Looking back over the long sordid history of shenanigans from elected officials, Alabama taxpayers would surely be astonished by an accounting of what they’ve paid in legal fees and settlements for bad behavior of those they sent to Montgomery to represent their interests.
Here’s a preview: Former Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier and former Gov. Robert Bentley had a falling out, which resulted in Bentley’s firing Collier and Collier spilling the beans about Bentley’s alleged relationship with an adviser. Collier sued Bentley, former Bentley political adviser Rebekah Mason, former ALEA Secretary Stan Stabler, and others.
Gov. Kay Ivey confirmed to al.com recently that the state paid a settlement of $525,000 to Collier from the state’s General Liability Trust Fund.
In other words, taxpayers handed more than a half-million dollars to Collier because he believed he was wronged by Bentley through personal vendetta.
Now we’ve all been wronged by Bentley, who arguably should have been liable for the settlement personally.
Surely that’s a tip of the iceberg for such expenses. Each of these scandals has incurred thousands of dollars in legal fees, as well as possible settlements that may or may not ever see the light of day.
Many Alabamians bemoan the embarrassment brought on the state by the bad behavior of some elected officials.
That’s the least of it.