|One Man's Opinion|
|One Man's Opinion|
|Written by Dr. Jesse Lewis, Sr.|
|Thursday, 14 June 2012 09:22|
On May 13th, Kamau Afrika sent out a press release regarding Ann Florie. The following five (5) paragraphs state part of the press release:
1. This complaint was filed regarding the violation of Alabama Code 36-2-1(1990). Persons not eligible to hold State office: holding of State and Federal offices of profit or two State Offices of profit except Constables, Notary Publics and Commissioners of Deeds.
2. Alabama Constitution: Article XVII Sec 280 holding State and Federal office at the same time; holding two (2) State offices at the same time. No person holding an office of profit under the United States, except Postmasters, whose annual salaries do not exceed two hundred dollars ($200), shall, during his continuance in such offices, hold any office of profit under this State; nor unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, shall any person hold two offices of profit at one and the same time under this State, except Justices of the peace, Constables, Notary Publics and Commissioners of Deeds.
3. Mrs. Ann Florie, a member of the Personnel Board of Jefferson County, currently sits on the Water Works Board of Birmingham at a pay rate of $299 per meeting and the Personnel Board at a pay-rate of $75 per meeting. This is a violation of the above mentioned Code of Alabama and the State of ALabama Constitution because they are both public paid boards.
4. Does the law only apply to people that do not live in Mountain Brook? Is Ann Florie above the law? Is this part political pay back to the people in Mountain Brook that owe Birmingham Mayor William Bell for the fundraising they did for him in Mountain Brook or serving on his transition team?
5. If Ann Florie refuses to resign within 24 hours of notice via registered mail of her violation of Alabama Code and Alabama State Constitution, I will call upon the offices of the Alabama Attorney General and the Jefferson County District Attorney to begin criminal proceedings based upon opinions from their offices pursuant to the aforementioned Alabama Code.
As I aforementioned all information stated above came directly from the press release sent out May 13th by Kamau Afrika. There was additional information in the press release that did not necessarily have any relationship to the ethics complaint by Mr. Kamau Afrika. After a lengthy conversation with Mr. Kamau Afrika, he stated that he would stick by his story.
Charlie Waldrep, the attorney for the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) stated that Anne Florie had broken no laws. During Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr.’s last four months in office, he was appointed to serve on the BWWB. He received pay from the City of Birmingham as well as the BWWB. Mayor Jim Lowery of Fultondale succeeded Mayor Arrington, Jr. on the BWWB. He, too, was paid by the BWWB and the city he represented. Charlie Waldrep, further stated that his office had been in contact with the Attorney General of the State of Alabama Bill Pryor.
The opinion that the Attorney General wrote, stated emphatically that neither Mayor Arrington nor Mayor Lowery had broken any laws. This same scenario applies to Ann Florie.
I spoke with Mr. Jackie Robinson, Jr., President of the BWWB who stated he was not familiar with the news release that was sent out by Kamau Afrika regarding Ms. Ann Florie, but to his knowledge Ann Florie has not done anything wrong. It is not in her character to do anything illegal.
I spoke with Leslie Allen Coyne, attorney for the Personnel Board for Jefferson County and employed by Balch & Bingham who sent me a copy of the opinion written by Attorney General Bill Pryor on September 20, 1999. This opinion #990286 was forwarded to Charlie Waldrep, attorney for the BWWB which stated emphatically that Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. and Mayor Jim Lowery had broken no laws. This opinion was issued at the request of Charlie Waldrep. Incidentally, Ann Florie was aware of this opinion before she accepted the appointment to the BWWB.
The Honorable Mayor William Bell, Mayor of the City of Birmingham, stated that his office played no part in appointing Ann Florie to the Jefferson County Board nor the BWWB. He stated also, to his knowledge Ann Florie is an outstanding board member and he knows for a fact, she is an excellent public servant.
I had an opportunity to speak with Ann Florie. She stated emphatically that she would never break any laws under any circumstances and it has been her position when serving on any board or office of public trust that she makes the best decision in the interest of all parties concerned. Ann Florie stated, “I will continuously vote my conviction at my professional job, the boards I serve on or plan to serve in the future.”