29 Sep 2014
By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—In a June, 2014 interview with Inside Alabama Politics, James L. (Jim) Sumner, Jr., the Director of the Alabama Ethics Commission, stated that his office had never received an ethics complaint concerning Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn. However, an ethics complaint against Hubbard was filed with the his office in December, 2013.
The over 50 page complaint reads like a chronicle of articles written by Alabama Political Reporter over the last several years. It details many suspect actions taken by Hubbard with detailed evidence. Yet, Sumner denies its existence.
Hugh R. Evans III, who serves as General Counsel for the commission, acknowledged - in writing - the receipt of the complaint on December 12, 2013. In a letter to attorney John Aaron, who filed the complaint, Evans confirms receipt of the complaint and also provides Aaron with a case file number.
The complaint against Michael G. Hubbard was assigned case number 2013-308. In his letter, Evans also states that a Special Agent would be assigned to investigate the matter. That agent was Tony Goubil, former chief investigator for the Mobile County District Attorney's office. Goubil contacted Aaron to arrange a meeting soon after the letter was received but then, for undisclosed reasons, broke off all contact, even refusing to return any of Aaron’s phone calls. Evans’ letter showing that the complaint had been received and assigned a case number and an agent, raises serious questions about Sumner’s denial, and Goubil's truncated communication with Aaron.
Perhaps, Sumner turned this over to law enforcement, because we are aware that a Grand Jury has been looking into possible illegal activities involving Hubbard.
Still, approximately six months after Evans confirmed receipt of the ethics complaint against Hubbard, Director Sumner told Inside Alabama Politics, when asked why his office never investigated Hubbard, “…I think first and foremost my answer would be: number one, we never had any knowledge of many of the things that are being alleged; and number two, we never had a complaint. So the critics can certainly take whatever criticism they want of that, but first for some agency to be able to do something they have to know something. And we have always operated based on the information we knew at the time. I won’t go beyond that, but that should go a long way toward answering the critics.”
Sumner categorically states on the record that “we never had a complaint,” yet, his own general counsel and special agent confirmed not only that a complaint had been filed, but that it was under active investigation.
Sumner has refused to answer this publication's questions on this matter and others. In an extended conversation with this reporter,over a year ago, Sumner disparaged me personally and professionally. According to associates, he has used foul language in reference to this publication and this reporter. These harangues came after our report on Sumner’s okaying Hubbard’s “consulting contract,” with American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc., (APCI) without ever personally examining the document.
Sumner told the Alabama Political Reporter in June, 2013, “No, I never saw a contract and didn’t ask to see a contract.”
In June, 2013, this publication revealed that Hubbard was instrumental in placing language into the State’s General Fund budget that would have guaranteed APCI exclusive rights to provide prescription medication for the State’s multi-million dollar Medicaid program.
Disgraced Republican lawmaker, Greg Wren in April, 2014, plead guilty to using his office for personal gain for aiding Hubbard in placing the 23 words into the General Fund Budget.
Sumner, who is set to retire from his position as director on October 1, has not been forthcoming with the media about the Ethics Commission’s investigation of Hubbard.
Sumner has been confirmed as having spoken to members of the Attorney General’s Office, who are investigating Hubbard in relation to the Grand Jury hearings in Lee County.
29 Sep 2014
By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Henry T. “Sonny” Reagan’s brash attempt to tarnish the Lee County Grand Jury and its lead prosecutor, Matt Hart, is yet another ploy by allies of Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and those alined with former Gov. Bob Riley, to cast doubt and sow confusion into the investigations of Hubbard and his colleagues.
Unfortunately, Hart and Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis are bound by rules that do not allow them to answer Reagan’s accusation.
On September 19, Davis made it publicly known that they have evidence that Reagan leaked Grand Jury information to “individuals affiliated with people indicted or under investigation,” and also “took other action to impede or obstruct the investigation.”
Davis made it perfectly clear that they believe Reagan has taken serious actions to undermine a criminal investigation of some of the most powerful politicos in the State.
It appears that Reagan and his attorney have crafted a tissue of lies into a narrative, its sole purpose: to make it appear that the Lee County investigation is out of control.
The investigation is not out of control. What is out of control is the incessant spinning by those who are paid to defend criminals.
A recent email from a colleague illuminates what is actually taking place:
“Matt Hart must have some pretty damning evidence on Mike if he’s attacking the guy’s credibility. When I was in law school, an old professor told me, 'If you’re strong on the law….. pound on the law. If you’re strong on the facts…… pound on the facts. If you’re strong on neither…… just pound on the damn table!' In a grand jury indictment proceeding, if Hubbard is strong on neither…his only option is to pound on the prosecutor.”
