Hubbard's Defense Reacts to Verdict, Bottled Water Donations Running Out in North AL

Jun 13, 2016

Mike Hubbard during his ethics trial
Credit Todd J. Van Ernst

Mike Hubbard’s political career appears to be over.

The former Alabama House Speaker faces sentencing next month after being convicted on 12 of the 23 felony ethics charges. APR’s MacKenzie Bates was at the Lee County Courthouse and files this report.

Hubbard’s defense attorney put his arm around him as the verdicts were read one by one convicting him of using his political office for personal gain.

Hubbard maintained his innocence throughout the indictments, saying the transactions that were made fell within the state ethics law.

David McKnight is one of Hubbard’s defense attorneys. He says Hubbard is a good man and they will appeal the convictions.

“We’ll raise the same issues that we raised before that we think have a lot of merit and we feel confident that we’ll ultimately get these convictions reversed.”

He faces up to 20 years in prison for each count. Sentencing is set for July 8.

Help is on the way for many residents affected by the warning issued by West Morgan - East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority.

The utility advised its approximately 10,000 customers not to drink tap water until further notice due to potentially hazardous levels of chemical contaminants.

Morgan County Emergency Management Agency Director Eddie Hicks says donations have come from corporate sponsors and individuals. Hicks says even though they are distributing only one gallon of water per person per day, they are expected to run out within days without more donations.

“What we’re hoping to do is give everything away we can, and the path forward is working to get partnerships from churches and other organizations out in those areas to be able to distribute in future weeks.”

Hicks says there will be another truckload coming in the next several days, before they begin reaching out to other organizations for sponsorships. The West Morgan - East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority is expected to add a permanent filter to help decontaminate the water by early September.

A new train station is headed to east Tuscaloosa, thanks to a grant and help from the city.

The city of Tuscaloosa announced last week that a $351,000 grant from the Southern Rail Commission will help build a new passenger rail station in Alberta. The grant requires a 50% match from the city, which will be added to $1.5 million Tuscaloosa has already set aside for the station’s construction.

The new station is intended to become the new home of Amtrak in Tuscaloosa, although a final agreement with the company hasn’t yet been reached. City officials say the current Amtrak station in Tuscaloosa handles around 12,000 passengers each year. They say a new station will allow for a lot of growth in passenger rail transit in the city.