State responds to Hubbard appeal: “Hubbard sold his office to benefit himself”

July 6, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

Former House Speaker Mike Hubbard – facing four years in a State penitentiary – is another step closer to finding out if he will actually serve that sentence.

But prosecutors from the Alabama Attorney General’s Office showed in a brief filed Monday that they are no more willing to go soft on him now than they were when he was convicted of 12 felony ethics charges last year.

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Hubbard has until April 26 to file written brief for his appeals trial

April 6, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Robert Bentley’s alleged ethics violations might be all over the news right now, but former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics convictions might be back in your newsfeed again soon.

There has been little movement in former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s appeals case since he first filed a request for an appeal last fall, but all of that could change this month.

The Court of Criminal Appeals has set April 26 as the deadline for Hubbard’s attorneys to submit their first written brief, according to court documents. That would be the first substantial move in Hubbard’s fight to overturn his 12 felony ethics convictions.

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Hubbard Files Notice of Appeal on Felony Ethics Conviction

October 7, 2016

By Chip Brownlee
The Alabama Political Reporter

AUBURN — Mike Hubbard is fighting to avoid his four-year sentence in an over-crowded Alabama prison. Hubbard and his attorneys have filed a notice of appeal of his felony ethics conviction, ushering in another trial for the former Alabama House speaker.

Bill Baxley, Hubbard’s lead defense attorney, submitted the appeal with Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re very confident we’re going to prevail, and he’s going to be totally exonerated at the end of the day,” Baxley said.
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Judge Walker Sets Hearing Date For Hubbard Motion

August 12, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—On Thursday, Judge Jacob Walker, III, set the hearing date for the post-trial motions in the Mike Hubbard case: September 2 at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 3 of the Lee County Justice Center. The parties have two days to respond.

Last week, Bill Baxley, counsel for Hubbard, filed a motion with Walker’s court for an acquittal, or a new trial, citing that Jim Sumner should not have been able to give “expert” testimony in the case. They have also included claims of juror misconduct, as well as all of the arguments presented by the Defense, related to the counts upon which Hubbard was found guilty.
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Hubbard Continues to Swipe at Judge Walker

August 8, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—In the most recent filing by convicted felon and former Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard, he continues to accuse Judge Jacob Walker, III, of not doing his job. Hubbard asks the court for an acquittal, a new trial and other relief, citing Judge Walker allowing former Ethics Director, Jim Sumner, to testify as an expert witness, as grounds for the motion.

The motion states, “Hubbard requests a new trial under Rule 24.1(c)(2), because the State improperly presented putatively ‘expert’ testimony from witness Sumner about the meaning, purpose, and application of the laws under which Hubbard was charged.”
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Hubbard Trial Day Twelve: Prosecution Stings Hubbard

June 10, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

OPELIKA—The State of Alabama v. Michael G. Hubbard, day twelve, marked the beginning of the end for the criminal trial that has been years in the making. It is tempting to use a multitude of adjectives to describe the most surreal day to date.

Suffice it to say, it was dramatic and bizarre.

The trial began with Lead Prosecutor, Matt Hart, cross examining Hubbard, using a proffer Hubbard signed in March, 2014. The Prosecution was able to impeach Hubbard on several points in his testimony before the court. During the trial, evidence showed Josh Blades had initiated the calls to help Bobby Abrams’ company with a much needed patent, and it was Blades who did most of the work…on State time. However, in 2014, Hubbard told Hart and others in a sworn statement, that only he had made calls concerning the patent.
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Hubbard Trial Day 10: What The Jury Didn’t Hear

June 8, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Politcal Reporter

OPELIKA—In what one veteran attorney called a desperate move, Michael G. Hubbard took the stand in his own defense today, the tenth day of his criminal trial.

The day began with Hubbard’s attorney, Bill Baxley, continuing his cross examination of former Governor Bob Riley, who was trying to woo the jury with his “political” charm.

Under cross examination, Baxley attempted to solicit Riley’s thoughts on the Ethics Laws. That led to an immediate objection by Lead Prosecutor, Matt Hart, which Judge Jacob Walker, III, sustained. Again, Baxley asked Riley to give his opinion on the Ethic Laws, to which Hart objected again. This resulted in Judge Walker telling Baxley, that line of questioning was not going to be allowed, and that he should move on. Baxley ignored the Judge’s instruction and attempted a third bite at the apple. Hart objected, and said the State would ask for sanctions against Baxley, if he continued. This led to a contentious sidebar, during which Baxley could be heard pleading with the Judge, and Hart saying we handled this yesterday. Apparently, there had been a hearing, without the jury or press in attendance, in which Judge Walker disallowed any testimony from Riley about his interpretation of the Ethics Laws. Baxley moved on, questioning Riley about economic development issues. Once again, Hart objected, and the Judge told Baxley to try something else. Riley’s testimony ended with a whimper, not with a bang, as Baxley had planned.
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Hubbard Trial Day Seven: Only The Jury Knows

June 3, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

OPELIKA—On Day seven of the Speaker Mike Hubbard criminal public corruption trail, we heard testimony from Bobby Abrams, Rob Burton, and Jimmy Rane.

Abrams, who owns the company Capitol Cups, paid Hubbard $10,000 a month ostensibly to sell cups. Abrams admitted that if Hubbard had secured the letter for his patent in a timely fashion, it would have saved him millions of dollars. And while Hubbard was successful in moving the process forward, it was too little-too late; but he really appreciated his help. It was evident that Hubbard would not have had any success if he were not Speaker of the House.
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Hubbard Trial Day Five: Sumner Fries Hubbard

June 1, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

OPELIKA—Former Alabama Ethics Commission Director, Jim Sumner, testified authoritatively and effectively with devastating consequences for the defense on Day Five of the criminal trial of Speaker Mike Hubbard.

In spite of Hubbard’s attorney, Bill Baxley, attempting to marginalize Sumner’s testimony, Judge Jacob Walker, III sided with the State and certified him as an expert on Alabama’s Ethics Laws.

Sumner’s twenty years as director proved invaluable in making the case that Hubbard had, in fact, violated the Ethics Laws for which he has been charged. Under direct examination by Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart, Sumner gave testimony to the various charges against Hubbard. Court observers agreed that it was the most devastating day for Hubbard since his former chief of staff, Josh Blades, took the stand. One defense attorney said Sumner’s detailed testimony was “damning” to Hubbard’s cause.
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Senator Claims 43 Contracts are “Reoccurring Litigation Clients”

January 4, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—On his first Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission (in 2010), Sen. Phil Williams (R-Rainbow) listed no professional or consulting clients. However, on his latest filing for 2014, he enumerated 43.

Williams’ clients include:

3 Loan and/or Finance Companies worth between $1,000 – $10,000
7 Banks worth between $10,000 – $25,000
15 Professional worth between $100,000 – $150,000
3 Municipal worth between $10,000 – $25,000
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