On Monday, Oct. 20, Mike Hubbard, Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives was arrested in Auburn, having been indicted on 23 counts by a Lee County grand jury. Charges include 11 counts of soliciting or receiving things of value from a lobbyist or principal; six counts of using his office for personal gain; four counts of lobbying for a fee a department or agency of state government. It seems clear the behavior charged is unlawful. The only question is whether he committed the acts or not, which only the facts and the court can determine.
Some of the biggest names in state business and politics were included in the sweep that produced the indictment. The aftermath of the Hubbard indictment can be expected to disrupt state government and politics for some time to come. The question is,“How much and How long?” Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, The Blount Countian asked its two serving state representatives for their perspective on the developing story, already months, if not years, in the making.
District 11 state Rep. Randall Shedd
“In America, everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This is a basic right for everyone, including elected officials. Speaker Hubbard obviously has been accused and charged but his evidence in the case and his side of the story has not been told.
“We all know this is a serious matter for Speaker Hubbard and his family and the state, but I am not going to rush to judgement as the process takes its proper course.
“I am in prayer for Speaker Hubbard and his family. I think it is now more important than ever that those of us in elected offices – as the Bible says – we must avoid even the appearance of wrong in order to maintain the public’s confidence in state government.”
District 34 state Rep. David Standridge
“All elected officials are graciously given the trust of the people we serve. This trust should never be violated and should be held as sacred. Serving in public office is an honor and a privilege and no one at any level should use their office to advance their own personal motives or agenda.
“The fabric of our nation is woven with the underlying truth that those of us who hold office are servants of the people. When that attitude of service is lost, we must reevaluate our priorities and consider changes which can be made to ensure that the work of the people is carried out with the highest standards of integrity and transparency. Corruption of any kind simply cannot be tolerated.
“As a retired law enforcement officer and a retired probate judge, I have a deep respect for the judicial process from start to finish. Accordingly, I think it is important that we allow the legal process to play out in regards to Speaker Hubbard’s arrest and indictment. During this time, my wife Danna and I are praying for Mike and his entire family, as this will surely be a long and difficult process. Ultimately, I believe strongly that the system will get it right and that, either say, justice will prevail.”