By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—W. Van Davis responds to Speaker Mike Hubbard’s request for any communication between the Attorney General’s Office and the media, saying he doesn’t have a right to the material requested (if any even exists).
On the day that W. Van Davis set the record straight on the “false allegations” coming from Hubbard and his legal mouthpiece, J. Mark White — concerning Hubbard’s arrest on 23 counts of Felony ethics violations — White filed a motion with with Lee County Circuit Court asking for any communications written or recorded between the Attorney General’s Office and the media.
In an amended discovery motion, White asked for, “…any written or recorded conversations between any members of the media and any members of the Attorney General’s office.”
Last week, the prosecution responded by saying that under the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 16.1, the state is not required to, “produce any materials in response to this request” and that, “The requested materials are not written or oral ‘statements made by the defendant to any law enforcement officer,’ which means they are not discoverable under subsection (a) of Rule 16.1.”
They further show that the requests are, “not discoverable under subsection (b), since they are not written or oral ‘statements made by a co-defendant or accomplice to any law enforcement officer’” or under section C, “…requiring the State to disclose documents and tangible objects in its possession.”
The prosecution also states, “Hubbard has failed to show that the requested materials are “material to the preparation” of his defense… Hubbard merely makes the conclusory assertion that he is entitled to the requested materials under Rule 16.1(c).”
Davis also cites a ruling by the US Eleventh Circuit that explains such an assertion is not sufficient to require production by the prosecution:
“Notably, an item in the first category—preparation for the defense— need not be disclosed unless the defendant demonstrates that the item is material to such preparation. A general description of the item will not suffice; neither will a conclusory argument that the requested item is material to the defense. Rather, the defendant must make a specific request for the item together with an explanation of how it will be helpful to the defense.”
The State says they do not intend to “offer the requested materials at trial and the items do not belong to Hubbard. So, the State is not required to produce the requested materials.”
Many attorney’s have suggested that the filing was a diversionary tactic by White, who was KO’d when Davis landed a right cross to the false allegations Hubbard and White had been spreading throughout the media.
However, White’s statement did increase the chatter on talk radio as well as newsrooms across the State.