AL House Speaker Hubbard participates in forum hours after arrest

Published: Oct. 21, 2014 at 3:06 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2014 at 3:21 AM EDT
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AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - One of Alabama's most powerful lawmakers is out of jail after being arrested for nearly two dozen charges.

Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard greeted supporters at the City of Auburn Council Chambers Monday. The event was an election forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of East Alabama.

Two hours before he appeared in Auburn, he surrendered to authorities at the Lee County Sheriff's Office and was booked on 23 felony Ethics Law Violations.

Hubbard was released after posting an $86,000 bond. His attorney, Mark White, says this is just the beginning.

"It gets better. Our hands are no longer tied and we are ready, just like Speaker Hubbard, we're comfortable and confident and whether its legal or political, we're ready," White said.

If convicted, Hubbard could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to $30,000 in fines for each count.

"The Speaker is totally comfortable. He is confident and all you got to do is look at the statement because, guess what, today we begin to tell our story," White said.

There was no mention of the arrest at the forum, rather, Hubbard focused on the issues of District 79.

He and his opponent, Dr. Shirley Scott-Harris, as well as Senate District 27 incumbent Tom Whatley and House District 83 candidates George Bandy and Gary Head answered question from the audiences.

The issues ranged from occupational taxes, to the lottery and The Accountability Act.

"If we can get out graduation rates to just 90 percent, then it is a multi-billion dollar positive impact in economic development for the state," Hubbard said.

"What we are looking at is a system that only helps a few students and the expense of not really helping the failing schools," Scott-Harris said.

Speaker Hubbard will hold a press conference Tuesday, where he will share his side of the story - that he was the victim of "a political witch hunt."

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