
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The Evolving Story Surrounding Superintendent’s Hiring

September 1, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The selection of Michael Sentance as Superintendent of Education is an evolving story with no end in sight.

Insiders believe Sentance is a useful stooge to give the powers that be an opening to abolish the elected Board of Education, fully implement common core and surrender the State’s education to private enterprise under an Accountability Act 2.0. The move is thought to be the product of a loose confederation between the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), ALFA and Riley Inc.
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Anonymous Accusations Against Superintendent Candidate

August 11, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Earlier this week, the Alabama Political Reporter asked why the Ethics Commission had inserted itself into the selection process for the next State Superintendent of the Department of Education.

Building upon the investigation into what appears to be a smear campaign against Dr. Craig Pouncey, a candidate for superintendent. New information indicates the Ethics Commission was an unwitting participant in the scheme to derail Pouncey’s candidacy, according to multiple sources.
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Ethics Commission Inserts Itself in Superintendent Selection, As Do Others

August 9, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Selecting the next State Superintendent of the Department of Education is playing out with Machiavellian intrigue, as an ethics complaint filed against Dr. Craig Pouncey, a candidate for superintendent, emerged to cloud the proceedings.

Allegations made anonymously include falsifying authorship of his Doctoral Dissertation and a wide-range of conspiracies.

In a letter sent July 15, via email from Hugh Evans, III, General Counsel for the State Ethics Commission to the Alabama State Department of Education, Evans writes, “we have received a complaint alleging certain possible violations of the Ethics Law on the part of Warren Craig Pouncey.”
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Last Day of Hubbard Trial More Witnesses Were on Hand

June 22, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Perhaps the most damning piece of evidence in the trial of Mike Hubbard, was the proffer he signed in March, 2014. Certainly, when Lead Prosecutor, Matt Hart, revealed that Hubbard’s dead “close” friend was actually alive, that was the final nail in his coffin.

After Hubbard, the State called Senate President Pro Tem, Del Marsh, its only rebuttal witness. However, there were other rebuttal witnesses on hand, but the State must have realized the jury had enough information to decide the case. Those in waiting were, former House Rep. Blaine Galliher, Hubbard’s former Chief of Staff, Josh Blades and State Ethics Commission’s chief counsel, Hugh Evans, III.
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Hubbard Trial Day 10: What The Jury Didn’t Hear

June 8, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Politcal Reporter

OPELIKA—In what one veteran attorney called a desperate move, Michael G. Hubbard took the stand in his own defense today, the tenth day of his criminal trial.

The day began with Hubbard’s attorney, Bill Baxley, continuing his cross examination of former Governor Bob Riley, who was trying to woo the jury with his “political” charm.

Under cross examination, Baxley attempted to solicit Riley’s thoughts on the Ethics Laws. That led to an immediate objection by Lead Prosecutor, Matt Hart, which Judge Jacob Walker, III, sustained. Again, Baxley asked Riley to give his opinion on the Ethic Laws, to which Hart objected again. This resulted in Judge Walker telling Baxley, that line of questioning was not going to be allowed, and that he should move on. Baxley ignored the Judge’s instruction and attempted a third bite at the apple. Hart objected, and said the State would ask for sanctions against Baxley, if he continued. This led to a contentious sidebar, during which Baxley could be heard pleading with the Judge, and Hart saying we handled this yesterday. Apparently, there had been a hearing, without the jury or press in attendance, in which Judge Walker disallowed any testimony from Riley about his interpretation of the Ethics Laws. Baxley moved on, questioning Riley about economic development issues. Once again, Hart objected, and the Judge told Baxley to try something else. Riley’s testimony ended with a whimper, not with a bang, as Baxley had planned.
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