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Second law-enforcement officer confirms Ivey’s hospitalization, cover-up and trooper demotion

Bill Britt

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When then-Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey was rushed to a Colorado hospital in April of 2015, her security detail officer, Thomas “Drew” Brooks, followed protocol by reporting the incident to his superior officers. He also reported that Ivey’s Chief of Staff Steve Pelham told him not to tell anyone. Brooks said that he was later instructed to say that Ivey was hospitalized for altitude sickness.

“I was present and informed on what was happening with the Lt. Gov. in real-time,” said John Thomas “J.T.” Jenkins who at the time served as Chief Administrator and running the day to day operations under then-ALEA Secretary Spencer Collier.

Former ALEA Chief confirms Ivey’s emergency hospitalization and cover-up

Jenkins, a career state law enforcement officer, served as a former Alabama Marine Police Director and as Deputy Director of Homeland Security before accepting a position as Collier’s number two at ALEA.

“As Chief of Staff Spencer informed me of the Colorado situation as it was happening,” said Jenkins.

According to both men, Trooper Brooks was not giving his opinion of what was happening on the ground in Colorado but what the medical personnel were reporting as it was happening.

According to the trooper at Ivey’s bedside, doctors in Colorado were saying they believed she had suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA). TIAs produce stroke-like symptoms but usually last only a few minutes causing no permanent damage, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Ivey’s doctor recently released a letter in which he said he examined her after her three-day stay in a Colorado hospital and found no evidence of a TIA.

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According to BMJ Journal, one of the world’s oldest general weekly peer-reviewed medical journals, a TIA can’t be accurately diagnosed after the event.

According to a research paper published in BMJ Journal, “There is no test for TIA: the gold standard remains assessment as soon as possible by a clinical expert. The diagnosis relies heavily on the patient’s account of their history and on expert interpretation of that history. Interobserver agreement for the diagnosis of TIA between different stroke-trained physicians and non-neurologists is poor.”

Collier says he was receiving information about what was being determined by the medical professional treating Ivey at the time.

He has also said he doesn’t question Ivey’s current physical condition and can relate to the challenges of dealing with health issues.

Jenkins also confirmed to APR that Collier was summoned by Ivey to the Montgomery offices of Balch and Bingham where she asked Collier to remove Trooper Brooks from her security detail, allegedly for trying to hack her email account.

Collier said he didn’t believe Ivey’s allegations against Brooks because she was adamant that his alleged hacking not be investigated.

“Spencer came to me after his meeting with Gov. Ivey and said for me to reassign Drew.”

Gov. Ivey’s campaign spokesperson, Debbee Hancock, said in a press release that Brooks was not demoted.

However, state personnel records contradict Ivey’s spokesperson’s claims showing that Brooks’ pay was cut when he was dismissed from Ivey’s security detail and reassigned to a licensing station in Houston County.

Brook’s transfer letter reads in part, “The three (3) step pay differential authorized for employees assigned to Dignitary Protection will be removed. Consequently, your semi-monthly salary will be modified from $2,038.50 (step 4 of salary range 77) to $1,895.90 (step 1 of salary range 77).”


 


Collier verifies that Jenkins was briefed during the incident in Colorado and that he handled the personnel records on Brooks’ transfer.

Both men corroborate the facts as reported by APR and say that former Gov. Robert Bentley could also validate the points if he would go on the record.

Bentley has told several close confidants about Ivey’s Colorado health scare but refuses to answer media requests for information.

Currently, Collier is suing Bentley for wrongful termination.

While serving as ALEA Chief, Collier was ordered by Bentley to lie to the state’s attorney general’s office in the lead-up to the criminal trial of Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard. Bentley fired Collier because he wouldn’t lie.

“She [Ivey] instructed law enforcement to lie and then covered the issue up… sounds just like Bentley,” said Collier.

The Ivey administration has paid over $300,000 to defend Bentley in his lawsuit with Collier.

“Bentley was briefed [about Colorado] and knows everything——sounds like a good reason to pay his legal bills,” Collier said.

