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8 notable quotes from Ala. Deputy AG’s request for investigation into misconduct accusations

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange

According to numerous reports Monday, deputy state attorney general Henry “Sonny” Reagan has asked for an independent investigation to be launched into accusations that he took “action to impede or obstruct the investigation” currently taking place by a Lee County Grand Jury.

According to a letter written by Attorney General Luther Strange on January 31, 2013, and released in court documents this June, House Speaker Mike Hubbard is the target of the Grand Jury’s investigation. The letter said that Strange had recused himself from the investigation and appointed Pell City attorney Van Davis to supervise the AG’s Special Prosecution Division “in current investigative matters relating to State Representative Mike Hubbard, to include all criminal matters arising from that investigation.”

So for the past 20 months, Davis has overseen the investigation, with Matt Hart as his chief prosecutor.

Mr. Hart recently accused Mr. Reagan of trying to interfere with the public corruption investigation, prompting Attorney General Strange to place Mr. Reagan on leave, but not before Mr. Hart called Mr. Reagan to testify before the Lee County Grand Jury himself.

Reagan has alleged that forcing him to testify at the Grand Jury was retribution for an internal office dispute between the two men.

Mr. Reagan responded more fully this week with a detailed letter alleging that Mr. Hart had engaged in “harassment, threats of physical violence, and prosecutorial misconduct.”

He also asked for Attorney General Strange to issue a request for Gov. Robert Bentley to appoint a “neutral third party” to investigate the matter.

Joy Patterson, a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office, declined to comment on the AG’s response to Mr. Reagan’s letter.

8 notable passages from Mr. Reagan’s letter to AG Strange can be found below. The full letter can be read here.

1.

My work has absolutely nothing to do with the Special Prosecutions Division or Matt Hart. Yet I have had to sit in my office and listen every time Mr. Hart felt the need to discuss how he was “going after” countless elected public officials and business leaders… I’ve heard him talk about how he intends to politically ruin public officials and how he plans to dismantle the entire “Riley machined.” I’ve listed to him describe how he works in concert with reporters to reveal information regarding the grand jury to the press to help his cases.

2.

I know that two high level officials in your Investigations Division believe that Mr. Hart has leaked Grand Jury information to the press and have notified you of the same.

3.

Pursuant to the Attorney General’s Office Policies and Procedures, on July 22, 2014 I filed an internal complaint against Matt Hart for harassment, threats of physical violence, and prosecutorial misconduct.

4.

It is my understanding that Ms. Doucet (Chief of the AG’s Administrative Services division) began an investigation into Mr. Hart’s misconduct shortly after I filed the July 22, 2014, complaint, an investigation which included interviews with several members of the Attorney General’s Office–on the record–in the presence of an Attorney General Special Agent. I also understand that Ms. Doucet completed all aspects of her investigation except for the required interview with Mr. Hart, despite several requests she meet to Mr. Hart for an interview.

5.

Before Ms. Doucet could interview Mr. Hart and complete her investigation, Mr. Hart and Van Davis subpoenaed me and the entire investigative file to the Lee County Grand Jury, and Ms. Doucet’s investigation was discontinued.

6.

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.

7.

Specifically, Mr. Davis accused me of having “undisclosed conversations with individuals affiliated with people indicted or under investigation by the Lee County Grand Jury” and for taking “action to impede or obstruct the investigation.” Although I am wholly unaware of any substance to these allegations, I believe it is appropriate that I be placed on leave pending your investigation.

8.

I believe it would be proper, given that you are recused from the Lee County Grand Jury and Mr. Hart has now made this personnel matter part of the Grand Jury record, for you to request that the Governor’s Office appoint a neutral third party special investigator to look into all matters surrounding this issue.


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