"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."


Click for Scottsboro, Alabama Forecast

Monday, May 23, 2016

Jackson County Commission Regular Session May 23, 2016

Jackson County Courthouse, south side, photo by G. Morgan.

Click on image for an expanded view.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Jackson County Commission Work Session May 16, 2016 - End of Time for the B.B. Comer Bridge

South Side Jackson county Courthouse, Scottsboro, Al. photo by G. Morgan

Click on image for an expanded view.


Ebenezer Baptist Church spokesperson asks the Jackson County Commission to straighten the road, claiming safety concerns. Google Map image, (Fair Use for non-profit news reporting.)

B.B. Comer Bridge - End of Time (You Tube public video by David Kennamer, Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary.)

Piece by piece the historic icon and engineering marvel is taken apart, like vultures picking the bones of a dead animal, sad.

Scottsboro City Council Meeting Work Session - Public Records Request - May 16, 2016

Scottsboro City Hall photo by G. Morgan

2nd Records Request by Garry Morgan, 3 items: 1) Inspection of 
illegal employee investigation report requested by mayor, paid for with public funds, by personnel board member/unlicensed private investigator;  2) Insurance carriers loss control report on management problems/practices; 3) Inspection of financial documents, e.g. billings and payments to Lanier Ford Law firm for 2015 to date. 


Public Records Disclosure Request

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Deep Throat 10 - The Series Continues, Bad Governance, Illegal Activity, Sexual Harassment, Cover-ups, Failure of Transparency

Scottsboro city Hall, photo by G. Morgan

There has been a move to utilize a Huntsville area law firms to represent the City of Scottsboro and the City of Scottsboro School system. http://lanierford.com/ Lanier Ford is an excellent law firm, the reputation and quality of services of Lanier Ford is not the issue.

Mayor Potter, photo by G. Morgan

It is understandable for Lanier Ford to represent the Mayor of Scottsboro due to his indiscretions and unprofessional conduct as stated in legal actions filed against him. However, it is not understandable, nor sensible, for the City's legal services, including the school system, to be taken over for political reasons by a high dollar Huntsville law firm. Particularly when the law firm is serving to update Scottsboro's Personnel Handbook and the same law firm is representing Mayor Potter. The issue with Mayor Potter involves personnel failures and communications failure issues. Further employee disclosures have revealed allegations of harassment/sexual harassment continue and according to employees/officials disclosing information may involve discriminatory conduct by the law firm representatives.

It seems there are political involvements which probably include undue and questionable influences locally. The problem does not appear to be local attorneys competence or professionalism; the problem as demonstrated by historical actions are the result of  negligent, incompetent local politicians and political appointees, and now what appears to be corporate/political outside influences.

We have a criminal problem involving city officials, unprofessional activities problem, political problem and apparently a problem of corporate incursions in Scottsboro's political business instituted by long term political appointees and appointees who are now elected political officials under scrutiny due to misconduct as stated in legal documents and interviews. 

                       VIOLATION OF OPEN RECORDS LAWS
Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary. Credit: www.commoncausewisconsin.org; Florida Today-Parker,  Cloak of Secrecy graphic.

3 weeks ago I submitted records requests to the City of Scottsboro under the laws of the State of Alabama to view contracts the city has with the law firm of Lanier Ford. There are no contracts according to the City Clerk of Scottsboro. There is a 2013 agreement stipulating charges for services - attached (in part), which was provided me.
Page of agreement contains rates for fees, click on image for an expanded view.

I also requested documents for inspection related to the amount of public funds paid to Lanier ford for the year 2015 to date (paragraph attached), that was not provided. 
Paragraph in the records request for inspection of financial documents- payments to Lanier Ford, click on image for an expanded view.
Scottsboro City Clerk  Whitney Phillips, on left, supplied the Lanier Ford document agreement for service charges but failed to provide inspection times for financial discloures regarding payments to Lanier Ford Law firm, photo by G. Morgan.

