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Probate Judge’s office seeks housing for US Senate candidate’s regional organizer

Bill Britt

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

An email chain from the end of October shows a Montgomery County employee using her work email and computer to solicit temporary housing for a regional organizer with the Doug Jones U.S. Senate campaign.

On October 31, Montgomery County Democratic Party Chair Dr. Tyna D. Davis forwarded an email from Rhonda Pringle Goldsby, executive assistant for Judge Steven L. Reed, to “undisclosed-recipients,” seeking, “Temporary Housing for Community Organizer for Doug Jones.”

Dr. Davis, a widely respected former educator and stalwart Democrat, forwarded an email from Judge Reeds’ executive assistant, which reads as follows:

Good morning Dr. Davis:

Judge Steven Reed asked me to reach out to you to inquire if you are able to assist a regional organizer for the Doug Jones’ campaign in securing temporary housing beginning now until the end of the campaign. We ask that you please reach out to any contacts you may have to ensure that this young lady can find safe boarding to help in her campaign efforts.

Respectfully,

Rhonda Pringle Goldsby
Executive Assistant for Judge Steven L. Reed
Montgomery County Probate Court
P.O. Box 223
Montgomery, AL 36101
Office 334.832.1241
Fax 334.832.7776
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 334.425.3357

In turn, Dr. Davis BCC’d Pringle Goldsby’s email saying, “Please reach out to Judge Reed if you can help!”

The forwarded email from Dr. Davis is time-stamped Oct. 31, 2017, at 7:52:09 A.M. CDT. However, the message from Pringle Goldsby is not.

Using a government supplied computer or work email account is not permitted under certain provisions of Alabama’s ethics code.

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In her email to Dr. Davis, Judge Reed’s assistant indicates she is writing on his behalf, which seemingly touches gray areas within Section 36-25-5C of the ethics code; it states:

“No public official or public employee shall use or cause to be used equipment, facilities, time, materials, human labor, or other public property under his or her discretion or control for the private benefit or business benefit of the public official, public employee, any other person, or principal campaign committee as defined in Section 17-5-2, which would materially affect his or her financial interest, except as otherwise provided by law or as provided pursuant to a lawful employment agreement regulated by agency policy.”

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Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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