By Bill Britt
Alabama Policial Reporter
MONTGOMERY—On Thursday, the State filed its Brief In Support Of Sentencing Recommendation for Mike Hubbard, who will be sentenced on July 8, for 12 felony counts of public corruption.
The State recommends Hubbard be sentenced on each of his 12 felony Ethics Law convictions to an 18-year base sentence, split to serve 5 years in prison, followed by a term of supervised probation equal to the time remaining. It also asked the Court to require Hubbard to pay $1,125,000.00 in restitution (Hubbard’s ill-gotten gain); the maximum fine of $360,000.00 ($30,000.00 per count); the maximum amount to the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund, $120,000.00 ($10,000.00 per count); and court costs and fees as determined by this Court.
The State further requests that Hubbard be denied an appeal bond and require him to immediately begin serving his sentence. Hubbard has been out on bond since October 21, 2014, some 619 days ago. The brief states, “After a year-long grand jury investigation, a year and a half long pretrial litigation period, and following a 3-week trial, the jury spoke clearly and strongly by convicting Hubbard on 12 counts.”
In these matters, Judge Jacob Walker, III, will have final say. There are still those who believe Hubbard will receive a light sentence and be allowed to remain free on bond while awaiting his appeal.
Hubbard is no longer presumed innocent; he is guilty of 12 felonies. This Court should hold Hubbard accountable immediately for his deliberate and calculated actions. Therefore, this Court should exercise its discretion to deny Hubbard an appeal bond and require him to immediately begin serving his sentence.
The Attorney General’s Office reminds Judge Walker that Hubbard flagrantly and repeatedly violated the Ethics Law in order to make money and obtain financial favors from individuals with interests in State government.
Hubbard continues to refuse to accept responsibility for his criminal conduct, even telling close associates he has information about the prosecution that will result in his verdict’s being overturned on appeal. Even after being found guilty on 12 of the 23 charges, he is telling anyone who will listen that his prosecution was a “witch hunt,” where he was targeted by a rogue prosecutor. According to the brief, Hubbard told a reporter two days after his guilty verdicts, “I continue to steadfastly maintain my innocence.”
The State asked Judge Walker to impose a strong sentence to punish Hubbard, to send a signal to deter other public officials from violating the Ethics Laws, which will help restore the people’s confidence in their government.
Hubbard’s breach of the public’s trust is at the heart of the State recommendation for a tough sentence. The filing points to the fact that Hubbard failed the people of the district and the citizens of Alabama because of his position as Speaker.
“His betrayal of his constituents, his fellow House members, and the citizens of Alabama warrants a strong, meaningful sentence in order to punish him, deter other public officials from violating the Ethics Laws, and help restore the people’s trust in their government.”
The State’s brief contains a graph listing those who committed similar crimes and the sentence which they received. Among those listed were Jefferson County Commissioner Larry Langford, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Speaker of the New York Assembly Sheldon Silver, as well former Alabama officials Don Siegelman, Roy Johnson, Edward “E.B.” McClain, Terry Spicer and others.
The brief, with regards to an appeal bond, shows that while the Court has discretion according to Rule 7.2, Ala. R.Crim. P., “there is no absolute right to any bail pending the outcome of an appeal.”
The State concludes by saying, “Hubbard betrayed that trust, selling his office and keeping the profits for himself and his businesses. As a consequence of his betrayal, this Court should impose a strong, meaningful sentence to punish Hubbard for his crimes and restore the people’s faith in their government.”