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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA

STATE OF ALABAMA,

)
)
)
)
v.
)
)
)
)
MICHAEL GREGORY HUBBARD, )
)
Defendant.
)

CASE NO.

CC-2014-000565

STATES BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF


SENTENCING RECOMMENDATION
The State of Alabama respectfully submits this Brief in Support of its
Sentencing

Recommendation

that

Defendant

Michael

Gregory

Hubbard

(Hubbard) be sentenced on each of his 12 felony Ethics Law convictions to an


18-year base sentence, split to serve 5 years in prison, followed by a term of
supervised probation equal to the time remaining. This sentence is appropriate
because Hubbard betrayed the publics trust and, even now, refuses to accept
responsibility for his actions. Such a sentence will also deter other public officials
from committing similar crimes. The State also respectfully requests this Court
require Hubbard to pay $1,125,000.00 in restitution (Hubbards ill-gotten gain), the
maximum fine of $360,000.00 ($30,000.00 per count), the maximum amount to the

Crime Victims Compensation fund, $120,000.00 ($10,000.00 per count), and


court costs and fees as determined by this Court.
INTRODUCTION
A Lee County jury found Hubbard guilty of 12 felony Ethics Law violations.
Specifically, the jury returned a guilty verdict on one count of voting on legislation
with a conflict of interest, in violation of 36-25-5(b) (Count 5); seven counts of
soliciting or receiving a thing of value from a lobbyist or principal, in violation of
36-25-5.1(a) (Counts 6, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23); one count of using his office for
personal gain, in violation of 36-25-5(a) (Count 11); two counts of lobbying the
executive for a fee, in violation of 36-25-1.1 (Counts 12, 13); and one count of
using state equipment, materials, etc. for private or business benefit, in violation of
36-25-5(c) (Count 14).
Each of the above convictions carries a possible sentence of 2 to 20 years in
prison and a maximum fine of $30,000.00. As the evidence at trial showed,
Hubbard flagrantly and repeatedly violated the Ethics Law in order to make money
and obtain financial favors from individuals with interests in State government.
Despite being found guilty on the majority of the charges in the indictment,
Hubbard continues to refuse to accept responsibility for his criminal conduct. This
Court should impose a strong sentence to punish Hubbard, deter other public

officials from violating the Ethics Laws, and help restore the peoples confidence
in their government.
FACTS
In the course of committing the 12 felonies for which he stands convicted,
Hubbard directly enriched himself and his businesses by $1,125,000.00. Hubbard
also received a free business turnaround plan from a financial professional that
enabled Craftmaster Printers to be recapitalized, which staved off bankruptcy and
Hubbards personal and political ruin. Further, Hubbards felonious enrichment
occurred after he spearheaded the Republican takeover of the legislature based in
large part on the promise of strengthening the States Ethics Laws and cleaning up
what he termed the culture of corruption. His success in leading the Republican
takeover led his fellow House members to reward him with the position of Speaker
of the House and invest him with the substantial power inherent in that office.
Instead of honoring the reward of position and investment of power by serving the
people of Alabama, Hubbard intentionally and continuously monetized his office
for personal gain, as evidenced by his 12 felony Ethics Law convictions through
the following money-making schemes.

I.

The jury convicted Hubbard (1) of receiving $95,000 from


principal APCI, and (2) of voting on legislation with a conflict of
interest related to APCI.

Two of Hubbards 12 convictions stem from Hubbards contractual


relationship with the American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc. (APCI), under which
he was paid $5,000 per month for 19 months June 2012 through December 2013
for a total of $95,000. Hubbard knew that APCI was a principal because APCIs
Alabama-based lobbyist, Ferrell Patrick, facilitated Hubbards consulting contract
with APCI. The jury convicted Hubbard of receiving a thing of value from
lobbyists or principals because he accepted the money from APCI.
Not only did Hubbard violate the Ethics Laws by receiving APCIs money,
he also concealed the existence of the APCI contract from even his closest
advisors. Indeed, Josh Blades, Hubbards former chief of staff, testified that
Hubbard did not tell him about the existence of the contract. Instead, he learned
about the contract from lobbyist John Ross who, in turn, had learned about it from
APCIs lobbyist Ferrell Patrick. Further, Patrick only revealed the existence of the
contract to Ross a few hours before the House was scheduled to vote on the 2013
general fund budget, Senate Bill 143. That bill contained a provision that would
have made APCI the sole pharmacy benefit manager for Medicaid in Alabama a
provision that Hubbard, Blades, and Ross had actively supported and helped insert

