Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange

       

The subject of cyber security is taking center stage in Huntsville today. The University of Alabama at Huntsville is hosting a cyber security summit to raise awareness on different types of cyber threats. Joyce Vance is the United States district attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. She says it is important for people to report cyber threats or attacks they come in contact with.

VictoryLand Casino is asking the state of Alabama to return seized gambling machines and cash as the Macon County casino looks to reopen.

Lawyers for VictoryLand filed the motion yesterday after a judge ruled against the state's 2013 effort to close the casino.

Circuit Judge William Shashy ruled last month the state’s seizure violated the principle of equal protection since other electronic bingo operations remained in business in Alabama. Shashy dismissed the state's attempt to keep 1,615 machines and more than $260,000 seized in the raid.

Luther Strange
AP

A special agent who was fired from the state Attorney General's office says he's appealing his termination to the state Personnel Board.

Attorney General Luther Strange accused Howard Sisson of helping former Deputy Attorney General Sonny Regan undermine an investigation into Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Strange says Sisson helped Regan secretly tape a conversation with the acting attorney general in charge of the case and later lied about losing the recorder. Strange accused Sisson of disclosing confidential information.

A judge recently stopped another effort from Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s defense to have his ethics case dismissed.

Lee County Judge Jacob Walker III granted a state motion to kill subpoenas against Governor Robert Bentley and the custodian of records for the Alabama Ethics Commission.

Hubbard’s lawyers say those subpoenas were necessary to learn about possible communication records from Governor Bentley regarding Attorney General Luther Strange recusing himself from the case and appointing chief prosecutor Van Davis.

A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order against a company accused of retaliating against whistleblowing workers in Selma.

Workers in a Selma automotive parts plant have complained about conditions in the plant and were involved in a federal investigation.

An order filed by the U.S. Department of Labor Wednesday in U.S. District Court Wednesday blocks the Lear Corporation and Renosol Seating from terminating, suspending, suing, threatening or retaliating against current or former employees.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is asking U.S. District Judge Callie Granade to keep gay marriage in the state on hold.

Strange filed a motion yesterday asking Granade to delay any more gay marriage decisions until the U.S. Supreme Court rules later this year.

Alabama will soon be playing host to a meeting of attorneys general from across the South.

The southern region of the National Association of Attorneys General will discuss data breaches, security issues and other topics at a meeting in Point Clear March 12 and 13.

Residents in much of northern and central Alabama are digging out this morning after a winter storm dumped a substantial amount of snow on the region.

Roads are impassable in more than ten Alabama counties. The heaviest snow fell north of Birmingham – forecasters say some areas received upwards of ten inches of snow accumulation.

Paige Colburn is the emergency management officer for the Huntsville – Madison County EMA. She says they’re hoping to avoid a repeat of last Friday, when stuck and abandoned cars caused major problems for emergency crews.

The execution of an Alabama death row inmate has been put on hold.

U.S. District Judge William Keith Watkins granted the emergency stay to Tommy Arthur. The convicted killer is challenging the state’s new execution drug combination on the grounds that it’s cruel and unusual punishment. The cocktail uses the same chemicals used in botched executions in other states.

Project Hope executive director Esther Brown says this form of capital punishment is not that different from policies of the past.

Gay marriage is set to be legalized in Alabama Monday. All that’s left is for U.S. District Judge Callie Granade to lift the stay she imposed last month. At that point, same-sex couples all across the state will be free to apply for marriage licenses. That's despite a robust appeal attempt by the State of Alabama and its Attorney General, Luther Strange.

“Alabama has a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. It’s my job as Attorney General to defend the laws of the state, so that’s what we’re doing in courts across the state.”

Tuscaloosa is competing with nearly 70 other communities for part of a half-billion dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

City officials and residents gathered inside the Rosedale Court Apartment complex yesterday to identify what they see as important points. Members of the recovery operations for Tuscaloosa asked people about resiliency, at-risk populations and overall impacts that could lead to the city winning part of the grant.

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Harrison Taylor says it is all about being prepared.

Harper Lee
Associated Press

    

A federal appeals court order has cleared the way for same-sex marriages to begin next week in Alabama. The three-judge panel from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange's request for an extended stay.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade last month ruled that two Alabama laws prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriages unconstitutional. Granade put a hold on her order until Monday to let the state appeal.

The former CEO of two non-profit Alabama health clinics was arrested yesterday on federal charges.

The Birmingham U.S. Attorney's Office says Jonathan Wade Dunning was arrested on multiple counts of fraud, conspiracy, money-laundering and other charges.

Dunning was at one time CEO of both Birmingham Health Care and Central Alabama Comprehensive Health in Tuskegee. Prosecutors say Dunning left those clinics to run a private business, and are accusing him of funneling substantial amounts of government money from the non-profit health operations into his own company.

China is Alabama’s second biggest trading partner. That economic relationship is the focus of a new series of events at the Birmingham International Center.  The Center will host various cultural, educational, and outreach events between now and May. A large part of the focus is on business and trade with China. Alabama does two and a half billion dollars’ worth of business with China every year.

al.com

Governor Robert Bentley is telling Attorney General Luther Strange that the state has limited resources to fight gambling.   The governor, in a January 13th letter to Strange, says the primary duty rests with local law enforcement.

