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Stealing the Statehouse

Over Looked Ruling in Hubbard Case

 

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

When Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Walker III, denied Speaker Mike Hubbard’s request for a More Definite Statement of fact, he sent several messages.

One, big, echoing sound that should have been heard on the fifth floor of the State House was, “Play time is over. Let’s get ready for trial.”

(See the Order here.)

Hubbard’s criminal defense team first filed a Motion For More Definite Statement on December 22, 2014. The State filed a forty-four page Response on December 27, 2014, outlining the evidence which included the bombshell emails, exposing the inner workings of the Hubbard graft machine.

On March 4, Team Hubbard filed a Response to the State’s Response, arguing that the State’s Response could not be used to supplement the indictment. 

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This has been a key component of Hubbard’s strategy to deny, deflect, and delay facing justice.

In his September 4 order, Judge Walker wrote, “After considering the arguments, the Court is of the opinion, that the twenty-three count indictment and the State’s forty-four page Response in Opposition to the Defendant’s Motion For More Definite Statement (filed February 27, 2015) put the Defendant on notice of the charges against him. Accordingly, the Defendant’s motion is denied.”

Judge Walker turned down Hubbard’s motion saying, he found that the defense did not meet the legal standard, and found the Attorney General’s response to the defense’s motion to dismiss, where they listed the evidence. Here, Judge Walker adopts that as part of the reason to deny the defense motion. 

There are other motions pending regarding the Attorney General’s response. Hubbard’s criminal defense team has argued the State’s forty-four page response and the accompanying damaging emails, had violated the grand jury secrecy law…or that it was political…if it was the least bit of objectionable on any legal grounds, Judge Walker would not have used that as a basis for denying their motion to dismiss, he would just rely on that first argument.

Judge Walker, in effect, blesses the State’s motion, by explicitly relying on it as part of the basis for denying their motion. He also uses the State legal standard in the Hunt case as the underlying premises. 

Interestingly, in his order, Judge Walker also refers to “Acting Attorney General Van Davis.” A title Bill Baxley argued against in the Rep. Barry Moore trial, and that Hubbard’s attorney, J. Mark White has argued on behalf of his client.

During the August 17 hearing in Lee County, Judge Walker informed Hubbard that he had already ruled on Davis’ authority to prosecute Hubbard. However, he has not issued an order to answering Hubbard’s request to dismiss the case, because Davis lacked authority, and that the Grand Jury had been improperly impaneled. Whether intentional or not, the Judge’s choice of titles sends a message: get ready to go to trial.

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By adopting the phrase “Acting Attorney General” the court demonstrates that Hubbard’s argument is a loser.

Hubbard faces 23 felony changes related to crimes that violated the very laws he has championed. He has filed a motion to challenge the constitutionally of those laws.

Judge Walker has yet to unseal the motion, but has promised to do so. Hubbard’s legal team wanted the challenge sealed, claiming they were protecting Grand Jury information. Judge Walker ordered the Grand Jury information redacted, but Hubbard’s team once again played games with the court, and with the media. 

Special Prosecutions Divison’s Chief Matt Hart said in court, that Hubbard didn’t want the document unsealed because it would be embarrassing. Now, Hart didn’t mean Hubbard would be embarrassed in the sense that he would feel shame. He meant that Hubbard’s hypocrisy would be laid bare for all of the Republican lawmakers to see. 

Hubbard feels no shame. He can’t, because he truly does not care what anyone thinks of him (with perhaps the exception of his father figure, former Gov. Bob Riley, to whom he wrote so lovingly in emails).

Paul Ekman, the world’s foremost expert on lying says, “Shame requires some respect for those who disapprove; otherwise disapproval brings forth anger or contempt, not shame.” This is why Hubbard has no sense of shame, only anger, and contempt for those who question him.

Judge Walker is bending over backwards to make sure Hubbard receives a fair trial, but he is telling the defense, get ready.

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Of course, Hubbard doesn’t ever want sit facing a jury of his peers, because his act will not play well in a court of law.

Then, there is J. Mark White, who seems to stumble at every turn. White has been known as a top lawyer, especially when it comes to winning the media war. Some believe White’s ineptness is due to Hubbard trying to manage his own case; constantly harassing his attorneys like he does everyone around him.

It would appear that White is making a killing off of Hubbard. As the old saying goes, “the best client is a rich one, who is guilty as sin.”

Judge Walker is sending a message, but no one knows for sure if it is being heard in the fifth floor corner office. Perhaps, I should drop by sometime.

 

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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