Any Alabamian unaware of the legal problems embroiling Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard must be living under a rock. It’s now been almost a year since a Lee County Grand Jury issued 23 indictments against Hubbard. At present, he is to go on trial in Lee County next March.
In spite of this, to the dismay of many political observers Hubbard was overwhelmingly re-elected as Speaker when the Legislature organized after the 2014 elections.
Now, Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries John McMillan has become the first constitutional official in the Republican party to state that Hubbard should resign his role as Speaker. He told the Alabama Political Reporter, “With all the problems facing our state, serious issues before the legislature, his legal problem has become a distraction.”
The significance of this is that McMillan is as well-credentialed and respected as any office holder in Alabama. He is a former legislator, former cabinet member for Governor Fob James, was executive vice-president of the Alabama Forestry Association for many years and was first elected to his present office in 2010. He is from north Baldwin County and his twin brother, Steve, has been in the State House of Representatives since he was elected in 1980.
While Hubbard has maintained that his pending trial is not a distraction from his duties as Speaker, common sense prevents any rational person from believing this to be the case. Several years ago Senator Harri Anne Smith and former senators Larry Means and Jim Prueitt went through lengthy trials concerning gambling while serving in office. Ask any of them how much attention you give to your legislatives duties when you are facing the potential of being sent to jail.
I commend John McMillan for publicly saying what many Alabamians are thinking.