The Latest: Alabama House speaker's lawyer presents defense

AP News
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Posted: May 24, 2016 1:42 PM

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the Alabama House speaker's trial (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

The defense is denying prosecutors' claims that Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard wrongfully made more than $2.3 million off his powerful legislative position.

Hubbard attorney Bill Baxley told jurors in opening statements Tuesday that Hubbard has done nothing wrong.

Baxley says a 23-count felony indictment against Hubbard is "mumbo jumbo." And he says Alabama's ethics law contains exemptions that cover things like normal business dealings and friendships.

The state claims Hubbard used his elected office and former position as state GOP chairman to illegally receive contracts, investments and business totally nearly $2.3 million.

Hubbard's trial comes at a tough time for Alabama Republicans. Gov. Robert Bentley faces possible impeachment over a sexually charged scandal. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is suspended and faces possible removal for allegedly violating judicial ethics.

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11:25 am.

Prosecutors are laying out their case against indicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

In opening statements Tuesday, prosecutor Matt Hart told jurors that Hubbard took contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars each month from companies that wanted to influence legislation. Hart said Hubbard needed the money because he was losing a job with the company that broadcasts Auburn University sports, and his printing company was failing.

Hubbard denies any wrongdoing. Defense lawyers will talk to jurors later Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Hubbard used his office and past position as chairman of the Alabama GOP to solicit business for himself and his companies.

Hubbard's trial comes as Gov. Robert Bentley faces possible impeachment over a sexually charged scandal. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is suspended and faces possible removal for allegedly violating judicial ethics.

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9:55 a.m.

A judge says he's ready to begin the felony ethics trial of indicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker says opening arguments will begin Tuesday morning after he swears in jurors.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers each say they need about an hour to lay out their cases for the jury.

Prosecutors say Hubbard used his office and past position as chairman of the Alabama GOP to solicit business for himself and his companies.

Hubbard denies doing anything wrong.

Hubbard's trial comes as Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley faces possible impeachment over a sexually charged scandal. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore also is suspended and faces possible removal for allegedly violating judicial ethics.

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8:35 a.m.

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has arrived at a county courthouse for the start of his trial on felony ethics charges, which could result in his removal from office.

Hubbard walked past cameras as he entered the Lee County courthouse in Opelika on Tuesday morning. A judge told jurors to be in court later in the morning for the start of the trial.

Hubbard engineered the Republican Party's takeover of the Alabama Statehouse in 2010. Now he's charged with 23 felony ethics violations. Conviction on even one would result in his ouster.

Prosecutors say Hubbard used both his office and past position as chairman of the Alabama GOP to solicit business for himself and his companies.

Hubbard denies doing anything wrong.

Hubbard's trial comes as Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley faces possible impeachment over a sexually charged scandal. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore also is suspended and faces possible removal for allegedly violating judicial ethics.

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4:35 a.m.

The speaker of Alabama's House of Representatives is going on trial on felony charges that could result in his removal from office.

A judge told jurors to be in court Tuesday morning to begin the trial of Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Hubbard engineered the Republican Party's takeover of the Alabama Statehouse in 2010. Now he's charged with 23 felony ethics violations. Conviction on even one would result in his ouster.

Prosecutors say Hubbard used both his office and past position as chairman of the Alabama GOP to solicit business for himself and his companies.

Hubbard denies doing anything wrong.

Hubbard's trial comes as Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley faces possible impeachment over a sexually charged scandal. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore also is suspended and faces possible removal for allegedly violating judicial ethics.