Opinion | Collier’s allegations are not about Ivey’s health — they’re about retaliation

APR‘s reports have not questioned Ivey’s current physical well-being. Ivey and her doctor have both said she is in good health. Ivey denies Collier’s account of the Colorado hospitalization, cover-up and demotion of Trooper Brooks.

 

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Alabama Republicans will hold summer meeting August 1

Brandon Moseley

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The Alabama Republican Party announced Tuesday that the state executive committee will meet on Saturday, August 1.

The Alabama Republican Party Summer Meeting is scheduled to be at the Trussville Civic Center, 5381 Trussville Clay Road, Trussville, AL 35173.

“We will be meeting in person and will be following all social distancing guidelines as applicable at the meeting time,” wrote Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan. “As the guidelines change, the ALGOP will plan accordingly for a safe, in person business meeting. The civic center can accommodate the social distancing guidelines with some alternations. However, as of today, special event buildings are closed. We will look for a backup place in case we need one. For now, our meeting is booked at the Trussville Civic Center.”

“Because of the guidelines that require distancing and not knowing what the future brings, the luncheon fundraiser we had scheduled prior to our meeting will be postponed,” Lathan explained. “Seating for 8-10 people at a table is not conducive for now- hopefully this will change sooner than later. It takes us months to prepare for 500 at our dinners, luncheons and meetings. The virus situation has hijacked many of our choices. Stay tuned for information about an exciting event later in the fall.”

Lathan said that, “The guidelines are fluid and our plan will need to adjust accordingly.”

“Please be assured that our team will be focused on having a safe and efficient Summer Meeting on August 1.”

“I encourage you and your county parties to use your time this summer working on your political plans,” Chairman Lathan told the members of the Executive Committee. “We have asked the chairs to turn in your tentative plans to us by July 1 so we all can prepare early to win back the US Senate race and re-elect President Trump. It’s Great to be a Republican.”

Re-electing Donald Trump and defeating Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones are the focuses of the Alabama Republican Party. Tommy Tuberville and Jeff Sessions are in the July 14 Republican Primary runoff seeking that nomination.

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The Alabama Republican Party holds six of the state’s seven congressional seats. They are not challenging incumbent Terri Sewell, D-Selma.

Republican incumbents Mo Brooks of Huntsville and Gary Palmer of Hoover do not have Democratic challengers.

Republicans are hoping to re-elect incumbent Congressmen Robert Aderholt and Mike Rogers who face Democratic challengers. The 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts are both vacant.

In CD1 Bill Hightower faces Jerry Carl in the Republican Party primary runoff. In CD2 Barry Moore and Jeff Coleman are seeking the GOP nomination. Both eventual nominees will face Democratic opponents in the fall.

The Alabama Republican Party holds every statewide office. The highest-profile state office on the November ballot is Public Service Commission President where the Alabama Republican Party hopes to re-elect incumbent Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh.

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Elections

Russell Bedsole announces candidacy for House District 49

Brandon Moseley

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Russell Bedsole on Tuesday announced his candidacy for Alabama House of Representatives District 49.

Bedsole has 22 years of experience with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. He has also been elected twice by the citizens of Alabaster to represent Ward 5 on the Alabaster City Council.

Bedsole’s campaign said during his time of service, Alabaster has benefited from positive economic growth, a first-class school system and a high quality of life.

Bedsole describes himself as a conservative Christian candidate.

“I believe that life starts at conception, that the 2nd amendment should be protected, that our taxes need to be low and fair, and that our cities and counties need their fair share of infrastructure support,” Bedsole declared.

Bedsole says that he is dedicated to the service of the citizens of District 49 and standing up for conservative values.

Bedsole is the only current public sector employee serving on the current city council, where he has fought to enhance the benefits of Alabaster employees.

Bedsole promised to make District 49 a great place to live for all of its citizens by working to improve District 49’s infrastructure and traffic flow, increase economic development, and advance school systems.

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“I have spent many successful years with my family by my side serving my community and demonstrating the type of leadership the people of District 49 will appreciate,” Bedsole stated. “I am patient enough to listen to those who have something to say, but bold enough to speak up for those who feel like they do not have a voice.”

