Prosecution Rests in |Alabama Speaker Trial

     (CN) — The prosecution rested its case Tuesday morning in the felony ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.
     A Republican from Auburn, Hubbard is accused of 23 counts of corruption, including charges he used his powerful political position for personal gain, acquiring high-paying consulting clients and illegally soliciting investors for his struggling printing business.
     Prior to the prosecution wrapping up its case, former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley concluded his third day of testimony by telling the court Hubbard had an extensive personal contacts long before he was House speaker, and that he never knew his friend to try to exploit his position.
     Hubbard is accused, among other things, of seeking help from Riley, now a lobbyist, to secure a new client for his media business, the Auburn Network.
     Defense attorneys have said the speaker’s activities were all legal.
     Questions posed to the former governor by defense attorney Bill Baxley drew frequent objections from prosecutors, with lead prosecutor Matt Hart at one point saying they would “ask for sanctions” if a certain line of inquiry continued.
     At another point, Hart said Baxley’s characterization of the governor’s role in the state was “misleading to the jury.”
     When asked about Hubbard’s professional skill set, outside of his role as speaker of the house, Riley was complimentary, saying his GOP colleague had an “absolutely phenomenal” work ethic.
     “Mike is probably as smart as anyone I have worked with,” Riley testified.
     In other testimony, Greg Fee, a special investigator with the Alabama attorney general’s office, testified about Hubbard’s payments from his various consulting clients.
     Fee testified that there were over $2.3 million in checks that were “relevant to the indictment.”
     Judge Jacob Walker also allowed prosecutors to present evidence from Hubbard’s income tax returns, which detailed his total family income from 2009 to 2012.
     The total family income, which included the salary of his wife Susan Hubbard, was over $300,000 for each year.
     The trial, which is now in its third week, is being held at the Lee County Justice Center.

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