By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
The investigation and pretrial drama of the much-anticipated trial of Speaker Mike Hubbard has proven time and again that the gods of carnage are happily at play in this most operatic tale.
One could dare find delight in watching these merry pranksters at work, were the consequences not so dire for our state.
Many of the men and women who enabled Hubbard’s rise to power, will also be numbered among those who stirred chaos in an attempt to keep him from facing justice.
But they should be aware that he will sacrifice any friend and coddle any foe to avoid trial.
The butcher’s bill cannot yet be tallied with any accuracy, as the battle winnows the players with regularity. The slaughter is born forward by the machinations of Hubbard’s political and legal machine.
At this moment, Alabama’s justice system itself is under siege, as Hubbard and his allies employ every imaginable argument, as to why his 23 indictments on felony public corruption should be dismissed.
Hubbard, the man who promised his Republican colleagues and the citizens of our State, that he would end corruption in State government, has become the epitome of all that is evil in public life. He has manipulated the legislature for personal gain, and now seeks to pervert the legal process to serve his selfish needs.
As the State recounted in its recent motion, “Hubbard has filed several motions to dismiss for 14 months now. His theories have ranged from improper Grand Jury empanelment to the Grand Jury exceeding its jurisdiction to the expiration of the Grand Jury’s term to selective prosecution to the unconstitutionality of the Alabama Ethics Act. This court has properly denied nearly all of Hubbard’s motions.”
Hubbard’s renewal of his motion to dismiss on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct and fraud, is based on an affidavit written by Baron Coleman.
The prosecution stated, “Indeed, just hours after the Court entered an order denying three of Hubbard’s motions to dismiss, Hubbard filed his Renewed Motion to Dismiss for Prosecutorial Misconduct and Fraud…is based entirely on the allegations contained in the Coleman affidavit.”
Coleman has said his affidavit did not accuse Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart of prosecutorial misconduct, and prosecutors agree. But it is written in such a manner as to leave the impression he had.
Coleman has said he was forced to come forward, but he has yet to explain what force was weighing on him, at least not publicly.
Several of his friends and associates came forward with affidavit disputing his claims. And many feel as if Coleman dropped a hand grenade into the foxhole they shared with him. Perhaps he thought his affidavit was a carefully constructed flash grenade that, while disorienting, would leave no lasting damage. But the invisible sons of mayhem are never satisfied, and their malevolence knows no bounds, they are master manipulators, and few can resist the temptation to answer cutlass with cutlass.
And so, these hellish spirits smile at our folly, encouraging mutually assured destruction.
Coleman, like countless others, may be a victim in this vast and murky spectacle. But in the fog of war, lines are drawn and redrawn, only in time will the real story be told.
The one man who stands at the epicenter of all this bedlam is Hubbard, a man who has proven with constant rapidity that he will sacrifice everyone to save himself. There is no law he will not break, no institution he will not defile and no person he will not destroy to save himself. Hubbard is a man without honor and without shame. In him, the gods of carnage found a princely ally, and a useful fool.
His mentor, former Gov. Bob Riley, warned him. No doubt, his wife and others did the same. But Hubbard believes one thing. The most base thing. Self above all else.
So now, we wait for Lady Justice to stride forward with her sword and scale (She only acquired her blindfold in the 17th Century and it has come to mean justice is impartial).
The question that remains is: Will she arrive before the gods of carnage have allowed the sordidness of Hubbard’s selfishness to devour more flesh?
We can only pray that it is so.