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Monday, August 1, 2016

Posted on Legal Schnauzer

Speaking of Big Luther, we found the below story on Legal Schnauzer:

Jessica Medeiros Garrison, who apparently bought a $440,000 Mountain Brook home for $30,000, now has sold the house--and made a $140,000 profit

House at 119 Main Street, Mountain Brook
Alabama Republican operative Jessica Medeiros Garrison, whose 2012 purchase of a $439,900 house in exclusive Mountain Brook contributed to questions about her relationship with Attorney General Luther Strange, has sold the house--making a nifty profit of more than $100,000 in the process.

Jefferson County property-tax records indicate a prominent figure in the Alabama banking community helped make the transaction possible. Is that one of the perks Jessica Garrison enjoys from her role as Luther Strange's mistress? That seems like a reasonable question to ask.

Garrison sold the house, at 119 Main Street in the Crestline Heights section of Mountain Brook, on June 22, 2015--roughly three years after she bought it. Garrison sold it to Ray Bryan and Anne H. Petty for $550,000. Public records show that Garrison bought the house at foreclosure, over a roughly one-year period, for $441,922.

That means Garrison garnered a nifty profit of almost $140,000--$139,078, to be exact, if my math is correct (always a big "if").

Strangely, records indicate Garrison purchased full ownership rights to the house in July 2012, with a winning bid at auction of $30,000. Almost one year later--after I had begun reporting on her relationship with Strange, her role as his campaign manager, and the loads of cash he was sending to companies she owns--a second auction was conducted, in June 2013. A second foreclosure deed shows Garrison had the high bid of $411,922, bringing the total to slightly more than the appraised value of the house.

The second foreclosure deed shows the bid of almost $412,000 made Garrison full owner of the house. But the first foreclosure deed indicates she already was the owner, with the $30,000 bid. You can see why we've used the word "funky" to describe this real-estate deal.

Speaking of funky, consider this: Ray B. Petty, who purchased Garrison's house, is on the board of directors of ServisFirst Bank in Montgomery. Petty joined ServisFirst in 2008 as chief development officer; before that, he was regional president for SouthTrust/Wachovia, where he worked in various roles for 35 years. At one point, he was CEO of Wachovia Mortgage Corporation.

Ray B. Petty
An Web search shows Ray Petty's address as 3296 Lancaster Lane in Montgomery. Property records show that house was in the name of Anne H. Petty, who appears to be Ray Petty's wife. Property records show the Lancaster Lane house sold in 2015. Did the Pettys move together to Birmingham when they bought Jessica Garrison's house or are they using it as rental property?

We have more questions than answers at the moment. For example:

* Was it a happy coincidence that Ray Petty was interested in buying Jessica Garrison's house? Or did he do it as a favor because of professional connections to her or Luther Strange, or both?

* Where does Jessica Garrison live now? That's a key question because a ruling in her divorce/child custody case with ex husband Lee Garrison (president of the Tuscaloosa City School Board) requires her to live within 60 miles of his residence. That restriction forced her to give up a job in Luther Strange's office after he was elected attorney general.

So where is Jessica Garrison now? We are in the process of figuring that out.

(To be continued)

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