Former Alabama House Speaker free from prison
Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard was released from Limestone Correctional Facility on Sunday. It was the day his 28-month sentence was set to end. The Republican was one of the state's most powerful politicians until the ethics conviction ended his political career. Hubbard was the architect of the GOP's takeover of the Alabama Legislature in 2010. Hubbard was elected House speaker soon after Republicans won control of the House. He was reelected as speaker in 2015 despite facing the criminal charges. Prosecutors accused Hubbard of leveraging his powerful public office to obtain business clients, violating prohibitions against using his office for personal gain and against giving a "thing of value" to an elected official. At his trial, Hubbard's defense attorneys maintained the contracts were legitimate work and unrelated to his position as House speaker. A jury in 2016 convicted Hubbard of 12 felony charges, but half of those were overturned on appeal. He was automatically removed from office after his conviction. Hubbard was housed in a protective custody unit at Limestone Correctional Facility during his sentence.