Riley appoints commissioner

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

On Monday, Gov. Bob Riley appointed Clifford O. Hunter to the Dallas County Commission District 4 seat vacated by Probate Judge Kim Ballard.

Ballard made the announcement Monday afternoon at a press conference in the commission courtroom in the Court House Annex.

Email newsletter signup

“I am pleased to appoint Clifford Hunter to the Dallas County Commission,” Riley said in a press released statement. “His professional experience and community involvement make him extremely qualified for this position, and I am confident he will serve the commission and the citizens of Dallas County well.”

The press conference was originally scheduled as a special called meeting for the commission to vote on the appointment of Larry Nichols to the vacant seat. Nichols, who declined to comment, was to serve the remainder of the elected term, which ends in November 2008. Nichols ran against Ballard for the commission District 4 seat in 2004.

According to Dallas County law, the probate judge and commissioners have the authority to fill vacancies at a special called meeting. In the event no person receives the majority of votes cast by the probate judge and commissioners, the probate judge must submit the names of the persons considered for the seat to the governor who will then appoint a person from the names submitted.

Ballard said the commission was acting on that law and on the fact that the commission had made appointments when there had been vacancies in the past.

“At least four (times before) that I can recall,” Ballard said.

Ballard said he is not challenging the governor’s right to make the appointment, but “a precedent had been set that the commission would make the decision.”

Ballard also stated that he didn’t want to do anything that comes in conflict with Riley’s office and his remarks are in no way “a reflection on any candidate.”

“I can, and will, work with anyone,” Ballard said.

Hunter, an Orrville native, is a 1994 Keith High School graduate and a 1999 graduate of Faulkner University. He is currently employed as an interim coordinator at Selma CareerLink on Water Avenue. Hunter also serves as youth director at Ellwood Community Church.

In the Nov. 7 election, Hunter ran for the Dallas County Board of Education District 2 seat on the Freedom Party ticket. He lost to Democratic incumbent Roy Edwards.

Hunter, nor a representative from the Riley’s office, were available for comment at press time.