Jim Zeigler calls out “dysfunctional” Bentley admin over state payroll failures

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State Auditor Jim Zeigler sent a shot across the bow of the administration of Gov. Robert Bentley on Wednesday, calling failures in the state’s payroll system due to payment software problems evidence of deep trouble in the governor’s office.

“We have known for some time that the Bentley administration had major internal problems, but we really did not know just how bad those are,” said Zeigler. “Now, they have become dysfunctional.”

Zeigler’s comments come in the wake of reports of irregularities in the state government’s public payroll reporting system Open Alabama Checkbook.

An investigation into the reporting discrepancies revealed massive state payroll failures leading to thousands of vendors receiving late payments and even state attorneys’ state Bar licenses lapsing due to the faulty system.

Zeigler teed off on the news in a statement to reporters Wednesday.

“The new state financial software does not work. It has not worked in months, and they have hid that fact. The state’s bills are not being paid,” said Zeigler. “Tens of thousands of bills.”

A frequent combatant with the Bentley administration, whom he has also taken to task over state park closures among other priorities, Zeigler attributed the failure’s to a lack of leadership from the governor. He ended his missive on a grim note.

“I wish this software was under my authority. Those who do have authority are fiddling while Montgomery burns,” said Zeigler.

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