into the bill. Patricks revelation regarding the existence of the contract occurred
11 months after Hubbard entered into the APCI contract.
Recognizing the serious potential problem that Hubbards secret APCI
contract presented, given the APCI-monopoly provision in SB143, Blades and
Ross confronted Hubbard about the issue. Only after they confronted him did
Hubbard finally admit that he had a contract with APCI. Hubbard claimed that it
was not a problem because Jim Sumner, then-director of the Ethics Commission,
had approved it. But Sumner testified that he first heard about Hubbards
relationship with APCI when the Governors legislative liaison, Blaine Galliher,
contacted him about it two days after the vote on SB143. The jurys verdict shows
that they clearly believed Sumner over Hubbard on the issue.
After being forced to admit that he had a contract with APCI, Hubbard told
Blades to work to remove the APCI-monopoly provision from the bill. Blades was
unable to get the provision removed. Shortly thereafter, when SB143 came to the
House floor for a vote, Hubbard asked Blades what he should do. Blades
unequivocally told him, Dont do it, and implored Hubbard not to vote on the
bill. Ignoring Blades advice, Hubbard pushed the green button and voted in favor
of SB143 even though it contained APCI-monopoly provision. The jury convicted
Hubbard of voting on legislation with a conflict of interest based on that vote. And

Hubbard continued to accept $5,000 per month from APCI through December
2013, eight months following the budget vote.
Even before Hubbard voted on the bill, John Ross and his partners, Tim
Howe and Dax Swatek, decided to immediately terminate their contract with APCI
because they were angry that Patrick had not disclosed the existence of the
Hubbard contract to them earlier even though he had known about it from its
inception. In fact, so great was their anger and frustration with Patricks
concealment of the Hubbard contract since, as Howe testified, it could present an
ethics problem for all of us, that they severed all professional ties with Patrick
within two weeks and went so far as to forgo payment on outstanding invoices so
as to be completely done with the relationship. In stark contrast, Hubbard, who the
evidence showed never passed up an opportunity to get paid, continued to accept
$5,000 per month from APCI through December 2013, eight months following the
budget vote. Hubbard also testified at trial that Ferrell Patrick was his friend.
II.

The jury convicted Hubbard of receiving $210,000 from principal


Edgenuity/E2020.

The jury also found Hubbard guilty of receiving $210,000 under another
consulting contract with principal Edgenuity/E2020. As with APCI, Hubbard was
clearly aware that Edgenuity/E2020 was a principal because their Alabama
lobbyist, Ferrell Patrick, facilitated Hubbard receiving the contract.

Under the contract, Edgenuity/E2020 paid Hubbard $7,500 per month for 28
months, from April 2012 through August 2014. Edgenuity/E2020s executive vice
president Michael Humphrey explained that he hired Hubbard because of
Hubbards legislative position. As Speaker, Hubbard could make contacts with
legislators in other states on Edgenuity/E2020s behalf, including the Speakers of
the North and South Carolina Houses, whom Hubbard called at Edgenuity/E2020s
request. Hubbard received the Edgenuity/E2020 payments because of his position
as Speaker. This was fully consistent with Hubbards pattern of monetizing his
Speakership.
III.

The jury convicted Hubbard of (1) using his office for personal
gain by accepting $220,000 from Bobby Abrams/CV Holdings; (2)
lobbying the Department of Commerce for a fee; (3) lobbying the
Governor for a fee; and (4) using state equipment, materials, etc.
for private benefit.

The jury also convicted Hubbard for using his office for personal gain by
obtaining a consulting contract with Bobby Abrams/CV Holdings that paid him
$10,000 per month from October 2012 to August 2014, for a total of $220,000.
Hubbards consulting contract was ostensibly for the purpose of helping one of
Abramss businesses, Capitol Cups, sell cups. But Tina Belfance, the general
manager of Capitol Cups, testified that Hubbard never sold a cup or gave her a
contact that led to a sale.

Lacking cup sales experience, Hubbard leveraged his office to justify his
monthly payments. For example, Hubbard discussed selling Capitol Cups to
Waffle House with Senator Balfour from Georgia while both were attending a
legislative conference in Scotland. Balfour, a Waffle House executive, pledged
to break through for Hubbard and Capitol Cups.
Similarly, Hubbard used his office to attempt to secure a meeting with
Publix for the purpose of selling cups. In an email to Publix employees, he
identified himself as Alabamas Speaker and requested assistance on a project
related to a cup manufacturer in his district. Hubbard wrote that arranging a
meeting with a Publix decision maker would be a huge favor to me and that it
would mean a great deal to me if such a meeting could be arranged. Hubbard
failed to identify himself as a Capitol Cups consultant in the email testifying at
trial that he did not think that was relevant but included a signature block
identifying himself as the Speaker. Hubbards deceptive email had the intended
effect: one of the Publix recipients forwarded the email to another Publix
employee, explaining that Mike Hubbard is the Speaker of the Alabama House of
Representatives who had emailed on behalf of a constituent of his and stating
that [a]ny consideration would be much appreciated.

