Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton



Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Arrogance of Hugh Evans III and the Alabama Ethics Commission in the Senator Pittman Ethics Complaint

*Update Feb.10th-- Mr. Ripp responds
                             Baldwin Watchdog and Lagniappe sound off
*2nd Update Feb 11th--Pittman and Evans refuse to talk won't return phone calls to the Press-Register
This letter will speak for itself about the unmitigated gall and complete ineffectiveness of the Alabama Ethics Commission, Chief Counsel Hugh Evans III and their unfathomable refusal to go after Senator Pittman.

Reprinted here with permission from Mr. Ripp.

Ethics Commission Evans III

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  1. Evans is not a very smart man to write a letter like this to a citizen of the state that can get into the public arena.
    I suspect he is unable to check his ego before dictating to his typist. This puts the whole commission in a very bad light and renders null and void any political promises to end corruption in Alabama.
    He's done more damage to more people with this distasteful letter than he realized before he decided on this course of ill-advised action.

  2. I agree completely, BarT.
    This is a horrendous PR move by someone who should know better.

  3. This is what happens when you let your own arrogance guide your thinking. You appear to be the problem and bear no remote resemblance to a solution.
    Since Mr. Evans has been at the legal helm of the Ethics Commission for so long, his attack on a legitimate complaint in a very serious matter that involves a sitting senator, only serves as the glaring inequity that exists between right and wrong in public accountability.
    If this is the best that this department can do, them I see no compelling justification for their existence.

  4. If I had not seen it with my own eyes I would never have believed it..
    Is this what all Alabama citizens can expect from the Ethics Commission?
    Evans response is downright insulting, rude and condescending. How dare he speak to an Alabama citizen, that his office is charged with protecting from abuse of his office and betrayal of the public's trust from elected officials in this manner!!
    This really makes my blood boil!

  5. That's a mighty long winded way of basically saying F U.

  6. That man's got a more surly attitude than Spur and that's saying something. Must not be gettin' no kisses at the house.

  7. "When a people goes so far as to commit the error of giving power to one man so that he may defeat those whom they hate, and if this man be shrewd, it will always end in his becoming their tyrant. For with the support of the people he will be enabled to destroy the nobility, and after these are crushed, he will not fail in turn to crush the people; and by the time that they become sensible of their own enslavement, they will have no one to look to for succor." - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses.

  8. About four or five years ago I knew someone who also complained by letter to the ethics commission and received a similar worded response from Evans. He acts like he doesn't want to bothered and anyone who complains is to be ridiculed and insulted at his whim.
    He's a lying pig, they all are and they're useless as ____ on a boar.

  9. So the Ethics Commission (quote, unquote) says there is nothing to the complaint?

    Well, I guess Mr. Evans' legal education didn't serve him well, because I read it and it is damning.

    "Trip" Pittman is a crook.

    He switched paperwork and stole the contract and forced good county employees in Baldwin out of ajob.

    He is a miscreant of the first order.

    Hugh Evans running interference for him under the guise and cloak of the "Ethics Commission" is deplorable to say the least.

    Houston, we have a major problem.

    God where is the press on this story?

    This is huge.

    I guess they don't realize they are getting screwed like a two dollar whore by these lying, thieving polticians.

  10. If anyone has a previous letter from the EC and Mr. Evans we'd like to have a copy.

    Will protect your identity if necessary and only publish excerpts.


  11. I've got one Max and will be happy to send it to you.

  12. Where's the press?
    Choking from the boot on their necks to leave this story alone, that's where!
    It's sickening how these corrupt bastards control everything and everyone!

  13. Ripp ripped 'em a new one!

  14. Thanks for the update on Mr. Ripp's response. His anger is palpable and raw at times, yet it is completely understandable after the vile letter from the Ethics Commission.
    Mr. Evans was way out of line in his condescending and insulting tone to a private citizen who was merely asking for help from the department that is supposed to be the watchdog of political corruption.
    Isn't this what each and every one of the newly elected republicans ran on?
    Have we heard one word from any of them?
    chirp chirp chirp
    sound of a full chorus of crickets

    You are all liars and cowards! If you were serious about rooting out corruption you wouldn't let a "technicality" stand in your way!
    Here, you had a golden chance to do what you said you would do and look what you've NOT DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Now you know that's a real good question..where are all the high mighty ethics bearers republicans on this?
    Guess it doesn't county when it's not a democrat eh boys?

  16. Jackwagons!
    Exactly what do you idiots do since it's clear you're not doing your jobs!!!!!!!

  17. Mr. Evans,

    Since you are enjoying a job with a nice salary at the taxpayer's expense, don't you think you serve yourself better by not being such an, excuse me please, insolent ass of a man?

