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Troy King

45th Alabama Attorney General
In office
2004 – -
Preceded by William H. Pryor, Jr. (R)

Born August 22, 1968 ( 1968-08-22) (age 41)
Elba, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Paige King
Children 3
Residence Montgomery, Alabama
Occupation Attorney
Religion Baptist

Troy Robin King (born August 22, 1968) is the current attorney general of the state of Alabama, United States. He previously served as an Assistant Attorney General and a Legal Advisor to both Republican Governor's Bob Riley and Fob James. King was appointed by Governor Bob Riley in 2004, when William Pryor resigned to accept a federal judgeship. He then defeated Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson, Jr. in the 2006 election by a 54-46% margin.[1]

Contents

Personal

King was born in Elba, Alabama where his father was a real estate agent. King credits his interest in politics to being told by his father, at age 10, that a canceled family vacation was the fault of President Jimmy Carter.[2] He is currently married to Paige King with whom he has three children; Briggs, Colden, and Asher. He is a Baptist. King received his undergraduate degree from Troy University and is a 1994 graduate of the University of Alabama law school.[3]

Issues

King's 2010 campaign claims many legislative victories for conservative Alabamians from laws he drafted, submitted and/or led the legislature for adoption.".[4] These include: one of the strongest child pornography laws in the United States, one of the strongest laws and penalties for sex offenders and child predators, prohibit the sale of ingredients for methamphetamine, upgraded Alabama's identity theft crimes to a felony, new laws to hold parents and child care operators criminally liable should the expose their children to an environment of drugs".[5]

King claims on his campaign website that among his greatest victories is his work with the legislature to get Alabama's Protection of the Unborn Child Bill back on track and passed so that Alabama's children are now protected "whether they are in the womb or in the world".[6]

In January of 2005, Attorney General King filed a suit against 79 of the nation’s leading pharmaceutical companies for defrauding the state Medicaid agency. King accused the companies of misrepresenting and inflating wholesale drug costs charged to Alabama costing hundreds of millions in over payments by Alabama tax payers.[7] In April of 2008, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state allowing more than one pharmaceutical company to be tried at the same time in suit proceedings.[8] This would allow the state to try the remaining cases faster. The state has tried four cases to date and received favorable verdicts totaling several hundred million and negotiated settlements of $89 Million.[9] As of May 2009 King has successfully won nearly $300 million in jury verdicts and settlements against the pharmaceutical companies for the people of Alabama.[10] On October 16, 2009, the Alabama Supreme Court reversed the verdicts entered against the pharmaceutical companies and rendered judgment in their favor. "The court ruled 8-1 that the state did not have to rely on the drug companies' information in deciding what prices to pay pharmacists for prescription drugs for Medicaid recipients. The justices said state officials could have done their own research and determined the correct price."[11]

King brought attention to the need for new laws requiring the tracking of released sex offenders by wearing a electronic monitoring bracelet (the kind used by parolees and others under judicial monitoring) during the 2005 Legislative Session. He continued to wear the bracelet until the legislature passed tougher laws requiring the monitoring of parolees and convicted sex offenders.[12]