The jury convicted

Hubbard of the felony ethics violation of using his office for personal gain in
relation to Bobby Abrams and his businesses.
8

Hubbards deceptive use of his office on behalf of Bobby Abrams and his
businesses was not limited to his attempts at cup marketing. As the jury found, he
also used his office to represent Bobby Abrams before both Governor Bentley and
Commerce Secretary Canfield as part of his consulting work for which Abrams
paid him $10,000 per month. Specifically, Hubbard arranged for Secretary
Canfield to tour Abramss manufacturing facility in Auburn and discuss Abrams
training needs to see whether the State would provide funding, and he arranged for
Abrams to meet with Governor Bentley in Montgomery to discuss further the
potential for State funding. At no point in arranging the meetings did Hubbard
disclose that he was being paid $10,000 per month for consulting work for
Abrams. Accordingly, the jury convicted Hubbard for representing Abrams and his
business interests before the Office of the Governor and the Department of
Commerce.
The jury also convicted Hubbard of using state resources and equipment to
speed up the process for Abrams to receive a printed patent from the U.S. Patent
Office and the Government Printing Office. Specifically, Hubbard enlisted his
then-chief of staff, Josh Blades, to determine whom to contact within the Patent
Office and then to contact that individual on Abramss behalf. After Blades had
contacted the appropriate individual, Hubbard would periodically call to check up
on the progress of the process, telling Blades on one occasion that it was very
9

important to [Hubbard] that we get this done and that he had 100,000 reasons to
get this done. As Blades explained, Hubbards reference to 100,000 reasons made
him uncomfortable because he immediately thought that the Speaker meant
money in some form.
Hubbard claimed at trial that he was referring to the amount of money
Abrams had to spend in legal fees for every day that the patents printing was
delayed. But the evidence refuted his self-serving explanation, and the jury
properly rejected it. Instead, the evidence proved Blades suspicion correct: when
Hubbard made that statement, he had received $100,000 under his consulting
contract with Abrams. Blades justified discomfort led him to tell Hubbard to
handle any further follow up communications with the Patent Office. The jury
convicted Hubbard because he used Blades to service Abrams while Abrams was
paying Hubbard $10,000 per month.
IV.

The jury convicted Hubbard of soliciting and receiving (1) a


business turnaround plan from Will Brooke to save Craftmaster
Printers; and $150,000 investments from principals (2) Brooke,
(3) James Holbrook/Stern Agee, (4) Jimmy Rane, and (5) Rob
Burton.

As reflected in the jurys verdict, Hubbards monetization of his position as


Speaker was not limited to entering into lucrative consulting contracts. He also
secured a business turnaround plan for his financially troubled Craftmaster Printers
business, as well as $600,000 in investments in Craftmaster from four principals.
10

The financial problems at Craftmaster, including unpaid payroll taxes and a stifling
level of debt, were personal for Hubbard, not only because he was an owner of the
business, but also because he had personally guaranteed Craftmasters loans. And
he feared that failure would negatively affect him politically as well.
Believing that Craftmasters financial problems could ruin him both
personally and politically, Hubbard repeatedly emailed multiple people about how
these problems threatened his ability to continue as Speaker. In so doing, Hubbard
often reminded his correspondents of his value as Speaker to them. For instance,
when he emailed Will Brooke about his financial problems, Hubbard also
described his efforts to ensure that the State fully funded the Boys & Girls Club
because Brookes wife strongly supported that organization.
Hubbards email solicitations paid off when Brooke, who was the executive
vice president and managing partner at a four-billion-dollar investment firm and a
Business Council of Alabama board member, gave him a plan to recapitalize
Craftmaster through the sale of stock in the company. The plan would (and did)
raise $1.5 million enough to pay off Craftmasters back taxes and loans for which
Hubbard was personally liable through the sale of stock to ten investors for
$150,000 apiece. Consistent with his usual practice, Hubbard solicited and secured
four of the $150,000 investments from principals Brooke; Jimmy Rane, president
of Great Southern Wood Preserve; Rob Burton, president of Hoar Construction;
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and James Holbrook, then-CEO of Sterne Agee Group, Inc. who invested Sterne
Agees money in Craftmaster instead of his own personal money.
The jury returned five felony convictions for soliciting or receiving a thing
of value from a principal against Hubbard for his Craftmaster scheme one for
each $150,000 investment, and one for the financial rescue plan that Will Brooke
created for him that saved Hubbard from personal and political ruin.
ARGUMENT
Hubbard was elected to serve the people of Lee County for 18 years as their
Representative in the Legislature. He was also chosen by his fellow House
members to serve the people of Alabama for 5 years as Speaker of the House. But
a jury found that he used his time in Montgomery to reap over one million dollars
in private gain.1
Under these circumstances, an 18-year sentence, split to require Hubbard to
serve 5 years in prison and the remainder on supervised probation, is an
appropriate punishment for Hubbards brazen and repeated breach of the publics
trust and the resulting diminishment of the peoples confidence in the integrity of
their government. Such a sentence would deter other public officials from violating
the Ethics Law and help restore the peoples trust in their government.
1

