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Email Sheds Light on Clerk’s Removal and New Sheriffs Methods

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Among the many things to be learned from a recently released email between Speaker Mike Hubbard and former Gov. Bob Riley, is that Hubbard wants to protect Riley’s State contracts, and demonstrate his personal toughness to State House staff.

The joint Legislative Contract Review Committee has oversight to examine all request for state contracts. According to statute, “The committee shall have the power to issue subpoenas for any witnesses and to require the production of any documents or contracts it feels it needs to examine in the conduct of its duties.”

In the email exchange, Hubbard also references a Huntsville Times article by Bob Lowry. “I’m sure you read the Lowry article in the Huntsville Times today. I took Contract Review away from the person who had been feeding all of your contract information to Holmes and others, and she has been told that she is on very, very thin ice right now.”

In the article, Lowry espouses to oust long serving-committee clerk Dianne Harper. Lowry’s report outlines the controversy surrounding the removal.

In his article, Lowry states that Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh sent a letter to Hubbard requesting Harper be replaced.

However, the email exchange between Hubbard and Riley—released at the request of Hubbard criminal defense attorney, J. Mark White—sheds some additional light on Hubbard’s role but his motivation.

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The subject line of the email reads, “Happy Birthday, Mr. Speaker!!” referring to Hubbard ’s celebration of turning 49 years old.

Hubbard thanks Riley, then remarks, “I wish I was working with you on BR&A. I KNEW it would work!”

Working for Riley’s lobbying firm, Bob Riley & Associates, is a recurring theme Hubbard’s emails to Riley.

Hubbard also tells Riley of his plan to to fire a few people to establish control and send a message. “We are shaking things up at the State House, that’s for sure. I need to fire about 4 or 5 people pretty soon to really set the tone that new sheriffs are in town and in control.”

Alabama is an “at will” state, according the findlaw.com. “…what this means is that you can fire these employees at any time and for any reason, so long as the reason is not discriminatory, retaliatory or otherwise illegal.”

In his email, Hubbard indicates he wants to terminate State workers for no other reason than to set a new tone and show who’s in control.

Many studies have been conducted on the thesis; “Bosses from hell.”

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One such article in Psychology Today lists the characteristics of a narcissism in leaders in the contemporary workplace:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique
4. Requires excessive admiration
5. Has a sense of entitlement
6. Is inter-personally exploitative
7. Lacks empathy
8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Lastly, Hubbard appears dismissive of a request by Gov. Robert Bentley writing, “Bentley had his new legislative person to ask me to give him a list of all of our proposed ‘Anti-AEA legislation.’ I told her to tell him that we don’t have any ‘Anti-AEA’ legislation planned, but that we do have plenty of pro-teacher and pro-school legislation. Unbelievable.”

Emails produced in connection with Hubbard’s prosecution on 23 felony counts of public corruption pull back the curtain on his many dealings while in leadership at ALGOP and as Speaker.

This is just one more example of Hubbard’s leadership “style.”

Bill Britt
Written By

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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