The longtime executive director of the Alabama Ethics Commission is retiring.
Jim Sumner told the commission Wednesday that he plans to step down Oct. 1. Sumner has spent 35 years in public service, including 17 years as the chief staff member for the Ethics Commission. He previously worked in the attorney general's office, in the lieutenant governor's office and for the University of Alabama System.
Sumner says one highlight of his career was playing a small role in prosecuting Bob Chambliss in 1977 for a civil rights-era church bombing in Birmingham that killed four girls. Another highlight was helping to get the Legislature to pass laws in late 2010 and early 2011 that strengthened the state's ethics requirements and provided the commission with stable funding free from political influence.