King has made opposition to gambling a theme of his administration. In addition to successfully prosecuting several local electronic gambling operations and introducing anti-gambling legislation in every session of the legislature since becoming AG, he has also opposed the expansion of gambling by the Indian tribes in Alabama.[13] In 2006, King asked the United States Department of the Interior to deny an application by the Poarch Creek Band of Indians to expand their gaming operations in Alabama.[14] King later filed a lawsuit against the Department to keep it from pressuring Alabama to permit video gaming on Alabama reservations.[15] In 2009, however, King found himself in conflict with Alabama Governor Bob Riley. Riley argued that there is no distinction between electronic bingo machines and slot machines, which are illegal in the state. King has insisted that although he objects to any form of gambling, Alabama has approved several constitutional amendments which have legalized the machines. King's office has issued an opinion in line with previous federal court rulings which establishes that there can be an electronic version of common games, such as the card game Solitaire which can also be played on a computer.[16] On June 28, 2009, the Birmingham News reported that King had did not reference findings from the National Indian Gaming Commission in his 2004 report on gambling, which stated that some of Alabama's electronic bingo machines appeared to be class three gambling devices. King said that the only factor to consider is if the constitutional amendments approved by the citizens have legalized these machines and whether NIGC considers the machines class three or class two is a federal designation and not relevant under Alabama. Riley says, "I think the reason it has expanded exponentially across the state is because the attorney general has given a legitimacy or creditability by saying he thinks it is legal, and he is wrong."[17] King says that to interpret the change of games from paper gambling to electronic gambling would be judicial activism. The Birmingham News agreed with King that the best body to decide this matter is the state's legislature but they have been in a deadlock over the issue for years.[18] Both the Governor and the Attorney General have filed briefs before the Supreme Court of Alabama asking for a decision on the legality of the machines leaving the fate of electronic bingo before the Alabama Supreme Court.[19] In November of 2009 the Alabama Supreme Court released a decision on the Whitehall Bingo case which established a six point test for electronic bingo thereby ruling that electronic bingo could exist in Alabama but that is must meet the six point test. Both the Attorney General and the Governor had mixed reactions with the Attorney General saying that the decision by the court helps but that questions still linger. "Troy King said, "We have a clearer test. We do not have a clear test." More Cases are expected to be filed and everyone expects the battle for electronic Bingo to continue.[20] The next week Attorney General Troy King issued a letter to the District Attorney's of Alabama asking them to enforce the new test issued by the Supreme Court saying he was confident that they would do so. More challenges and more lawsuits are expected with King saying again that they only long term solution to gambling is for the legislature to give the people of Alabama the chance to vote yes or no.[21]

King is also a staunch proponent of the death penalty. When many states voluntarily suspended executions during U.S. Supreme Court litigation over lethal injection, King continued to seek the setting of execution dates in Alabama.[22] King's support of the death penalty created a controversy when, in 2007, a district attorney in suburban Birmingham supported commutation of the death sentence of an accomplice, in a case where the actual shooter had escaped the death penalty because he was a juvenile. King received support in the controversy from the victim's family,[23] and from death penalty supporters,[24] for his stance in the case. The incident led a wide, bipartisan coalition of local district attorneys, as well as newspaper editorials, to criticize King.[25] In 2009 Troy King's campaign launched a video entitled "Pushing For The Death Penalty". In this video he says that the death penalty is the greatest deterrent to violent crime citing a recent study he says shows that for every execution 75 murders are prevented.[26]

King launched a series of voter fraud investigations as a result of complaints following state and local elections. The probe included an indictment against Hale County former Circuit Clerk,[27] Evergreen officials following a municipal election[28] and Perry county officials following complaints registered with the Secretary of State after the Mayoral runoff in Marion.[29] King also launched investigations into Bullock, Jackson and Lowndes Counties but claimed obstruction by the Federal Government[30] prompting the Mobile Press-Register to publish an editorial calling for the Department of Justice to cooperate with King.[31]

After his appointment as Attorney General in 2004, King replaced former Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor as defendant in the case of Williams v. Morgan.[32] This case unsuccessfully sought to enjoin the state of Alabama from enforcing the Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1998, a law prohibiting the sale of any “device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs,” commonly known as “sex toys.”[33] As the state's Attorney General, King defended the law.[34] King’s defense in the litigation, was praised by religious conservatives, but it also subjected him to considerable criticism from editorial writers and civil liberties advocates, one of whom mailed King an inflatable pig sex toy.[35] The latter incident became fodder for numerous editorial cartoons.

In late 2006, King was forced to recuse his entire office from the ongoing investigation of abuses in the Alabama community college system, when it emerged that he had asked community college chancellor Roy Johnson to hire the mother of one of King's employees. It later emerged that King had also asked Johnson for community college system financial support for Victims of Crime and Leniency VOCAL, an international advocacy group comprised of Alabama families who have been addressing the complex needs of crime victims for more than 20 years[36] and a group which has supported King.[37] King's office continued to provide investigative support which resulted in a guilty plea by Johnson in the related federal investigation.[38]

In early 2007, an investigative article published by The Birmingham News revealed that King and a group from his church had accepted free tickets, food, and skybox access to an Atlanta Braves baseball game from Alabama Power Company the previous season. Alabama Power had not reported the gifts to appropriate ethics agencies, as required, until contacted by the News. King attended the game with his family and church friends. The total food bill was over $1,200 for everyone in King's group, plus others in attendance. The skybox normally rented for $2,400 a day.[39] Because King, as Attorney General, was legally responsible for representing Alabama Power customers before the Alabama Public Service Commission he was criticized by The Birmingham News for accepting the gifts.[40] King reimbursed Alabama Power $486 for his family's food, but did not reimburse it for food eaten by the company's other guests. King denied wrongdoing in the matter and argued that Alabama Power was responsible for reporting the matter and should have done so appropriately.[41]

