State Auditor Says Governor’s Mansion Restoration “Poor Stewardship” of BP Funds
State Auditor Jim Zeigler is accusing Governor Robert Bentley of misusing oil spill money from BP. In a statement released today, Zeigler says a reporter and photographer from the New York Times are in Alabama looking into Bentley’s use of $1.8 million of BP money to restore the governor’s mansion at the Gulf in Baldwin County. The property has been abandoned since 1997 after suffering hurricane damage.
Bentley spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis says the money the governor is putting toward repairing the mansion was left over from a $25 million BP grant. That was one of two $25 million grants BP issued the state in 2010. Ardis says the governor plans to use the Fort Morgan beach house to showcase the Gulf Coast, and promote economic development.
State Auditor Jim Zeigler says that’s nonsense.
“That’s a pretty good story,” he says. “I don’t think the people of Alabama are buying it and I don’t think the people of the Gulf Coast who were affected by the oil spill will buy that.”
Zeigler says it’s poor stewardship of money that should’ve gone toward cleanup and to businesses affected by the oil spill.