Saturday, March 14, 2009

Florence's Alice Martin

If any wondered whom indicted Lauderdale County teacher Allen Wilson favored over Mike Jones in a previous campaign for Circuit Court judge, it was Alice Martin of Florence, now a U.S. Attorney. Obviously Martin lost, but only technically. The position of attorney in the Federal courts has brought Martin fame as well as infamy.

Originally from Huntsville, the former Registered Nurse changed her career path early on, deciding law much more to her liking than medicine. The Republican attorney moved to Florence after wedding Florence industrialist Louis Martin II. After setting up practice in the Shoals, she rapidly advanced to Florence Municipal judge before being appointed to the Lauderdale County Circuit judgeship, a position she lost two years later to Democrat Mike Jones.

As the Bush administration wound down, we blogged that Alice Martin was hurriedly putting the finishing touches on several cases, including one against former FloGas manager Roger D. Lovelace. Her position was and is none too secure under a Democratic president who had campaigned on the theme of cleaning house.

Perhaps President Obama has other more pressing considerations than to cull less than desirable Federal attorneys, or could it be that Martin is now attempting to make her continued presence more desirable to a Democratic Chief Executive? It's been reported that Martin's investigation into Republican Attorney General Troy King is indeed an attempt to make nice with her new top boss.

Even if true, an investigation into the long rumored corruption of this office is welcome on many fronts. Perhaps the Shoals will not have Alice Martin's return to look forward to after all.

What's up with this: Speaking of Martin Industries, as badly as the City of Florence needs space, failing to buy the old Martin headquarters on Tennessee Street seems a real blunder. Now Shoals residents will have the distinct displeasure of seeing it become even seedier in the days to come.