Some are using a stalking horse to undermine ethics laws

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The greatest challenge before the Alabama State Legislature when it returns in February is not the budget, schools or Medicaid. It is the slight of hand chicanery used to undermine the State’s ethics laws.

Since the conviction of former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard on 12 felony ethics violations, a coordinated effort has been underway to weaken those laws, with particular focus on how

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Ethics Commission withdraws McCalla opinion after charities line-up

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In a unanimous vote on September 1, 2016, the Alabama Ethics Commission issued advisory opinion 2016-24, which it believed clarified the question regarding public officials soliciting lobbyists and principals for contributions to a charitable organization, operating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

The issue was raised by the nonprofit group, Friends of McCalla.

After approving the opinion in a 5-0 vote

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Hubbard Files Notice of Appeal on Felony Ethics Conviction

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By Chip Brownlee
The Alabama Political Reporter

AUBURN — Mike Hubbard is fighting to avoid his four-year sentence in an over-crowded Alabama prison. Hubbard and his attorneys have filed a notice of appeal of his felony ethics conviction, ushering in another trial for the former Alabama House speaker.

Bill Baxley, Hubbard’s lead defense attorney, submitted the appeal with Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re

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State May Come After Hubbard’s Assets

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Under the 2014 Forfeiture Act, the State can seize Mike Hubbard’s assets, because they were used in the commission of a crime. Hubbard, on June 10, was found guilty of twelve felony counts of public corruption for which he faces up to twenty years in State prison, and $30,000 in fines for each count.

The Criminal Proceeds Forfeiture Act provides that “any property, proceeds

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More Indictments Likely

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—When asked if there would be more indictments, Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis said, “No Comment.” That statement should strike fear in the heart of anyone named in the counts on which Mike Hubbard was found guilty.

Hubbard was found guilty on seven counts of receiving a thing of value from a lobbyist or a principal under Section 36-25-5.1 (a) which forbids “[a] public employee

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Former Deputy Attorney General Could Be Indicted

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—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

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Hubbard Trial Day Seven: Only The Jury Knows

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

OPELIKA—On Day seven of the Speaker Mike Hubbard criminal public corruption trail, we heard testimony from Bobby Abrams, Rob Burton, and Jimmy Rane.

Abrams, who owns the company Capitol Cups, paid Hubbard $10,000 a month ostensibly to sell cups. Abrams admitted that if Hubbard had secured the letter for his patent in a timely fashion, it would have saved him millions of dollars. And while Hubbard

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Mason Still Advising as Paranoia Runs Deep

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— “Bizarre” is how one staffer describes the atmosphere in the Governor’s Office—depressing, angry, and paranoid, say others.

Not only is former senior advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason continuing to advise Bentley via phone and texts, the pair is blaming Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart for all their troubles, say insiders close to the Governor.

Speaking on background, former

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Baxley’s Conflict May Endanger Justice

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Even before Speaker Mike Hubbard was indicted on 23 felony count of public corruption, a unifying matrix of criminal defense lawyers allowed for information to flow freely amongst those who sought to undermine the State’s case against him.

Earlier this month on March 11, the State filed a motion, under seal, that revealed Hubbard’s criminal attorney, Bill Baxley, represents clients

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Hubbard’s Scheme to Enrich Himself Was Aided Primarily by Former Gov. Riley

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Mere months after passing the self-proclaimed toughest ethics laws in the nation, it appears that Speaker Mike Hubbard colluded with former Governor Bob Riley to circumvent those very laws. This, according to the State’s response to Hubbard’s request to have the 23 felony charges against him dismissed on the grounds that the Ethics Laws are unconstitutional.

<a href="/media/2015/09/StResponseUnconstitutional.pdf

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