2 say they invested in speaker's company out of friendship - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

2 say they invested in speaker's company out of friendship

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OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) -- Two prominent businessmen say they invested in Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard's debt-riddled printing company out of friendship.

Media outlets report that Great Southern Wood President Jimmy Rane and Hoar Construction President Robert Burton testified Thursday that their $150,000 investments were not made because of Hubbard's political position.

The owner of a drinking cup company also testified he that hired Hubbard to help market his products because of his background in college sports.

Prosecutors have accused Hubbard of breaking state ethics law by soliciting work and financial favors from lobbyists and entities that employ lobbyists.

Hubbard's defense argues the transactions fall within an exemption in state ethics law for longstanding friendships and normal business dealings.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges.

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