Michael Gregory Hubbard:
the impenitent thief...
Romans 2:5-9 [KJV] "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil.."
Former Speaker Hubbard was found guilty on more than half of the felony charges our Lee County grand jury found worthy of pursuing in 2014; charges not levied until AFTER the primary election date. Hubbard's massive political power and money bombed the airwaves with negative ads to keep voter turnout down, producing another win with a small fraction of eligible voters participating so Hubbard's big government minions again carry the polls. In my days watching Judge Walker's court, the BCA buffoons (Canary, Hubbard, Riley, et al) appeared in denial of the gravity of their situation. Accomplished thieves and manipulators of this sort tend to be ill equipped to deal with unbiased, righteous reckonings. The jury he faced was indeed a different sample - i.e., more representative of the people than Hubbard's hyper gerrymandered district, low voter turnout skewed result he's so easily manipulated. No straight ticket voting, uncompetitive ballot access laws, BCA big money subsidized ad campaigns, etc. to shield him in this arena.
Our prosecution did an outstanding job of voir dire in limiting Hubbard minions making it to the 'final 15' jurors empanelled. Even the more shamelessly corrupt on Goat Hill like Rep. Pebblin Warren, sitting with Susan Hubbard during the jury candidate questioning didn't successfully manipulate the system as they've grown so accustomed to enjoying. Hubbard used and well rewarded this corrupt House Democrat as a member of the Lee County delegation to get things he wanted introduced with less of his fingerprints on the political theft. Warren, along with Gerald Dial in the Senate, top of the list of those who must go if we're serious about continuing to extract destructive weeds impeding the productivity in our State. The amount of resources and talent required to discipline corruption under this terribly uncompetitive political result is a huge tax on our economy and collective Spirit.
The most notable person I met courtwatchin' - after fellow Alabama Gazette columnist Steve Flowers of course -- was Alice H. Martin who is Alabama's Chief Deputy Attorney General. Given how intently she watched some of those on the witness stand, it was my impression others are under investigation. Sadly, I suspect the statute of limitations will protect most of the corrupt players we observed testifying. That's the way it usually goes, the high end hookers like Hubbard get convicted as the more deleterious political pimps (e.g., our 'public servants' like Canary and Riley) and johns like 'public servant' Jimmy Rane (associated with felony count 18 conviction) on the AU BoT aren't prosecuted. Hopefully those on the "I Believe in Mike Hubbard" stage, publicly shilling for felon Hubbard are now facing the utmost scrutiny from our AG's office; Congressman Rogers easily tops this list given his 'graftmaster' ties to Hubbard.
It became most clear when Hubbard was on the witness stand his usual 'slick Mike' banter wasn't working. Showing just how great the disconnect with reality was (and apparently still is) taking the stand was his second biggest mistake after wasting so much time and money on the usual Mark White type attorney tactics of asserting prosecutorial misconduct, wrongful grand jury empanelment, threatening confidential informants, etc. instead of actually addressing and likely paring down the 23 charges. Perhaps the defense "dream team" genuinely thought the lyin' & sighin' Boob show and bizarre Minda Riley 'point of privilege' moment before exiting the witness stand wasn't suffering enough to illustrate Hubbard's detachment - denial 'Ain't Just a River in Egypt' as the saying goes... Rare happenstance to see Jake Walker with a befuddled facade before allowing Minda additional time for 'economic development' campaigning and more love fest diatribes extolling the Hubbard-Riley political crime families instead of addressing issues associated with the felony charges. She 'loved him like a brother' was most notable; like listening to a member of Corleone & Gambino families fawning all over each other with a southern accent.
Hubbard approached the stand with his usual hubris then dove right in bellowing his phony baritone radio voice. At the outset it seemed to connect with most jurors talking about irrelevant things like his Georgia days, Hershel Walker, Bo Jackson, Vince Dooley etc. After several minutes, when oration on how he met wife Susan was over, you could see some jurors losing patience. After about fifty minutes into his ramblings, Hubbard finally spoke on things of substance and jurors returned focus to find little in refute of the charges. If the prosecution had done more to explain the problem of no competitive bidding with Hubbard's failed recusancy from the Party votes on his contracts (even if the best quality at lowest price as asserted) conviction on the first four counts were more likely. The jury also seemed to give a pass when Hubbard got permission (even if not followed) from feckless Ethics Commissioner Jim Sumner, leaving the impression jurors felt Hubbard was simply trying to find the felony line and STILL jumped over it as Mr. Duffy explained, methodically marching through the facts in the prosecution's first salvo of closing arguments.
Given my "All the Speakers Men" column [http://www.alabamagazette.com/story/2015/11/01/news/all-the-speakers-men-and-the-collapse-of-au-athletics/597.html] I was most interested in the jury's conviction on felony count 10 which should lead to further investigations and possibly remove more pollutants from Auburn. Most reassuring to see our jury NOT bamboozled by the absurd 'friends' defense in convicting on felony count 18 business transaction with Mr. Rane. Perhaps now is the best time to admit my forecast on a hung jury was wrong. In my defense, the juror I had pegged as a Hubbard minion who'd never be swayed by the evidence was one of the three alternates. Some have been more forgiving of the poor prediction since they only found Hubbard guilty on half of the charges.
