The prosecution rested its case Tuesday after two witnesses took the stand, following 10 days of testimony in the ethics trial of embattled Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard.
The first witness to take the stand was former Gov. Bob Riley.
Riley, Hubbard’s longtime mentor and friend, returned to the witness stand for his third day of testimony where he endeavored to paint Hubbard as a talented, rule-abiding man. Riley had been on the stand since Friday afternoon.
The first thing Riley did when he took the stand was to ask Judge Walker if he could make a statement to prosecutor Matt Hart. His request was met with an immediate objection from Hart and the judge denied Riley.
This interaction was the first of many tense moments between Riley and Hart throughout Tuesday’s testimony.
In his hour-long testimony, Riley told the jury “Mike is also one of the most creative and innovative people I’ve ever been around.”
“I have never seen anyone put as much effort to making sure everything he did had been blessed, had been reviewed,” Riley said Tuesday during cross examination by Baxley.
The state’s final witness was Greg Fee, a special investigator with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.
According to Fee’s testimony, the activities for which Hubbard is charged generated a total of $2.38 million revenue for his businesses, Craftmaster Printers and Auburn Network, from March 2012 to July 2014.
After Fee’s cross-examination, the state rested and the defense offered a motion to have some or all of the charges against Hubbard dropped. Judge Walker denied the motion and excused the jury until 2 p.m.
When the trial resumed, the defense made a shocking move and called Hubbard to the stand as its first witness.
There, in approximately 90 minutes, Hubbard testified 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’s testimony will resume Wednesday at 1:15 p.m.
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.