Alabama Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Mike Hubbard’s Appeal
Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard wants to stay out of prison. That decision is now in the hands of the Alabama Supreme Court. Tuesday justices, heard oral arguments in Hubbard’s appeal.
Hubbard was convicted of ethics violations three years ago. A jury in Lee County found him guilty of using his office as House Speaker for personal gain for improperly taking consulting contracts and business investments during his time as speaker. At the time, he was one of the most powerful political leaders in the state but his conviction meant his removal from office.
Tuesday morning defense Attorney Sam Heldman argued that prosecutors aren’t interpreting ethics laws fairly; laws that Hubbard help write in 2010. The defense says Hubbard’s work for clients and their investments in his business, were “classic constituent services”.
“Hubbard did what every part time public official does” Heldman told media outside of the courthouse “whether it’s the mayor of a small town or every member of the legislature, he had other things he was doing as well”.
Alabama Solicitor General Edmund LaCour told justices that Hubbard was given the jobs and investments because of his position as speaker.
“The speakers seat is a valuable one” LaCour said in court, “and he used it to rake in more than $1 million in personal gain, over the course of less than 2 years”.
Hubbard’s guilt or overturned conviction, now rely heavily on the court’s interpretation of a “principal”– that’s a person or business that employs a lobbyist, according to Alabama ethics laws.
Justices did not decide on Mike Hubbard’s fate Tuesday, or announce when the supreme court will hand down a final ruling.