OPELIKA, Ala.- Week one of the Mike Hubbard ethics trial is in the books.
The theme of the day revolved around some the consulting contracts Speaker Hubbard had.
The first couple of witnesses spoke to work Hubbard did with the Southeast Alabama Gas District. Hubbard had a contract to do economic development work for $12,000 a month. Witnesses told the court that they had received a letter from the ethics commission saying that Hubbard was OK to do the work. The Southeast Alabama Gas District is made up of 14 municipalities and sells gas to businesses, residents and others.
A search committee sought to find someone to do economic development. The board voted in favor of having Speaker Hubbard doing the consulting work. Enterprise Mayor, Kenneth Boswell told the court he felt Hubbard got the job because of his position with the state. Prosecutors say that Hubbard got that job by using the mantle of his office.
Dothan Mayor, Mike Schmitz talked about the effort to bring in a company to fill the void PEMCO left in Dothan. Mayor Schmitz told the court that Hubbard played a large role in bringing Commercial Jet to Dothan; filling the void of PEMCO. Speaker Hubbard helped arrange meetings with state officials to talk about the projects. Prosecutors also say that Hubbard lobbied Gov. Robert Bentley and Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield to help the SEAGD project.
Defense made the point to the court that the project helped Dothan and brought numerous jobs.
Prosecutors also brought up activity reports that Hubbard filled out as part of the consulting work, and witnesses felt that Hubbard was acting in the capacity of the speaker.
Another witness who took the stand was the President of the American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc, Tim Hamrick. Hubbard had a contract to do consulting work with the APCI for $5,000 a month. The indictment alleges that Hubbard inserted and voted on language in the 2014 general fund budget that would make the APCI the only one to bid on a PBM, adding that it would reap many benefits. Hamrick told the court that Hubbard was hired to represent interests in states the APCI was expanding to. Hamrick told the court that the contract Hubbard had with the APCI did not allow him to consult in Alabama.
Towards the end of Hamrick’s testimony, the prosecution showed a letter that was sent to Hubbard from the APCI thanking him for getting the language in the budget, calling him a champion of the effort. Defense then showed the court the same letters, which were sent to other senators and representatives thanking them for their efforts. These letters were generic letters where the politicians name would be added.
Testimony will continue on Tuesday.