Friday, April 19, 2019

Clipped

A 60-day suspension from the Kentucky Supreme Court

Hubbard represented clients in a grandparents’ visitation case in McCracken Family Court. Attorney Alisha Bobo acted as opposing counsel in the case. The visitation case became contentious and Bobo sought to disqualify Hubbard from the case in October 2017 on the basis that he had become a fact witness. Hubbard disagreed. The next month, Hubbard clipped a picture of Bobo and her wife (Lisa Thompson Bobo) from a newspaper, drew an arrow to the couple, and wrote “2 pitifull [sic.], fat, ugly lesbians” beneath
the photograph, addressed an envelope to Bobo and her wife, and mailed it to them.

At a hearing in the visitation case on January 31, 2018, before Judge Deanna Wise Henschel, Bobo revealed the article she had received. When Judge Henschel directly asked Hubbard, he denied that he had mailed the newspaper clipping to Bobo. Then, Hubbard turned to Bobo on two separate occasions and denied sending the photograph to her and her wife. When Judge Henschel asked Hubbard yet again, he maintained his denial of sending the clipping to the Bobos. Finally, Hubbard was sworn in after being called as a witness by Bobo. Under oath, Hubbard denied it was his handwriting on the envelope containing the photograph and addressed to the Bobos.

In February, Bobo filed a bar complaint against Hubbard based on the events described above. The next day, Hubbard self-reported to the KBA, filing a complaint on himself. In Hubbard’s self-report, he admitted to mailing the clipping to the Bobos and provided an apology to the Bobos. Hubbard also issued a public apology.

As to the judge

Hubbard also admits that in May, after filing his answer to the charge in the current case, he filed a Judicial Conduct Commission (JCC) complaint against Judge Henschel. He admits this complaint was retaliatory and vindictive. Furthermore, Hubbard admits to asking attorney Tiffany Gabehart Poindexter (a family law practitioner in McCracken County who frequently appeared before Judge Henschel) if she was aware of a JCC complaint against Judge Henschel. Hubbard also admits that, although the above is his
recollection of his conversation with Poindexter, it is possible that Poindexter’s recollection of the conversation is accurate. Poindexter believed Hubbard asked her whether she knew Judge Henschel had been subpoenaed to a “judicial ethics hearing.” Hubbard also attempted to discuss with Poindexter his assertion that Bobo did not like him due to his stance on same-sex marriage and the potential for Poindexter to run against Judge Henschel. Poindexter, however, ended the conversation.

The parties agreed to the suspension.

The Courier Journal noted he had been a Congressman

Disgraced former U.S. Rep. Carroll Hubbard, a lawyer who was sent to prison for three years for corruption in office, is in trouble again — this time for allegedly calling another attorney and her spouse “pitifull (sic) fat, ugly lesbians.”

Hubbard, a Democrat who was disbarred following his conviction for three felonies in the 1990s but had his license reinstated, is under investigation for harassing communications, McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden said.

Hayden said his office interviewed Hubbard after receiving a complaint and will consult with a special prosecutor when one is appointed.

Hubbard, 80, is accused of sending an anonymous letter to another Paducah attorney, Alisha Kay Bobo, his opponent in a heated family law case. The letter included photos of Bobo and her spouse at a fundraising event and described them in disparaging terms.

When Bobo on Jan. 31 asked in court if his handwriting was on the letter, Hubbard initially said no. When reminded he was under oath, he refused to answer. He eventually cited his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself after Family Court Judge Deanna Wise Henschel reminded him of that constitutional right. 

Bobo, 31, told Courier Journal the mailing was “appalling” — especially coming from an attorney. She said she grew up in Paducah and never before encountered bias based on her sexual orientation.

Hubbard initially declined comment for this article, then acknowledged he sent the letter. He called it "an unwise decision on my part." He said he wouldn't do it again, but also said Bobo goaded him into doing it.

The Kentucky Bar Association’s rules of professional courtesy say a lawyer shall not engage in “intentionally discourteous behavior” nor “intentionally embarrass another attorney.” Commentary to Kentucky Supreme Court rules says lawyers should treat “all persons involved in the legal process with courtesy and respect.”

Hubbard, a nine-term Democrat who represented the state’s 1st Congressional District, pleaded guilty in 1994 to charges stemming from an investigation into a House banking scandal.

Hubbard admitted he obstructed justice by staging a burglary of his district office to make it appear his campaign and House bank records had been stolen, and that he misappropriated more than $50,000 in campaign money for illegal use. He also admitted ordering his congressional staff to perform personal and political tasks for him while they were being paid by the government.

Prosecutors said Hubbard, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1979, used the campaign money to pay gas, heating and credit card bills, school tuition for his daughter and his former wife’s cable TV bill.

Hoping to stave off prosecution, he worked as a Justice Department informant under the code name “Elmer Fudd,” wearing a wire and taping phone conversations. He famously told the Washington Post that for more than six months, "I was an FBI slave.”

In 2001, the Kentucky Bar Association's board of governors voted 16-0 against reinstating Hubbard to practice but the state Supreme Court found he was of “good moral character” and voted unanimously to return his law license.

“He did a crime but he did his time,” retired Justice Bill Graves of Paducah said Wednesday in an interview. Graves said Hubbard’s alleged recent conduct does not sound “wholesome” or “professional,” but he may have had a First Amendment right to send the letter.

A person is guilty of harassing communications in Kentucky when, with intent to "intimidate, harass, annoy, or alarm," he communicates with a person “anonymously or otherwise … in a manner which causes annoyance or alarm and serves no purpose of legitimate communication." The crime is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $250 and up to 90 days in jail.

Hubbard and Bobo represent parties in a pending grandparents' rights case.

Hubbard said in court that he was refusing to answer Bobo’s questions about the mailing because “her main goal as one who hates me is to get me to commit perjury.”

“Your honor,” he told the judge, “I think I need an attorney ... but I can’t think of the magic words.”

“Are you wanting to plead the Fifth?” Henschel asked.

"Yes," he said.

Hubbard in the interview said Bobo provoked him into sending the mailing by calling him prejudiced and vowing to use the case to avenge his past comments denouncing gay marriage.

"She has done me so dirty," he said.

He also alleged Bobo is trying to use the controversy surrounding the letter to gain publicity in Courier Journal so "gays in the Highlands" would vote for her in the Paducah Sun's reader's choice contest for best local lawyer.

Bobo called that assertion "absolutely hilarious" and denied calling Hubbard prejudiced, saying she didn't know he had denounced same-sex marriage in churches and radio broadcasts.

Hubbard said in various appearances that "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," but that he doesn't dislike gay people.

"I have neighbors in Paducah who are gay and they are friends of mine," he said.

(Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2019/04/a-60-day-suspension-from-the-kentucky-supreme-court-hubbard-represented-clients-in-a-grandparents-visitation-case-in-mccr.html

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