- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Ousted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has begun a legal fight to overturn his convictions on ethics violations by asking a judge to grant him a new trial.

Lawyers for Hubbard say prosecutors improperly expanded the purpose of the state ethics law before the jury that convicted the influential Republican.

“In every aspect of this case, the prosecution was allowed to stretch the law beyond what the Legislature wrote. It is trying to support a conviction based not on actual evidence and actual laws as written, but on prosecutors’ suspicions and on their personal sense of what the law ought to be,” Hubbard’s lawyers wrote in the motion filed Friday.

Hubbard’s lawyers also say that former state Ethics Commission director was improperly allowed to give overly broad interpretations of the law as an expert witness.

Bill Baxley, Hubbard’s lead defense lawyer, said Tuesday that the filing speaks for itself. The attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Lee County jury convicted Hubbard of 12 felony ethics violations in June, including using his political office to solicit consulting jobs and investments in his businesses. Hubbard was sentenced to four years in prison and automatically removed from office, but remains free pending appeals.

In his court filing, Hubbard maintains that his actions and transactions did not violate the ethics law. The investors in Hubbard’s printing company, his lawyers argued, got a full value return on their money.

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