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Zeigler files lawsuit against Bentley, Alabama mayor found guilty of assaulting city councilman


State Auditor Jim Zeigler wants to join an ongoing lawsuit in an attempt to put a stop to Governor Robert Bentley’s spending of the BP settlement money.

The state is receiving billions of dollars after reaching a settlement with BP after the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

Zeigler says the governor is acting as a “one man legislature…”

“The Legislature should make these decisions and appropriate that money. It is illegal and unconstitutional for the governor to simply act as legislature AND governor.”

Zeigler says the governor is using the money for his pet projects instead of the people of Alabama. He says Bentley is spending money to refurbish the Governor’s House at the Gulf and a four-star hotel and conference center.

A central Alabama mayor has been found guilty of assault in an attack on a councilman during a meeting in late April.

Court records filed Wednesday say Alexander City Mayor Charles Shaw was convicted of third degree assault in Tallapoosa County District Court.

Alexander City Councilman Tony Goss says Shaw punched him in the face several times during a meeting on April 25 and the two got in a fight.

Shaw has said he punched Goss after a heated discussion on local finances. His wife, Lavern, was also charged with assault in the confrontation.

An order filed today says Shaw's 30-day sentence has been suspended and he's ordered to serve 12 months of unsupervised probation and pay several fines.

Alabama could have even closer ties to Cuba than before if an advocacy group has their way.

Engage Cuba is an organization working to encourage change in the United States’ policy towards Cuba. They held a council meeting in Mobile on Tuesday to build support for lifting the travel and trade embargo on the island nation.  The council consists of representatives from several sectors across the state.

Luke Albee* is a senior advisor for Engage Cuba. He says opening trade would help the state of Alabama as well as the people of Cuba…

“The Earth is moving on this issue and that folks in Alabama— businesses, the agriculture community— want the opportunity to compete, so, you know, that it will benefit both the economy of Alabama, and at the end of the day, the plight of the Cuban people.”

The organization will move on to Mississippi to launch another council today.  This will be the ninth state they’ve added into their organization.

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