Former Ala. House Speaker Mike Hubbard turns himself in for prison sentence
LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard turned himself in to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to be processed into the Alabama Department of Corrections on Friday.
Hubbard will serve a four-year prison sentence for felony ethics convictions following an exhaustive four-year appellate battle.
“Mike Hubbard is a strong Christian man and has accepted the current situation but firmly believes in his innocence and looks forward to exploring other options to clear his name,” said Hubbard’s defense attorney, Lance Bell.
In April, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld half of Hubbard’s original convictions. Hubbard was convicted by a Lee County jury. The conviction resulted in immediate removal from office.
Hubbard used his powerful position as House speaker to solicit investments for his personal business and consulting work from company executives and lobbyists. The legal fight ended on Aug. 28 when the state’s highest court denied Hubbard’s motion for rehearing and issued a certificate of judgment in the case, giving him 15 days to report to the sheriff.
It’s unclear whether Hubbard will appeal the decision up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
At the time of Hubbard’s conviction he was still heralded as one of the most powerful elected officials in the state. He was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1998. In 2010, he orchestrated the largest fundraising endeavor in state GOP history while serving as chairman of the state party.
The GOP’s campaign was called “Handshake with Alabama,” which outlined 10 agenda items the party would pass if elected to end government corruption and spark job creation.
Hubbard’s leadership helped Republicans sweep every statewide office, flip a congressional seat, and take majorities in both chambers of the legislature, creating the first legislative supermajority since Reconstruction.
One of Hubbard’s first actions as speaker involved passing a package of ethics reform bills during a special legislative session to signal the GOP was making good on its campaign promises. Four years later, Hubbard was charged with violating the very ethics laws he campaigned on and pushed through the legislature.
In 2014, the Lee County grand jury indicted Hubbard on 23 ethics counts just weeks shy of his re-election bid. He won the race overwhelmingly.
Following a lengthy trial in 2016, Hubbard was convicted on 12 ethics violations.
In 2018 the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld 11 of those counts, which was appealed to the state’s highest court.
The true test of Alabama’s ethics laws came in April as the Alabama Supreme Court issued a precedent-setting ruling, upholding six convictions and reversing five others.
On Aug. 28, the high court denied Hubbard’s motion to rehear the case and issued a certificate of judgment which required Hubbard to turn himself in to begin serving his sentence.
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