Gov. Bentley Fires ALEA Secretary Collier, Activists Investigate Minimum Wage Bill

Mar 23, 2016

Former ALEA Secretary Spencer Collier

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley fired Spencer Collier from his position as the head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency last night.

The governor made his decision after an investigation by acting ALEA head Stan Stabler which found possible misuse of state funds under Collier’s watch. Stabler says the agency’s Integrity Unit found multiple areas of concern during an internal review, and those have been submitted to Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s office for further action.

Stabler was appointed acting head of ALEA last month after the governor placed Secretary Collier on three months of medical leave, citing an upcoming surgery.

AL.com reports former Secretary Collier says he has evidence of a long-alleged affair between the governor and his chief advisor. Governor Bentley strongly denies the allegations.

Employment activists are asking questions after the Alabama Legislature preempted a minimum wage increase in the city of Birmingham.

The state passed a measure late last month preventing any local governments in Alabama from raising the minimum wage. That came immediately after the Birmingham City Council voted to raise the wage floor there to $10.10 an hour.

Civic organization Engage Alabama and the National Employment Law Project want to know more about why the state passed the measure it did. The groups are demanding access to all documents related to the bill.

Laura Huizar is a staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project and filed the information request. She says they want to know more about the Legislature’s real reasoning behind the wage bill.

“The main reason that they cited was the need for uniformity. But we believe that the state legislature was much more interested in suppressing wages, and not interested in listening to the needs of Birmingham’s workers or low-wage workers across the state.”

The groups have not yet received a response to their request for records, and none of the lawmakers involved have responded to requests for comment.

Country music legend and Alabama native Hank Williams’ last ride is being remembered this week.

Williams’ daughter is taking a ride through the stops her father made before his death in 1953. Jett Williams made appearances in Birmingham and Fort Payne to speak about her father’s life and journey.

Rick Harmon is the Regional Director for the Alabama Tourism Department. He says it’s a privilege for fans to witness such an event.

“Even if you haven’t heard his music, you have heard so many people who have been influenced by his music. That’s not just in country music, a lot of rockers say they were influenced by his music.”

Jett Williams’ tour ends tomorrow in Oak Hill, West Virginia where a marker will be placed in her father’s honor. Live content from the tour can be found at the Alabama Tourism Department’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.