By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Speaker Mike Hubbard’s attorneys are suing the Department of Justice to obtain information about the lead prosecutor in his felony corruption case.
The law firm of White, Arnold & Dowd P.C. (WAD) filed a civil lawsuit against the Department of Justice, Office of Professional Responsibility, on May, 20, 2015, “seeking the disclosure and release of agency records that have been improperly withheld…,” the complaint states.
J. Mark White serves as the lead attorney for Hubbard’s criminal defense team. The lawsuit is an effort to force the DOJ to release any “…documents reflecting any formal or informal complaint …regarding the prosecutorial conduct of Miles Matthew Hart.”
Hart, a former US Attorney, now serves as Chief for the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Division. He spearheaded the investigation that led to the arrest of Hubbard on 23 felony counts of public corruption and has been repeatedly accused by the defense team of prosecutorial misconduct.
On January 8, 2015, WAD submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the OPR seeking information regarding Hart.
The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is part of the US Department of Justice and “is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct involving Department attorneys that relate to the exercise of their authority to investigate, litigate or provide legal advice, as well as allegations of misconduct by law enforcement personnel when related to allegations of attorney misconduct within the jurisdiction of OPR.”
WAD’s request was denied by the OPR who stated, “Lacking an individual ‘s consent, an official acknowledgment of an investigation, or an overriding public interest, even to acknowledge the existence of investigatory records pertaining to an individual would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
They also informed White that, “Congress excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA.” The letter also states that the denial is not an acknowledgement that such document “does or does not exist.”
As far back as September, 2013, Hubbard was telling Republican House members that Hart was “crazy” and that he was fired from his job as a federal prosecutor because he was unstable.
The idea of a rouge prosecutor has been a recurring theme of the Hubbard PR machine.
White and his team want any information regarding complaints made against Hart during his service as Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District under United States Attorneys Alice Martin and Joyce White Vance, including: any formal or informal findings related to any Complaint; any warnings; reprimands, and/or other disciplinary actions taken; any requests for information from any governmental entity outside of the Department of Justice regarding the prosecutorial conduct of Hart; and any requests for information from any non-governmental entity outside of the Department of Justice regarding Hart’s prosecutorial conduct.
Complaints were filed against the United States Attorney for the Northern District during the tenure of Martin, the OPR found no grounds for the accusations.