By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—On Wednesday, indicted lawmaker Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, was granted a continuance in his felony perjury case. Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob A. Walker III granted Moore’s request and has rescheduled his trial for October 27, just seven days before the State’s general election.
During the hearing, Moore’s attorney, Bill Baxley, restated many points of his argument that were rejected by Judge Walker in May and by the Alabama Supreme Court earlier in this month.
According the a report by oanews.com, Baxley told Judge Walker that, “We’re not able to adequately represent our client with the State’s discovery at this time, your Honor.”
In a legal strategy designed by Speaker Mike Hubbard’s white collar criminal defense attorney J. Mark White, the Moore attorneys filed a motion to have the case dismissed on the grounds that Attorney General Luther Strange did not have the authority to appoint supernumerary District Attorney W. Van Davis to represent him in the Grand Jury investigation into possible criminal activities of Hubbard and others.
Answering Baxley’s statement, that he had not had time to prepare for the case, Matt Hart, Chief of the AG’s Special White Collar Crimes Division said, “I think they were pinning their hopes on a ‘Hail Mary’ without prepping, apparently.”
Judge Walker has not been moved by Baxley’s previous arguments, but is operating his court by the strict letter of Alabama law.
Despite the fact that the prosecutors have turned over all available evidence found in discovery, Baxley continued to request more.
Baxley also made the argument that they need additional time to contact Hubbard, who is “intimately involved” in the case. To this Hart said, “They could pick up a phone and call him, but that’s their issue.” While granting the motion to continue courtroom observers suggested, that Judge Walker did not seem amused with Baxley stalling tactics.
Moore is charged with “knowingly making a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation, in his answer” to the Lee County Grand Jury. The State has filed two felony complaints of perjury and two felony complaints of making false statements.
These charges are a result of Moore Grand Jury testimony in which he denies making threatening statements to his republican primary opponent Josh Pipkin. However, Pipkin recorded his conversations with Moore and those tapes were in the procession of the prosecution at the time of Moore’s testimony.
The Alabama Political Reporter was the first news organization to reveal the content of these tapes in March of this year. (See link here)
APR was also the first to publish the audio of Moore and Pipkin’s conversation. (See audio here)
Over the course of several months, Hubbard and Moore met with various influential individuals in Enterprise, making it absolutely clear that they were determined to kill the new jobs coming to the city if Pipkin would not relinquish the race to Moore. If the deal fell through, the backup plan for EEC’s expansion was to relocate the facility to Oklahoma, a blow to the entire Alabama economy, not just Enterprise and Coffee Counties.
In the audio recording Moore can be heard telling Pipkin, “”I’m waiting to meet with the Speaker… I don’t want to put the Australians [EEC] off too long so either way I’ve got to meet with Mike (Hubbard) this week. This deal is too important to our city. I know some think I have nothing to do with it but they are very wrong. Mike controls this deal and my relationship with him has everything to do with it. Relationships in politics are everything. And Mike is very loyal to his friends. He just is.”
In another statement, Moore responded to a question about whether he and Hubbard were going to kill the jobs deal if Pipkin refused to abandon his race. Moore responded, “I got a meeting with the Speaker and he is furious… At the end of the day, yeah, because we were fixin’ to land a pretty good deal, and there’s a lot at stake, I can assure you, for our City and our community.” Moore later told Pipkin, “If you’ll give me your word that you’ll get out, when I meet with him [Hubbard] next week, I’ll tell him… he’s going to get out, so we need this deal for him to stay out, but I need your word on that. And I’ll talk with the Speaker.”
He also told Pipkin, that Hubbard, “I will bring Holy Hell down on [Pipkin] him,” if he did not get out of the primary race against Moore.
Moore actually won the Republican primary.
Moore’s trial is excepted to last two days and many defense attorneys have told this publication that it should be a slam-dunk for the State. Moore faces up to 60 years in a State prison if convicted.