The Latest: Hubbard testifies in his own defense

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Posted: Jun 07, 2016 8:03 PM
The Latest: Hubbard testifies in his own defense

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (all times local):

8 p.m.

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard says he took precautions to obey state law with contracts his companies received and made "not a cent" from campaign work steered to his printing company.

Hubbard testified for about 90 minutes Tuesday in his ethics trial.

Some of the most direct prosecution evidence has come from Hubbard himself: Prosecutors showed jurors emails he sent lamenting his financial situation and appearing to repeatedly ask former Gov. Bob Riley, now a lobbyist, and others for assistance in help finding work.

Prosecutors are presenting the emails as evidence that Hubbard improperly sought jobs and financial favors from lobbyists such as Riley and other company officials who had business before the Alabama Legislature.

Hubbard says he sought advice from longtime friends when he was laid off, including Riley, a man he considered a father figure. Hubbard will take the stand again Wednesday.

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5 p.m.

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard says it was a "group decision" to use the printing company he co-owns for Republican Party printing jobs during the 2010 elections. Hubbard says the use of Craftmaster allowed the party better control, including over when campaign mail arrived in mailboxes.

The Republican speaker was testifying in his own defense Tuesday during his felony ethics trial.

Hubbard was the first witness called by the defense.

He also testified that he "poured out" his soul in emails to his political mentor, former Gov. Bob Riley, over his stress about being laid off from his job. Hubbard says he never expected those emails to become public.

His testimony was continuing Tuesday afternoon.

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2 p.m.

A state judge has refused to dismiss ethics charges against Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Lee County Judge Jacob Walker said he will let the charges go to the jury, rejecting a defense request for a summary judgment of acquittal after prosecutors rested their case Tuesday.

Defense lawyer Bill Baxley said he plans to call on former Gov. Bob Riley, who testified earlier as a prosecution witness.

Riley became a lobbyist after leaving office in 2011. He testified that Hubbard asked him for help finding a job but was careful to obey the state ethics law.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions to make money and seek financial favors, investments and employment from lobbyists and people with business before the Alabama Legislature. Hubbard has maintained his innocence.

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11:30 a.m.

Prosecutors have rested their ethics case against House Speaker Mike Hubbard after calling an accountant to add up what Hubbard and his companies made from party work and consulting contracts.

State investigator Greg Fee testified Tuesday that Hubbard's companies were paid a total of $2.3 million from party work, consulting contracts and investments he requested. Hubbard's household income, according to tax returns, was between $312,000 and $352,000 between 2009 and 2012. His income stayed relatively steady as consulting work replaced other wages when Hubbard was laid off from his primary job.

Prosecutor Matt Hart told the judge that the state did not have any more witnesses, but needed to go over exhibits before resting.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions to make money.

Former Gov. Bob Riley earlier in the morning testified that he thought Hubbard took care to obey the state ethics law as he took contract to do economic development work.

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9:30 a.m.

Former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is returning for what will be his third day of testimony in the ethics trial of House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

A defense lawyer on Tuesday will continue his cross-examination of the former governor. Riley, who became a lobbyist after leaving office, testified earlier in the trial that Hubbard asked to work at his lobbying firm after being laid off from his job.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions to make money and seek financial favors, investments and employment from lobbyists and people with business before the Alabama Legislature. He is also accused of being improperly paid to lobby the governor's office on economic development projects that could indirectly benefit his clients.

Hubbard says he's innocent and the transactions were legal.

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3 a.m.

Defense lawyers for indicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard say they might seek testimony from a number character witnesses, including Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson.

The public corruption trial resumes Tuesday as prosecutors appear to be nearing the end of their witness list. Former Gov. Bob Riley returns to the stand for what will be his third day of testimony.

Defense lawyer Bill Baxley gave the trial judge names of potential character witnesses, including Jackson, a revered football hero.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions to make money and seek financial favors, investments and employment from lobbyists and people with business before the Alabama Legislature.

Hubbard says he's innocent and the transactions were legal.