Alabama's house speaker dropped by the Lee County jail today, but not to glad-hand: Special agents booked him on 23 felony violations of ethics laws, AL.com reports. Mike Hubbard, 52, a powerful figure in state Republican politics, was accused of using his office to solicit items of value and accrue personal gain. He faces up to 20 years in prison and as much as $30,000 in fines per count. The indictment says Hubbard requested favors from several of the state's rich and powerful, including Gov. Bob Riley and Business Council of Alabama CEO Billy Canary, and most gave what Hubbard wanted—including hefty investments to his company, Craftmaster Printing.
"If there was any doubt by any body that this is a political witch hunt it became crystal clear today when these allegations were brought two weeks before an election," Hubbard and his attorney say in a statement, WSFA reports. "The fact is we have been very successful at getting big things done in Lee County including 3,000 new jobs over he past four years." The investigation has been going on for at least a year, and led to charges against two other Alabama lawmakers. The charges against Hubbard won't oust him from his role as speaker or remove him from office. (Read more Alabama stories.)