In the end, conviction on any one of the 23 felony charges was enough. Now attention turns to sentencing this thoroughly impenitent convicted felon who continues to steam full speed ahead in full hubris he'll be vindicated on appeal. No secret I hold Judge Walker in increasingly high regard after observing him these past decades. I've had to suffer the discussions, e-mails, anonymous letters, etc. calling me stupid and naïve in this regard. Yes, Walker used to be the primary partner in the 'family built' law firm who is part of Hubbard's defense, ad nauseam. So what? - the same was true in 1999 when Walker blasted his former law firm defending those who made us (me and my bride) wrongfully homeless for almost year and his rulings (along with Susan Walker's three outstanding summary judgments in our favour) helped us win unanimously in the 2005 SCotUS.
Those who believe any Jake Walker decision will be easily appealed do NOT know Judge Walker's well earned repute. Could Hubbard continue his criminal proclivities and successfully manipulate the appellate process? - Maybe. It is less likely now that he's finally lost his ill-gotten power as Speaker and BCA "johns" are even more nervous to pay political prostitutes to broker deals of this sort given the shockwaves still reverberating from Alabama's current epicenter of corruption in Auburn. No doubt the AG's office will be watching for improprieties to manipulate the appellate process.
Walker was appointed to his Lee County Circuit Court judgeship by Gov. Fob James, a traditional Democrat who changed to the Republican Party as part of the foolish group who thought they could allow this known corrupt Party back into our State (without firing a shot) and they could keep the corruption out or even more childish, Republicans had somehow changed from the Party of hegemony and corruption. Fob was in that fleeting vacuum of time/transition where a few good individuals like young Jake Walker were placed in positions to do good. I'm still not sure the James family today understands what they represent and could accomplish if they'd publicly and convincingly denounce the BCA and apologize for letting them 'Bond & Spend' our State into what we're suffering today.
Fob refused to be a typical Party changer like 'money-machine' US Senator Shelby or more recently flipped Alabama Senator Gerald Dial; most straight ticket voting Republicans can't tell the difference much like the despicable Wallace era Democrats. The Hubbard-Riley BCA machine (much like I observed with Gov. Campbell in SC) showed just how quickly and easily the few small govt. folks were crushed once establishment/traditional Republicans were allowed back into their State instead of replacing the corrupt Democrat Party. Rebuke those who speak of fidelity to Parties, they lack integrity and spine in defense of liberty and sovereignty. I care little about Party monikers, but pay attention to principles and actions.
Political parties, much like diapers, must be disposed of regularly if citizens want to promote the general welfare. The unresponsive duopoly we suffer is the reason extremism goes unchecked as we ratchet ourselves further into the leviathan govt. result.
In spite of not being a champion of the Republican Party (i.e., one of the few I can actually vote for) Walker remained on the bench ever since Fob's appointment earning sound re-election margins these past decades. I'm weary of fools who tell me Walker's position is a result of privilege over merit and accomplishment - it matters little to me if he came from poverty or wealth as long as one is a righteous jurist. There's a reason you see Walker re-elected without a bunch of money from BCA, trial lawyers, etc. - he won't take it and doesn't need it to win. Lee County is blessed to have him as our most accomplished circuit court jurist. I found it laughable some championed a motion for Walker's recusal as a 'compromised judge' and some still say these ties will lead to a light sentence for Hubbard. If Walker was so tied to Hubbard, why didn't the defense request a bench trial? How many more frivolous motions to dismiss would Walker had to address and deny before folks appreciated this jurist was doing all he could for these 23 felony indictments to actually face the scrutiny of his court?
As I've grown to trust Judge Walker's jurisprudence these past decades, I'll ask readers to consider giving him similar deference in sentencing this convicted felon on July 8th. In 2013, Walker sentenced David Stroud (former Auburn businessman) to 10 years after pleading guilty to investment fraud. Stroud's violations of the Alabama Securities Act were Class B Felonies, punishable by a possible prison term of no less than 2 (no more than 20) years incarceration with a max $30k fine as are each of Hubbard's felony convictions. In May, 2012 a Lee County Grand Jury, indicted Stroud on seven counts of investment fraud, two counts of securities fraud, two counts of failing to register with the Alabama Securities Commission (ASC) and ten counts of theft by deception. Stroud's activities reportedly defrauded investors of approximately $2.1 million (similar to the $2.3 million associated with Hubbard felonies) which Stroud must repay under the terms of his plea. ASC Director Joe Borg said of Walker's sentencing, "Stroud has received a sentence appropriate to his fraudulent scheme. Financial professionals provide a valuable service to hard-working individuals seeking to safeguard their financial futures. When dishonest individuals, such as Mr. Stroud, abuse their position of trust and betray the public's confidence in the investment advisory industry, we want to make absolutely certain to send a loud and clear message that this conduct will not be tolerated." No doubt Jake Walker understands the Hubbard sentence will also be looked upon as sending a message to future criminals.
