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Hubbard spending campaign funds on criminal defense

AP reports: Indicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has used campaign funds to pay nearly $300,000 in legal fees over the last year as he fights felony ethics charges of using his public offices for personal gain.

Campaign records filed in January show that the Auburn Republican spent about $291,000 in legal fees since December 2013. Most of it, $221,475 was spent on the firm of his lead attorney, Birmingham lawyer Mark White. Hubbard also spent $65,135 with the Pell City law firm of Trussell, Funderburg, Rea and Bell.

White said the payments are in compliance with Alabama law and advisory opinions from the attorney general's office.

A 2000 opinion by the attorney general's office advised that elected officials can pay criminal defense costs out of excess campaign finance funds if the accusations are related to how the person performed in office. Most of the charges against Hubbard relate to his position in the House of Representatives. However, others relate to his time as chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. -- Indicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard spent $300,000 in campaign funds on legal fees | AL.com

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