Former Gov. Bob Riley Resumes Testimony in Speaker’s Ethics Trial

Defense attorney Bill Baxley takes his turn questioning former Gov Bob Riley during Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard Trial on Monday, June 6, 2016 in Opelika, Ala. Todd J. Van Emst/Opelika-Auburn News/Pool

Todd J. Van Emst/Opelika-Auburn News/Pool

Former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley resumed his testimony in the ethics trial of the state’s House speaker.

Riley returned to the witness stand Monday morning. Prosecutors began questioning Riley on Friday about emails House Speaker Mike Hubbard sent to him. Hubbard wrote that he wanted to work for Riley’s new lobbying firm.

Riley says the state’s House speaker was sometimes serious and sometimes joking when he asked for a job.

Riley said Hubbard was seriously looking for a job after being laid off from his primary employer. However, Riley said Hubbard’s email lamenting a new state ethics law he just passed was “obviously” a joke.

Riley and a state prosecutor exchanged testy remarks as Riley’s testimony continued.

Prosecutor Matt Hart on Monday morning stopped Riley from elaborating at length on his answers. Riley accused Hart of asking questions without context when Hart asked if he had ever warned Hubbard about running afoul of the state ethics law.

The former governor testified that he and Hubbard often talked about Hubbard’s deteriorating financial situation.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions to make money and seek financial favors, investments and employment from lobbyists and people with business before the Alabama Legislature.

Hubbard says he’s innocent and the transactions were within the bounds of the ethics law and its exemptions for longstanding friendships and normal business dealings.

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