Last week, in his letter, Reagan called for a Special Prosecutor to investigate the “dispute” that he claims he has with Hart.
Gubernatorial candidate Parker Griffith has called for Governor Bentley to appoint a Special Prosecutor to take over the Lee County Grand Jury. Both statements are political, and designed to cast a shadow over these very important hearings.
Both Reagan and Griffith should be denied their requests because they are based on a self-serving political scheme, not a true desire to see justice served. Has our State not had enough lies and double dealing from Hubbard and the Riley machine?
This week we can expect more calls for Special Prosecutors and even a Federal intervention. This again is designed to create a smoke screen for the guilty to hide behind. This is the Hubbard/Riley plan to taint the public corruption investigation in Lee County.
Most of the media has aided in the Reagan narrative, even to the point of allowing one of Hubbard’s criminal defense attorneys to comment on the story, calling Reagan's actions courageous.
There is nothing brave or honorable about Reagan’s actions. There is nothing valorous about taking the Fifth before a Grand Jury investigating public corruption when you are an officer of the court.
As described by Davis, Reagan’s actions would appear to be criminal. Why is the press allowing someone who may have committed heinous acts against the people of Alabama have an unchallenged say in a news story? Why would the press not point out that these statements are not facts, but statements from a man who the Acting Attorney General says has tried to obstruct a criminal investigation.
Not only has Davis made this clear, but the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals thought that the evidence against Reagan was so damning that it unsealed Grand Jury testimony so that Attorney General Luther Strange could see for himself. Upon seeing the evidence Strange placed Reagan on administrative leave for the “good of the department.”
Expect Reagan to be fired from his job soon and to be indicted by his own office.
Also expect Hubbard, Riley and their attorney’s to keep howling like jackals.
That is a given.
22 Sep 2014
By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
We now know for certain, the name of one of the individuals working to aid Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and others evade justice. His Name is Henry T. “Sonny” Reagan, and he is just one of many ruthless politicos lurking in the shadows seeking to thwart justice on behalf of an elite pack of jackals.
According to W. Van Davis, the man overseeing the investigation of Hubbard, “Reagan, for a period of months, had undisclosed communications with individuals affiliated with people indicted or under investigation by the Lee County Special Grand Jury. Reagan also took other action to impede or obstruct the investigation.”
Reagan has been unmasked as a traitor to his profession, his office and the people of Alabama.
Last week, Hubbard’s criminal defense attorney J. Mark White tried to insulate his client from the Reagan scandal by saying, “...there has been no communication between the two men [Hubbard and Reagan] in person, by phone, letter, email, carrier pigeon, or smoke signal. For anyone to suggest otherwise would warrant a diagnosis of 'factual deficit disorder.'”
White is juggling like a circus clown attempting to distract everyone away from the main attraction in the center ring. Reagan’s actions are linked to his relationship with former Gov. Bob Riley, not Hubbard. The Reagan affair cuts to the heart of the matter: it is the Riley Machine at work to save itself.
This is family business for this pack of jackals.
The former governor’s son is Reagan’s attorney, which clearly shows a bright-line connection to the Riley Machine. And if the Reagan/Riley connection is not bright enough, the fact that Rob Riley has been Hubbard’s attorney of record since the late 90's should start to illuminate the truth.
So it is that Reagan, owes his career to Gov. Riley.
Hubbard is Riley’s second son and Rob represents them all.
This dark alliance should come as no surprise, but the fact that Rob Riley is the shadow attorney for Hubbard and Reagan, is definitely an unholy Communion.
Riley is the man most responsible for Reagan's career and his steady rise to power.
Reagan served as Riley’s Chief Legal Advisor during the crusade against electronic bingo in the State. Riley recruited Reagan to be point-man on litigation against Milton McGregor and VictoryLand Casino. After Riley left office, Reagan returned to the Attorney General’s Office where he has served as the chief prosecutor in gaming cases. He has been the leading agent against all gaming in the State including the Poarch Creek Indian operations.
Just a few weeks ago, Reagan appeared in a Montgomery courtroom to once again prosecute McGregor and VictoryLand, all the while serving as a Judas inside the very office he was representing. This man who swore an oath to up hold the laws of our State, appeared in court to prosecute others while he himself may have broken State laws in a most heinous way.
When faced with his treasonous actions before the Lee County Grand Jury, Reagan sought to use the law to seal his deeds. But, Lee County Circuit Court Judge Hughes saw through that charade and compelled him to testify. Reagan appealed to the Supreme Court, but they referred the matter to the Criminal Court of Appeals. They denied his request, as well.