For purposes of sentencing, the jurys acquittal of Hubbard on 11 of the charges in the
indictment is not a relevant consideration or mitigating factor. See, e.g., United States v. Morgan,
635 F. Appx 423, 449 (10th Cir. 2015) (It is improper, as well as illogical, to think acquittals
on some counts somehow ameliorate guilt on convicted counts.).
12

Accordingly, the State recommends an 18-year base sentence on each of the 12


felony convictions, split to serve 5 years in prison; the maximum fine of
$360,000.00, $30,000 for each of his twelve convictions; the maximum payment to
the Crime Victims Compensation Fund of $120,000.00, which is $10,000.00 per
count; and restitution to the State of Alabama for $1,125,000.00, which equals the
amount of money Hubbard illegally obtained.
I.

A sentence of 18 years, split to require Hubbard to serve 5 years


in prison and the remainder on supervised probation, is
appropriate.

Requiring Hubbard to serve 5 years in prison as part of an 18-year split


sentence is appropriate under the circumstances. Such a sentence would adequately
punish Hubbard for his multiple schemes of corruption in the course of his fiveyear term as House Speaker: securing illegal consulting contracts, using his public
office to benefit his consulting clients, soliciting and receiving hundreds of
thousands of dollars from lobbyists and principals, and obtaining financial favors
from individuals with interests in state government.
As an initial matter, a non-custodial probationary sentence would not be
appropriate under the circumstances of this case. The citizens of House District 79
trusted Hubbard to serve them and represent their interests in the State House, and
his fellow House members chose him to serve as House Speaker. But Hubbard
breached the trust of his constituents in District 79, his fellow House members who
13

elevated him to Speaker, and every Alabama citizen by violating the Ethics Laws a
dozen times. His betrayal of his constituents, his fellow House members, and the
citizens of Alabama warrants a strong, meaningful sentence in order to punish him,
deter other public officials from violating the Ethics Laws, and help restore the
peoples trust in their government. As the Tenth Circuit explained:
Properly considering general deterrence, we fail to see how a noncustodial sentence would deter public officials from soliciting bribes.
General deterrence comes from a probability of conviction and
significant consequences. If either is eliminated or minimized, the
deterrent effect is proportionately minimized. This country depends
on honest representative democracy and, while our system is
imperfect, it does not generally suffer from widespread corruption. Its
proper functioning requires elected officials to serve the common
good, not illicit personal gain. Our citizens place faith in the honesty
and integrity of elected officials. Without meaningful consequences
for a breach of trust, their trust is no more than blind trust.
United States v. Morgan, 635 F. Appx 423, 450 (10th Cir. 2015); see also United
States v. Livesay, 587 F.3d 1274, 1279 (11th Cir. 2009) (If a would-be whitecollar criminal could steal millions of dollars, place the money in an off-shore bank
account, serve his probationary sentence, and then be free to start a new life with
his newly-acquired fortune, this court sees little incentive for that person to think
twice before concocting such a scheme.). As such, it is appropriate for this Court
to sentence Hubbard to serve a term of years in prison.
A sentence of 18 years, split to require Hubbard to serve 5 years in prison, is
likewise appropriate because of the calculated nature of Hubbards crimes. Indeed,
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Hubbards schemes to enrich himself and his businesses began almost immediately
after he was entrusted with the powerful position of Speaker of the House.
Prompted by the loss of his employment contract with IMG and the impending
financial collapse of Craftmaster, Hubbard made the intentional, deliberate, and
conscious decision to repeatedly violate the Ethics Laws. This was not a mere
oversight; rather, it was a calculated decision. Hubbard weighed the consequences
of obeying the law against the risk of having his crimes discovered and being
brought to justice and chose to violate the law. Therefore, a strong, meaningful
prison sentence is appropriate. See United States v. Martin, 455 F.3d 1227, 1240
(11th Cir. 2006) (Defendants in white collar crimes often calculate the financial
gain and risk of loss, and white collar crime therefore can be affected and reduced
with serious punishment.); see also United States Sentencing Guidelines, Appx
C, Vol. III, at 82 (Amendment 666) (offenders who abuse their positions of public
trust are inherently more culpable than those who seek to corrupt them, and their
offenses present a somewhat greater threat to the integrity of governmental
process.).
The States recommended sentence is also consistent with recent changes in
Alabama law regarding sentencing guidelines. In 2006, the Alabama Legislature
approved the Initial Voluntary Sentencing Standards proposed by the Alabama
Sentencing Commission. The Standards provided sentence recommendations for
15

