LEE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The U.S. Attorney General announced the indictment of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.
Speaker Hubbard faces felony ethics violations including using his office for personal gain, voting for legislation with a conflict of interest, soliciting or receiving a thing of value from a lobbyist or principal, using his house seat for personal gain, lobbying an executive department or agency for a fee and using state equipment for personal gain.
[Click here to read indictment (PDF)]
Speaker Hubbard surrendered at the Lee County Jail on Monday afternoon.
House Speaker Hubbard released the following statement after his arrest:
"If there was any doubt by any body that this is a political witch hunt it became crystal clear today when these allegations were brought two weeks before an election. The fact is that we have made big changes in cleaning up the way things are done in Montgomery. The fact is we have been very successful at getting big things done in Lee County including 3000 new jobs over he past four years. I'm sleeping well at night because I know the people of Lee County can see this for what it is and that's politics at its worst."
Colleagues of the speaker also voiced their displeasure at the indictment.
"You cannot indict on a federal grand jury 30 days before an election," said District 21 Republican Representative Jim Patterson. "This has been going on for over two years, and to come out two weeks before an election and do this - it sure smells like politics to me."
"There's probably some things that the prosecution could have done to make this appear less political," added Representative Mike Ball. "It certainly appears political. I hope it's not."
Huntsville lawyer Jake Watson has dealt with similar cases in the past.
"Democrats were under the same type of investigations a few years ago," Watson said. "They were yelling 'It's political, it's political.' Well, this prosecutor was involved in those investigations, and apparently he doesn't target any party."
Patterson and Ball hope the truth will come out in Mike Hubbard's favor.
"We all have more questions that answers," said Patterson. "Unfortunately, the answers will not come before the election. And that part of it is sad."
If convicted, Mike Hubbard faces a maximum penalty of two to 20 years in prison and fines up to $30,000 for each count.
An attorney for Speaker Hubbard said there will be a news conference Tuesday to address the indictment.