In an extraordinary move, the Criminal Court of Appeals decreed that Attorney General Luther Strange—who has recused himself from the Lee County investigation—be permitted to see records of the Grand Jury proceeding that involved Reagan’s actions. Immediately upon seeing the evidence against Reagan, the Attorney General placed him on leave pending an administrative hearing. For this, Strange should be commended and not ridiculed, as some have chosen to do.
The revelation of Reagan’s betrayal to aid those who may have committed egregious crimes strikes at the very foundation of moral law within the State.
Reagan has once again appealed to the Supreme Court to hide his crimes. This proves conclusively that this man is without conscience. To think that a court led by Chief Justice Roy Moore would cover over such acts, is to believe that the whole system is as corrupt as Reagan.
Like jackals, these opportunistic predators seek to ravage all that is good in our State, filling their bellies at a feast of greed and corruption. The whole affair reeks of madness, the kind of madness that stems from a conscience seared with a hot iron, void of principle, avaricious and demented by power.
This must end with the indictment and conviction of Hubbard and the whole Riley Machine, or the State will be damned by men like Reagan.
26 Sep 2014
By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—A letter from Deputy Attorney General Henry T. “Sonny” Reagan is just the latest in a series of coordinated attacks, to sow discord and confusion over the Lee County investigation into possible criminal activities by Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and others.
Reagan’s letter dated September, 22, 2014, and addressed to Attorney General Luther Strange and copied to others including, Gov. Robert Bentley, unleashes a torrent of unsubstantiated accusations against Matt Hart, the Chief Prosecutor in the Lee County Grand Jury investigation.
The existence of Reagan’s letter was immediately leaked to certain members of the media, with a female reporter for the Associated Press reportedly calling the Governor’s Office within a half-hour of the Governor’s office’s receiving the letter.
The contents of the letter were reported by the Opelika-Auburn News, at 7:41 pm Tuesday, September 23. The Opelika-Auburn News is the paper of record for the House District represented by Speaker Hubbard, the very man whose court records show is the principle target of the Lee County Grand Jury investigation.
Other news outlets received the leaked letter, including al.com, which allowed Hubbard’s criminal defense attorney J. Mark White to call Reagan’s letter “courageous.”
This news organization did not receive a copy of the letter even when requested. The governor’s office denied all requests for the letter saying it was addressed to General Strange and therefore should be released though his office.
A political insider, who asked not to be identified, said, “This is classic defense propaganda: throw a grenade over here while the bank is being robbed over there.”
But he, like many others, felt the leaked letter was orchestrated to damage Hart’s credibility, paint the media as patsies and draw suspicion around the proceedings.
Reagan is represented by attorneys Bill Baxley and Rob Riley, the son of former Gov. Riley. Riley and White represent Speaker Hubbard. Baxley also represents indicted Republican lawmaker, Rep. Barry Moore, who is accused of perjury and making false statements before the same Grand Jury. Many defense attorneys in Montgomery have expressed alarm by the potential conflicts in this ménage of attorneys and clients.
Several legal professionals speaking on background have said, it is possible that Rob Riley, White and others, may be using attorney/client privilege to understand the many avenues of the investigation, and to shape their clients defense both in the media and before the court.
W. Van Davis, who is Acting Attorney General in the Lee County investigation, has publicly accused Reagan of having “undisclosed communications with individuals affiliated with people indicted or under investigation by the Lee County Special Grand Jury. Davis also says that Reagan took other action to impede or obstruct the investigation.”
The efforts to obstruct the investigation in Lee County are so widespread, that attempts were made by members of the Hubbard/Riley inner circle to convince Gov. Bentley to stop the investigation.....an offer that Bentley soundly refused to even contemplate, according to sources close to the governor.
Reagan testified before the Lee County Grand Jury on August 27, 2014. He testified for almost an hour before asking to speak with his attorney, Bill Baxley (defense attorneys are not allowed in grand jury hearings). After meeting with Baxley, an emergency appeal was made to Lee County Circuit Court Judge Hughes to have Reagan’s Grand Jury testimony quashed. However, Judge Hughes, after being made aware of the prosecutions evidence against Reagan, (in camera) ordered that he resume his testimony. It was at this point that Reagan took the fifth on advice of council.
On Wednesday, September 17, the Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals unsealed documents that revealed that Deputy Attorney General Reagan unsuccessfully tried to quash his subpoena to testify before the Lee County Grand Jury. After being served a subpoena to appear before the Lee County Grand Jury on August 27, 2014, Reagan filed a sealed writ of mandamus to quash the Lee County subpoena.
In their denial, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals also ordered that secret Grand Jury testimony be reveled to General Strange, in order that he might see for himself the evidence against Reagan. Even though Strange had recused himself from the Lee County investigation, the court took these extraordinary measures because they believed the Attorney General must be made aware of the seriousness of Reagan’s actions.
