6 years ago

The bizarre tale of Dale Peterson — internet legend, convicted thief, candidate

The Alabama State Auditor performs an important but little known job for Alabama taxpayers. The Auditor’s website says that the office “is responsible and accountable for all state personal property.” In addition to that, “the office is charged to perform an audit of the equipment in each State Agency every two years.”

According to Alabama’s current State Auditor, Samantha Shaw, her goal since taking office in 2006 has been to keep “accurate records of all personal property valued at $500 and above as well as items deemed sensitive in nature.”

In short, the Alabama State Auditor oversees what the State of Alabama owns — items that have been purchased by the taxpayers.

Here are just a few examples of the property the Auditor’s office is charged with keeping track of:

The State’s computers


The State’s fleet of vehicles


The State’s heavy equipment


Needless to say, the Auditor’s job is one that must be performed by someone with impeccable character, someone the taxpayers can trust to be their watchdog and make sure the state’s property is all accounted for.

Enter Dale Peterson, who qualified to run for State Auditor just before the deadline this past Friday, Feb. 7.

Peterson is the horse-ridin’, gun-totin’ Republican who became internet famous during his ill-fated 2010 campaign for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner. Early on in the race, one of his campaign videos went viral on YouTube. In the video, Peterson warned of “thugs and criminals” who “don’t give a rip about Alabama,” and called out his opponents for “stealing yard signs in the dead of night.”

Flash forward a couple of years to Oct. 15, 2012. At 4:45 p.m. that day, in an ironic twist, Peterson was arrested at a Wal-Mart in Hoover, Ala. for stealing two cases of beer and a pack of paper towels.

According to documents filed in Hoover Municipal Court, a Wal-Mart employee “observed Roger Dale Peterson Select the beer and paper towels and place both items in his cart. Peterson then passed all points of purchase and made no attempt to pay for the merchandise in his cart. Peterson was apprehended and the merchandise was recovered.”

Peterson was charged with Theft of Property in the Third Degree, a Class A misdemeanor.

Dale Peterson's mugshot
Dale Peterson’s mugshot, Oct. 15, 2012

Flash forward again to March 27, 2013. Peterson was arrested once more, this time for stealing a container of cashews from Sam’s Club in Hoover, Ala.

According to documents filed in Hoover Municipal Court, a Sam’s club employee “observed Rodger Peterson select the above merchandise. Mr. Peterson then opened the merchandise and started eating the cashews. Mr. Peterson continued to walk around Sam’s club eating the cashews. Mr. Peterson then placed the merchandise back on the shelf. Mr. Peterson then proceeded to the register where he purchased other items but failed to pay for the merchandise he ate. Mr. Peterson then exited the store where he was approached by Mr. Heaton. Mr. Peterson made a verbal statement to Mr. Heaton that he messed up and should have paid for the cashews.”

Peterson was once again charged with Theft of Property in the Third Degree.

Dale Peterson  mugshot
Dale Peterson mugshot, March 27, 2013
Police evidence photo of the cashews
Police evidence photo of the cashews

But the second time was a little different. Yellowhammer was the first to break the news of Peterson’s arrest, sending him into a bizarre Twitter tirade of conspiracy theories that seemed to include the suggestion that we somehow set him up.

Flash forward one final time to Nov. 20, 2013. Rodger Dale Peterson was convicted in Hoover municipal court of Theft in the Third Degree in both of the cases outlined above. The judge ordered Peterson to pay a fine of $1,000 for each conviction, as well as court costs and restitution of $48.50 to Wal-Mart (the cost of the beer) and $13.48 to Sam’s Club (the cost of the cashews). Each conviction also carried a sentence of 180 days in jail.

On Dec. 3, 2013, Peterson gave notice to the court that he was appealing the ruling. He is currently set for a jury trial on May 5, 2014.

So to summarize, Dale Peterson, a convicted thief, is currently running for the office of State Auditor, whose sole job is to keep track of what the state owns; and his appeal is scheduled to be heard by a jury almost exactly one month before primary election day.

Mike Woodson Face Palm

Never change, Dale. Never change.

Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

10 hours ago

Nick Saban: I still consider Jalen Hurts ‘one of our players’

MOBILE — Former University of Alabama Crimson Tide star quarterback Jalen Hurts is still beloved by many in Bama nation, including head coach Nick Saban.

Saban has spoken this past year about his respect and admiration for Hurts. However, speaking to members of the media on Wednesday at the second day of Senior Bowl Week practices at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Saban made it clear he really feels that Hurts is still part of the Tide family.

To open his remarks, Saban said, “My only comment is we’re glad to be here. It’s always great to come back to Mobile for the Senior Bowl. It’s such a tradition, and I think this community really embraces this game.”

“It’s really good for the players to have the opportunity to showcase their talent, any player from any place but especially good to see our players be able to do it — and Jalen, who I still consider one of our players … always good to be here to support our players,” Saban continued.


The legendary coach then answered questions for approximately four minutes.

He discussed what NFL teams will like about both Hurts and outgoing Tide junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.


This came after Hurts this week has spoken highly of the University of Alabama football program, its fanbase and the state of Alabama.

Hurts will wear a two-sided helmet during Saturday’s Senior Bowl game; one side is a replica of his iconic No. 2 Bama helmet, and the other has the Oklahoma Sooners logo on it.

RELATED: Bama’s Jared Mayden glad to be reunited with ‘natural leader’ Jalen Hurts for Senior Bowl

Hurts recently said about Saban, “We always had a love for each other … our relationship will never die.”

