- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard on Wednesday asked a judge to dismiss ethics charges against him because prosecutors disclosed the names of some grand jury witnesses in court filings.

Hubbard’s defense team in the motion to dismiss accused prosecutors of violating grand jury secrecy laws.

“There is no doubt that the State illegally disclosed the identity of multiple witnesses who testified before the Lee County Special Grand Jury. This Court must ensure that the statutory law is enforced and that its own rules are consistently and equally followed by both the State and the defense,” defense lawyer Mark White wrote.

The documents included a letter attached to an Aug. 6 filing in which prosecutors opposed defense efforts to subpoena the grand jury court reporter. In the May letter, prosecutor Van Davis tells Hubbard’s defense that they have already provided transcripts of grand jury testimony by Hubbard, former Gov. Bob Riley and others.

The Republican speaker faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his public office as speaker, and previous position as Alabama Republican Party chairman, to benefit his businesses.

Hubbard is pursuing various legal avenues to try to get the case tossed out of court.

Hubbard on Aug. 13 filed sealed motions challenging the constitutionality of aspects of the state ethics law and accusing prosecutors of waging a vindictive and selective prosecution against him.

Circuit Judge Jacob Walker in an order Wednesday said it was his intent to make those filings public.

“It is still the Court’s intent to release as much of the defendant’s motion setting forth his constitutional challenges as possible,” Walker said.

Walker clarified an earlier order that all grand jury references would be done under seal. He said he still expected the defense to file redacted copies of those challenges but they had not yet done so.

Prosecutors are asking Walker to make the filings public. Hubbard in 2010 heralded the passage of the new ethics law as a step forward for the state.

White said the challenges were filed under seal because they included the names of grand jury witnesses and details of their testimony.

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