Sentance feeling the heat as subpoena seeks findings of ALSDE investigation

June 20, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A subpoena was filed in Montgomery Circuit Court on Monday demanding State Superintendent of the Department of Education Michael Sentance handover the internal investigation into the scheme to derail the candidacy of Dr. Craig Pouncey in 2016.

See Subpoena

Pouncey has a lawsuit pending against several individuals he believes were party to a “dirty tricks” campaign against his candidacy for Superintendent.

Pouncey’s Montgomery-based attorney, Kenny Mendelsohn, on Monday also filed a reply to defendants: Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), Board member Mary Scott Hunter, interim Superintendent Philip Cleveland, and ALSDE attorneys Juliana Teixeira Dean, James R Ward III, and Susan Tudor Crowther motion to dismiss.
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Impeachment Committee Subpoenas Governor as Investigation Continues

September 30, 2016

By Chip Brownlee
The Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — The House Judiciary Committee wasted no time this week in issuing dozens of pages of subpoenas in the impeachment investigation into embattled Gov. Robert Bentley’s alleged affair and misuse of State funds.

Among those subpoenaed by the committee: Bentley himself; his former top political aide and alleged mistress, Rebekah Mason; Bentley’s gubernatorial campaign and others.

Whether or not the Governor will be forced to comply at the risk of contempt is another question entirely.
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The “Luv Guv” and Alleged Mistress Subpoenaed by Judiciary Committee

September 30, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, September 29, 2016, the Alabama House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas for both Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) and his former top political advisor, Mrs. Rebekah Caldwell Mason.

Earlier this week, the House Judiciary Committee passed rules giving itself subpoena powers. At that meeting Special Counsel Jack Sharman asked the Committee for the subpoenas saying that parties had not been cooperative with his requests for documents.
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SB69 Would Give Legislature Power to Immunize Criminals From Prosecution

February 10, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Senate Bill 69 would give legislative committees the power to grant immunity for criminal activities. The bill’s intent is to give committees the authority to subpoena documents and testimony from agency heads and others—perhaps an unintended consequence that has raised serious questions in the judicial and law enforcement community.

SEE BILL

A well-intentioned bill, sponsored by Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery), could have serious ramification, according to a former prosecutor speaking on background: “This bill would give anyone presiding over a legislative committee, the right to grant immunity to their fellow politicians and anyone else they choose,” he said.
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Judge Begins Ruling on Pretrial Motions in Hubbard Criminal Case

February 2, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY —The Judge in Speaker Mike Hubbard’s felony criminal case has ruled that Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis was properly appointed, the letter appointing him was not backdated, and that Attorney General Luther Strange had the legal authority to appoint an Acting Attorney General. He also quashed the subpoena to depose Shelley Ballad, a former paralegal with the Attorney General’s office.

This signals that trial Judge Jacob Walker, III has begun the process of ruling on the over two-dozen defense motions pending before the court. This is also an indication Hubbard’s trial will begin ‪on March 28‬, as Judge Walker has ordered.
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Hubbard Tries to Subpoena Press (Me)

January 27, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— During Tuesday’s hearing, Hubbard’s criminal lawyer, Lance Bell, tried to turn the proceedings into an evidentiary hearing on prosecutorial misconduct, contrary to Judge Walker’s orders. Hubbard is seeking testimony from radio news gatherer and commentator, Baron Coleman, and this reporter, alleging we received Grand Jury information leaked by prosecutor Matt Hart.

Bell wants to depose Hart on the matter, arguing, because alreporter.com published a statement from Hart 13 minutes before al.com’s Mike Cason, it somehow proves a nefarious transaction between the Alabama Political Reporter and the prosecution. He also wants Judge Walker to believe that Hart leaked Grand Jury information because he inadvertently sent the motion, in which Hubbard’s attorney, J. Mark White, and his firm, asked to withdraw from the case.
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Trial Judge Quashes Hubbard Motion

December 18, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—On Wednesday, Judge Jacob Walker, III ruled that Speaker Mike Hubbard had improperly handled a subpoena and ordered the information sealed. He also added that the information was not relevant to the case.

Court filings state the defense improperly used subpoenas by disregarding Rule 17.3, to gather documents, records and interviews. According to the State’s latest motion, “On October 14, 2015, Hubbard had the Clerk issue a subpoena to Administrative Office of Courts AOC seeking the production of records identifying the AlaCourt users that accessed the publicly filed documents in this case. AOC filed a motion to quash the subpoena on October 21, 2015. At the hearing on October 28, 2015 and again on November 9th the State objected to these documents. AOC and the defense later reached an agreement about the production of some of the subpoenaed records.”
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Hubbard, Criminal Lawyers Caught Cheating

December 16, 2015

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—New court documents in Speaker Mike Hubbard’s criminal case reveal, that he and his attorney have been improperly using subpoenas, by disregarding Rule 17.3, to gather documents, records and interviews.

(SEE MOTION.)

Rule 17.3. Subpoena duces tecum, reads as follows:

(a) PRODUCTION OF BOOKS, PAPERS, ETC. A subpoena may command the person to whom it is directed to produce the books, papers, documents, or other objects which may be designated therein.
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In “Hail Mary” Hubbard Subpoenas Governor

March 31, 2015

 By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—In what is being described as both a fit of desperation and a Hail-Mary pass, Speaker Mike Hubbard, (R-Auburn) has filed subpoenas for Governor Robert Bentley (R), Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis and the Custodian of Records for the Ethics Commission, according to a filing by the Attorney General’s Office late Monday.

Filing 1, Filing 2

 

Over the last month, Speaker Hubbard, through his criminal defense attorney J. Mark White, has subpoena 17 witnesses for an evidentiary hearing that has not even been granted yet by Lee Count Circuit Court Judge Jacob Walker, III.

 

Court observers speaking on background say that they believe that the Hubbard defense team wants to put the prosecution on trial prior to his felony trial in October.

 

Hubbard has been charged with 23 felony counts of public corruption.

 

One attorney familiar with the case said, “This is a ‘Hail Mary’ by White because he doesn’t have a real defense.”

 

In response to the prosecution’s motion to quash the subpoenas issued to Bentley and others, Judge Walker has ordered a hearing on April 3, 2015 at 1:45 pm in courtroom three of the Lee County Justice Center.

 

The purpose of the hearing is to further discuss issues to be heard on April 15 and 16, 2015, according to Judge Walker’s order.

 

The hearing of April 15 and 16 was to be on motions filed in the case, but Hubbard, in what is described by one attorney as a “fit of desperation,” apparently wants to turn the hearing into a media circus.

 

As for Hubbard’s request to call Gov. Bentley the state argues, “Hubbard’s subpoena… constitutes an improper attempt to obtain discovery to which he is not entitled and to conduct a baseless fishing expedition.”

 

The state contends that Hubbard’s subpoena of Bentley should be quashed because it represents an attempt to usurp this Court’s authority. Prosecutors also say that it violates executive privilege, “It is black-letter law in Alabama that testimony about the performance of a state officer’s official duties is protected from disclosure by executive privilege.”

 

The prosecution also claims that the Bentley subpoena is improper because it seeks information “protected by… deliberative-process privilege, legislative privilege, attorney-client privilege, and work product doctrine.”

Hubbard’s efforts to call Bentley and Davis is seen by legal observers as a last ditch offensive before the scheduled October criminal trial.

 

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