The Birmingham News is reporting that Troy King headlined a party thrown by developer Ronnie Gilley three months before his office issued a legal opinion that Gilley could get a bingo permit for his proposed Country Crossings development in Houston County.
Archive for the ‘Troy King Watch’ Category
Because when you live in a house with a padlock on the front door, that’s one heck of a lot of money. Yes folks, the Juan Chastang problem simply will not go away. (Riley appointed him to fill the seat on the Mobile county commission vacated by the election of Mayor Sam Jones; Dems protested mightily; Merceria Ludgood was elected by a landslide in a special election; the Repubs took it all the way to the US Supreme court, and won.) Now Troy King is weighing in that Ludgood needs to get out, Chastang needs to step in, and oh by the way we owe him a hundred thou in back pay. Troy uses that fancy legal language they taught him up at the law school – “‘any payment of a salary’ to Merceria Ludgood for work performed after August 13, 2008, is ‘at the peril of the county.’” Juan, of course, would only be serving until January when the term ends, and given the size of his defeat in the special election, might not even choose to run again in November. But you know his mouth has to be watering at the prospect of that back pay check.
I would say “meh, what can the guy do in four months?” but this is the man who pumped $50,000 in county money into a smoke-and-mirrors Ciara concert deal. He wanted to use public funds to build condos on the old courthouse site (sorry, it’s a link to the college paper, but that’s the best account of his foolishness I can find right now.) Before he had a chance to strut his stuff on the commission, he allegedly tried to bribe a fellow police officer and had to resign from the force. Then there’s the whole padlock thing – he didn’t actually live in District One in the first place. Juan Chastang – talk about the peril of the county!
I am wondering when Bob Riley will come out with a strongly worded statement urging that justice be served and Chastang be reinstated (with full back pay, of course). Poor Bob. I know District One is a Democrat stronghold, but is Juan really the best African-American Republican you could find? In retrospect, honestly now, did you try as hard as you possibly could?
Oh, and apparently those who sued are going to have to pay the state’s legal fees. I wonder just how much that is and if the Alabama Democratic Party will end up picking up the bill.
EDIT: Chastang can’t run in November, duh. He would have to already have put his name on the ballot.
Loretta Nall notes that Troy King is scheduled to appear on “The Dale Jackson Show” (WVNN 770AM/92.5FM in Huntsville) tomorrow morning (Thursday) at 8:00. The topic was to be today’s scheduled execution of Thomas Arthur (why am I not surprised that Troy couldn’t resist the opportunity to crow over it?), but the Supreme Court delayed it indefinitely this afternoon. I wonder what they’ll find to talk about instead.
If you’re interested, you can listen live here.
ETA: Dale Jackson asked King about his promotion practices and then asked him to address the rumors that have been swirling. Loretta has audio of the questions and his response here.
Following up Sunday’s exposé of skewed salaries in the Attorney General’s office, the Birmingham News editorializes today that Troy King should be concerned about public perception of his favoritism.
Just what kind of law firm is Attorney General Troy King running?
Clearly, one that promotes and generously pays those fortunate enough to be in the inner circle. As a story in Sunday’s Birmingham News points out, King has aggressively rewarded his favored employees with better titles and bigger paychecks.
It’s likely that King will have some unhappy employees in the wake of Sunday’s disclosures — that’s assuming staffers didn’t already know about them.
“It’s certainly not unprecedented,” said E.J. “Mac” McArthur, the head of the Alabama State Employees Association. “There obviously is some flexibility for elected officials and their staffs.”
McArthur said he has received no complaints about King’s hiring practices. But he said he’s seen agencies’ morale plummet when political appointees’ pay is “out of kilter with those salaries paid in the merit system” or when their pay is increased while others go without routine raises.
“That’s like taking a wet mop and slapping everyone in the face with it,” McArthur said.
The editorial writer doesn’t imply that King is doing anything illegal. Rewarding loyalty is an integral part of our political system, and if we tried to outlaw it, politicians and their supporters would continue to find ways to circumvent the rules. (Yes, I’m cynical. Also realistic.)
But when the state’s top law enforcement official makes it clear that political loyalty is substantially more valuable than qualifications, experience, or job performance — well, then we have the US Justice Department under Alberto Gonzales. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not.