I first posted on Alabama’s re-election seeking Attorney General, Troy King, due to an ongoing grand jury investigation. I’ll return to that, as I’d rather not dwell too long on what’s below. But it needs to be addressed.
The special grand jury met Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Montgomery. King’s chief of staff, Chris Bence, emerged from the grand jury room shortly before 4 p.m. with his attorney, Joe Espy. Bence confirmed his appearance before the panel.
Unfortunately, as both Stacy McCain and I discovered va Google, a rather ugly scandal involving Troy King emerges. It can now be confirmed that individuals with knowledge of said scandal well beyond the Internet rumors we’ve seen are talking. On top of that, they are also talking to elements within the mainstream media. That was confirmed during a phone call with Stacy last night. He may have more to say on that when he returns from Alabama.
If there truly is no there there, which looks increasingly unlikely at this point, that needs to get on the record and settled, now – before a King primary win could set up a GOP loss in November. King is running against primary challenger Luther Strange, who has the support of the state’s two Republican Senators – Sessions and Shelby.
Via The Other McCain:
Jimmie mentions the Troy King story and it so happens that, during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast, Alabama CBS affiliates aired an ad from King’s GOP primary opponent Luther Strange’’s “campaign to restore honesty, integrity & trust to the office of Alabama Attorney General.”
As if the above isn’t enough, King has used his influence in an attempt to unseat a judge, simply for ruling against him. Note, while the media has been somewhat focused on other aspects of the gambling story playing out in Alabama, Troy King has been feted by gambling interests which appear to have directly benefited from his rulings as AG. And it’s King’s connections to gambling interests that seem to be part of the grand jury probe.
BIRMINGHAM — A sworn statement from a state investigator says he was pressured by Attorney General Troy King to find anything that could be used to force the removal of a Jefferson County circuit judge who had ruled against King in a case involving video gambling machines. The investigator, Anthony Castaldo, said in the affidavit that three investigations of Circuit Judge Dan King produced no evidence of wrongdoing, but King ordered him to “find something.” The fourth probe revealed that the judge appeared to have placed campaign contributions into personal accounts, Castaldo said. Dan King was indicted on campaign finance charges in April.
One of King’s allies looks to be Luther Stancel ‘Stan’ Pate IV, another individual with gambling interests. It looks as though both Democrats and the media are just sitting on Troy King, waiting for the general election for the dam to break. If he doesn’t withdraw now, it could easily prove to be a disaster for Republicans come fall.
When Tuscaloosa Council President Jerry Plott and Councilman Kip Tyner refused in 2005 to appropriate $16 million in public funds for Pate’s proposed shopping center, Pate launched a campaign to discredit both men. He filed ethics charges against them and even set up a website which asked readers to submit accounts of corruption on Plott’s part.
“He never could get the ethics commission to give me any trouble. So then he decided to take it to his friend Troy King in the AG’s office,” Plott told the Lagniappe Mobile reporters. “All of a sudden, I’d get inquiries from investigators from the AG’s office.”
Plott wrote to King’s office on June 28, 2005, saying, “Your office also recently investigated a complaint against me filed by Mr. Pate. I am concerned that Mr. Pate is attempting to use the Attorney General’s office, as he has used the Ethics Commission, to continue his personal vendetta against several members of the Tuscaloosa City Council.”
Plott eventually decided to stop serving on the City Council, a decision which he bitterly blames on Pate’s harrassment. King’s investigation of Tyner apparently ceased following Plott’s letter, but it resumed after King had won re-election in 2006, in a campaign to which Pate and the numerous state PACs with which he is connected contributed generously.
Suspected ethical violations pile up By 2007, Alabama bloggers were starting to compile long lists of ethical questions concerning King. One blog, the Daily Dixie, even had an entire webpage devoted to them, titled Troy King’s Greatest Hits — a page which is now available only through the Internet Archive.
The charges included King’s alleged use of his office both to attack his Democratic opponent in the 2006 election and to get back at a district attorney who had supported his opponent, his vendetta against a judge whose ruling on gambling machines he disliked, and his failure to report a gift of luxury box seats from Alabama Power. However, none of the allegations appeared to attract official interest.
Last July, however, even more scandalous rumors began circulating, claiming that the religiously conservative and overtly homophobic King had been caught by his wife in bed with a male aide. These rumors were fueled in part by a Birmingham News article, headed “AG King boosts top aides salaries,” which reported: