Alabama’s Speaker of House, Rep. Mike Hubbard of Auburn, was indicted today by a Lee County grand jury tasked earlier this year with investigating public corruption in state republican’s legislative supermajority.
The 23-count indictment was released today and included four counts alleging Hubbard used his position as the “chairman of the Alabama Republican Party to obtain personal gain” and voted for multiple pieces of legislation that violated state code due to a “conflict of interest.”
The indictment also alleges Hubbard used his positions in the House to obtain personal gain in the form of U.S. currency or checks from the “Southeast Alabama Gas District” and “American and Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc.” while doing business through the Auburn Network, a media company Hubbard founded in 1994.
According to the indictment, Hubbard also solicited favors from former Gov. Bob Riley and Billy Canary, president of the Business Council of Alabama, whose wife Laura Canary was the lead prosecutor in the corruption case that ultimately led to the conviction of Alabama Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman on June 29, 2006.
The indictment also alleges Hubbard intentionally solicited or received four separate investments of $150,000 in Craftmaster Printers from lobbyist working with the Business Council of Alabama, the Sterne Agee Group, Inc., Great Southern Wood and Hoar Construction.
Rep. James Buskey, D-Mobile, said news of the indictment wasn’t a surprise because Hubbard told members of the Mobile House delegation, during a meeting last week, that an indictment could come down.
“He told us that he was innocent and would fight it,” Buskey said.
Buskey said he didn’t know if the indictment would have any impact on the Nov. 4 General Election.
“You have to assume there will be some reaction,” he said.
Republican Chris Pringle, who is newly elected to the House, after a primary election win, said he also attended the meeting last week. He said he doesn’t know what impact the indictment could have, as he hasn’t been a representative in 12 years.
“I remember Mike as a freshman, when I was part of the Republican leadership in the House,” Pringle said. “I always considered Mike an upstanding man. I hate it for him and I hate it for his family.”
Hubbard is the third republican to be indicted by the grand jury, following Greg Wren of Montgomery — charged with using his office for political gain and Barry Moore of Enterprise who was charged with perjury after prosecutors suggested he lied to the grand jury.
Dale Liesch contributed to this report