Ethics Commission withdraws McCalla opinion after charities line-up

December 8, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In a unanimous vote on September 1, 2016, the Alabama Ethics Commission issued advisory opinion 2016-24, which it believed clarified the question regarding public officials soliciting lobbyists and principals for contributions to a charitable organization, operating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

The issue was raised by the nonprofit group, Friends of McCalla.

After approving the opinion in a 5-0 vote, the Commission gave a 30-day window for public comment; however, it was extended past the 30 days to December 7.
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Hubbard’s Lee County Trial Finally Ends in Silence

September 14, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The post-trial appeal of convicted felon and former Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard, finally expired on September 8, in silence, according to the Attorney General’s office calculations.

For almost four years, Hubbard, aided by his criminal lawyers, used the State House, the Governor’s Office and some within the Attorney General’s office to deny, deflect and delay justice. Hubbard stormed the State House presiding over an orgy of greed and corruption. Those days are over for Hubbard and so is any appeal before the circuit court of Lee County.
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Alabama Residents’ Living Hell

September 7, 2016

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Senate is back this week to continue debate on how to handle BP settlement money from the horrible oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but no matter what happens, this special session is an absolute failure.

The session was called by Gov. Robert Bentley mainly to authorize a lottery vote for Alabama. That’s not going to happen. Whether the BP issue is settled is also in doubt.
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Hubbard’s Post-Trial Snoozer

September 4, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

OPELIKA—While searching for any thread of an argument that might lead to a new trial for convicted felon Mike Hubbard—once the most powerful politico in the state—attorney Bill Baxley whined, fretted and accused state prosecutors of blindsiding, bushwhacking and bamboozling his client.

Having written about Hubbard’s misdeeds since late 2012, the courtroom drama ending with his conviction makes Baxley’s latest attempt at the September 2 hearing feel like Hubbard trial 2.0 ad nauseam. Only Baxley’s fantastical leaps of legal logic and strained linguistic gymnastics kept the proceedings remotely interesting. Baxley argued several points, only winning on one issue with Judge Walker’s ruling that Hubbard would not be required to pay $1.125 million in restitution, as the prosecution asked.
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Attorney General Reacts to Hubbard Loyalist’s Plans for Ethics Reform

September 2, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Alabama House Ethics Committee Chairman, Mike Ball (R-Madison), announced his plans (yesterday) to form a commission to review the state’s ethics laws. Ball, a staunch defender of convicted felon and former House Speaker, Mike Hubbard, told WHNT-TV in Huntsville that his committee would “review the State’s Ethics laws and recommend improvements in time for the opening of the Alabama Legislature next year.”

However, just hours after APR published its story on Ball’s plan, Attorney General Luther Strange, sent his comments.  “I am strongly opposed to Rep. Mike Ball’s idea of a commission to review Alabama’s ethics law. The whole point of such a commission would be to undermine the law,” said Strange.  “Alabamians want our ethics laws enforced, not gutted.”
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Felon Hubbard Seeks Friends and Cash

August 22, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Earlier this month, convicted felon and former Alabama Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard, sent an email to “business leader(s)” encouraging then to read his latest motion.

Hubbard writes, “…it very clearly lays out multiple reasons a new trial should be held, explains why the verdict on each charge was incorrect and how it negatively impacts business moving forward.”

Hubbard’s latest email appears to be a continuation of his public relations campaign to influence the public, remain relevant and raise much need cash for his criminal defense.
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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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Judge Walker Files Hubbard Sentencing With Alacourt

August 11, 2016

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

OPELIKA—Judge Jacob Walker, III, officially filed Michael G. Hubbard’s sentence with Alacourt on Wednesday.

Hubbard was found guilty on 12 charges of using his office for personal gain on June 10. Judge Walker handed down his sentence on Hubbard for a total of 96 years, 21.5 month split sentence and 76.5 years probation. All but two of the sentences run concurrent to the others.
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State Seeks Restitution From Disgraced Speaker Hubbard

August 8, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—In a Supplemental Brief in support of a sentencing recommendation filed Friday, the State is asking that disgraced former Speaker Mike Hubbard be ordered to pay, $1,125,000.00 in restitution for his criminal acts.

SEE BRIEF HERE

In July, Hubbard was convicted on 12 felony counts of public corruption, sentenced to four years hard time and sixteen years probation. The State had asked trial Judge Jacob Walker, III, to order restitution for Hubbard’s acts. However, Judge Walker said he couldn’t find statutory grounds for the State’s request, but allowed the State time to present additional case law.
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No Honor Among Thieves

July 13, 2016

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

Former Speaker of the Alabama House Mike Hubbard just doesn’t get it.

Hubbard – sentenced last week to four years in a state prison, 16 years supervised probation, and more than $200,000 in fines for corruption – is vacant.

No remorse from Hubbard for the serious crimes he committed. “Serious” is how Judge Jacob Walker, III, described the 12 counts on which a Lee County jury convicted him.
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