Defense attorneys for Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) want the 23 ethics violation charges dismissed.
Judge Jacob A. Walker called a hearing for Friday, April 3, after Hubbard’s defense attorneys filed a motion on Monday, March 30, to dismiss the case claiming prosecutorial misconduct.
Hubbard’s defense attorneys also subpoenaed several witnesses, including Gov. Robert Bentley, which the prosecutors moved to squash.
Although a hearing is scheduled for April 15 to discuss all the motions in the case, Walker said, after reading the March 30 filing, he wanted to call the attorneys in to make sure they were prepared for later hearing.
The defense will call witnesses to testify about evidence at the April 15 hearing, including Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison), Leland Whaley, a radio talk show host at WYDE who defense attorneys said has partial recording of a phone conversation with prosecutor Matt Hart. Another radio talk show host, Dale Jackson, posted a conversation with Matt Hart on YouTube in December 2014.
Walker said other witnesses from the Attorney General’s office will testify in a separate deposition.
The motion filed by defense attorneys said information obtained from former Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan through a subpoena prove Hart’s misconduct during the grand jury investigation.
“I intend to ruin Mike Hubbard politically,” Hart said, according the supplemental document filed with the motion. “I will put a 155mm Howitzer round right through Mike Hubbard, and I do not care about the collateral damage to anyone else.”
Reagan resigned from the Attorney General’s office after it became clear Attorney General Luther Strange was going to fire him for leaking documents about the grand jury to Hubbard, according to an al.com report.
“(Hart) said the correct way to handle Hubbard was to, ‘Bring him in, show him the drafted indictment and tie the noose around his f**king neck,’” Reagan said quoting Hart, according to the supplemental document filed with the motion. “‘Then cinch it down until he is grasping for f**king air. Then give him an option to plead guilty and resign.’”
At a press conference after the April 3 hearing, Defense attorney Mark White said Hubbard would not seek a plea deal.
“I think anybody that read the kind of things that were said in that document would have concerns,” White said. “Those concerns are being handled with the appropriate authorities.”
David Byrne, Bentley’s legal advisor, addressed the court at the April 3 hearing and said the governor would be claiming executive privilege. However, Byrne did submit documents to the court for Walker to review.
White said he has no interest in the governor testifying.
Walker may rule on all of the motions at the April 15 hearing, but White said he does not expect a ruling in the prosecutorial misconduct motion until later.