Failing to provide public records is a violation of the laws of the State of Alabama Criminal Statutes, but this is not the first time elected and appointed officials of the City of Scottsboro have intentionally violated Laws of our State regarding the disclosure of public records. Paragraph 2 and 3 below of 13A-10-12 were intentionally violated by appointed and elected officials of the City of Scottsboro; the City is not transparent in the conduct of their business and not reflective of good governance. The failure to produce some of the records may be an attempt to cover-up wrong doing; apparently, some in our local and state government think laws are for all others than public officials..

Evidence demonstrates public officials practice criminal conduct and unprofessional activities as a practice in their operations locally. Worse, there is no effort to curtail the wrong doings of specific City of Scottsboro officials and their negligent activity. This unprofessional and illegal activity includes more than the failure to disclose public records, the public records requested in part would disclose unprofessional conduct and illegal activity. 

Unfortunately, broken state and local prosecutor branches of our government refuse to do any thing about intentional violations of open records laws by public officials when a citizen demonstrates concerns. Apparently public officials are above the law, at least that is how some of our public officials see themselves in practice - that ladies and gentleman is the precursor to a fascist, tyrannical government. 

Alabama rates a failure grade "F" regarding transparency ranking 48. When prosecutors and government officials believe they are above the law or have no reasponsibility to transparency or enforcing open government laws what should the citizens expect, broken, irresponsible government for politicians instead of the people.  https://ballotpedia.org/Alabama_Public_Records_Law

Right to Inspect a public record in Alabama: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/36/12/3/36-12-40

Criminal  Law - Reference: Section 13A-10-12 - Tampering with governmental records.
(a) A person commits the crime of tampering with governmental records if:
(1) He knowingly makes a false entry in or falsely alters any governmental record; or
(-->2) Knowing he lacks the authority to do so, he intentionally destroys, mutilates, conceals, removes or otherwise substantially impairs the verity or availability of any governmental record; or
-->(3) Knowing he lacks the authority to retain a governmental record he refuses to deliver up the record in his possession upon proper request of a person lawfully entitled to receive such record for examination or other purposes.
(b) Tampering with governmental records is a Class A misdemeanor.

The elected and public officials of the City of Scottsboro should be warned - if it becomes necessary for me to sue for disclosure of public records I will bring forward the issues of personal negligence of officials who have violated the criminal statutes of the state relevant to these issues. When you violate criminal law intentionally, that is a negligent action. Consult an attorney for the meaning of that charge as it may apply to legal representation..

Transparency of our government is extremely important for our values of open government and that of our Republic to continue under our Constitution.

Alabama's records laws are plain and purposeful, there are exceptions to disclosure, but the exception must be stipulated in writing in any refusal to produce records. In the case of my Scottsboro records request there have been no exceptions stipulated in writing, worse the City Attorney has not been involved in the latest refusal to produce records. Apparently the refusals are originating from political officials in City Hall exclusively. 

There is much more to this story, I will not disclose all the details at this time as legal action may be necessary which will include the prosecuting of negligent individuals in civil action for refusing to provide records for inspection in violation of the criminal statutes of our state.

-->There is a bottom line - legal action does not have to happen. Provide for inspection what I have requested: 1) The illegal Bray Investigative report with photographs ordered by the Mayor and paid for by public funds. 2) The loss control report from the insurance carrier involving management shortcomings and or needs of the city which would prevent financial losses either to the people or the insurance carrier. The loss control report does not involve protected Workers Comp medical information protected by law (Workers Comp is a seperate report), this involves reports and suggestions regarding potential logistical, financial and/or administrative shortcomings of management and needed improvements. 3) Provide for inspection, documents which indicate all payments to Lanier Ford Law firm or their attorneys for the year 2015 to date.

Scottsboro City Council Meeting May 9, 2016

Scottsboro City Hall, photo by G. Morgan