“I humbly ask for your vote on August 4th to allow me to serve District 49,” concluded Bedsole.

Bedsole joins a crowded Republican primary field. James Dean, Chuck Martin, Jackson McNeely, Mimi Penhale, and Donna Strong are also running for the Republican nomination for House District 49.

The vacancy in House District 49 was created when State Rep. April Weaver (R-Briarfield) resigned to join the Trump administration as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

House District 49 consists of portions of Bibb, Shelby and Chilton Counties.

The special primary election for House District 49 will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. If a runoff election is needed, it will be held on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. The special general election will be held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

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Elections

Alabama Farmers Federation endorses Jerry Carl

Brandon Moseley

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The Alabama Farmers Federation’s political action committee, FarmPAC, announced Tuesday they have endorsed Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District.

“We take pride in being a grassroots organization with local leaders driving the endorsement process,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “After careful consideration, county Federations in southwest Alabama made their recommendation, and I am pleased to announce the Alabama Farmers Federation has endorsed Jerry Carl. Alabama’s 1st Congressional district has a rich heritage rooted in agriculture and timber, and Jerry will be a strong advocate from those industries in Washington.”

Carl expressed his appreciation for the federation’s endorsement.

“It is an incredible honor to have the endorsement of the Alabama Farmers Federation,” Carl said. “With agriculture being our state’s largest industry, our farmers are the backbone of our state and our economy. They represent the hard-working interests of the district that I will fight for in Congress as we work to get our economy back on track. The Federation knows I will fight tirelessly for the president’s agenda and will do what is needed to support the hard-working men and women who put food on our tables and clothes on our backs.”

Congressional endorsements are recommended by county federations in each district based on the candidates’ positions on key issues impacting farmers and rural Alabama.

Carl is running in the Republican primary runoff against former State Sen. Bill Hightower.

The 1st Congressional District is open because incumbent Rep. Bradley Byrne is not seeking re-election.

The eventual winner of the Republican nomination will face the winner of the Democratic Party primary runoff in the November 3 general election. The Democratic runoff is between Kiani Gardner and James Averhart.

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Other candidates in the July 14 runoff races endorsed by the Federation include Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate, Jeff Coleman in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District and incumbent Judge Beth Kellum for Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2.

The Federation encourages voters concerned about casting a vote in person to follow guidance from Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

“Amid coronavirus concerns, it is important to remember that Alabamians who are concerned about contracting or spreading an illness have the opportunity to avoid the polls on Election Day by casting an absentee ballot,” Merrill said. “Alabamians can access the application online or by visiting or calling their local Absentee Election Manager’s office.”

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Elections

35 days left to apply for an absentee ballot for primary runoff election

Staff

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Ahead of the July 14 Primary Runoff Election, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill reminds Alabama voters that there are 35 days left to apply for an absentee ballot.

In order to protect the safety and well-being of our voters, Merrill encourages those who are concerned about contracting or spreading the coronavirus to apply for and cast an absentee ballot.

Absentee ballot applications can be downloaded online or requested by visiting or calling the local Absentee Election Manager’s office.

Voters may also contact the Secretary of State’s Office at (334) 242-7210 to request an absentee ballot application.

Due to the declared states of emergency, any qualified voter who determines it is impossible or unreasonable to vote at their polling place shall be eligible to check the box on the absentee ballot application that is most applicable to that individual. In the case none of the boxes are appropriate, voters can check the box which reads as follows:

“I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]”

For the July 14 Primary Runoff Election, the deadline to register to vote is Monday, June 29, the deadline to submit an absentee ballot application is Thursday, July 9, the deadline to return an absentee ballot to the Absentee Election Manager is the close of business Monday, July 13, and the last day to postmark an absentee ballot is Monday, July 13.

Voters who are eligible to vote pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act will have until Tuesday, July 14 to postmark an absentee ballot.

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The following video walks voters through applying for an absentee ballot:

How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot for the July 14, 2020 Primary Runoff Election

To learn more about testing locations and options related to the coronavirus, please call 1-888-264-2256 or visit CDC.gov.

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