By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—The State has asked for a continuance in the Speaker Mike Hubbard felony trial, citing Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart’s unexpected knee surgery.
Hubbard’s trial on 23 felony counts of public corruption was scheduled for April 11, almost a year and a half after his indictment. Hubbard has used a panoply of legal devises to delay his trial, but, and briefly, it appeared the trial would go forward, only now to be delayed by the prosecution because of Hart’s knee injury.
The State has requested the pretrial conference be reset for the week of April 11, or soon thereafter. Judge Walker will preside over a capital murder case set for May 9, leaving the earliest date for Hubbard’s trial later in May. The State has asked Judge Walker to set Hubbard’s trial for the next available date: “The State requests that a new trial setting be ordered as soon as possible to allow the State to execute out of State witness subpoenas, which require a date certain to be executed in other jurisdictions.”
The motion states Hart will undergo knee surgery the week of March 28, the day before the pretrial hearing is scheduled. He is expected to have limited mobility for ten to fourteen days. days.
Few court watchers actually believed the April 11 date could be met, due to the countless array of motions filed by Hubbard to delay the case and confuse the issues that surround his indictments. Once again, Hubbard will continue to preside over the House, while his trial chews up more time and resources.
Over the last few weeks, Gov. Robert Bentley, who is believed to be a witness for the prosecution, finds himself under a Federal investigation into his ordering then ALEA Chief Spencer Collier to lie to the Attorney General about an investigation related to the Hubbard case. Audio tapes have emerged of Bentley having sexually-laced phone conversations with his senior advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason. This has caused several lawmakers to call for Bentley’s resignation.
In what many consider a stunning show of hypocrisy, several of these lawmakers are the same men who stood with Hubbard at his pep rally the day after his indictment.
Many are the same legislators, whom to this day remain silent, and even supportive of a man charged with 23 felonies while seeking the blood of a Governor, whose only proven offense is he likes to talk dirty to a younger woman who he says didn’t mind his simpering expressions of desire. An investigation into Bentley’s action at ALEA is ongoing, however, he unlike Hubbard, has not been charged with a crime.
The State’s motion is unopposed, so it is likely that Judge Jacob Walker, III will grant it.