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.