By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Thursday, January 12, 2017, the Alabama Board of Adjustment (BOA), which decides claims against the State of Alabama, elected State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) as its Chairman.
Because the state of Alabama enjoys sovereign immunity, the State can not be sued in court. A citizen or business who has been damaged by an agency of the State can, however, file a claim for money with the BOA. Zeigler is one of four voting members on the BOA. He has served there for the two years that he has been State Auditor. In case of a tie vote, Zeigler, as chairman, will vote twice to break the tie.
By law, the BOA consists of the elected State Auditor, the State Treasurer and Secretary of State. The three elected member are joined by the State Finance Director, who is appointed by the Governor. Those positions are currently held by Zeigler, Young Boozer (R), John Merrill (R), and Clinton Carter.
“I feel like Judge Judy,” Zeigler wrote in a statement. “This is almost like a county district court hearing a civil or small claims docket.”
The BOA is a court of last resort, as there is no appeals process followings its decisions.
Zeigler said the BOA is more active than in the past because of problems with the State’s new STAARS software program. “Hundreds of vendors could not get paid by the state because of STAARS, so they filed claims with the BOA. We had to clean up behind STAARS.”
On Wednesday, January 18, the board will meet in the State Capitol building to hear 63 claims by citizens against the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT). “I call this ‘The Pothole and Windshield Docket,’” Zeigler stated.
Visit the BOA website to learn more about filing a claim.
The unbid STAARS software suite has cost an incredible $47 million. The Alabama Political Reporter’s Bill Britt has reported extensively on the software and the BOA’s involvement in settling claims involving it over the past year.