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A bloody Thursday for Ivey staff, cabinet

Josh Moon

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By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday was not a good day to work for Gov. Kay Ivey.

Ivey booted out two cabinet members and three personal staffers and apparently plans to accept the later resignation of a third cabinet member.

Gone are Neal Morrison, the Director of Senior Services; Joanne Hale, the head of the Office of Information Technology; Eileen Jones, Ivey’s communication director; Alex Rice, Ivey’s scheduling director; and Will Edwards, Ivey’s director of appointments.

In addition, Art Faulkner, the director of Alabama Emergency Management Agency, told The Montgomery Advertiser that he told Ivey that he’d like to resign on Sept. 1. Ivey apparently agreed.

Ivey also fired Jim Perdue, the Department of Mental Health Commissioner, last week.

“I am thankful for the staff members who stayed on to help us make it through this quick transition,” Ivey said. “I am also especially thankful to Eileen Jones for her willingness to join my administration early on to help us get our feet on the ground and off to an effective start. I wish her well in her future endeavors.”

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Reached for comment, Jones said only that the position for her was “not a good fit from the start.”

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A source familiar with the situation said Jones and Ivey clashed often and that Jones was considering quitting just a few days into her new job.

The firings were a bit of a surprise, coming several weeks after Ivey asked all cabinet members left over from the Bentley administration to submit letters of resignation. At that time, she fired a handful of Bentley appointees, and then the bleeding stopped.

There was one hire made on Thursday. Lynn Beshear, currently the executive director of Envision 20/20, will take over Perdue’s old job as commissioner of the Department of Mental Health.

 

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