Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard will pay $1,000 per month for the next 17 years to settle his debts to the state that arose out of his 2016 felony conviction for misusing his office, according to court documents filed Thursday.
Hubbard was convicted by a Lee County jury of 12 felony ethics charges following a lengthy legal battle that included numerous attempts by his lawmaker colleagues to undercut his prosecution. Those attempts included rewriting the ethics laws that Hubbard himself helped craft.
Hubbard was sentenced to four years in prison originally but ultimately served just over two years in prison after the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and the Alabama Supreme Court dismissed half of the charges against him. A Lee County judge cut his prison sentence from four years to 28 months.
As part of his original sentence, Hubbard was ordered to make restitution for his crimes and pay various court costs and fees. In total, he owed $205,834, according to documents filed Thursday.
The Alabama Attorney General’s Office asked the court to force Hubbard into a “meaningful” payment plan after numerous attempts over the past year – since Hubbard was released from prison – had failed. The filing from the AG’s office stated Hubbard had failed to make a single payment towards his debt over the past 12 months. A response from Hubbard’s attorney said he would not object to the payment plan.
Hubbard’s crimes were classics of public corruption. In one charge, Hubbard used his position as House Speaker to have language inserted into the state’s general fund budget that would have created a pharmaceutical monopoly for a client. He then voted on the budget, despite his closest advisors warning against it. There were also other charges for using his public office to obtain lucrative consulting contracts in exchange for favorable legislative treatment for his clients.
Hubbard’s conviction was a shocking downfall for a man widely considered to be the most powerful politician in the state at the time. He had helped orchestrate the Republican rise in Alabama, culminating in the party winning control of the state house in 2010 for the first time in more than 100 years.
That takeover was partly the result of promises made by Hubbard and other Republicans to clean up the legislature and implement some of the strongest ethics laws in the country. They passed the laws, and within four years, the man who helped craft them had run afoul of them.