- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Indicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard and his lawyer criticized prosecutors’ decision to release dozens of non-redacted emails and other documents in the speaker’s ongoing ethics case.

In a Wednesday court filing, Hubbard’s defense lawyer accused prosecutors of trying to discredit Hubbard publicly, ahead of his October trial date on ethics charges. The pages of emails filed in court Monday show Hubbard going to political allies, who also were lobbyists or principals at companies or groups with something at stake before the Alabama Legislature, to seek work and clients for his companies.

Hubbard’s lawyer, Mark White, wrote that prosecutors had been asked to provide more particular information about how they allege Hubbard broke the law. White said instead they produced a “press release of no legal significance except to prejudice Hubbard in the media and in the public.”

“This is a very serious case in which a man’s professional reputation, career, liberty, and future are at issue,” White wrote. “Through its designed public release of confidential information and documents in its Response, the State, with assistance from the media, has already tried and convicted Hubbard - before any document has been admitted into evidence in a court of law,” White wrote.

The House speaker faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political office as speaker, and former position as chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, for personal gain.

Hubbard says the emails were out of context and predicted he would be vindicated when people saw all of the evidence.

“It was done simply to try to undermine me and embarrass me. That’s certainly not the way the legal system is supposed to work,” Hubbard said.

“You’ve got a prosecutor who thinks it’s illegal to have a job. … They took a personal conversation confiding in someone, which you do. Everyone has problems and you confide in someone,” Hubbard said.

The emails, stretching from 2011 to 2013, depict Hubbard as stressed after losing his job and desperate to obtain new employment or investments and clients for his companies.

In an email to former Gov. Bob Riley, Hubbard wrote that he felt like he was having a midlife crisis and failing his family by sacrificing the opportunity to make money in favor of his political post. In another email an executive at a Florida company, hired by the Alabama Republican Party, complained about being forced to use Hubbard’s company for printing work.

A bank document included in the material showed that Hubbard listed a net worth of $7.7 million. White said prosecutors might have violated federal privacy law in the filing by disclosing the personal information of multiple individuals, including bank account numbers, phone numbers and other information.

Defense lawyers argued in a separate court filing that prosecutors failed to fulfill their obligation to turn over evidence that could be helpful to Hubbard’s defense. Defense lawyers said prosecutors flooded them with thousands of pages of unreadable documents and “padded” the release with unrelated material.

The materials included video footage of an elderly lady dancing, Cub Scouts making a sales pitch and footage of a 2005 University of Alabama football game in which wide receiver Tyronne Prothro made an improbable catch, White said.

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