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State: Former house speaker attempted to influence prison legislation for early release

Prosecutors use recorded prison calls to pull back the curtain on Mike Hubbard’s recent apology.
Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard's prison sentence was reduced by a judge.
Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard's prison sentence was reduced by a judge.(Alabama Dept. of Corrections/WSFA)
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 3:00 PM EST
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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Calculated and insincere, those are the words state prosecutors used to describe former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s recent apology and petition for early release.

Hubbard is serving a 28 month prison sentence for violating ethics laws he helped pass while serving in the legislature.

In early September, Hubbard accepted responsibility for his actions for the first time since he was indicted in 2014. In a letter to the court, he apologized to “everyone affected” and acknowledged that his convictions “damaged the public trust placed in elected officials” and have “harmed society as a whole.”

This week, however, prosecutors say Hubbard’s emails and phone calls from prison say otherwise. Prison phone calls are recorded and are not considered private. As a result, prosecutors claim Hubbard and those who communicate with him speak in code, using specific words to plan his early release which they referred to as the treatment plan, calling his new defense attorneys the head doctors or surgeons.

The state cited conversations that indicated Hubbard wasn’t happy with the planned apology, but “held [his] nose and signed it,” telling his wife that it was, “better than doing nothing.”

The filing references Hubbard telling six different friends that he is not guilty and did nothing wrong. During this time, Hubbard communicated with his friend and former BCA President Bill Canary who reportedly helped prepare Hubbard’s colleagues that the apology would be filed soon.

“Hubbard holds precisely the same view he has always held. He “did nothing wrong.” “Evil” people prosecuted him. A “spineless” Supreme Court upheld his convictions. And it has all been “so unfair, unjust and wrong.”, the response stated.

According to the state’s filing, Hubbard also attempted to influence prison legislation from behind bars during the first special legislative session.

“Hubbard tried and failed to orchestrate his release by seeking to have language added to a prison bill when the Legislature recently met in special session. Hubbard proposed killing the entire session to get his way, but Alabama’s legislators did not go along with his plan”, the state added.

The calls also express Hubbard’s dissatisfaction with the Alabama Supreme Court ruling, which reversed five convictions and nearly cut his sentence in half.

“I hope [they] will pass along to [their] spineless colleagues that their lack of guts will cause me to lose the business I built over 30 years in addition to everything else I’ve lost.”, Hubbard told Canary in a call, as cited in the state’s response.

In 2016, Hubbard was sentenced to four years in prison for 12 ethics convictions. Only half those counts withstood a lengthy appellate battle. In November, his sentence was reduced to 28 months in prison for six felony ethics convictions.

Hubbard turned himself on Sept. 11, 2020 to be processed into the Alabama Department of Corrections and begin serving his sentence.

He is currently in protective custody at Limestone Correctional Facility. He’s expected to be released in January 2023.

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