Ivey gives Taylor, Blankenship permanent roles

August 11, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Chris Blankenship and Hal Taylor are sticking around.

Blankenship, who was appointed the acting Commissioner of the Dept. of Agriculture, and Taylor, who was acting Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), had their acting tags removed by Governor Kay Ivey on Friday.

The pair will be the permanent heads of those departments going forward.

“Since I appointed (Blankenship and Taylor), both men have proven beyond any doubt their abilities to effectively lead their respective agencies,” Ivey said. “I am proud to appoint both men to serve permanently in their particular roles.”
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Stan Stabler leaves position at Alabama Law Enforcement Agency

April 13, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Stan Stabler is the next to go amid staff shakeups at the Governor’s Office. Gov. Kay Ivey accepted Stabler’s resignation on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Ivey requested letters of resignation from all of former Gov. Robert Bentley’s staff and appointed cabinet members. So far, she has accepted Stabler’s and Jon Mason’s. A spokesperson for ALEA said Stabler would be retiring after submitting paperwork Wednesday morning.

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Bentley’s biggest crime: stupidity

April 6, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There I was, standing on the sidewalk along Monroe Street in downtown Montgomery, just outside of the nine-story RSA building where the Alabama Ethics Commission holds its regular meetings.

I was watching a loading dock where a black SUV – the kind government officials drive – was parked. Montgomery Police Department officers had shooed reporters away from the door leading out onto the loading dock, which raised suspicion, and we were pretty sure the car belonged to the Governor.
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ALEA secretary wants to more than double agency’s budget

February 1, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Stan Stabler left lawmakers at a joint budget committee hearing on Tuesday flabbergasted, when he requested to more than double the agency’s budget in 2017.

It took Stabler until nearly the end of his lengthy presentation before he revealed to legislators that ALEA needs to push its request from the $44 million it received in 2017 to $104 million in 2018. When he did, the figure was met with dismay. Read More

New filing claims Bentley used State resources to destroy a political enemy

December 22, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

It should come as no surprise that former top law enforcement officer Spencer Collier is filling in the blanks on fictitious defendants in his defamation and wrongful termination suit against Gov. Robert Bentley, Rebekah Caldwell Mason the Governor’s alleged lover, Mason’s husband Jon and a host of others.

What is consequential in the filing is Collier showing the pattern and practice of Bentley using State personnel and resources to damage a political enemy personally and professionally.
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Impeachment Proceedings Suspended Due To “Active Criminal Investigation”

November 4, 2016

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The House Judiciary committee has suspended its impeachment hearings against Governor Robert Bentley after receiving a request from the State’s Attorney General’s office citing concerns that the hearings could jeopardize the AG’s criminal investigation into a separate criminal matter.

SEE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S LETTER

AG Luther Strange made his request to Representative Mike Jones, who chairs the House Judiciary committee, in a letter on Thursday.
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Under STAARS Agencies Not Paid

July 25, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Once again, the Alabama Board of Adjustment (BOA) was forced to adjudicate payments from one State agency to another, due to the continued failure of the STAARS accounting system.

At the beginning of the last Legislative Session in 2015, Newton testified before a joint committee on budgeting, assuring lawmakers that STAARS was improving rapidly. Almost eight months later, STAARS continues to fail. The State’s $47 million dollar STAARS accounting software has reached “a new level of dysfunction,” according to State Auditor Jim Zeigler.
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Zeigler Opposes Decision for Taxpayers to Spend up to $200,000 Defending Bentley

July 11, 2016

By Brandon Moseley and Susan Britt

Thursday July 7, 2016, State Auditor Jim Zeigler responded to committee approval of $200,000 for legal contracts including for Bentley’s defense in Collier lawsuit.

Auditor Zeigler said, “This is a double whammy on the taxpayers of Alabama. They have already been hit with the cost of Bentley’s spending. Now that he has been sued, taxpayers will be hit again with his legal defense. This is so unfair. An ordinary citizen would have to pay his own defense costs. Bentley got himself into this, and he should pay his own legal costs to try to get himself out.”
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Investigation Into Sen. Phil Williams Back On

June 16, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The investigation into Sen. Phil Williams (R-Rainbow City) will most likely resume, now that Mike Hubbard has been found guilty of 12 felony counts of public corruption, many dealing with his so-called “consulting clients.”

After the Alabama Political Reporter published that Williams had retained 43 consulting clients after taking office in 2010, a criminal investigation was launched by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency in 2016.
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Former ALEA Chief Files Civil Suit

April 19, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Chief, Spencer Collier, wants a Montgomery Circuit Court jury to decide what he is owed for his wrongful termination. He also wants them to hear how Gov. Robert Bentley, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, his replacement Stan Stabler, and others, defamed his character when they “maliciously published numerous false and defamatory statements accusing Collier of misusing State funds, and that ALEA was conducting a ‘criminal investigation’ of Collier,'” according to the lawsuit filed today.
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