By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY— Speaker Mike Hubbard’s FCPA filings show he has loaned a quarter of a million dollars to his campaign account in two contributions over the last two months.
The two loans coincide with Hubbard’s attorney, Lance Bell, being contacted by Baron Coleman, and Judge Jacob Walker, III, granting a new evidentiary hearing on prosecutorial misconduct, based on an affidavit given to Hubbard by Coleman.
Hubbard’s FCPA filings show he loaned his campaign $100,000 on January 2, 2016, just two days after the firm of White, Arnold and Dowd filed a motion to withdraw from Hubbard’s case, and one day before Coleman reached out to Hubbard; this, according to court filings and statements made by Bell to Judge Walker.
On December 31, Hubbard’s lead criminal attorney, J. Mark White, filed a motion for his firm White, Arnold and Dowd, to withdraw from the case citing a conflict of interest.
On January 9, Judge Jacob Walker, III, granted White and Dowd an in-camera, ex-parte hearing to provide evidence of conflict. The State objected to the private meeting arguing that it was against the rules of criminal procedures, and that the public and the prosecution had a right to know why, White, Arnold and Dowd were withdrawing from the case.
Reportedly, Hubbard was over $1.5 million in arrears to White, Arnold and Dowd when the firm withdrew.
According to Bell, he was first contacted by Montgomery lawyer and radio host Coleman on January 3, 2016, one day prior to Hubbard’s first loan to his campaign.
The second loan of $150,000 came on February 15, 2016, one day before Judge Walker granted Hubbard a hearing on prosecutorial misconduct, based on Coleman’s affidavit.
During the hearing on February 16, Judge Walker peppered the proceedings with questions he wanted answered by Coleman in the March 3 evidentiary hearing.
The trial judge seemed particularly interested in knowing why, during his testimony on October 20, 2015, Coleman said, “Simply put, I know nothing about the Grand Jury.” But in his recent affidavit stated, he had between 50 and 100 conversations with Matt Hart, Chief of the Special Prosecutions Unit concerning, “The Mike Hubbard investigation, and the Lee County Special Grand Jury.”
He also wanted the prosecution to find out why Coleman had converted from being one of Hubbard’s biggest critics to now seemingly supporting his cause.
Coleman has said on his radio show that he will prove everything he said to Judge Walker was true.
Hubbard has hired former Attorney General Bill Baxley as his lead attorney, despite the fact Hubbard disparaged Baxley in his vanity tome, Storming the State House, accusing Baxley of using his “taxpayer-funded security guard [to] ferry his paramour [Marie Prat] to a rendezvous in a state car.”
The Baxley’s have been married for over 25 years.
Hubbard’s new found money to loan his campaign has raised eyebrows around the State, especially in legal circles.
Those close to Baxley say he demanded Hubbard pay him up-front, before any work was done.