Jury chosen for ethics trial of House Speaker Mike Hubbard, AEA files lawsuit to halt health premium

May 18, 2016

Lawyers have picked a jury for House Speaker Mike Hubbard's ethics trial scheduled to start next week. A-P-R’s Stan Ingold has more…

The panel of 12 jurors and four alternates is made up of five black men, four white men, four black women and three white women.

The Montgomery Advertiser and al.com reports that Lee County Judge Jacob Walker instructed the panel not to discuss the high-profile case.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his public positions to make money and obtain financial favors from lobbyists and others with business before the Alabama Legislature.

Hubbard has pleaded not guilty and maintained the transactions were legal.

Walker says he intends to start the trial Tuesday.

Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump could consider former Alabama Attorney General William Pryor for the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pryor is a judge for the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.  He is one of 11 candidates Trump says he would consider if he were to be elected President.

Trump’s campaign says the list was based on constitutional principles, with input from highly respected conservatives and Republican Party leadership.

The seat was held by Antonin Scalia, who passed away suddenly in February.

The Alabama Education Association is taking teachers’ insurance provider to court.

The group says the Public Education Employees’ Health Insurance Plan, or PEEHIP, violated Alabama’s open meetings law. Late last month, the PEEHIP board approved massive premium and rate hikes which teachers say will wipe out their first pay increase in nine years. AEA says the rate hikes were decided during a secret board meeting, which violates state law.   

Sheila Remington is the President of the AEA and the plaintiff in the lawsuit. She explains her position.

“Mainly I want the opportunity to have some questions answered. I would want the opportunity for our experts here and any experts in the state to look at those finances and say ‘Here’s some alternatives to this increase.’”

The teacher insurance provider says the premium increase is necessary to cover rising healthcare costs.