Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Five of 11 Convictions Against Former House Speaker Mike Hubbard
The Alabama Supreme Court announced this morning that it has reversed five of the 11 ethics convictions against former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard. The high court affirmed the other six convictions against him.
In the 99-page opinion, the reason stated for reversing the five convictions was that they were “based on insufficient evidence or incorrect interpretation of the ethics code.”
Justice Greg Shaw recused himself because he and Hubbard attend the same church. Justice Jay Mitchell recused himself because of a connection with a law firm that was involved in the case.
A jury in Lee County had convicted Hubbard of 12 ethics charges in 2016. He had faced 23 counts.
Hubbard, who was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1998, was once one of the most powerful leaders in Alabama politics. As head of the Alabama Republican Party, he was credited for helping to switch the Alabama Legislature from majority-Democratic to majority-Republican in 2010.
When he was convicted in 2016, he was automatically removed from office.
Hubbard was convicted of using his political positions as speaker and state Republican Party chairman to make money and solicit jobs and financial favors from lobbyists.
Hubbard has continued to maintain his innocence, saying the transactions fell within exemptions for normal business dealings and longtime friendships.
Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R – Monrovia) on Friday released the following statement regarding the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling in the Mike Hubbard appeal:
“The Supreme Court’s ruling has made it clear that our ethics law has flaws that must be addressed. Our task now is to fix those flaws without weakening any of the provisions that make our ethics law among the toughest in the country.
As a former police officer, I believe that strict ethics requirements offer a much needed deterrent to corruption. By following the roadmap suggested by the State Supreme Court, we can preserve that deterrent while firmly holding those who abuse their office accountable for their actions.”