ADECA official or state troopers lying about tickets

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 22, 2000

I think it was Alice of "Wonderland" fame who said things were getting curiouser and curiouser. The same can be said of the ongoing story involving Albert Turner Jr., a Siegelman-appointed heavyweight with ADECA.

The story you surely know. During the past four years Turner has been arrested a dozen times for speeding. He has paid only one of those tickets. Six others were dismissed, five are still pending, whatever that means. Most embarrassing to Gov. Seigelman is that five of those arrests were made during the past year.

If you can believe the troopers who issued the tickets, Turner has given new meaning to speeding. We are talking NASCAR speeds. Listen to these numbers: 93 mph in a 45 mph zone; 84 mph in a 45 mph zone; 84 mph in a 55 mph zone; 81 mph in s 45 mph zone; 81 mph in a 55 mph zone…on and on it goes.

Email newsletter signup

There's more to the driving habits of Turner. One of the tickets he got last year came the day after he had wrecked his state car in a collision with a farm tractor. Who was at fault is yet to be decided but it is a fact that the tractor driver has filed a lawsuit.

Turner's line of defense is a familiar one: he claims he has been targetted by racist state troopers, the reason being his father, Greene County Commissioner Albert Turner Sr. is a civil rights activist who was at Edmund Pettus Bridge on "Bloody Sunday" almost 35 years ago. He emphatically denies he was speeding on any of the occasions he was stopped during 1999.

Obviously there is a liar in the woodpile somewhere. Either the troopers who ticketed Turner were lying about how fast he was driving or Turner is lying.

Gov. Siegelman's call isn't as difficult as it might seem. He needs to determine the identity of the liar or liars. If it is the troopers, they should be fired; if it is Turner he should be fired.

No group worked any harder in 1998 to defeat Gov. Fob James than the forces of higher education in Alabama.

James had gutted state appropriations to higher ed during his second administration and his defeat by Gov. Siegelman was seen as the dawning of a new day for the colleges and universities. But not any more.

The press releases now coming from the universities and colleges sound remarkably similar to those issued in the Days of Fob.

The problem is this: The Special Education Trust Fund, from which all education is funded, is expected to grow by about $124 million this fiscal year. Higher ed had hoped they would get about one-third of that increase.

But Gov. Siegelman has announced he will push for a four percent pay raise for K-12 teachers and support personnel. That will cost an estimated $116 million, which leaves only a pittance of the SETF growth for higher ed. The battle is on.

There is not much doubt that Marsha Folsom's candidacy for Congress this year is being taken seriously.

The formner First Lady of Alabama reported she had received campaign contributions totalling more than $251,000 since last October.

Mrs. Folsom announced last fall she would seek the Democratic nomination for the District Four seat in the U. S. House presently held by Republican Robert Aderholt.

If she is successful, Mrs. Folsom will be the first woman elected to Congress from Alabama. She comes by her interest in politics naturally. Not only is she the wife of former Gov. Jim Folsom Jr., but her father, John Guthrie, is a former member of the Alabama Legislature.