Kentavious Wilson (15 at the time of his crime) pled guilty to breaking into an AU student's home at Eagles Landing admitted to rape and sodomizing the 19-year-old woman before stealing her car. Judge Walker sentenced Wilson to two consecutive life sentences for first degree rape and sodomy, along with a third life sentence for first-degree burglary to run concurrently with a 25-year burglary sentence and a 15-year theft sentence. Auburn investigators hoped Wilson's lengthy incarceration will help the victim's recovery.
Walker overrode the 9-3 jury recommendation for life imprisonment without parole and sentenced Gregory Lance Henderson to death for running over and killing Deputy James Anderson during a traffic stop in 2009. Alabama judges ultimately determine actual sentencing in capital cases and Walker was pressed by prosecutors and law enforcement to send Henderson to death row. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones applauded Walker's decision as just punishment saying, "Nothing can bring James back, but I believe there is a degree of closure provided to his loved ones and the law enforcement community in light of the court's decision today." Some noted Henderson's lack of remorse guided Walker's decision to override the jury's 9-3 decision on sentencing.
Walker also evoked his judicial veto in 2011 to sentence Courtney Lockhart to death for murdering AU student Lauren Burk over a unanimous jury recommendation Lockhart spend the rest of his life in prison. Furthermore, Judge Walker is very familiar with Lee County's political landscape. He knows the history. Hubbard's corruption began well before his first election to the House under AU Trustee Bobby Lowder's tutelage, showing Hubbard how to extract from our University. Showing himself such an accomplished loyal political prostitute for Bobby was Hubbard's gateway to even grander theft with the BCA/Riley & Associates machine.
I'll not go on with Judge Walker's ability and willingness to sentence justly or further illustrate he's open to reduced sentencing for genuine remorse. In closing, I again publicly ask those who know and care about Michael Gregory Hubbard to pray he'll find his way to be a penitent thief (as did Rep. Gregory Wren) and ask forgiveness/show genuine remorse by not wasting more of court time and taxpayer money on even more frivolous appeals. I recall the gospel according to Luke addresses this more than the others:
Luke 23:39-43 [KJV] "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
If Mr. Hubbard does not change his course of appeal and impenitence, I forecast and will applaud Judge Walker giving him 2 years minimum (given no prior felonies) for each conviction to run consecutively (24 years) and $360,000 in fines for the 12 convictions. Mr. Hubbard has destroyed more lives and saddled more with debt and harm than the usual felon who comes before his court. If Hubbard does admit guilt by or on July 8th, I forecast a sentence more in line with Mr. Stroud's who pled guilty as explained above. Sadly, it appears Hubbard still thinks this is some sort of football game where cheerleading and syrupy announcer banter matters or another election process he can manipulate. It will not work with Judge Walker and more importantly it will not bode well before the awesome judgment seat of Christ, "who will render to every man according to his deeds," as the scriptures promise.
Hubbard is the typical modern Nimrod we've enabled, who has shown no fear of our true God and continues to turn to his god (government) he's found so easy to manipulate and sincerely believes will again save him.
Postscript: Auburn attorney Don Eddins in the Villager mused many candidates in the mix for Hubbard's now open Dist. 79 seat. He mentioned two on our corrupt Lee County Commission (Eckman & Lawrence) who are difficult to take seriously given all the baggage they have and certainly did nothing to censure their Sheriff so publically shilling 'belief in Mike Hubbard' while under active grand jury investigation in his jurisdiction. Other 'Hubbard Believers' seem to be running for cover. Auburn Mayor Bill Ham at one
time was the biggest buzz among political junkies as the most 'formidable candidate' but according to Eddins, Ham will not enter the race saying he has no plans to run for the State House or the Senate. Jeff Clary was another name in Don's musings who may be one the BCA would support with past ties to Hubbard. The most interesting name I've heard whispered in the mix is Dr. Gerald Johnson (Political Scientist) possibly running as independent after the duopoly decides their candidates - i.e., he'd be the AEA's pick. The only two I know who've actually announced intention to run in the Sept. 13th primary are local personal injury attorney Hal Walker (so he'll likely get trial attorney support) and local businessman Sandy Toomer who's pegged as no friend of the BCA after running a respectable campaign against/exposing Hubbard in 2014. Hard not to remember candidate Dick Clark, a true Auburn man who ran against Hubbard years ago; imagine where we'd be with someone championing the general welfare of our State over the specific interests Hubbard was bought and paid to promote. Mr. Clark is now a successful attorney (big on 2nd Amendment civil rights) in Nebraska in a run off to win a seat in their legislature. That's what happens when voters allow evil to displace righteousness...