By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Late Friday night, June 10, 2016, the Alabama Speaker of the House, State Representative Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) was guilty of twelve felony counts for ethics violations. The secret Grand Jury investigation that many politicos denied even existed turned into the 23 indictments they said would get thrown out of court, became the historical legacy of the first Republican to be the Speaker of the House in over 135 years. Hubbard, the author of Storming the Statehouse, ran the 2010 GOP campaign on a platform of historic ethics reforms. Ironically it was the ethics law reforms that were his first achievements as Speaker that ultimately brought him to ruin. Many state officials released statements following the announcement.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) said in a statement, “Alabama is strong because our people are strong. As leaders we were placed here to serve our people and that is exactly what we are going to continue to do. God has assigned us to this task, and we will work hard to honor Him. I have the utmost confidence in the men and women of the Alabama Legislature. We will all continue working together to solve the real problems facing our state and to help Alabamians. We will pass a balanced budget that funds essential state services, create well-paying jobs and care for our sick, our elderly and our children. No matter how difficult the challenge, the people of this state will know we are working hard every day to serve them.”
Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) released her own statement, “The verdict reached by twelve Lee County jurors brings finality to a lengthy legal process that has impacted our state government and public trust. I pray that Mike, his wife Susan, and their sons will be strengthened and supported through the uncertainties of this difficult time. I respect the jury’s hard work and accept their findings. It is not easy to sit in judgment and these jurors did their duty as citizens of Alabama. One of our basic founding principles is the safeguard that due process affords to protect individual freedoms when justice is administered. The rule of Law and the right to a trial by jury has helped maintain our democracy for more than two centuries. The consistency of our legal system in treating everyone as an equal before the Law will continue to sustain us now and in the future. I believe in the rule of law, Alabama and her people. I know that our best days are ahead of us.”
Attorney General Luther Strange (R) said on social media, “Yesterday was a good day for the rule of law in our state. Our office has been committed to putting together the finest public corruption unit in the country, and I am extremely proud of their work. A clear message has been sent — Alabama holds public official accountable for their actions.”
State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) said, “The Speaker’s trial is over and he was found guilty by a jury of his peers. The jury spent many days learning more about the case than many of us will ever know. I am praying for Mike and his family as he is a friend. It is now time to move our state forward and put this huge distraction behind us as we work to make Alabama the best it can be.”
State Representative Will Ainsworth (R-Guntersville) said, “As a freshman legislator, I have worked hard to bring a new mindset to state government – a mindset that doesn’t operate in the shadows of backroom deals or rely upon the politics of the past. It’s disappointing when anyone succumbs to the temptations that Montgomery offers, and when a leader is the one who strays, that disappointment is magnified tenfold. All elected officials must be mindful of the words in Proverbs 11:28, ‘Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.’”
House Minority Leader Craig Ford (R-Gadsden) said, “This is a dark day for Alabama. Mike Hubbard led Republicans to a supermajority on a platform of cleaning up corruption in Montgomery. But instead of cleaning up corruption, Mike Hubbard and the Republican leadership in all three branches of our government have embraced corruption. They have forgotten they are supposed to serve the people, and not the other way around.”
State Representative Tim Wadsworth (R-Arley) said in a statement, “Throughout my short time as your State Representative for District 14, I have maintained a policy of openness that kept the public informed. In line with that, tonight the Speaker of the Alabama House was convicted of 12 of 23 Felony counts in violation of the ethics laws. It is a difficult day for the citizens of Alabama. However, I ran on a platform of good honest government for the State and to work to support and help our state move forward. We as citizens must continue the fight to help maintain good honest government.”
AG Luther Strange speaking at the Mid Alabama Republican Club on Saturday said the “rule of law has won” in the Hubbard trial. Will there be more indictments in coming days?
Former Public Service Commissioner Terry Dunn (R) says that there should be because other members of the legislature also have contracts like the ones that are probably sending former State Representative Mike Hubbard to prison. The sentencing is scheduled for July 8, 2016. Hubbard has vowed to appeal.