Jim Zeigler: Robert Bentley must move newly-built wall at Gulf Coast Governor’s Mansion

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Gov. Robert Bentley rarely gets a break from the near-constant thorn in his side that is State Auditor Jim Zeigler. Yesterday wasn’t his day, and today doesn’t look good either.

On Tuesday, Zeigler announced he has found the recent expansion to the governor’s official residence in Gulf Shores, dubbed the “Governor’s Mansion at the Beach,” has been built incorrectly.

According to Zeigler, the Baldwin County Commission told Bentley he needs to move the wall at the long-neglected mansion. County officials said the wall blocks public access to the beach and intrudes on a county right of way.

Zeigler called the improper wall “just an example of the mistakes that happen when the Bentley administration is not accountable to anyone.”

“The governor rammed this project through with no notice to the public. It was a done deal before the public, or the Baldwin County officials knew anything about it,” said Zeigler.

Zeigler repeated comments he had made before to the effect Bentley diverted $1.8 million in funds from the BP oil spill settlement for renovating the gubernatorial residence for personal, rather than public-interest reasons.

“The rush was so the governor and his guests could use the mansion this summer season. A rush job was done because the governor lost his personal beach properties in his divorce last year,” said Zeigler in an acerbic tone toward the governor which has become commonplace in recent months.

“The governor ordered that the refurbishment be finished by the end of May so that he and his guests could use it. This was a bad use of money available to the state when state parks are closed, and needs of Baldwin County residents that were affected by the BP oil spill have not been met,” Zeigler said.

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