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Former House speaker asks judge to trim prison sentence

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Lawyers for former House Speaker Mike Hubbard are asking a judge to reduce his four-year prison sentence for his conviction on ethics charges since appellate courts overturned half of the counts.

Hubbard was sentenced to a four-year concurrent sentence, meaning his prison time was not automatically reduced when appellate courts overturned six of the 12 counts in his 2016 ethics conviction. In a motion filed Friday, his attorneys argued that he should get a new sentence because “Hubbard now stands convicted on but half the counts for which he was originally sentenced by this Court.”

Lawyers asked the judge to consider, “the punishment that Hubbard has already suffered.”

Prosecutors accused Hubbard of leveraging his powerful public office to obtain clients and investments for his businesses.

“The convictions in this case alone have resulted in a wide range of punishments which include his removal from office, the loss of his right to vote, the divestment of his business interests, and his current incarceration. Mike Hubbard is not a danger to society, nor a threat to the public and a revised sentence will better serve the State’s interest in rehabilitation and the ends of justice,” attorneys wrote.

Hubbard reported to jail Sept. 11 to begin serving his sentence.

The Auburn Republican was for years one of the state’s most powerful politicians until the ethics conviction in a corruption case ended his political career. Hubbard, the architect of the GOP’s takeover of the Alabama Legislature in 2010, was a legislator from Auburn and former chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. He was elected House speaker soon after the Republicans won control of both legislative chambers.

In upholding the conviction this spring, state Supreme Court justices noted that when contacting a company for one client, Hubbard “identified himself as a state legislator and as Speaker of the House of Representatives.” They also noted how one company executive wrote in an email that Hubbard could get the company “in front of any speaker in the country regardless of party.”

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