By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—As early as 2007, a group known as the Friends of Auburn Society was trying to alert the authorities at Auburn University of problems with Mike Hubbard’s financial dealings.
In a letter and an email addressed to then in-coming University President Jay Gogue and the Alabama Legislature, the Friends of Auburn warned about “…the intricate web of personal, political and financial relationships that weaves itself throughout the university…that has for years been part of the dark underbelly of corruption…[that] the Alabama press continues to ignore…because of its complexity and secondly because of the relentless propaganda espoused from the central figure of this morass.”
The corruption and propaganda according to the group was perpetrated by one man: Mike Hubbard.
“Over many years, Mike Hubbard has directly reaped millions of dollars from Auburn University coffers into his personal business enterprises or indirectly with surrogates into their businesses. Most of these funds come directly from the Auburn Athletic Department and its fund raising arm Tigers Unlimited. He has used his influence both through legislation and personal political acquaintances to maintain a stranglehold on Auburn athletic receipts and create his personal multi million dollar empire,” said the letter to the AU president.
Over the last year the Alabama Political Reporter has made several calls to the Auburn President’s office requesting comments regarding Hubbard’s activities at the University. All of those inquiries have been ignored.
Recently, an individual close to those who warned President Gogue said that Hubbard’s double dealing was ignored. “A see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil policy was adopted because Hubbard brought money and political favors to the University.” He also said that he believed Hubbard, “…used his political power to destroy anyone who dared come against him.”
This individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that Hubbard, “…has used his position in government as muscle to bring in federal and state dollars to the University…so they simply turned a blind eye.”
This was the case in 2007, when The Friends of Auburn Society alerted the school that Hubbard, “…made another million dollars when he shepherded the sale of his property using Auburn University as the conduit.”
The group describes the process as follows:
“In a merry-go-round web, the Auburn University Federal Credit Union sold its building and property on campus to Auburn University. From those proceeds the Auburn University Federal Credit Union bought property from Mike Hubbard next to his Auburn Network building on East University Drive. The Credit Union building has been conveniently and accessibly located for years on the Auburn campus. Now, Auburn University employees must travel off-campus about 2 miles to the new location to conduct their personal business.”
The letter to President Jay Gogue went on to enumerate a number of accusations against Hubbard.
Despite the warnings, Auburn University ignored information about Hubbard even naming a street and a building after the Georgia man.
Surprisingly, the letter from 2007 comes to light while an Attorney General’s Special Grand Jury investigation is hearing testimony into Hubbard’s alleged misdealing; a pattern and practice that the Friends of Auburn Society tried to warn of many years ago.