Gag order issued in AL Speaker Hubbard's case; lead defense atto - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Gag order issued in AL Speaker Hubbard's case; lead defense attorney withdraws

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - A bombshell in the criminal trial against Alabama Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard as his lead defense attorney withdraws from the case, not even three months before his slated trial date.

And now, a gag order has been issued in this case. 

During the hearing on Friday, Judge Jacob Walker approved the withdrawal based on what Hubbard's now ex- defense attorney Mark White described as a "delicate conflict of interest."

The specific reason was not stated in open court, but was shared with the judge. White gave an emotional interview after the withdrawal was approved.

"I have mixed emotions, it was a heinous decision to make," White said. "You will find no better friend than Speaker Mike Hubbard and I have never seen someone treated so cruelly by the attorney general's office than Mike Hubbard, so I have mixed emotions."

White says he will continue to assist as Hubbard's defense is taken over by attorney Lance Bell.

Bell has been on the case since before Hubbard was indicted on 23 felony ethics charges for using his public office for private, financial gain. Hubbard's challenge to Alabama's ethics law will remain out of public view. Mobile users can view the documents here

Bell told the judge today there is no way the defense will be ready for the trial date set for March 28.

The judge has not decided if the trial date will be continued.

RELATEDMike Hubbard requests judge to dismiss ethics charges

RELATEDSpeaker Mike Hubbard charged for felony ethics violations

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