The governor says he was responding to a memo that Strange sent district attorneys and local law enforcement officials suggesting that state police would be a "valuable resource" to them in trying to shut down gambling operations.  Strange said he expected them to enforce gambling laws.

wikipedia.org

    

Alabama state lawmakers will gather in Montgomery this week. APR’s Pat Duggins reports on orientation week for the state house and senate…

Alabama’s newly elected senators and representatives will hear presentations about the legislative process, state budgets and the role of a legislator. Members will also take a mandatory training course on the requirements of the state ethics law.

wikipedia.org

Attorney General Luther Strange says a phone scam involving jury duty is spreading to more Alabama counties and it often targets the elderly.

The scam involves someone pretending to be with law enforcement or with the local court system. They will call a person and threaten to arrest them for missing jury duty. Then the caller says the matter can be settled without an arrest if the person agrees to purchase a pre-paid credit card and pay an amount over the phone. The attorney general says the court system doesn't work that way. It usually contacts people in writing.

Mike Saechang / Flickr

Twenty-one states are asking a federal appeals court to overturn provisions of Maryland's gun-control law that ban 45 assault weapons and limit gun magazines to 10 rounds.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led the coalition in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, last week.

The brief says the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep firearms in homes for self-protection.

council of state governments

A lead prosecutor says ethics charges were brought against House Speaker Mike Hubbard because a grand jury found evidence of crimes and not for political reasons.

Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis issued a statement Tuesday responding to accusations by Hubbard that the case is political.

Davis says he has no political allegiances to anyone, including Attorney General Luther Strange, who appointed him.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge to Alabama's property tax system.

The Supreme Court's decision Monday means one of the nation's lowest property tax rates remains intact.

Attorneys representing families in Lawrence and Sumter counties had challenged the fairness of Alabama's property taxes, particularly the low rates on timber and farm property. They lost in U.S. District Court and at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Then they asked the Supreme Court to review the case.

A deputy state attorney general is asking for the appointment of an independent investigation into accusations that he interfered with a public corruption investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan sent a letter Monday to his boss, Attorney General Luther Strange, saying he did nothing wrong.

Reagan asked for Strange or Gov. Robert Bentley to appoint an independent person to look into the accusations against him as well as a misconduct complaint Reagan previously filed against Matt Hart, who's a key prosecutor in the corruption probe.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says the state will benefit from a court ruling that could mean billions of dollars in damages for the Gulf oil spill in 2010.

Strange says a judge's decision that oil giant BP caused the spill through reckless conduct means the company will pay additional civil penalties.

Strange says Alabama will receive part of that money, although the exact amount isn't clear.

Strange commented Thursday after a federal judge in New Orleans ruled BP bears most of the responsibility for the Gulf oil spill.

Glenn Baeske/Huntsville Times

The Alabama attorney general's office is asking a judge to dismiss criminal charges against former state Sen. Lowell Barron and an aide.

Prosecutors filed the request late Monday in DeKalb County. A judge hadn't ruled Tuesday morning.

The state cites a series of court rulings against the prosecution in asking the judge to throw out charges against Barron and former aide Jill Johnson.

Grand jurors indicted Barron and Johnson last year on campaign finance and ethics charges accusing them of misusing campaign funds to help Johnson pay off a home loan from Barron.

iapnews.com

The Democratic challenger to Attorney General Luther Strange accuses him of being an absentee officeholder more interested in cracking down on bingo than violent crime.

Strange says his opponent, Democrat Joe Hubbard, has a campaign largely financed by gambling interests.

With more budget problems likely ahead for the state, some legislative leaders say they're open to the idea of a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The tribe currently offers bingo games, which resemble slot machines, but would need an agreement with the state to add table games or another location.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says he's not aware of any ongoing discussions but that everything is on the table as the state seeks long-term budget solutions.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is praising a federal appeals court ruling against an important provision in President Barack Obama's health care law.

Strange says he is proud to have joined other Republican attorneys general who opposed the law before an appeals court in Washington.

The divided court ruled Tuesday that federal subsidies to help millions of low and middle-income people pay insurance premiums apply only in states that set up their own insurance markets under the law. A federal court in Virginia unanimously ruled the opposite way.

www.abc3340.com

A member of the gun rights group BamaCarry got to vote in Shelby County while wearing a holstered pistol, but police later asked him to leave the front of the polling place.

Robert Kennedy showed up with his gun Tuesday at the Pelham First Baptist Church Annex. A sign on the annex said firearms were prohibited, but election officials allowed Kennedy to vote while wearing his gun. Kennedy and members of his group later stood outside the polling place until Pelham police asked them to leave at the request of a poll official.

Alabama's attorney general has issued an advisory opinion saying a county commission does not have the authority to prohibit firearms at polling places.

The Chambers County Commission sought the advice of Attorney General Luther Strange after some people showed up to vote in the June 3 primary election in Chambers and Shelby counties carrying guns.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says he goes to work every day and thinks of a way to sue the Obama administration.

Al.com reports that Strange made the comment in a speech to the Republican Women of Huntsville. He told the group Tuesday that part of his oath of office compelled him in that pursuit. He described it as a full-time job that's the best job in Alabama politics. Strange has sued over the Affordable Care Act, opposed the Obama administration on environmental regulations and filed court briefs in several cases involving federal policy.

The state attorney general's office says its prosecution of former state Senate leader Lowell Barron will be over if an appellate court upholds all three rulings issued by the judge in Barron's case.

The attorney general's office makes the argument in papers filed with the Alabama Supreme Court. It is asking the court to review rulings by a DeKalb County judge.

Barron and former aide Jill Johnson were indicted last year on charges of misusing campaign funds.

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