AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – The Alabama Supreme Court has overturned five of the 11 charges against Mike Hubbard, former Alabama Speaker of the House, that came in an ethics trial following charges of violating Alabama’s Code of Ethics for Public Officials.
The court affirmed six of the charges Hubbard faced, but overturned the other five after finding they were based on “insufficient evidence or incorrect interpretations of the Ethics Code.”
Hubbard sought a certiorari review of the 11 charges following his first appeal failing in the Court of Criminal Appeals, after a Lee County jury found him guilty in 2016 for charges of violating the Ethics Code.
Hubbard was convicted on multiple charges of using his office for personal gain but has remained free on bond while waiting for the results of the latest appeal.
“Our role as Justices is not to praise or question the wisdom of the Ethics Code or to reprove or excuse Hubbard’s behavior. We must interpret and apply the law. And every person accused of breaking the law — even one who had a hand in creating that law — is entitled to (and bound by) the same rules of legal interpretation. When charged with a crime, public officials must be treated no better — and no worse — than other citizens in this State where all are guaranteed equal justice under law,” Chief Justice Tom Parker said in his court opinion on the ruling.
The six counts that were affirmed by the court were:
- Counts 6 and 10: Two counts of receiving a thing of value from a principal. Hubbard was convicted for receiving consulting payments from American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc. and Edgenuity, Inc.
- Count 11: One count of using his position for personal gain. Hubbard was convicted for using his position as Speaker of the House to gain a contract or to increase compensation, in this case through a paid consulting contract with Capitol Cups, Inc.
- Counts 12-13: Two counts of representing, for compensation, a business entity before an executive department or agency. Hubbard obtained meetings with executive branch officials for Si02 Medical Products, Inc.
- Count 14: One count of using public property for private benefit. Hubbard was convicted for using his chief of staff’s time to assist with finalizing a a patent owned by a company controlled by Robert Abrams, while receiving consulting payments from Abrams’s company, Capitol Cups.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey released the following statement after the judgment was delivered:
“Today’s ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court is the culmination of four years of deliberation, and I support and accept their findings. As an elected official, our first priority is to be above reproach and avoid even the appearance of misconduct and abuse of office.
“I support seeking clarity on our state’s ethics laws to ensure those who want to abide by them may not be unfairly targeted. However, let me be abundantly clear, I do not support weakening a system that is meant to hold our elected officials accountable. The rule of law must be upheld.
“Even more so on this Good Friday, my thoughts and prayers are on Mike Hubbard’s family and upon our state as we move on from this unfortunate part of Alabama’s history.”Statement from Governor Kay Ivey
Read the full court opinion on the ruling below: