By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Court records reveal that former Deputy Attorney General Henry T. “Sonny” Reagan engaged the representation of attorney Bill Baxley some time in the fall of 2013. Records also show that Reagan was represented by attorney Rob Riley, son of former Gov. Bob Riley.
While representing Reagan, Baxley also served as legal council to Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) who was charged with perjury before the Lee County Grand Jury (later acquitted) and Riley, who continues to serve as council for Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn), who is charged by the State with 23 felony counts of public corruption.
Attorney General Luther Strange wrote, “While he was sharing legal counsel with the indicted defendant Moore and Speaker Hubbard, Mr. Reagan was privy to confidential inter-office communications involving fellow prosecutors, investigators and staff members relating to the Lee County Special Grand Jury. For months.”
It is interesting to note that Reagan’s office directly adjoined the one occupied by the Chief of the white collar crime division Matt Hart. The thermostat that controls the temperature is in Hart’s room is located in Reagan’s. So, Reagan was housed in the middle of those investigating Hubbard and Moore.
Strange also state’s, “Mr. Reagan took part in inter-office conversations related to the Special Grand Jury, all the while concealing his simultaneous representation by the criminal defense team. By doing so, Mr. Reagan not only breached his duty of loyalty to the State of Alabama, but he also violated the trust of you, his colleagues.”
Reagan unsuccessfully tried to have these revelatory records placed under seal by the Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals. Not only did the court not seal the documents, it allowed portions of Reagan’s Grand Jury testimony to be read by Strange, which led to Reagan’s resignation in lieu of termination from his merit position of Deputy Attorney General in December 2014.
This incident of overlapping attorneys is given as the root cause of Reagan’s forced resignation. Strange found that Reagan’s shared legal council with Moore and Hubbard “created an irreconcilable conflict of interests.”
According to a press statement by the Chief Prosecutor in the Lee County investigation, W. Van Davis, “[F]or a period of months, [Reagan] had undisclosed communications with individuals affiliated with people indicted or under investigation by the Lee County Special Grand Jury. Reagan also took other action to impede or obstruct the investigation.”
These statements from the Attorney General’s Office appear to show that Reagan leaked privileged information with members of Hubbard’s legal team as well as Moore’s under the protection of attorney/client privilege.
Reagan’s hiring Baxley and Riley also corresponds with several actions taken by Hubbard in the fall of 2013.
In the fall of 2013, Hubbard hired J. Mark White and Lance Bell as legal council…
…shuttered his long-held political action committee, Network PAC, and ended his lucrative contract with Southeast Alabama Gas District, (SEAGD).
In court filings, Baxley mentions his hiring by Reagan, as if it were related to an alleged inter-office dispute between he and Hart. However, the alleged dispute did not occur until February of 2014, according to court records.
The entire alleged inter-office quarrel over office space is said to be a “Red Herring” defense by Reagan, Baxley and Riley, as a way to explain why Reagan would have a need for legal representation in the fall of 2013. The timeline according to official documents places the office dispute long after the fall of 2013.
Davis says on the record that Reagan’s subpoena has had nothing to do with the alleged inter-office dispute, even though Baxley continues to make that argument to show prosecutorial misconduct.
In the records, prosecutor Michael Duffy states that Reagan came to the investigator’s attention as a result of evidence before the Grand Jury as early as October 2013. However, Reagan was not subpoenaed until August 19, 2014.
Baxley says in the hearing before Lee County Circuit Judge Hughes, “I suspect that it was some Grand Jury testimony by (name redacted).” This would indicate that Reagan came to the attention of the Grand Jury due to the testimony of the unnamed witness.
That Reagan would employee Baxley and Riley as attorneys, in what the AG calls a clear “conflict of interest,” and that Reagan would share confidential information, that according to Davis, was passed on to others involved in the Lee County investigations, casts a suspicious shadow over the actions of these attorneys allied with Hubbard.