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Judge reduces prison sentence for former Alabama speaker

A judge on Wednesday slashed former House Speaker Mike Hubbard's prison sentence from four years to 28 months, significantly reducing the time the once-powerful Republican will spend behind bars for an ethics conviction.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker reduced Hubbard's sentence at the request of defense attorneys after some of his conviction was overturned. In his order, Walker noted that Hubbard was convicted of 12 felonies when he handed down the four-year sentence, but that six counts were reversed on appeal.

Hubbard was sentenced to four years in prison after his 2016 conviction on ethics charges. Prosecutors accused Hubbard of leveraging his powerful public office to obtain clients and investments for his businesses.

The defense asked a court to reduce Hubbard’s sentence since appellate courts earlier this year overturned six of the 12 counts in his conviction. The attorney general's office opposed the request, writing in September that "Hubbard's refusal to admit any guilt or express any remorse makes him wholly unfit to receive any leniency."

The attorney general's office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The Republican was one of the state’s most powerful politicians for years, until the ethics conviction in a corruption case ended his political career. Hubbard, the architect of the GOP’s takeover of the Alabama Legislature in 2010, was a legislator from Auburn and former chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. He was elected House speaker soon after Republicans won control of both legislative chambers.

Hubbard was automatically removed from office after his 2016 felony conviction.

Hubbard reported to jail in September. He is currently incarcerated at Limestone Correctional Facility.