Later in 2007, Anthony Castaldo, a former investigator with the Attorney General's office who was charged with perjury by District Attorney David Barber,[42] submitted an affidavit that King ordered him to investigate a Birmingham-area judge for political reasons. Castaldo also alleged that he was later punished when a year-long investigation showed no evidence of wrongdoing.[43] After other investigators took over the case, King secured an indictment against the judge, but the charges against the judge were later dismissed.[44]

In 2008, an investigative story by The Birmingham News reviewed the salaries paid by King to members of his staff. One aide to King was being paid $57,504 a year – almost the salary for starting lawyers – within three months of graduating from college. This staffer was initially paid $39,456 a year as an "intern" while still enrolled in college. The department's Chief of Staff said that the aide in question traveled extensively with the Attorney General and "is almost indispensable in terms of the many functions he carries out in this office.” King's salary of $164,000 is tied by law to that of the Supreme Court Justices who, along with King, are among the highest paid in the nation.[45] King was criticized in a newspaper editorial by The Montgomery Advertiser saying the salaries were "out of line for their experience and qualifications."[46]

In September 2008, in the aftermath of hurricanes Gustav and Ike, King's office began processing over 2,500 complaints regarding gasoline prices under Alabama's price-gouging statutes.[47] A month later, a King spokesman said the investigations remain "ongoing" as the prices begin to return to lower levels.[48]

After having been mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate in 2010, King announced his re-election campaign for Attorney General on March 9, 2009.[49][50][2] King was an early supporter of the 2008 presidential campaign of Arizona Senator John McCain. King served as the Alabama chair of the McCain campaign.[51]

