State to pay lawyers in Collier lawsuit, Judge: Ex-official lacks standing to proceed with lawsuit

Jul 6, 2016

The state is looking to pay for outside legal counsel to represent Governor Robert Bentley and his Law Enforcement Chief. A-P-R student reporter Katie Willem has more…

The state will pay up to two hundred thousand dollars to represent Gov. Robert Bentley and his law enforcement chief in a wrongful termination lawsuit.        The legal action is being brought forward by the governor's fired secretary of law enforcement.

The governor's office has proposed to pay a private law firm up to $100,000 to represent Bentley. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency will pay up to $100,000 to represent Law Enforcement Secretary Stan Stabler.

Former Secretary Spencer Collier filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit against Bentley, Stabler and former Bentley adviser Rebekah Mason back in April.

Bentley has said Collier's dismissal came after an internal investigation about the possible misuse of state funds. Collier accused Bentley and Mason of having an affair.

A judge rules that the former commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources doesn't have standing to continue his lawsuit against Gov. Robert Bentley and others over funding for a new hotel and upgrades at Gulf State Park.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs issued the ruling Tuesday, saying Charles Grimsley lacks standing to proceed with the lawsuit because the funds came from BP, and not taxpayers.

Grimsley's lawsuit alleges that the BP funds for the project are not authorized to be used for the work under the 2013 legislation that initiated the project.

Bentley says the 350-room lodge, trails and other improvements at Gulf State Park will be an asset for Alabama.

Temperatures continue to rise and so does the numbers of people heading to the water.  The American Red Cross is stressing water safety knowledge this summer.

Alicia Anger is a spokeswoman for the Alabama Red Cross. She says it doesn’t matter whether you head to the beach or stay at local waterways, there is still a need for caution…

“Both risks are state wide. It’s in swimming pools, its lakes, hot tubs, anywhere for Alabamians. What we do right now, all people in Alabama should have basic water safety knowledge and skills to help them be them to be safer and make good choices around the water.”

The Red Cross is also offering swim lessons and water safety courses across the state. These classes help develop water skills and safety behaviors. For more information please visit redcross.org.