Former House Speaker Mike Hubbard sentenced to 4 years in prison
OPELIKA, Ala. —
A judge sentenced former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard.to four years in prison plus probation and $210,000 in fines.
In June, a jury found Hubbard guilty of 12 felony ethics charges. Prosecutors said he used his office to gain personal profit. The verdict immediately removed Hubbard from office.
Hubbard maintains his innocence and remains out on bond while his attorney's appeal the case
Before the sentence was announced, prosecutor Matt Hart told Judge Jacob Walker this case is a true test to see if the state could hold people of high positions accountable.
He asked the court to consider the fact that Hubbard never apologized for his actions.
Defense attorney Bill Baxley maintains Hubbard is innocent and said his client will not take responsibility for something he did not do.
"Mike Hubbard and his family have been the victims of a witch hunt," Baxley said.
Baxley says he will appeal all the way and he believes Hubbard will be vindicated.
"He is one of the very few people I have ever known that a jury's convicted that I believe with all my heart is innocent. I believe with every fiber of my being that at the end of all this, he will be totally vindicated. He will be exonerated."
The defense has 42 days to file an appeal.
Judge Walker heard from four character witnesses for the defense, including Congressman Mike Rogers, who called Hubbard one of his closest friends. Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller referred to Hubbard as honorable and truthful.
Within hours of the sentence, Hubbard's attorneys filed a motion asking for an investigation into possible juror misconduct.
The defense's motion cited a juror whose name is redacted. It claims that juror witnessed conversations leading he or she to believe several jurors were biased against Hubbard and had their minds made up before trial started. That juror said he or she heard other jurors call Hubbard greedy and question why he needed "all that money."