Harry Still III, a Baldwin County attorney, has launched his campaign for the Republican nomination for Alabama Attorney General.
“I’m Harry Still and I want to restore your faith in Alabama justice by serving as your Attorney General,” Still said on social media. “I am a practical Republican, not a Washington DC fundraiser. My home is here and I share it with all of you, my neighbors. I want to protect you from violent crime by keeping criminals locked up in Alabama prisons, not walking the streets in exchange for a few dollars, or freed by federal oversight. I have waged a tireless fight against corruption in Alabama my entire adult life. I’ve never served a special interest group. For three decades, I have been serving you from the hallways of your city and county governments and in the many of the courthouses throughout Alabama.”
Still has degrees from Auburn University, Troy University and a law degree from the Birmingham School of Law. He is a former county manager, and an Eagle Scout.
“We must take a leadership role in prison construction and improvements as well as [examining] a reinforcement and revamp of our law enforcement,” Still said. “We have a plan to reorganize the Alabama Police Officers Standards and Training Commission (APOST) to incorporate 'sensory training' statewide and get our officers trained and equipped with supplemental non-lethal equipment.”
Still answered a long list of written questions posed to him by 1819 News on Friday.
1819 News: You talk in your platform about changing the APOST training that police officers receive. Why is that necessary?
Still: “In 2017 when the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office allegedly fired more rounds at suspects than all other agencies in Alabama combined, I picked up the phone and called Van Davis, former Director of the Southwest Alabama Police Academy. He tells a tale of empire-building and corruption by Executive Secretary Alan Benefield that led to a farce prosecution of a long-time employee of his and the closing of the school. All funds were redirected to APOST in Montgomery for salaries, not training. The same happened at the regional academies in Tuscaloosa and Jacksonville. I will tear down that corrupt pile of manure brick by brick. Backstory Podcast No 44 Good People Of Alabama (Van Davis) https://youtu.be/Oeo6SrNX0eU
1819 News: Regarding alleged police misconduct in Brookside, would improved police officer training have helped avoid that situation?
Still: “Probably not. This is a leadership problem. Their Municipal Judge should be held to account by the Court of the Judiciary and the people of Brookside should 'vote the rascals out.' If we had anyone awake at the switch at the Alabama Bar Association we could discuss internal reform with the Municipal Judges, all Bar Members. My hometown of Bay Minette hired Corporal Al Tolbert from the Sheriff’s Department as Chief of Police and Municipal Court Revenues went from $300,000 in 2017 to $900,000 this year, all while routinely violating my clients' Civil Rights - all of which have been reported to the Mayor (who is an attorney), District Attorney, Sheriff, APOST, The Alabama Ethics Commission, and The Attorney General.”
1819 News: Is this an Attorney General (AG) office matter or would your suggested reforms have to be passed by the legislature and enacted by the Secretary of ALEA?
Still: “It is a matter that I will champion. It will take a confederacy of white-hat law enforcement to get anything accomplished, along with a few legislators who are actually interested in addressing problems and fixing them. Everyone in Montgomery is scared to death of Bobby Timmons over at the Sheriff’s Association, and rightly so. They have destroyed countless political careers. This is a matter that will take 'resignation' and 'legislation.' I am almost certain that I could investigate APOST but I am also certain that for there to be a change we will need a change in legislation. The current system of appointing board members has led to this outcome, which is unacceptable.”
1819 News: Do you favor permitless carry (sometimes referred to as constitutional carry) legislation?
Still: “Absolutely. Does the Second Amendment say anything about a permit? No. Additionally, if you have a hunter education certificate and can see over the counter at Walmart, you should be able to buy a shotgun. And unless there is some statutory provision that prohibits you from carrying your weapon about your person or in a vehicle (age, felony conviction, domestic violence, or because you are not a citizen), why should you have to purchase a permit from the Sheriff to exercise this right that should be yours in the first place? And believe me, you will remember the day the Judge tells you that you cannot possess a firearm.”
1819 News: Seven Prichard Waterworks employees are accused of embezzling $4 million in four years' time. This was eventually caught by a recent audit. Is this an isolated case or are similar events occurring across Alabama government? Is there anything the AG can do about this?
Still: “Steve Marshall is janitor for, and second fiddle to, the Examiners of Public Accounts of Alabama. They have identified, investigated and given the conclusions to the AG on every public corruption case that I am aware of under his supervision. The Limestone County Sheriff, the Clarke County Sheriff, Jefferson County Water Board, and yes, the Prichard Water Board - Examiner of Public Accounts kills what Marshall has claimed as his own. Of course, only the AG or the District Attorney of the Circuit where the crime occurred could prosecute them.
“Yes, I believe it is a terrible problem in Alabama and the Attorney General should make public integrity a top priority.”
1819 News: A four-year-old was recently gunned down on the streets of Montgomery. Is there anything you could do as AG to take back control of Alabama’s cities from the violent hoodlums and miscreants?
Still: “I think what you have is an economics problem in many of these instances. Not that I wouldn’t love to tell you that I have all of the answers. I would bet you folding money that almost every Montgomery Police Officer does his best every day to make that city a safe place. There is a terrible divide between many in the community who know 'what’s going on' and Law Enforcement who they do not trust. I would be a poor politician indeed if I said that I had the cure for that. But I will encourage a dialogue. Cooperation is the superpower of the human race.”
Still is challenging incumbent Attorney General Steve Marshall in the Republican primary on May 24. The winner will face Democrat Wendell Major in the Nov. 8 general election.
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