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Worley's last day involves a fuss

By Phillip Rawls
Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY — Nancy Worley's last workday as secretary of state involved her fussing with the attorney general's staff again about what she considered improper legal representation.

Worley, a Democrat, and Republican Attorney General Troy King have been arguing for months because the attorney general's staff is required by law to represent Worley in
lawsuits but often takes legal positions opposite to her views.

On Friday, Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price held a hearing on two election lawsuits where Worley was named as a defendant because of her role as Alabama's chief election official.

Shortly before the hearing began, Worley walked into the courtroom and told two lawyers from the attorney general's staff, "I'm going to represent myself since you never talked to me."

She said King's staff never
notified her that the court hearing had been scheduled, and
she learned about it from an attorney from the Democratic Party.

Assistant Attorney General Jim Davis called it an "oversight."

"It's a little more than an oversight," Worley said as others in the courtroom grew quiet and watched the exchange.

After the hearing started, Worley told the judge that she would be representing herself in court.

Assistant Attorney General Jack Park told the judge, "The attorney general's office will speak for all the state defendants."

The judge, a Democrat, tried to calm things down by saying he should have notified the secretary of state.

Then he scheduled the next hearing in the case for March 2 — long after Worley, a former Decatur High School teacher, is out of office.

Republican Beth Chapman, who beat Worley in the general election, takes office Monday and will replace Worley as a defendant in the litigation.

Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
AP contributed to this report.

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