The Latest: Exec says he paid Hubbard to open doors
OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (all times local):
The president of an education curriculum company says that he paid Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard $7,500 a month to open doors with legislative leaders across the country — but not in Alabama.
Edgenuity President Michael Humphrey testified that he thought Hubbard could get him meetings with legislative leaders in other states, given his background as a legislator and someone familiar with college sports.
Asked about his company’s consulting contract with one of Hubbard’s companies, Humphrey said the speaker did not work on issues in Alabama.
Prosecutors have accused Hubbard of using his positions as speaker and state Republican Party chairman to make money and solicit financial favors. Hubbard has maintained his innocence and said the transactions were legal.
The retired director of the Alabama Ethics Commission said Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard was repeatedly cautioned that he could not use his office to financially benefit himself or his business clients.
Jim Sumner testified Tuesday in Hubbard’s trial on 23 counts of ethics violations. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each count and immediate removal from office if convicted.
Sumner said Hubbard often sought advice about his work for private companies. He said he and general counsel Hugh Evans told Hubbard the arrangements were OK as long as he didn’t use his office to benefit himself or his clients financially.
Sumner said they gave the advice so frequently that they called it “the drill.”
Prosecutors have accused Hubbard of using his positions as house speaker and state Republican Party chairman to make money and solicit financial favors. Hubbard has maintained his innocence.
Testimony is set to resume in the ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard after the long holiday weekend.
Prosecutors have indicated that on Tuesday they will call a number of influential lobbyists and company owners as witnesses. Prosecutors say Hubbard asked them to make investments in his printing company or help him find business clients.
Hubbard is accused of using his position as GOP chairman and house speaker to generate $2.3 million in work and investments for his companies. Defense lawyers argue the transactions were legal and involved legitimate work.
Business Council of Alabama President Billy Canary, the daughter of former Gov. Bob Riley and others are expected to testify.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.