TALLADEGA COUNTY -- John Allen didn’t deny telling a civic group this week he was still the Talladega County revenue commissioner, but he said an explanation for that comment will have to wait until next week.
Allen, who lost his job as revenue commissioner in December, said Thursday he would explain recent comments about his current status in that office during an interview with The Daily Home scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
“I’ll make it all clear on Tuesday,” he said.
Allen was appointed Talladega County revenue commissioner by Gov. Kay Ivey in 2018, but after withholding remittances to the Talladega County Commission in 2019, he lost his bond and, as a matter of law, his position as revenue commissioner.
He is currently running for a full term as revenue commissioner.
In a letter dated Dec. 13, Alabama State Comptroller Kathleen D. Baxter wrote to Ivey, saying, “In accordance with (Alabama law), I write to inform you of a vacancy in the office of Talladega County Revenue Commissioner due to the cancellation of Mr. John Allens’s public official bond. In a letter dated Nov. 26, 2019, Travellers Insurance Company -- the surety for Mr. Allen’s bond -- informed Mr. Allen that it was cancelling the bond effective Dec. 11, 2019. Mr. Allen has been unable to secure a new bond. Therefore, a vacancy exists in the office and a new revenue commissioner should be appointed.”
The Governor’s Office confirmed it had received notice of the vacancy the same day, and the locks to the Revenue Offices in the county courthouse were changed. The office has remained vacant since then, with the Governor’s Office having not appointed a new commissioner.
Nevertheless, Allen gave a television interview Thursday morning where he seemed to refer to his role in the Revenue Office in the present tense and actually said he was still the revenue commissioner during an address to the Childersburg Kiwanis Club on Wednesday.
Tom Roberts, president and CEO of the Greater Coosa Valley Chamber of Commerce, was one of about a dozen people at that meeting.
“He said, ‘I am the Talladega County revenue commissioner,’” Roberts said. “He didn’t try and backtrack it. He said the office still operates as it normally does.”
Roberts added the bulk of Allen’s presentation dealt with his family and his farm and barely touched on the Revenue Office or the upcoming election.
During a brief phone call Thursday afternoon, when The Daily Home tentatively scheduled a candidate profile interview with Allen for Tuesday afternoon, Allen declined to elaborate on the statements made on television or to explain what he meant by the comments he made in Childersburg.
He did not deny making the statements but said only that he would explain them following the interview.
Allen is running against Cindy Pennington in the Republican primary March 3. There are no Democratic candidates in the race.
The law that created the office of Talladega County Revenue Commissioner states the term runs six years, starting on the first day of the next fiscal year following the general election.
Because the general election is in November, the newly elected commissioner would not take office until Oct. 1, 2021.
Pennington said last month she had spoken with Nathan Lindsay, the governor’s appointment secretary, who told her the governor is not going to be making an appointment in the immediate future “due to there being so much chaos concerning the issue … So she will not be making an appointment at this time, but she might either before or after the primary.”