Alabama prosecutors oppose jailed speaker’s bid for leniency

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard doesn’t deserve any reduction of his four-year prison sentence for ethics violations because he has not shown remorse and was convicted of serious crimes that undermined public trust, prosecutors told a judge.

Responding to a bid from Hubbard to lessen his punishment, the attorney general’s office argued in a court document filed Tuesday that the one-time Republican leader is a danger to society and should remain behind bars.

“He caused great harm to the state, its citizens’ confidence in its government, and its government’s reputation across the country. Were this malicious conduct left unchecked, it would grow like a cancer,” prosecutors told a court.

Convicted in 2016, Hubbard began serving his sentence earlier this month. Earlier appeals overturned half of his 12 convictions but left the others in place.

Jurors convicted Hubbard after prosecutors accused him of leveraging his public office to obtain clients and investments for his private businesses. The defense maintained the transactions were all legal.

In seeking a reprieve, defense attorneys argued that Hubbard, 58, already has suffered because he was forced out of office, lost his business and had to go to jail. Hubbard deserves leniency since some of his original convictions were overturned on appeal, they argued.

The attorney general’s office rejected the claims, arguing that Hubbard — who engineered the Republican Party’s takeover of the Alabama Statehouse — does not deserve time off his term or probation to aid with rehabilitation since he’s never publicly admitted doing anything wrong and sees “no need to do better.”

“For too long Alabama’s citizens got shortchanged by Hubbard’s greed in office. Now, after a jury and this court held him accountable for his crimes, Hubbard asks for leniency. But leniency must be earned,” the state argued.

Hubbard is currently in the Lee County Jail in Opelika, records show.

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