The Alabama Republican Party steering committee is asking indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard to step aside from his leadership role as he heads to trial on ethics charges. The committee approved a resolution Sunday asking Hubbard to suspend his leadership role until his trial is complete. Party Chairwoman Terry Lathan said the distractions of Hubbard's legal situation will make it difficult for him to meet the demands as speaker. She said the GOP-controlled Alabama Legislature needs focused attention. Hubbard responded with the following statement:
"With several motions to dismiss yet to be ruled upon, and discussions of a continuance taking place in court just last week, Lathan’s request is both ill-advised and premature. The fact that Lathan’s resolution was approved in a hastily called Sunday night telephone call with less than half the Steering Committee voting in favor shows she was desperate and lacked widespread support.”
Lathan said the party wishes the best for Hubbard and his family. Hubbard is scheduled to go to trial on March 28 on ethics charges accusing him of using his public position to benefit his clients and benefits. He has maintained his innocence and said that the transactions were legal.