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Stealing the Statehouse

Judge Upholds Firing

 

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Judge confirms that disgraced former Attorney General’s Special Agent was properly fired. 

After hearing testimony and reviewing evidence concerning the termination of Special Agent Howard “Gene” Sisson, Judge James Jerry Wood agreed with Attorney General Luther Strange’s decision to terminated the agent.

After listening to Sisson’s testimony, Judge Wood wrote, “The Attorney General, as the appointing authority, had no choice except to terminate Sisson’s employment with the AGO.

sissonHe further states, “The undersigned has reviewed and carefully considered the documentary and testimonial evidence in this case. The credibility of individual witnesses has been weighed along with the relationships of the witnesses to each other. The undersigned finds the reasons for the dismissal of Sisson are supported by more than a preponderance of the evidence presented at the hearing. The undersigned finds no basis for mitigation.”

(See document here.)

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Even though Judge Wood found the firing of Sisson to be justified, Speaker Mike Hubbard’s criminal defense continues to portray Sisson as a knight-errant, pursuing justice inside a corrupt Attorney General’s Office.

Even Hubbard’s criminal defense attorney, J. Mark White now hopes to use Sisson’s discredited testimony before Judge Wood, as a basis for charging the State with prosecutorial misconduct.

In the order from Judge Wood, Sisson is described as “let[ting] his differences with Hart color his judgment to the extent that his actions in concert with Reagan were a serious breach of trust with Sisson’s co­ workers.” 

It also found, “Sisson failed to conduct himself in a moral and ethical manner, and in a manner that is consistent with generally recognized professional conduct and ethical principles,” of the Attorney General’s Office. 

The order also states that Sisson demonstrated an “inability to recognize inappropriate conduct.”

Yet, Hubbard’s legal team expects Sisson’s testimony on prosecutorial misconduct to be taken seriously.

At his termination, Sisson received a hand-delivered letter, in which General Strange accuses him of conspiring with former Deputy AG Henry T. “Sonny” Reagan, and others to undermine the work of the Lee County Special Grand Jury, illegally taping acting Attorney General W. Van Davis, assisting the criminal defense team, disparaging the prosecution, and working to discredit Special Prosecutions Division Chief Matt Hart. 

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(See letter here.)

In the letter, Strange states: 

“I cannot trust you to follow Office policies and to be faithful to the rule of law; I cannot trust you to keep the work-related confidences of your co-workers; and I cannot trust you to conduct yourself with honesty and integrity in the workplace.”

Evidence provided in the termination letter (but not released to the public) states, that emails sent by Sisson prove that he conspired with Reagan and others, to undermine the investigation into Hubbard.

Judge Wood supported the finding of the Attorney General’s office stating, “the dismissal of Sisson by the AGO be upheld.”

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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