    I'm sure the citizens of this used to be fine state take issue with paying you one thin dime more to insult them when they are asking for your help.

    You are an embarrassment to yourself and your office and have far outlived any useful purpose in the Ethics Commission.

    If your Mother were still living, I bet she would give a much needed whipping for behaving so horribly. I haven't any doubt the citizens of Alabama would not be so kind in their punishment after reading your letter.

    You should just resign and go back to your obvious unhappiness before you do any more damage to the state you are supposed to serve with some degree of civility and decorum and also serve faithfully and honorably.

    A concerned Mother and voter,
    Mrs. Wiggins

  18. That sounds like a Mom scolding and you know what they say: Mama knows best.
    You're right ma'am, this man has forgotten any manners he may have been taught.

  19. What all of this tells me is that everybody knows what they are supposed to do: the lawmakers, all politicians on every level of government and the ethics commission.

    What I am seeing is a lot of window dressing to make us look like tigers, but we’re really kittens. Because no matter how much you require information, hold seminars and make it look like the standards are high, if you don’t enforce the rules evenly and consistently it’s a house of cards.

    And you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the state that would refer to the Ethics Commission as a tiger with teeth.


    In the fall of 2004, the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington, D.C.-based government watchdog group, ranked the commission eighth in the nation for its work in providing information to the public about legislators' private income and assets and conflict of interest and financial disclosure laws. This was no small feat, and it is one in which the commission took great pride, as half of the states received failing grades and 11 states received barely passing grades. The commission viewed this national recognition as a strong validation of the state's Ethics Law.

    The commission has also conducted more than 700 seminars throughout the state over the past 10 years that have been attended by more than 35,000 public officials and employees. These programs have been conducted for the governor's cabinet and staff, the legislature, and the judicial branch, as well as newly elected sheriffs, probate judges, county commissioners, and municipal officials.


    Report card C

    135 state legislators in office in 2001 and disclosing their interests in 2002, in Alabama:

    26.7% of lawmakers sat on a legislative committee with authority over a professional or business interest.

    10.4% of lawmakers had financial ties to businesses or organizations that lobby state government.

    16.3% of lawmakers received income from a government agency other than the state legislature.

  20. Hugh Evans III addressing a Leadership Sylacauga Sponsored event in late January 2011:

    Other parts of the ethics law clarified a public official or employee cannot use their position to benefit themselves, their families or any business they are associated with. Also, they could not use equipment provided through public funding such as phones and vehicles for personal use.

    “If there is any aspect of personal gain to it, you can’t do it,” he said.

    Evans advised area officials and public employees who were in attendance to avoid perception issues, even if they were not technically violating ethics law, and to use good judgment. He also said while loopholes in the laws did appear to be broad, the ethics commission planned to interpret the law as strictly as possible.

    “Use good sense and good judgment on these things and nine times out of 10 you are going to be alright,” he said.

    Was it against the law to use your office for personal gain before? Yes.

    Then why isn't against the law now Mr. Evans?

  21. Mr. Evans,

    Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to live your life.

    What is it like to be a slave to the Alabama Republican Party?

    If there ever was a GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL CARD for public officials, it should be pulled and sent to Mr. Evans yesterday.

    Don't let the brass doorknob hit you in the rear on the way out.

  22. Take Out Service For The Politically IncorrectFebruary 10, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    This coming from the top legal individual from the State of Alabama's Ethics Commission - alone speaks volumes about the way the powers that be feel about the people they are to protect and serve.

    Check this out --- this is the state statute on the subject ---

    Code of Alabama - Title 36: Public Officers and Employees - Section 36-25-5 - Use of official position or office for personal gain

    (a) No public official or public employee shall use or cause to be used his or her official position or office to obtain personal gain for himself or herself, or family member of the public employee or family member of the public official, or any business with which the person is associated unless the use and gain are otherwise specifically authorized by law. Personal gain is achieved when the public official, public employee, or a family member thereof receives, obtains, exerts control over, or otherwise converts to personal use the object constituting such personal gain.

    (d) No person shall solicit a public official or public employee to use or cause to be used equipment, facilities, time, materials, human labor, or other public property for such person's private benefit or business benefit, which would materially affect his or her financial interest, except as otherwise provided by law.

    (f) A conflict of interest shall exist when a member of a legislative body, public official, or public employee has a substantial financial interest by reason of ownership of, control of, or the exercise of power over any interest greater than five percent of the value of any corporation, company, association, or firm, partnership, proprietorship, or any other business entity of any kind or character which is uniquely affected by proposed or pending legislation; or who is an officer or director for any such corporation, company, association, or firm, partnership, proprietorship, or any other business entity of any kind or character which is uniquely affected by proposed or pending legislation.

