LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Alabama Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard heads to court on Monday,in an effort to get all 23 felony ethics charges against him dismissed, based on prosecutorial misconduct.
The defense claims prosecutors verbally threatened Speaker Hubbard and in a political witch hunt, improperly influenced the grand jury that indicted him. The Attorney General's office denies those claims. Next week, a judge will hear both sides and decide if the trial will move forward or if the charges will be dismissed.
On Monday, 37 witnesses could be called by Speaker Mike Hubbard's defense as they try to prove prosecutorial misconduct by the AG's office, their focus is on prosecutor Matt Hart.
"In 42 years of practicing law I have never seen a prosecutor conduct themselves in this manner," said Hubbard's defense attorney Mark White.
White says former Deputy AG, Sonny Reagan will testify first about conversations he alleges he had with his former colleague, Matt Hart.
In a quote taken from his subpoena included in the defense's motion to dismiss, Reagan says Hart told him during a November 2013 conversation, the only way to handle Hubbard was to, "Bring him in, show him the indictment and tie a nose (sic) around his (profanity redacted) neck. Then cinch it down until he is grasping for (profanity redacted) air then give him an option to plead guilty and resign."
"All of the threats made against Speaker Hubbard will be the subject of the examination," said White.
This week, Lee County Judge Jacob Walker ruled the defense will not be able to call AG Luther Strange and his employees to testify, but their depositions may be used. Hubbard's defense believes the order does not prevent them from calling AG Prosecutor Hart to the stand.
Hart remains on the witness list and if the defense does try to call him, the court will have to decide how and if Hart can be a witness in a case he's prosecuting.
"There are issues associated with his ability to be qualified or disqualified, but those are his issues and the court's issues," said White.
AG prosecutors deny the allegations and say Hubbard's defense is taking the court on fishing expedition in an effort draw attention away from how Speaker Hubbard used his political office and power to benefit his businesses for personal financial gain.
Judge Walker has indicated the defense must prove prosecutors illegally influenced the grand jury's decision to indict Hubbard in order to get the charges tossed.
If the defense is not successful next week, Hubbard's trial is set for March of next year.