Update: Second Week of House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s Ethics Trial Kicks Off
Testimony resumed in the ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard after the long holiday weekend.
Prosecutors have indicated that today they will call a number of influential lobbyists and company owners as witnesses. Prosecutors say Hubbard asked them to either make investments in his printing company or to help him find business clients.
Most of the testimony this morning had been with James Sumner, former director of Alabama ethics commission.
The state is showing that this expert believes Hubbard’s alleged actions violate ethics law, like having subordinates carry out actions that would benefit a business he owns or is associated with.
Sumner said Hubbard often sought advice about his work for private companies. He said he and general counsel Hugh Evans told Hubbard the arrangements were OK as long as he didn’t use his office to benefit himself or his clients financially.
Sumner said they gave the advice so frequently that they called it “the drill.”
The defense was not happy with Sumner being on the stand and objected to almost every question from the state.
The president of an education curriculum company says that he paid Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard $7,500 a month to open doors with legislative leaders across the country – but not in Alabama.
Edgenuity President Michael Humphrey testified that he thought Hubbard could get him meetings with legislative leaders in other states, given his background as a legislator and someone familiar with college sports.
When asked about his company’s consulting contract with one of Hubbard’s companies, Humphrey said the speaker did not work on issues in Alabama.
Hubbard is accused of using his position as GOP chairman and house speaker to generate $2.3 million in work and investments for his companies. Defense lawyers argue the transactions were legal and involved legitimate work.
Business Council of Alabama President Billy Canary, the daughter of former Gov. Bob Riley and others are expected to testify.
The trial is expected to last three weeks
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Josh Ninke contributed information.)