On September 18, Reagan was placed on administrative leave by General Strange, "in the best interests of the agency,” pending a full administrative hearing.
Two days later, Reagan sent a letter to Strange asking for an investigation into the internal dispute between him and Hart over office space, that occurred last year. Reagan also says that the Hart made inappropriate comments about the Grand Jury investigations.
Many believe that if Hart did make any comments to Reagan, it was part of a plan designed to ferret out “moles” who were leaking information to potential suspects or targets.
The letter, rather than being about an internal dispute as Reagan has claimed, is actually filled with many self-serving prose, whereby Reagan portrays himself as “a lifelong public servant,” and one who has, “spent my entire adult life serving either as a soldier in the United States military or as an attorney for the State of Alabama.” Reagan says he has been, “tested in combat and… tested in the courtroom, but I have always done what I believed was right.” Yet during his testimony before the Lee County Grand Jury Reagan, evoked his Fifth Amendment Right, to avoid self incrimination.
Cornell University Law explains the Self-Incrimination portion of the amendment as follows: “The Fifth Amendment protects criminal defendants from having to testify if they may incriminate themselves through the testimony. A witness may "plead the Fifth" and not answer if the witness believes answering the question may be self-incriminatory.
Reagan wrote in his letter to Strange that, “I have always done what I believed was right” yet none inside the AG’s Office or anyone that was contacted for this report could remember a time when a Deputy Attorney General had ever taken the fifth in a criminal court proceeding.
In his letter Reagan states, “My complaint into Mr. Hart's office misconduct has no bearing on the work of the Lee County Grand Jury. Even if my complaint culminated in Mr. Hart's internal discipline, the Grand Jury's work would continue.”
This is the same man who refused to answer questions before an Attorney General’s Grand Jury.
The evidence presented to Judge Hughes, the Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals, and to General Strange was enough for them to conclude that Reagan had serious problems.
Those inside and outside of the Attorney General’s Office believe that Reagan’s letter—which was leaked to the press— and his personnel complaint, are all part of the larger plan to discredit Hart and to impede the investigation against Speaker Hubbard and others, so the investigation is slowed before the election or killed outright.
In his letter, Reagan repeatedly accuses Hart of [Working] “in concert with reporters to reveal information regarding the grand jury to the press to help his cases.” Hart has never revealed any Grand Jury information to this publication or this reporter. The Attorney General’s Office has steadfastly refused to answer questions about the Lee County investigation asked by this publication or this reporter.
In his letter, Reagan appears to be fighting for his job. But, if the statements made by Davis are found true in a court of law, Reagan could be facing not only disbarment but also jail time.
One prominent republican lawmaker, commenting on the Reagan scandal said, “His actions and those of his associates undermine the very foundations of our justice system. this cover-up has brought shame and dishonor on our State. We will not come out from under this dark cloud until those responsible stand before a court of law.”
19 Sep 2014
By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Deputy Attorney General, Henry T. (Sonny) Reagan, was placed on administrative leave after the Lee County Grand Jury found that he had been leaking information to suspects under investigation.
Upon being informed by Acting AG, W. Van Davis, State’s Attorney General Luther Strange took immediate action to remove Reagan.
Speaker Mike Hubbard’s criminal defense attorney J. Mark White has been spinning the revelation of Reagan’s complaint against Special Prosecutor Matt Hart, as evidence that there was a political prosecution of his client. White is now faced with the cold-hard-facts, that Reagan has most likely committed criminal actions to help Hubbard thwart justice from with inside the AG’s Office.
A statement from Davis below.
STATEMENT FROM ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL W. VAN DAVIS REGARDING SONNY REAGAN
(MONTGOMERY)— “In January 2013, Attorney General Luther Strange directed me to act as the Attorney General in a matter involving potential public corruption in Alabama. During the investigation, we determined that a member of Attorney General Strange’s staff, Deputy Attorney General Henry T. (“Sonny”) Reagan, for a period of months, had undisclosed communications with individuals affiliated with people indicted or under investigation by the Lee County Special Grand Jury. Reagan also took other action to impede or obstruct the investigation.”
“On September 17, 2014, in accordance with court orders and pursuant to my duties as Acting Attorney General, I informed Attorney General Strange of Mr. Reagan’s activities. On September 18, 2014, I received a letter from Attorney General Strange informing me that he had taken immediate action to place Mr. Reagan on administrative leave pending resolution of these matters. I appreciate Attorney General Strange giving the matter top priority for support from his Office. I have every confidence in the professionalism and integrity of the work being conducted by the members of the Attorney General’s staff assigned to me.”
No additional comment will be available at this time.