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Reagan Can’t Remember

By Bill Britt

Alabama Political Reporter

OPELIKA—If day one of Mike Hubbard’s evidentiary hearing left the impression that former Deputy Attorney General Henry T. “Sonny” Reagan had a vivid recollection of every threat every made by Special Prosecutions Division Chief, Matt Hart, day two gave the impression that Reagan has a very selective memory regarding every other event.

Reagan could not remember numerous conversations with Hubbard’s former chief of staff, Josh Blades, an email referencing Mark White, or a conversation with Andrew Brasher. He definitely could not recall a time he asked Hart to assist him with a Grand Jury or when he actually hired attorney Rob Riley, and for what purpose.

But, when it came to threats made by Hart, he could recall each detail.

Day two began with Deputy Attorney General Andrew Brasher continuing his cross of Reagan. Basher questioned Reagan about a phone conversation he had with Riley the day he competed writing his personnel complaint against Hart. The indication from Brasher was that Riley was consulted during the complaints creation. Reagan couldn’t recall what he and Riley spoke about, but finally admitted he did discuss the complaint with Riley at some point. When asked when and why he hired the former governor’s son to be his legal counsel, again, Reagan couldn’t remember with any specificity.

Brasher pushed Reagan on conversations and meetings he had with Blades, but again Reagan said he couldn’t remember. Brasher asked if he ever shared Grand Jury information with Blades, and if there has ever been discussion about Reagan joining the Speaker’s office as legal counsel to Hubbard. Reagan could not recall, but said he did remember a lunch with Blades and Phillip Bryan, chief of staff for Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, where there was some passing mention of an opening with the Pro Tem.

When Brasher asked Reagan if he would be surprised if Blades offered contradictory testimony, Reagan said he would.

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During the questioning, Reagan often faltered, becoming increasingly aggressive, calling Brasher “Andrew,” and punctuating various accusations about Hart, and co-counsel Michael Duffy by pointing his finger at them.

Brasher presented Reagan with a Jan. 18, 2013 email from Hubbard to Riley, subject “Snowy Night” in which Hubbard wrote, “Confidentially, I received word just now from Josh that a mutual friend in the AG’s office (he used to work for you) called to tell him that the prosecutor told him this afternoon that the accusations against me have been thoroughly investigated and totally dismissed by the Grand Jury.”

Following related court documents it becomes clear that Hubbard’s and Riley’s emails refer to Blades and Reagan.

Reagan was also confronted with obscene email communications between Reagan, and Sisson, in which they fondly compare the defense in the Rep. Barry Moore trial to a Dr. Dre song, “N**ga with a Gun,” which glorifies killing police, as well as spewing obscenities, like MF and GD. Scisson even states that his church sang the same song at a recent worship service but changed the title to “Deacon with a gun.”

The email read, “Rep. Moore (Baxley) gave 44 reasons why the indictment should be dismissed. If you Google “44 reasons” you come up with the below lyrics. You think maybe Bill Baxley, Mark White. et al. is sending a message to the prosecution?”

(See email here.)

When asked why he included White’s name since he was not Moore’s attorney, Reagan, once again, could not remember.

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Earlier court filings state, “These emails show that Sisson, in concert with Reagan, while both were still employees of the Attorney General’s Office, was cheerleading Moore’s defense and applauding Mark White’s and Bill Baxley’s efforts to get the charges against Moore dismissed.”

In earlier testimony, Reagan had disparaged Hart’s method of conducting grand jury inquiries. Brasher pointed out that Hart had conducted thousands of grand juries, as well as teaching classes on how they are to be carried out. He also pointed out that Reagan had once asked Hart to assist him in conducting a grand jury. Reagan at first denied Hart had assisted him in a grand jury proceeding, but later conceded that in fact, he had.

Finally, Brasher quizzed Reagan about giving the defense privileged  documents. He denied doing so, even though an internal investigation by the Attorney General’s office and court documents found otherwise.

It appears that Reagan believes that hyperbole by Hart constitutes real threats. It also seem he believes, “ I don’t recall,” is a euphemism for “I’m not telling you the truth.”


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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