By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Attorney and radio talk show host, Baron Coleman, has been ordered to turn over secret recordings to the trial Judge in the felony corruption case of Speaker Mike Hubbard.
Coleman, said he has recorded the Attorney General’s Chief of the Special Prosecutions Unit, Matt Hart, and perhaps others without their knowledge.
Judge Jacob Walker, III, on Wednesday, ordered Coleman to turn over all tape recordings he has claimed show Grand Jury leaks. Coleman alleges to have been given some Grand Jury information, illegally. Coleman has also told the court he “concluded” and “put two and two together,” to accuse Hart, of giving him secret Grand Jury information.
In a sworn affidavit given to Hubbard’s attorneys on February 2, Coleman claimed he had between 50 and 100 conversations with Hart. At the recent hearing on alleged prosecutorial misconduct, Coleman said he secretly recorded Hart.
Coleman also said he had emails he believed would further illuminate his claims. In his order, Judge Walker states the emails may not necessarily be between Hart and Coleman, implying Coleman has other targets.
Coleman has told several individuals who asked not to be named, that he was going to destroy Hart or Hart was going to destroy him.
Judge Walker said the tapes and emails will be held by the court for an in camera review.
In February, Coleman was identified by the State as a Confidential Informant. Acting Attorney General Van Davis filed a Motion for Protective Order to “Prevent Disclosure of Information from Former Confidential Informant, Baron Coleman.”
Coleman has denied he was a Confidential Informant. At the March 3, evidentiary hearing into Coleman’s claims, Judge Walker said he would decide if Coleman was in fact a confidential informant.
The day before the hearing, a portion of one of Coleman’s tapes was leaked to al.com.
The State claims that as a confidential informant, any communications between Coleman and the AG’s office, “is privileged and rightly protected from disclosure.”
The motion reiterated that evidence had been submitted to Judge Jacob Walker, III, “for ex parte and in camera review,” proving Coleman’s status as a confidential informant.
Coleman, once a fierce critic of Hubbard, was recently lauded as a hero by certain members of the Alabama House of Representatives for coming to Hubbard’s defense. These individuals believe that Coleman’s testimony may lead to Judge Walker dismissing the charges against Hubbard.
At the proceedings on March 3, Deputy Attorney General John Gibbs, in a testy exchange with Coleman, showed that prosecutors were never mentioned in the Grand Jury Secrecy Act.
Coleman has been ordered to turn over his tapes and emails by Friday, March 11, at 1:00 PM.