By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—In the boldest of terms, Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis let it be known that Speaker Mike Hubbard and his attorney J. Mark White have been making false and unfounded statements in the press about the investigation that lead to 23 Felony indictments against Hubbard.
“The indictment of Mr. Hubbard was the result of a lengthy, thorough and lawfully conducted Grand Jury investigation – not a “political witch Hunt,”said Davis in a release to the media at 9am Tuesday morning.
Davis, who serves as the lead prosecutor in the investigation and prosecution Hubbard said, “false allegations” by Hubbard and White “require[d]” that he “respond as Acting Attorney General.”
So extraordinarily brazen have Hubbard’s attacks been on Davis, Attorney General Luther Strange and Matt Hart, the Chief of the AG’s Public Corruption that prosecution felt a need to respond with the facts.
Prosecutors are limited by law as to what they can say about a case, however, under State law, they can respond to the types of unfounded allegations made by Hubbard, White and their surrogates.
Davis first reminds the press and public that it was a Grand Jury of 18 citizens in Lee County that found, “probable cause,” that Hubbard had committed the crimes and indicted him on 23 felony ethics charges,” not the prosecution.
Next he explained, that the timing of the indictments was the result of the “four-year statute of limitations,” and not an election, as Hubbard has stated.
Davis also revealed that the Grand Jury heard testimony for 46 days over a twelve month period, from October 2013 to October 2014, with hundreds of thousands of documents reviewed as well as the testimony of over 150 witnesses considered.
The sheer volume of documentation and witness testimony is enough to qualify this as one of the more complex and thorough investigations in State history.
Davis made it abundantly clear that, “the Grand Jury proceeded at a proper pace to conduct a thorough, fair, and complete investigation of all of the criminal acts alleged in this case.”
Davis, who has served for 18 years as a district attorney, made it clear that assigning a political motivation to the investigation that led to Hubbard’s arrest was simply a lie.
Davis last ran for office as a Republican and won in 1998. Since then, he has served as Supernumerary District Attorney, for the State in many cases.
Davis said that he had, “no political allegiance to anyone – including Attorney General Luther Strange – which would affect my role as the Acting Attorney General in the prosecution of Mr. Hubbard.”
Davis took exception with Hubbard’s repeated accusation that “rogue” prosecutors were out to get him, stating, “the prosecutors and investigators assigned to me are not “rogue” – to the contrary, they have conducted the investigation under my supervision, direction and control. The prosecutors and agents utilized standard, conservative methods and techniques in the investigation of this matter.”
Hubbard and White have also asserted that Davis had “smeared,” the name of leading business men in the State. Referring to the naming of Robert Abrams, James Holbrook, Robert Barton, Will Brooke and Jimmy Rane in the indictments, to this Davis said, “Anyone named in the indictment – other than Mr. Hubbard – has not been charged with a crime.” He referred to the other individuals named in the indictments as “witnesses to the alleged crimes and nothing more.”
Does Davis mean that former Gov. Bob Riley, Minda Riley Champbell, Billy Canary and the others will be witnesses against Hubbard?
Davis closed by stating that he, “intend[s] to try this case in a courtroom before a jury and not in the press.” However, Hubbard and White want to try this case in the court of public opinion and not a court of law.
Davis took a giant step forward by pointing out the false allegations made by Hubbard and White. It will be interesting to see how Hubbard responds. Will he “bring down holy hell or everlasting sh*t,” as he has promised to do in the past? Only time will tell.
After a seven hour lack, Hubbard’s attorney issued his press release.