11:52 a.m. — The defense rests its case in Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard’s ethics trial as he steps down from the stand. The jury is excused for a lunch break until 2:30 p.m. when they will hear closing arguments.
Reporter Alex Derencz is in the courtroom and says the prosecution and defense lawyers are submitting motions to be taken up by the judge. He says these motions needed to be collected outside the presence of the jury.
OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard returns to the witness stand Thursday for the third day in his ethics trial.
A state prosecutor will resume his cross-examination of the Republican speaker Thursday morning. Prosecutor Matt Hart on Wednesday quizzed Hubbard on $2.3 million in contracts, party campaign business and investments his companies received. He also questioned Hubbard about email he sent former Gov. Bob Riley, who is now a lobbyist, seeking employment help.
Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions as speaker and party chairman to make money and solicit jobs and financial favors from lobbyists. Hubbard has maintained his innocence and said he took precautions to obey the state ethics law.
The charges against Hubbard include:
- 4 counts of using of his office as Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party for personal gain
- 1 count of voting for legislation with a conflict of interest
- 11 counts of soliciting or receiving a thing of value from a lobbyist or principal
- 2 counts of using his office as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives for personal gain
- 4 counts of lobbying an executive department or agency for a fee
- 1 count of using state equipment, materials, etc. for private gain.
If convicted, the House speaker faces up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $30,000 for each count.