the 26 felonies that constituted the vast majority of state convictions. No felonies
under the Alabama Ethics Act were included. In 2013, the Sentencing Standards
for non-violent offenses were modified to become presumptive and several new
felonies were added as covered offenses. Again, no felonies under the Alabama
Ethics Act were included. On January 30, 2016, the Alabama Prison Reform Bill
went into effect. Although sweeping changes were made to many criminal
offenses, no changes were made related to sentencing for the Ethics Law violations
and no changes were made to the sentencing structure of Class B felonies.
Therefore, the only sentencing structure applicable to the Class B felonies under
the Alabama Ethics Law is that set forth by the Alabama Statutory Penalty
Provisions contained in Ala. Code 13A-5-6.
Even if the Presumptive Sentencing Standards were applicable to ethics
offenses, numerous aggravating factors exist in this case which would allow this
Court to depart from both the dispositional and durational sentence
recommendations. Although these aggravating factors are not applicable to
sentencing under the statute, they are persuasive for this Court to consider when
determining the length of sentence imposed:
Hubbard was the central figure in a scheme of public corruption which
involved many co-conspirators that Hubbard approached and recruited.
Hubbard also used his supervisory power to involve his subordinates in
the commission of his crimes. See Sentencing Standards Manual 2013, at
p. 26, 1.
16

All of Hubbards convictions are based on Hubbards conduct during his


time as Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives. Id. at 4.
As Speaker of the House, Hubbard was in a position of public trust with
the State of Alabama. He was the fiduciary over all of the States
resources. Id. at 5.
The loss to the State exceeds $1.1 million in ill-gotten gains. Id. at 9.
Hubbard abused his office during the entire time he served as Speaker of
the House. And he pursued multiple schemes of corruption designed to
enrich himself by using his office. Id. at 10.
This case is unique in Alabamas history. No other highly-placed public
official in this State has been convicted of engaging in such wide-ranging
corruption to benefit himself. The federal system works differently, but the
following sentences in comparable public corruption cases2 show that the States
recommended sentence is appropriate:
Defendant

Larry
Langford
Rod
Blagojevich

Position

Jefferson
County
Commissioner
Illinois
Governor

Monetary
Loss
(Approx.)
$236,000

Plea / Trial

Trial

$1.5 million

Trial

Sentence

15 years;
$241,843.00
restitution3
14 years

Under federal law, Hubbard would be eligible for multiple increases in offense level because
he was a public official for his convictions for both receiving and soliciting things of value, and
for use of his public office for another. See United States Sentencing Guidelines, 18 U.S.C.
2C1.1., et seq.; see also, United States v. White, 561 F. Appx 850 (11th Cir. 2014); United
States v. Durrett, 524 F. Appx 492 (11th Cir. 2013). Hubbard would also be eligible for multiple
increases in offense level under federal laws due to his lack of remorse and failure to accept
responsibility. See id.
3

An additional $7.6 million in restitution is still being litigated, if affirmed, Langford will be joint and severally
liable along with two additional defendants.

17

Sheldon Silver Speaker of the


Assembly,
New York

$5 million

Trial

Ray Nagin

Mayor of New $500,000


Orleans

Trial

Gary White

Jefferson
$22,000
County
Commissioner

Trial

Don
Siegelman

Alabama
Governor

Trial

Roy Johnson

Chancellor of $440,000 in
Alabama Two- cash and gifts
Year System

Pleaded

George Ryan

Illinois
Governor

Trial

$500,000

Over $1
million to
friends and
family, plus
received gifts
Edward E.B. Alabama State Over $300,000
McClain
Senator
in personal
gain
Terry Spicer
Alabama State $61,500 in
Representative gifts, $48,000
to $144,000 in
cash
Gordon Fox
Speaker of the $160,000.00
House, Rhode
Island

18

12 years;
$1.75 million
in fines and
$5.3 million in
restitution
10 years;
$585,000 in
restitution
10 years;
$22,000 in
restitution;
additional
$22,000
forfeiture
6 years and 6
months;
$50,000 fine
6 years and 6
months;
$19,506,485 in
restitution
6 years and 6
months;
$603,348
restitution

