House Speaker Mike Hubbard: Guilty of 12 of 23 Ethics Charges
A jury in Lee County has convicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard on 12 charges of violating the state ethics law. The convictions automatically removed Hubbard from office.
The jury returned the verdict Friday night after deliberating for seven hours. Sentencing is set for July 8. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each count.
Hubbard faced 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using political positions as House speaker and chairman of the Alabama Republican Party to make money and solicit financial favors from lobbyists and company owners.
Prosecutors said Hubbard used the power of his office to improperly benefit his companies and clients and to try to obtain $2.3 million worth of work, investments and financial favors. Hubbard’s defense argued that the transactions were legal and within the bounds of the ethics law and exemptions for normal business dealings and longstanding friendships.
Hubbard testified in his own defense. The state’s current and former governors testified during the trial.
Both sides made their final pleas to the jury earlier today.
The charges cover time from when Hubbard was not only House Speaker but chairman of the state Republican Party. He’s accused of using those positions to financially benefit himself and his companies The Auburn Network and Craftmaster Printers.
Hubbard’s attorneys say they will appeal the convictions. They had very little else to say outside the courthouse in Opelika.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who had recused himself from the case, released the following statement: “This is a good day for the rule of law in our state. This kind of result would never have been achieved had our office not put together the finest public corruption unit in the country. I’m very proud of their work. This should send a clear message that in Alabama we hold public officials accountable for their actions.”