Birmingham – State Auditor Jim Zeigler qualified with the Republican Party last week to seek a second term. He filed to run in the June 5 GOP primary.
In a release, Zeigler said “state government needs a watchman against waste and mismanagement. I have added that role to the state auditor’s office.”
Zeigler was a critic of former Gov. Robert Bentley, mounting challenges to what he called “mismanagement and abuse by the Bentley administration.” He filed the initial ethics complaint against Bentley. On April 5 of last year, the ethics commission found probable cause that Bentley committed felony violations, including Zeigler’s complaint. Five days later, Bentley resigned.
Zeigler sued to invalidate the troubled STAARS software contract, claiming it was an illegal no-bid contract by the Bentley administration. The state then canceled the $47 million STAARS contract.
Zeigler exposed Bentley’s diversion of $1.8 million of BP settlement money to restore the governor’s mansion at the beach. That action came a month after Bentley lost his own personal beach home in his divorce from his wife of 50 years.
After Bentley resigned, Zeigler was legally required to audit Alabama’s three governor’s mansions and the governor’s office in the capitol. He located all items and produced four perfect audits. He found the infamous “Wanda’s Desk,” which had been moved by Bentley to keep a secretary from being able to hear goings-on in the governor’s private office.
Zeigler has completed three years of a four-year term as auditor and is term-limited to two terms.
Zeigler’s office is up-to-date on all audits despite suffering cuts of 28.5% to his budget. “Under adverse circumstances, we have continued to get things done for the taxpayers of Alabama.”
In 2016, Zeigler’s wife Jackie Zeigler won election to the State Board of Education from the seven counties of southwest Alabama’s first district. The couple have two children. James “Win” Zeigler has completed the drone pilot certification course at the University of South Alabama. Mary Magdalene “Maggie” Zeigler is a freshman at the University of Alabama.
Zeigler, 69, is a retired elder law attorney, formerly representing Veterans and senior citizens in obtaining nursing home benefits.
(News Release/Ziegler Campaign)