Professional experience

  • Legal Advisor, Governor Bob Riley, 2003-2004
  • Assistant Attorney General, 1999-2003
  • Deputy Executive Secretary, 1997-1999
  • Acting Executive Secretary, 1997
  • Deputy Legal Advisor, 1995-1997
  • Legal Advisor, 1995.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Mission Accomplished for Attorney General". The Montgomery Advertiser: p. A-2. November 8, 2006. 
  2. ^ a b "King Relies on Small-town Values as He Mulls a Gubernatorial Run". Mobile Press-Register: p. A1. November 24, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Troy King". Alabama State Bar Directory. http://www.alabar.org/directory/dirDisplay.cfm?URLId=4Y9U9c6=GQ4B8dTw&. 
  4. ^ "TroyKing.org Biography". Troy King Campaign. http://www.troyking.org/. 
  5. ^ "TroyKing.org Biography". Troy King Campaign. http://www.troyking.org/bio. 
  6. ^ "TroyKing.org Biography". Troy King Campaign. http://www.troyking.org/bio. 
  7. ^ "Alabama becomes 18th state to sue over pricing of drugs ALABAMA MEDICAID State sues drug makers over pricing". The Press-Register: p. 1B. January 8, 2005. 
  8. ^ "Court clears way for trial against drug companies". The Press-Register: p. 1B. April 19, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Drug Lawsuit State to Receive $89 Million". The Press-Register: p. 1B. May 23, 2009. 
  10. ^ "MEDICAD Settlement details finalized". The Press-Register: p. 1B. December 24, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Ala. Court Rejects $274M Verdicts In Drug Cases". The Associated Press. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hRsl37GIptBgpNGceyJhToqqktbgD9BCE8K83. 
  12. ^ "Law and Order Measures Big at Session". The Huntsville Times: p. 1B. July 28, 2005. 
  13. ^ "Alabama Gambling Taskforce". The Birmingham News: p. A12. March 27, 2009. 
  14. ^ "King Opposes Gambling Request". The Montgomery Advertiser: p. B3. July 30, 2006. 
  15. ^ "Judge Agrees to Let Creek Indians Join Gambling Lawsuit". Mobile Press-Register: p. B1. April 28, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Rift between AG, Governor." WSFA TV Montgomery available at http://www.wsfa.com/global/story.asp?S=10191697
  17. ^ "AG Troy King, Gov. Bob Riley Sparr Over Bingo Report. Birmingham News available at http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2009/06/ag_troy_king_gov_bob_riley_spa.html
  18. ^ "Alabama courts need to resolve quickly the fight over electronic bingo." Birmingham News available at http://blog.al.com/birmingham-news-commentary/2009/06/our_view_alabama_courts_need_t.html
  19. ^ http://www.al.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/national-27/1245609451126140.xml&storylist=alabamanews
  20. ^ "Alabama Attorney General Troy King: Supreme Court bingo ruling helps, but questions linger" Birmingham News available at http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2009/11/post_215.html
  21. ^ "King asks 18 district attorneys to enforce bingo ruling" Gadsden Times available at http://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/20091117/NEWS/911179990/1016/NEWS?Title=King-asks-18-district-attorneys-to-enforce-bingo-ruling
  22. ^ "Editorial: Hop on the Execution Train: Ol' Troy's Revving to Go". The Anniston Star. April 23, 2008. 
  23. ^ "The Birmingham News". September 21, 2007. p. 5C. 
  24. ^ "Letter to the Editor: Editorial Should Embolden King's Case". The Birmingham News: p. 6A. September 18, 2007. 
  25. ^ "Editorial: Troy King's War". The Birmingham News: p. 6A. October 29, 2007. 
  26. ^ "TroyKing.org In His Own Words". Troy King Campaign. http://www.troyking.org/inhisownwords. 
  27. ^ "Former Hale County Circuit Clerk Arrested on Voter Fraud". The Press-Register: p. 1A. March 19, 2008. 
  28. ^ "Runoff Voting Records Seized". The Press-Register: p. 1A. November 1, 2008. 
  29. ^ "Perry Complaint of Voter Fraud Made". The Press-Register: p. 1B. July 18m 2008. 
  30. ^ "Alabama AG Says Justice Department Obstacle in Voting Probe". The Press-Register: p. 1A. June 24, 2008. 
  31. ^ "Opinion:Cooperation Needed in Voter Fraud Probe". The Press-Register: p. 8A. June 28, 2008. 
  32. ^ Williams v. Morgan, 478 F.3d 1316 (11th Cir. 2007).
  33. ^ Ala. Code § 13A-12-200.2(a)(1)
  34. ^ "Ban on Sex Toys Targeted". Mobile Press-Register: p. A1. December 4, 2007. 
  35. ^ "Woman Fighting King on Sex Toys". Mobile Press-Register: p. A1. November 14, 2007. 
  36. ^ About VOCAL International
  37. ^ "State AG Solicited Target of Inquiry". The Birmingham News: p. 1A. January 28, 2007. 
  38. ^ "Johnson Pleads Guilty to Kickbacks". The Birmingham News: p. 1A. April 1, 2008. 
  39. ^ "King Used Alabama Power Sky box.". The Birmingham News: p. 1A. January 14, 2007. 
  40. ^ "Editorial: No Interests in Conflicts". The Birmingham News: p. 2B. April 8, 2007. 
  41. ^ "Alabama Power Only Reported Gift Following Newspaper Query". Mobile Press-Register: p. B2. January 15, 2007. 
  42. ^ "Castaldo Trial Begins Today". The Birmingham News: p. 2B. March 5, 2007. 
  43. ^ "AG King Led 'Witch Hunt' to Remove Bessemer Judge, Investigator Says". The Birmingham News: p. 1A. September 11, 2007. 
  44. ^ "Indictment Against King Dismissed". The Birmingham News: p. 1A. October 17, 2007.  (The judge's name was also "King.")
  45. ^ "AG King Boosts Top Aides’ Salaries". The Birmingham News: p. 11A. July 27, 2008. 
  46. ^ "Editorial: King's Pay Practices Questionable". The Montgomery Advertiser: p. A7. August 7, 2008. 
  47. ^ "State AG Office Receives Gouging Complaints". The Anniston Star: p. 1. September 18, 2008. 
  48. ^ "Area Gas Prices Finally Return to Lower Levels". The Anniston Star: p. 1. October 22, 2008. 
  49. ^ "Hubbard Keeping Options Open for 2010". Opelika-Auburn News. January 18, 2008. 
  50. ^ "King to run for AG in 2010". Press-Register. March 13, 2009. 
  51. ^ "Presidential Fever". The Huntsville Times: p. 8A. November 9, 2007. 

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
William Pryor
Attorney General of Alabama
2004 – Present
Succeeded by
Incumbent







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