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Hubbard nears end of sentence for ethics conviction

MONTGOMERY, Ala (AP) — Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard is nearing the end of his prison sentence for his conviction on ethics charges.
The Alabama Department of Corrections lists a Jan. 8 minimum release date for Hubbard. Hubbard was sentenced to 28 months in prison after a jury convicted him of violating state ethics law. He is incarcerated at Limestone Correctional Facility.
The Republican was one of the state’s most powerful politicians until the ethics conviction 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 state Republican Party. He was elected House speaker soon after Republicans won control.
Prosecutors accused Hubbard of leveraging his powerful public office to obtain clients for his businesses, violating the prohibitions against using his office for personal gain and on giving a “thing of value” to an elected official.
At his trial, his defense maintained the contracts were legitimate work and unrelated to his position as House speaker. In upholding the conviction, members of the Alabama Supreme Court 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.”
A jury in 2016 convicted Hubbard of 12 charges, but half of those were overturned on appeal.
Hubbard had unsuccessfully sought an early release from prison.

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