Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard continued his testimony on the witness stand Wednesday. There, he adamantly denied intentionally violating any laws, claiming he is “absolutely not” before the courtroom.
The defense spent much of the day focused on Hubbard’s consulting work, allowing him the opportunity to explain why his actions were legal in his eyes. During this hourlong testimony before cross-examination, Hubbard often contradicted prior witnesses’ testimony.
Before turning Hubbard over for cross-examination, the defense pointedly asked, “Did you ever intend to violate the law?”
“Never,” Hubbard answered decisively.
The defense went further, “Did you ever knowingly violate the law within these counts?”
Hubbard repeated, “Never.”
Hubbard was then turned over for cross-examination just after 3 p.m. where Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart questioned Hubbard about his relationship with former Alabama Governor, and current lobbyist, Bob Riley.
Earlier Wednesday, Hubbard testified Riley was not only a close personal friend, but he was also like a father to him, which is why he went to the former governor about financial problems with his business.
Hart clarified, “He’s a lobbyist, and you’re Speaker of the House.”
Hubbard shot back, “He’s my friend.”
To drive the point home, Hart referred to the former governor as ‘your friend, the lobbyist’ when speaking to Hubbard the remainder of the day.
Repeatedly, Hubbard shot back “my friend, Bob Riley.”
Hubbard said he did seek advice from Riley, “but not in my role as speaker.”
Hubbard will take the stand again Thursday morning, where cross-examination will continue. He has testified a total of roughly five hours thus far.
Hubbard was indicted in October 2013 on 23 felony ethics charges of using his political office for personal gain.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two to 20 years imprisonment and fines of up to $30,000 for each count. He would be removed from office if convicted of any of the 23 charges.
Hubbard has since maintained his innocence and continued to serve as Speaker of the Alabama House during the 2016 legislative session.