By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
(Also includes tape of ethics commissioner admitting he never saw contract)
MONTGOMERY—On April 23, 2013, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) cast the first of many votes that would give his client American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc. (APCI) a monopoly over administering a Pharmacy Benefit Plan (PBM) for the State’s then $600 million dollar Medicaid program.
In fact, according to State records, Hubbard cast 12 yes votes for the passage of of the bill.
If the Statement of Facts presented in Rep. Greg Wren’s plea agreement are proven to be accurate in a criminal trial against Hubbard, then Hubbard could be charged with 12 felony counts of using his office for personal gain. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 2-20 years imprisonment and a maximum of $30,000 in fines.
If Hubbard were found guilty he could serve a maximum of 240 years in State prison and up to $360,000 in fines for just this series of offenses.
According to CUNY Law School, “a Statement of Facts will have the attributes of a narrative, including a plot line based on a certain temporality [leaner progression of]… of events, [and] a cast of characters.”
The Statement of Facts presented to Judge Jimmy Pool on April, 1, 2014, in Montgomery District Court reads in part,
“After meeting with Wren and others, and reviewing the Co-op Exclusive Language, the Speaker of the House [Mike Hubbard] endorsed the Co-op Exclusive Language and directed staff to add it to Medicaid’s section of the General Fund Budget. The Co-op Exclusive Language became a part of the House of Representatives substitute version of the General Fund Budget. The substitute version was voted on and approved by the House of Representatives on April 23,2013.”
The Statement of facts show that Hubbard not Wren “directed staff to add it to Medicaid’s section of the General Fund Budget.”
Again the Statement of Facts presented in court show that Wren, did not have knowledge of Hubbard lucrative agreement with American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc. (APCI) until after the language had been placed into the budget bill.
Though he voted multiple times in favor of the legislation, Hubbard never publicly disclosed his financial ties to American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc. (APCI), the company that stood to profit from Medicaid provisions of the budget. Nor did Hubbard declare a conflict of interest or abstain from taking official action on the bill, titled SB143.
Hubbard and his white collar crime attorney J. Mark White, have stated to the media that Wren’s case has nothing to do with Hubbard’s actions. Yet, the Statement of Facts in Wren’s plea agreements dispute their accretion.
White has also claimed that Hubbard’s contract with American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc. (APCI) was vetted by the State’s ethics commission a fact the Head of the Commission James Sumner denied in June, 2013.
(Hear Sumner on tape)
June 7, 2013
APR: “So you didn’t actually physically see the contract.”
SUMNER: “He just came to talk to us because he just wanted to make sure everything was in order and not an issue under the ethics law. He didn’t bring anything with him. He just…It was him sitting here by himself and Hugh Evans and I sitting there talking to him….So, no I never saw a contract and never asked to see a contract.”
Hubbard, recently told the Associated Press that he was, “Going on the offense.”
On Monday, April 7, Hubbard, posted on Facebook, “The smears from Montgomery’s liberal special interest groups are ridiculous and false. Even worse, the media treats distortions as fact. Share if you’re tired of the drive-by media working hand-in-hand with the Democratic machine.”
Hubbard’s offense in the face of his 12 votes favoring a company at which he has a lucrative consulting contract and the fact that the contract was never vetted by the State’s ethics commission, may have a hollow ring if he is indicted.