A representative for the Baldwin County Bridge Company released a statement on behalf of Neal Belitsky, president of the company.

"BCBC is disappointed that the Alabama Supreme Court reversed the preliminary injunction on technical legal grounds related to sovereign immunity," the statement read. "The Court did not dispute the trial court's findings that Director Cooper acted in bad faith to put a private company out of business but instead held that the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity prevents Alabama courts from stopping Director Cooper's conduct. 

"Today's decision sends an unfortunate message to businesses across this nation - come to Alabama on notice that anything an unelected government official chooses to do to you, he can do and you are powerless to stop him even if he is acting in bad faith."

BCBC pointed out an opinion on the case by Chief Justice Tom Parker.

"You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike.' Deuteronomy 1:17 (NASB)." Parker wrote. "Unless the Alabama government is the defendant."

BCBC said the opinion is a "terrifying reality."

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"While disappointed with the decision on the injunction, we are pleased that the Supreme Court rejected Director Cooper's effort to avoid any accountability for his actions," the statement continued. "The court recognized that BCBC has a viable inverse condemnation claim for money damages for the effective taking of its property that can proceed in the trial court.

"In light of today's decision, BCBC is evaluating its options, including seeking money damages from a Montgomery jury to compensate the company for the effective taking of its property. Any damages awarded to BCBC by a Montgomery jury—which could be over $100 million—would only add to the price tag for Director Cooper's $120 million unnecessary new bridge and impose even greater costs on the taxpayers of Alabama. Ultimately, we remain hopeful that there can still be accountability, even if under another name. "

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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