SEAGD board members testify in Hubbard trial

Published 12:47 am Saturday, May 28, 2016

Two public officials who serve on the board of Southeast Alabama Gas District testified Friday in the ethics trial of current Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, according to The Montgomery Advertiser.

SEAGD contracted with Hubbard for $12,000 per month through his company, the Auburn Network, in 2012 and 2013 for economic development. Prosecutors contend Hubbard obtained the contract illegally by using the mantle of his office, and then lobbying Gov. Robert Bentley and Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield to support SEAGD projects.

Hubbard’s defense attorneys maintain that Hubbard’s contract had the blessing of the Alabama Ethics Commission.

Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz and Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell, both members of the SEAGD board, testified in Opelika Friday.

When Boswell was asked on the stand why Hubbard was selected for the contract, Boswell answered it was his “position as Speaker of the House and his networking ability.”

Boswell also testified he did not think Hubbard used his position as Speaker to secure the contract.

The trial began Tuesday, and will resume on May 31, when Minda Riley Campbell, daughter of former Gov. Bob Riley, is expected to testify.