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Statement by Judge Mark Kennedy on Marshall County Republican

Staff Report

Montgomery – Last December, the Arab Tribune published a report from the Alabama Department of Revenue that found irregularities in the Marshall County Revenue Office. The state audit revealed that Revenue Commissioner Joey Masters (R) significantly lowered property taxes for friends and neighbors, along with other so-called clerical errors.

Despite causing a furor in the Arab community, little has happened to the local Republican in the seven months since. The state has taken control of the office, but Masters continues to collect a $65,000 salary.

Masters has refused to answer questions throughout the scandal, which is understandable if the current $20 million lawsuit filed against him reveals the depths of this embarrassment. What many in the local community cannot understand is why he has yet to step down.

Accountability for the incident remains even more reluctant in Montgomery. Attorney General Luther Strange’s office still refuses to comment on a possible criminal investigation, something many agree is desperately needed. And with the continued scandals of State Legislators, most recently with Speaker Mike Hubbard (R, Lee County) once again, it has become increasingly obvious that Strange is unconcerned with prosecuting fellow Republicans.

“It’s something we’ve seen before,” said Alabama Democratic Majority Chairman, Judge Mark Kennedy. “By allowing corruption at the state level to continue, we’re opening the door at the local level.”

“While we, at Alabama Democratic Majority support the immediate resignation of Revenue Commissioner Masters, real change must begin at the top,” he concluded.

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