Get tickets to Saturday’s Senior Bowl game here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

10 hours ago

Shelby County sheriff one of 18 officials appointed to Trump law enforcement commission

Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego on Wednesday was named by the U.S. Department of Justice as an appointee to the newly-established Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr appointed Samaniego and 17 other law enforcement officials from across the nation to the commission, which was created through executive order by President Donald Trump in late October.

The commission will explore modern issues affecting law enforcement that most impact the ability of American policing to reduce crime, according to the DoJ.

“There is no more noble and important profession than law enforcement,” Barr said in a statement. “A free and safe society requires a trusted and capable police force to safeguard our rights to life and liberty.”


“But as criminal threats and social conditions have changed the responsibilities and roles of police officers, there is a need for a modern study of how law enforcement can best protect and serve American communities,” he continued. “This is why the President instructed me to establish this critical Commission, whose members truly reflect the best there is in law enforcement. Together, we will examine, discuss, and debate how justice is administered in the United States and uncover opportunities for progress, improvement, and innovation.”

Read more about the commission here.

This comes after Samaniego was recently named as the winner of the 2019 Crime Stopper of the Year Award by Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama.

On Monday, he was one of eight Alabama sheriffs to publicly endorse former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ 2020 bid to return to the Senate.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

10 hours ago

Etowah County mega-site to receive $2.7M in improvements

The Etowah County-located Little Canoe Creek mega-site is to receive $2.7-million in improvements as part of an effort to make it a more attractive location to potential industry.

The site is composed of around 1,100 acres just off of I-59 southwest of the city of Gadsden. The funding for the improvements comes from a donation by the Norfolk Southern Corporation.

According to a release sent to Yellowhammer News, the improvements “will include grading a portion of the over 1,000-acre property to create a pad-ready rail-served site sufficient to accommodate a large industry. Natural gas lines will be relocated near the edge of the property, and a new railroad crossing will be added to the industrial access road off U.S. Highway 11.”


“The mega-site has many location advantages for industrial recruitment and this project will improve upon its assets and greatly increase our overall competitiveness,” said Marilyn Lott, economic development director for Etowah County.

Etowah County began buying the land that now composes the Little Canoe Creek site in 2008. In addition to bordering the local interstate, the site is also adjacent to U.S. Highway 11 and a Norfolk Southern mainline.

Little Canoe Creek was designated an “Alabama AdvantageSite” in 2018. Being labeled an “AdvantageSite” amounts to a guarantee from the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama “that the site is ready for major industrial use.”

According to local leaders, a key factor in the improvements announced on Wednesday is the Growing Alabama Tax Credit. A credit “is equal to 100% of the donating taxpayer’s contributions to the economic development opportunity during the taxable year for which the credit is claimed and may offset up to 50% of the taxpayer’s income tax liability.”

“We truly appreciate this funding made possible by Norfolk Southern and the state,” said Jeffery Washington, president of the Etowah County Commission.

“This infrastructure improvement project at the Little Canoe Creek Mega-Site perfectly illustrates how we can use the Growing Alabama Credit as a tool to facilitate growth and expand employment,” added Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

11 hours ago

Steve Marshall travels to D.C. to urge Senate to reject Trump impeachment articles

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Wednesday traveled to Washington, D.C. to file a blistering 14-page “friend of the Senate” letter urging the upper chamber to reject the two articles of impeachment filed against President Donald J. Trump.

The Senate on Tuesday began the impeachment trial of Trumps, and Marshall joined 20 of his Republican attorneys general from across the nation in signing the letter.

However, Marshall was only one of six of the attorneys general invited to the U.S. Capitol to attend a press conference Wednesday commenting on their letter and the impeachment trial.

Of the letter, Marshall remarked, “It is thorough. It is a full examination of both the facts and the law that the Senate has to apply. But despite that significant analysis, fundamentally what that letter is about is the idea of fairness — or maybe better said, the lack of fairness.”


“As a prosecutor for 20 years, what I’ve seen is an unfair process brings about an unjust result,” Marshall advised. “And that is what the Senate now has an opportunity to stop.”

“I also find it remarkable, as somebody who has stood before juries and judges, whose brought charging instruments against defendants, to now hear the House say that they are not prepared. And that they are not ready. What that simply shows is not that they are not prepared but that they have no case,” he continued. “Our letter demonstrates the various reasons why the Senate should reject this effort, and we need to return the president back to the work of this country…”


In a tweet referencing the letter, Marshall called the articles of impeachment passed by House Democrats against Trump “unfounded and fundamentally flawed.”

The letter states, “If not expressly repudiated by the Senate, the theories animating both Articles will set a precedent that is entirely contrary to the Framers’ design and ruinous to the most important governmental structure protections contained in our Constitution: the separation of powers.”

Read the letter below:

State AG letter to Senate o… by Fox News on Scribd

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

11 hours ago

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele inks three-year extension

Auburn University head football coach Gus Malzahn on Wednesday announced that defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has officially agreed to a new three-year contract that will take him through the 2022 season.

In a statement, Malzahn said, “Kevin has done a fantastic job with our defense the last four years making it one of the best in the country.”

“This will provide great stability and leadership for our defense in the future. I’m appreciative of Kevin’s hard work,” he added.


Steele has been Auburn’s defensive coordinator for the last four years. During that tenure, the Tigers’ defense has ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring defense. Additionally, Auburn is one of only five FBS programs to hold opponents under 20 points per game in each of those seasons.

Malzahn and Steele were both spotted at Senior Bowl Week practice in Mobile on Tuesday.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn