By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Be careful what you ask for.
Dec. 24, 2014, attorneys for Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard asked, in a formal motion, that the State of Alabama provide a more definite statement of the 23 felony charges against their client.
Last Friday, Feb. 27, the deadline set by Lee County Circuit Judge Jake Walker III, the State provided its response to the motion.
In a 45-page document the State “… concisely sets forth the factual allegations forming the basis for each of the (23) charges. As an additional matter, the over 2.5 million pages of documents produced by the State in discovery also sufficiently inform Hubbard of the nature of the crimes with which he has been charged.
We won’t provide full details of the State response as it is readily available on the internet and in state newspapers outside Lee County. We will, however, cite several examples to give readers an idea as to the content.
1. Hubbard used his office as chair of the Alabama Republican Party to obtain over $1,000,000 in personal gain for himself, Craftmaster or Auburn Network (counts 1-4). Hubbard used his position to send money to Majority Strategies and required them to subcontract with Craftmaster Printers. In an email between two MS executives they lamented being forced to use the higher-priced Craftmaster: “It’s fine to explain that we could actually send [them] business if their prices were more in line with what we pay other places …”
Sometime later Hubbard emailed ALGOP Exec. Dir. John Ross: “I am going to pay a printing company I own part of DIRECTLY (sic). Not through a company that is ungrateful for business and insists on being difficult. Is that clear to everyone?”
2. Hubbard solicited $5,000 per month from American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc. (APCI) and voted in favor of legislation that uniquely benefited APCI (counts 5-6).
According to court filings, “during 2012 and 2013, APCI engaged in efforts to … affect legislation related to the implementation of a Pharmacy Benefit Management System (PBM) by Medicaid. Hubbard was paid approximately $95,000 total from August 2012 to December 2013 for work as a consultant.
In Feb. 2013 APCI provided legislative language to Rep. Greg Wren (who has already pled guilty to corruption charges) that would give APCI a monopoly over Alabama’s Medicaid PBM. According to the State’s evidence ,Hubbard endorsed the language and “… directed his staff to add the language to Medicaid’s section of the General Fund Budget. In fact Hubbard’s chief legal advisor, Jason Isbell, emailed the APCI language to Norris Green, head of the Legislative Fiscal Office for inclusion in the General Fund Budget Bill.”
3. Hubbard solicited $600,000 from principals for Craftmaster (counts 15-19).
When Craftmaster began defaulting on a $600,000 loan in September 2011, due to delinquent payroll taxes, Hubbard sought advice from Will Brooke of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), a business lobby group. Brooke advised Hubbard to solicit $150,000 each from 10 individuals to raise $1,500,000. According to the documents, of these 10, “four … have active interests in state government, employ lobbyists and are otherwise considered ‘principals’ under Alabama law.” They are named in the indictment.
In an email to Brooke, Hubbard stated, “Failure is not an option as it means personal and political ruin.” He further stated, “… as you know, my concern is financial and the fact that serving as Speaker consumes an enormous amount of time and generates virtually no income. I have been in discussions with Gov. Riley and believe I would have an opportunity to work with him and his company if I were to give up being Speaker and resign from the legislature. Although I believe I am making positive changes in Montgomery, I need to think of obligations to my family. Please keep me in your thoughts as I make this decision.
Apparently it was all a political ruse to get even more financial support,as less than a year later, again according to prosecution documents, Hubbard reported, in a personal financial statement produced for Region’s Bank, a net worth of nearly $8 million, liabilities of about $600,000 and liquid assets (cash or its equivalent) totaling $865,000. He reported an annual income in excess of $400,000.
There’s much, much more. Check http://alreporter.com/ and other Internet sites.