Pleaded

5 years and 10
months

Pleaded

4 years and 9
months;
$40,000 fine

Pleaded

3 year;
$603,348

John Perzel

Speaker of the
House,
Pennsylvania

Sue Schmitz

Alabama State $177,251


Representative

Bryant Melton Alabama State


Representative
Chris McNair Jefferson
County
Commissioner
Jeff Germany Jefferson
County
Commissioner

Jack Swan

Jefferson
County
Commissioner

$10 million
Pleaded
scheme
involving
multiple
public officials

Trial

$68,000

Pleaded

$850,000

Trial

$39,000 in
Trial
personal gain;
$23,500 in
bribes to
friends and
family
Over $300,000 Trial

2.5 to 5 years;
$30,000 fines;
$1,000,000
restitution;
$85,653 yearly
pension
forfeiture
2 years and 6
months;
restitution
$329,251
1 year and 3
months
5 years;
$425,000
2 years, 8
months;
$126,860

8 year and 6
months;
$250,000 fine

Hubbard made the conscious decision to break the States Ethics Laws
multiple times in the course of multiple schemes to enrich himself and his
businesses during his entire five-year term as Speaker. This Court should not let
Hubbards repeated and intentional conduct go unpunished. To be sure, Hubbards
crimes seriously harmed this State and therefore warrant a harsh sentence. See
United States v. Nagin, 2:13-cr-00011 (E.D. La.) (January 20, 2015) (Doc. 202)
(Sentencing comments from District Judge Helen G. Berrigan: The seriousness of
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Mr. Nagins offenses can hardly be overstated. Even when there are no
quantifiable monetary consequences, corruption breeds public cynicism and
mistrust of public officials. And nowhere is this more harmful than a city like New
Orleans where the perception of the city as a den of corruption stubbornly persists,
despite great strides in public integrity.). As such, Hubbard should be held
accountable for his actions by serving at least 5 years of an 18-year sentence in
prison.
II.

Hubbard has failed to accept responsibility for his actions.

Hubbard has never accepted responsibility for any of his actions. In fact,
shortly after the jury rendered its verdict, Hubbard told a reporter that he did
nothing wrong: I continue to steadfastly maintain my innocence. Hubbard:
Working to come to terms with ethics trial verdicts, Kim Chandler, Associated
Press, June 12, 2016.4 Hubbard continues to refuse to accept responsibility for his
actions, and he has never shown any remorse for his illegal conduct. His refusal to
accept responsibility and lack of remorse further justify an 18-year sentence, split
to require him to serve 5 years in prison. See United States v. Simpson, 796 F.3d
548, 558 (5th Cir. 2015), cert. denied, 136 S. Ct. 920, 193 L. Ed. 2d 807 (2016)
([W]e have previously recognized that a defendants lack of remorse and
acceptance of responsibility are acceptable sentencing considerations).

Available at: http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_268748/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=


20

III.

A strong sentence would deter others from violating the Ethics Laws.
An 18-year split sentence with a requirement that Hubbard serve 5 years in

prison would effectively punish Hubbard and deter other public officials
contemplating the risks of violating the Ethics Laws. See Rombokas v. State, 170
So. 780, 782 (Ala. App. 1936) ([T]he punishment of crime has a dual purpose:
One to inflict a penalty on the offender; the other to deter others from committing a
similar crime, or any crime.). Deterring violations of the Ethics Law with strong
sentences is particularly necessary because these crimes are difficult to detect and
prosecutions are infrequent. C.f. United States v. Bragg, 582 F.3d 965, 969 (9th
Cir. 2009) (noting that because of the limited number of criminal tax prosecutions
relative to the estimated incidence of such violations, deterring others from
violating the tax laws is a primary consideration underlying the Federal
Sentencing Guidelines) (internal alterations and citations omitted).
Deterrence is also particularly important under the circumstances of this
case. Hubbard did not decide to commit crimes in the heat of the moment. Nor did
he commit crimes of passion. Instead, Hubbards crimes were calculated risks
and they were risks taken after Hubbard carefully weighed the consequences of his
actions. After considering his options, he repeatedly chose to break the law over a
multi-year period resulting in ill-gotten gain in excess of one million dollars. This
Court should make clear that the risks of this kind of criminal activity far exceed a
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slap on the wrist. A significant sentence will communicate to Hubbard and others
like him the weighty consequences of a decision to violate the law.
Hubbard did not literally commit his crimes during the dark of night, but he
hid his crimes through half-truths and concealment. While he was supposed to be
serving the people of Alabama in one of the most powerful offices in the State,
Hubbard used that power to enrich himself. And his sophisticated knowledge of the
Ethics Laws and the purposeful nature of his actions helped him hide his criminal
conduct. For these reasons, he deserves a strong sentence. See United States v.
Martin, 455 F.3d 1227, 1240 (11th Cir. 2006) (Because economic and fraudbased crimes are more rational, cool, and calculated than sudden crimes of passion
or opportunity, these crimes are prime candidates for general deterrence.)
(internal

alterations,

quotations

and

citations

omitted).

