- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard to five years in a state prison for breaking the state ethics law.

The attorney general’s office, in a brief filed Thursday evening, spelled out their sentencing recommendation for the once powerful Republican politician convicted of using his public office to benefit his businesses. Prosecutors asked a judge to give Hubbard an 18-year split sentence. Hubbard would spend five years behind bars in a state prison and the remaining 13 years under supervised probation.

Prosecutors wrote that voters and his fellow legislators trusted Hubbard when they elected him as a state representative and then as leader of the House of Representatives.

“But Hubbard betrayed that trust, selling his office and keeping the profits for himself and his businesses,” prosecutor W. Van Davis wrote.

“His betrayal of his constituents, his fellow House members, and the citizens of Alabama warrants a strong, meaningful sentence in order to punish him, deter other public officials from violating the Ethics Laws, and help restore the people’s trust in their government,” Davis wrote.

The proposed sentence mirrors the 18 years Hubbard spent in the Alabama Legislature and the five he spent as speaker of the Alabama House. Prosecutors also said Hubbard should be forced to pay $1.6 million in fines and restitution.

A judge will sentence Hubbard on July 8 after his conviction on 12 felony ethics violations. The jury on June 10 convicted Hubbard on charges that he improperly solicited consulting contracts from several companies and then used his office to benefit them. The panel also convicted Hubbard, closely associated with the business wing of the state GOP, on charges that he asked corporate executives to make $150,000 investments in his debt-ridden printing companies.

Defense lawyer Bill Baxley could not immediately be reached by telephone for comment Thursday evening. In their brief, prosecutors listed the sentences handed down for other corruption convictions, including former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman’s six-year sentence after being convicted of selling a state board appointment to a contributor to his 1999 campaign to establish a state lottery.

His defense argued that the transactions were legal and within the bounds of the state ethics law and its exemptions for normal business dealings and friendships. Hubbard took the witness stand in his own defense at his trial, testifying that he “never” used his office for personal gain.

Hubbard’s defense is expected to ask for an appeal bond so that he can stay free while he appeals his conviction. Prosecutors wrote in the court filing that they would oppose that and said the court should hold Hubbard “accountable immediately for his deliberate and calculated actions.”

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide