Hearing Tuesday in challenge to Bentley BP spending

A hearing is set for Tuesday on motions by state officials seeking to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Gov. Robert Bentley’s  spending from the BP settlement.

Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow and State Auditor Jim Zeigler filed suit in July alleging Bentley is illegally spending BP settlement funds, lacking authority from the state legislature.  They seek a declaratory judgment and injunction.

Lawyers for Bentley and other officials moved to dismiss, saying a state legislator and the state auditor lack legal standing to challenge the spending. Circuit Judge Greg Griffin will hear both sides at a 9 a.m. hearing in Montgomery County Circuit Court Tuesday.

Bentley is now spending an estimated $35 million in BP funds building a four-star hotel and conference center where the former Gulf State Lodge set in Gulf Shores.

Zeigler said Saturday: “Gov. Bentley is acting as a one-man legislature.  He is both appropriating and spending money that belongs to the state. This needs to stop now.”

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