The

calculated

circumstances of Hubbards multiple schemes justify the imposition of prison time


to deter Hubbard and others similarly situated from breaking the States Ethics
laws.
In sum, this Court has the ability to effectively deter public corruption
crimes in this State by imposing a strong, meaningful sentence in this case. Courts
in other jurisdictions that have, like Alabama, been plagued by public officials
selling their elected offices have seen fit to do exactly that:

22

We need not resign ourselves to the fact that corruption exists in


government. Unlike some criminal justice issues, the crime of public
corruption can be deterred by significant penalties that hold all
offenders properly accountable. The only way to protect the public
from the ongoing problem of public corruption and to promote respect
for the rule of law is to impose strict penalties on all defendants who
engage in such conduct, many of whom have specialized legal
training or experiences. Public corruption demoralizes and unfairly
stigmatizes the dedicated work of honest public servants. It
undermines the essential confidence in our democracy and must be
deterred if our country and district is ever to achieve the point where
the rule of law applies to allnot only to the average citizen, but to
all elected and appointed officials. This Court hopes that this opinion
will further the goal of deterrence; that the message will go out to all
those individuals who are tempted to sell their offices or participate in
any way in public corruption offensesif you commit these crimes
you will give up your freedom for a significant period of time. It is
this Court's opinion that these persons who commit crimes in the halls
of government should be subject to the same consequences as those
that commit crimes on the streets. Thus, courts must continue their
vigilance in our nation's struggle against public corruption.
United States v. Spano, 411 F. Supp. 2d 923, 940 (N.D. Ill.), aff'd, 447 F.3d 517
(7th Cir. 2006). Accordingly, the State respectfully requests this Court impose an
18-year base sentence, split to serve 5 years in prison.
IV.

Regardless of the sentence, Hubbard should be denied an appeal


bond.

Hubbard has made clear that he intends to appeal the jurys verdict and
various Court rulings in this case.

The grounds for his appeal are presently

unknown, but Hubbard does not have a right to delay justice and remain free until
his appeal is completed, which could be years from now.

23

The decision as to whether Hubbard may be permitted to remain free on


bond pending appeal is committed to the sound discretion of this Court. Rule
7.2(c) of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that [a]ny defendant
who has been convicted of an offense for which the defendant has been sentenced
to a term of imprisonment for twenty (20) years or less may be released on a
secured appearance bond or on the defendant's personal recognizance . . . Ala. R.
Crim. P. 7.2(c)(2) (emphasis added). Section (c) recognizes that after conviction
the defendant is no longer presumed innocent and is not entitled to admission to
bail as a matter of right. If a defendants sentence is for twenty (20) years or less,
the defendant can be admitted to bail, in the judges discretion, unless the judge
has reason to believe that bail will not reasonably assure that the defendant will not
flee, or has reason to believe that there is a real and present danger to others posed
by the defendants being at large. Id., Committee Comments to Rule 7.2 (emphasis
added).
Rule 7.2(c) modifies Ala. Code 1975, 12-22-170, which [previously]
unconditionally allowed bail if the sentence did not exceed twenty (20) years. Id.
Alabama case law also recognizes that Rule 7.2(c) altered the previous practice of
allowing an appeal bond to be granted as a matter of right. See Ex parte Kandola,
77 So. 3d 1209, 1213 (Ala. Crim. App. 2011) (Under 1222170, an appellant
had an absolute right to an appeal bond if his sentence was 20 years or less.
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However, according to Rule 7.2, Ala. R.Crim. P., there is no absolute right to any
bail pending the outcome of an appeal.) (emphasis added).
Hubbard has had his day in court. After a year-long grand jury investigation,
a year and a half long pretrial litigation period, and following a 3-week trial, the
jury spoke clearly and strongly by convicting Hubbard on 12 counts. He has been
out on bond since October 21, 2014 some 619 days ago. Hubbard is no longer
presumed innocent; he is guilty of 12 felonies. This Court should hold Hubbard
accountable immediately for his deliberate and calculated actions. Therefore, this
Court should exercise its discretion to deny Hubbard an appeal bond and require
him to immediately begin serving his sentence.
V.

This Court should order Hubbard to pay restitution for the


money he illegally obtained, and this Court should impose the
maximum fine.

This Court should order Hubbard to pay restitution to the State of Alabama
for the amount of money he illegally received, which is as follows:

Counts 5 & 6: $95,000.00 from APCI;


Count 10: $210,000.00 from Edgenuity;
Counts 1114: $220,000.00 from Bobby Abrams/CV Holdings;
Count 16: $150,000.00 from Will Brooke;
Count 17: $150,000.00 from Sterne Agree Group;
Count 18: $150,000.00 from Jimmy Rane; and
Count 19: $150,000.00 from Rob Burton.

