Some are using a stalking horse to undermine ethics laws

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The greatest challenge before the Alabama State Legislature when it returns in February is not the budget, schools or Medicaid. It is the slight of hand chicanery used to undermine the State’s ethics laws.

Since the conviction of former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard on 12 felony ethics violations, a coordinated effort has been underway to weaken those laws, with particular focus on how they identify a “principal.” Read More

Is French Next?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—On day six of the Mike Hubbard felony trial, former Republican State Senator, Steve French, took the stand to testify about a meeting between he and Hubbard.

Under oath he recounted that he was sent by then Sterne Agee’s CEO, Jim Holbrook, to discuss with Hubbard the pending Jefferson County bankruptcy. During the meeting, French expressed Holbrook’s desire to avoid a bankruptcy, how it would be embarrassing to his business, every other corporation in Birmingham, and in the county. French explained that should the Jefferson County Legislative Delegation came to Hubbard with a bill that would avoid the bankruptcy, would he support it? Hubbard agreed that he would give his full support as Speaker. Hubbard then pivoted to his financial woes, explaining to French that he had a plan to raise $1.5 million from 10 investors, and if his boss (Holbrook) would be interested in being one of the 10. French took the offer to Holbrook and he agreed to an investment.
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