AG candidate Alice Martin visits Scottsboro
By Will Whaley | Friday, December 15, 2017
Republican Attorney General (AG) candidate Alice Martin visited Scottsboro this week to talk about the upcoming primary election on June 5, 2018.
Martin is the first female U.S. Attorney in the northern district of Alabama, and is prominent for prosecuting a series of public corruption cases including former Birmingham Mayor, Larry Langford and multiple county commissioners and legislators.
She was instrumental in forming the North Alabama Corruption Task Force that saw over 140 federal cases.
“When I went into the U.S. Attorney’s office I noticed that we did not have a lot of statistics of public corruption work being done,” said Martin. “I came from a U.S. Attorney’s office back in the 80s in Memphis that had done a lot of corruption work.”
Martin began working with former AG, Bill Pryor on forming the task force.
“He (Pryor) had his investigators and I added the FBI and IRS because there is always money involved, and the result of that was 140 convictions from 2001 to 2009,” said Martin. “We were consistently ranked in the top five districts and a couple of years ranked No. 2 to New Jersey in corruption prosecution. It was something we were uniquely positioned to do, and I helped tum the light on for that.”
Martin was the Deputy Attorney General from 2012 to 2015 and Chief Deputy Attorney General from 2015 to 201 7, and was responsible for overall operations and legal work of the Office of Attorney General until resigning to run for the AG office. Under her leadership, resources were doubled in the public corruption unit. This was done during the conviction of former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, and she led the grand jury investigation in former Gov. Robert Bentley.
“That was why I came back into public service,” she said. “I left in 2009, and was the first U.S. Attorney to be replaced by Obama. I think it was because of the aggressive approach I was taking to public corruption. I wanted to be part of Hubbard’s indictment and lead the investigation into Bentley until the change in Attorney Generals.”
Martin said her experience as the Chief Deputy Attorney General has given her a “unique perspective.”
“I know the day to day operations,” she said. “I ran the office. I would further build the public corruption unit and add to the resources for it, and have an aggressive consumer fraud consumer fraud unit as well.”
Martin said she would also like to see the Attorney General’s office do more policy work, particularly in domestic violence and the opioid epidemic.
“Domestic violence is the number one reason for arrests in Alabama,” she said. “I think back to a time where drunk driving where people knew you shouldn’t do it, but people still did it. Mothers Against Drunk Driving really shed a light on it, and made it something that you did not want to get caught doing.”
Martin said this approach should be taken to domestic violence, as well.
“I don’t think we have people looking at domestic violence with as much of a negative view as we need to,” she said. “I have a unique perspective as a defense attorney for people charged, also a prosecutor and as a judge. What I see is what the incredible harm to families it does. It is not just about a slap or kick; it is about the child who witnessed it. It does a tremendous amount of harm to families and holds people back I believe.”
Martin also believes that the state of Alabama has an overprescribing problem with opioids.
“We certainly also have an abuse problem,” she said. “To solve this problem, we can’t just prosecute our way out of this. That is not the solution. We have got to prevent through education and let people know how dangerously addictive this is.
“It just changes the chemistry of the brain,” she said. “I have spoken to enough physicians to know that they are not giving warnings to people and that it takes too much time.”
Martin also is an advocate for the Prescription Data Monitoring Program (PDMP) that monitors prescriptions of each patient, and allows doctors and pharmacists to know what an individual is prescribed to from all doctors.
“It is operated by the Alabama Department of Public Health, and every state is required to have one by the government.”
The prescription rates in Alabama are the highest in the nation, according to Martin.
“We are not trying to have anybody in pain, but we have got to deal with the issue.”
Martin also was instrumental in the sex crime bill that was passed this past legislation year in Alabama.
“In policy, I think the Attorney General should be a police leader, and use that office as a megaphone for improving of the laws,” she said. “I advocated the new sex crime bill that passed last year, and that helps us to deal with technology driven sex offenses.”
Martin also was able to get legislation terms making the Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole not able to pardon people to be off the sexual offender list before the minimal time was up.
“Under federal law, the minimum mandatory time for you to be on the sexual offender registry is 15 years,” she said. “You could get five years knocked off if you go through some intense rehabilitation and training, and had someone with a medical degree to s.end information in, but at large most are at a minimum of 15 year, and others could be on it for life. I think that someone had been out of for just two years, and they (the parole board) took him off the register, and he was applying to work in a school system.”
Martin’s appeals put this person back on the offender’s list and reinstated the federal convictions, and put legislation in the passed bill saying that the Alabama Board of Pardons had no authority to do this.
She is also an advocate for “conserving the constitution.”
“The constitution is the foundation of our government’s house, and if it starts to crumble, then we are weak,” she said. “The constitution establishes three branches of government with the judiciary being the weakest branch.”
Martin said the 10th Amendment should allow the individual states to determine the implementation of certain Obama Era Administration regulations including same-sex marriage licenses and bathroom laws.
“The Obama Administration uniquely issued an estimated 14,000 or so new regulations,” she said. “These new mandates or laws on the states did not push through congress, and that is supposed to be our checks and balances.”
Martin said that the Attorney General would be the person to bring litigation to the federal government if it “reached into the state’s territory.”
“That is something I want to bring my Christian conservative values to in order to fight for the citizens,” she said. “I am the most qualified candidate from the standpoint of what I have done,” she said.
“I have had more experience running a sizable office and law firm. I believe my conservative roots are there because of my principals and not because of the power that the party represents in the switch.”