    (Acts 1973, No. 1056, p. 1699, §3; Acts 1975, No. 130, p. 603, §1; Acts 1995, No. 95-194, p. 269, §1; Act 2000-797, p. 1895, §1.)

    Well, Mr. Evans..... which part of this law are you saying does not apply in this case or exactly what part of this are you having difficulty understanding?

    I have a few legal moves I can make now that this criminal situation has been made known to me.

    It is a crime not to report a crime.

    Your move, Mr. Evans, Mr. Chief Counsel and the very one responsible ultimately for the State of Alabama Ethics Commission.

    I'm thinking malfeasance of duty, violation of oath of office, could be a good case of conspiracy (2 or more - at least). Fraud. Collusion. Maybe some Coercion behind the scenes or we could take this letter as a threat..... this could go RICO.

    Your move.

  23. From inkbythebarrel -----

    If this is the best that this department can do,
    then I see no compelling justification for their existence........

    Indeed. That 22 cents per person cost to the good people of the State of Alabama would be 22 cents per person better spent elsewhere or better yet, kept in the pockets of the people.

    Looks like Evans has lost any credibility he MIGHT have ever had.

  24. "He also said while loopholes in the laws did appear to be broad,"

    Thanks so much you fine minds in the legislature. Nice work as usual.

    (f) A conflict of interest shall exist when a member of a legislative body, public official, or public employee has a substantial financial interest by reason of ownership of, control of, or the exercise of power over any interest greater than five percent of the value of any corporation, company, association, or firm, partnership, proprietorship, or any other business entity of any kind or character which is uniquely affected by proposed or pending legislation; or who is an officer or director for any such corporation, company, association, or firm, partnership, proprietorship, or any other business entity of any kind or character which is uniquely affected by proposed or pending legislation.

    This goes on ALL THE TIME!
    What the hell are you doing about it Mr. Evans? Giving politicians like Byrne and Riley's beater boy Senator Taylor a big pass!

    I seem to remember that when Judge Moore was in office the ethics commission went after him with all guns blazing.
    "He embarrassed Alabama, we had to make an example of him."

    What about the way YOU embarrass Alabama by attacking a private citizen???

    You know, I say IT'S OUR MOVE, not his!

  25. It baffles me to understand this man. What on earth has he been thinking his job responsibilities are there at the Commission?
    From what I understand, the man is responsible (legally) and this is a rather serious matter now that he has denied the law to be upheld in this matter.
    His letter is damning in many ways, and it makes Evans look like he is incompetent, although he boasts of his success.
    Twenty years in the practice of law was not enough for Hugh Evans 3, to avoid this rather unpleasant and distasteful show of power, not to mention helped him avoid what he has done thus far to Mr. Ripp and therefore showing all of the people how he has no intention of upholding the law.
    And we all know about it now.

  26. It has gone on long enough.

    The Commission's website says 'Promoting Trust and Confidence in Government for Alabama.'
    I don't think this is remotely possible. They act like they don't know what these words mean. They say one thing and yet, do another. Talking out of both sides of their mouths. And we are not supposed to have enough sense to know when we are being lied to.

    This situation should not be taken lightly. Looks like we have one (now that he has jumped into the fray) and this could be the beginning of THE REAL ETHICS REFORM in Alabama.

    Thank you Mr. Ripp for sharing this most important issue. If there is anything I can do in order to help, please let me know by contacting this site and with the forwarded contact information I would be happy to contact you with information I am aware could be beneficial in this case.

    It is a very important event when an attorney of Mr. Evans stature makes legal missteps directly affecting the agency he is in charge of overseeing. His level of expertise is supposed to be beyond this type of behavior. The Commission's website is in direct conflict with Mr. Evans' letter contents and behavior.

    Although it is shocking to see, it is a fact and no one can dispute the writing of this man. He has no defense.

  27. All I see is deny, deny and hope they go away tactics by the senator and mayor and the Ethics Commission.

    This is disgusting and points to the fact that there really is no justice anymore.

    I guess it is now up to fart, barf and itch?

  28. Well, I guess the State of Alabama has one last chance at this case.

    Luther Strange.

  29. There is remedy within the law. We have the laws we need in order to use them and hold these people accountable. Just because we have been indoctrinated to believe these state people, lawyers, judges, etc. have told us their word is final and justice has prevailed does not mean that it has. We all have work to do if you believe this is the end of this case.

    This one is far from over and the repercussion from the damages they have done so far is enough to have a lot of fun getting rid of a few problems in Montgomery.

    This one sounds like a lot of fun.


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