In total, Hubbard illegally obtained $1,125,000.00. Hubbard should be ordered to


disgorge this ill-gotten gain.
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By criminally obtaining this money, Hubbard breached the publics trust


while he presided over the House of Representatives as Speaker. The people of the
State of Alabama are the victims of Hubbards crimes. Accordingly, Hubbard
should be ordered to pay the State of Alabama $1,125,000.00 in restitution for his
crimes. See 15-18-65, et seq. (Ala. Code 1975).
This Court should impose the maximum fine of $30,000.00 for each of the
12 counts, or $360,000.00, as well as the $120,000.00 maximum for the Crime
Victims Compensation Fund.5

In addition to the reasons stated above, the

maximum fines are also proper here because the State has had to expend
significant financial resources to hold Hubbard accountable for his criminal
conduct.
CONCLUSION
The people in House District 79 elected Hubbard 18 years ago to serve them
in the Legislature. Hubbards colleagues in the House, collectively representing the
people of Alabama, elected him to serve as their Speaker five years ago. But
Hubbard betrayed that trust, selling his office and keeping the profits for himself
and his businesses. As a consequence of his betrayal, this Court should impose a
5

The $1,605,000.00 in restitution and fines does not weigh against Hubbard serving a lengthy
term of years in prison. Cf. United States v. Seacott, 15 F.3d 1380, 1388-89 (7th Cir. 1994)
(Allowing [federal] sentencing courts to depart downward based on a defendants ability to
make restitution would thwart the intent of the [Federal Sentencing] guidelines to punish
financial crimes through terms of imprisonment by allowing those who could pay to escape
prison.).
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strong, meaningful sentence to punish Hubbard for his crimes and restore the
peoples faith in their government. A significant sentence will also deter other
elected officials from using their offices to serve their own interests instead of the
interests of the people who elected them.
For these reasons, the State respectfully asks this Court to sentence
Defendant Michael Gregory Hubbard to an 18-year prison term base sentence, split
to serve five (5) years in prison for each of the 12 felony Ethics Law convictions,
set to run concurrently and split to require him to serve 5 years in prison, followed
by a term of supervised probation equal to the time remaining. In addition to being
within the range of possible sentences for the crimes for which he stands
convicted, the 18-year base sentence would be commensurate with the number of
years that he served as the elected Representative for District 79, and the five years
imposed in prison would be commensurate with the number of years that Hubbard
served as Speaker of the House the office that he was convicted of repeatedly
abusing for personal gain. Additionally, the State respectfully asks this Court to
impose a fine of $360,000.00, order restitution to the State of Alabama in the
amount of $1,125,000.00, and order $120,000.00 to the Crime Victims
Compensation fund.

27

Respectfully submitted this 30th day of June, 2016.


/s/ W. Van Davis
W. Van Davis
Supernumerary District Attorney
Acting Attorney General
vandclaw@centurylink.net
OF COUNSEL:
Miles M. Hart
Deputy Attorney General
mhart@ago.state.al.us
John D. Gibbs
Deputy Attorney General
jgibbs223@outlook.com
Michael B. Duffy
Deputy Attorney General
mduffy@ago.state.al.us
Katie Langer
Assistant Attorney General
klanger@ago.state.al.us
Megan Kirkpatrick
Assistant Attorney General
mkirkpatrick@ago.state.al.us
Kyle Beckman
Assistant Attorney General
kbeckman@ago.state.al.us
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
STATE OF ALABAMA
501 Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 300152
Montgomery, AL 36130

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that I have, this the 30th day of June 2016, electronically
filed the foregoing using the AlaFile system which will send notification of such
filing to the following registered persons, and that those persons not registered with
the AlaFile system were served a copy of the foregoing by U. S. mail:
William J. Baxley
Joel E. Dillard
David McKnight
Baxley, Dillard, McKnight, James & McElroy
2700 Highway 280
Suite 110 East
Birmingham, AL 35223
bbaxley@baxleydillard.com
jdillard@baxleydillard.com
dmcknight@baxleydillard.com
R. Lance Bell
Trussell, Funderburg, Rea & Bell, P.C.
1905 1st Avenue South
Pell City, AL 35125
lance@tfrblaw.com
Phillip E. Adams, Jr.
Blake Oliver
Adams White Oliver Short & Forbus, L.L.P.
205 South 9th Street
Opelika, AL 36801
padams@adamswhite.com
boliver@adamswhite.com
/s/ W. Van Davis
Acting Attorney General

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