From staff reports
MONTGOMERY — Yellowhammer News reported that Alabama Education Association executive secretary Henery Mabry has been booted from his post by the National Education Association.
Elizabeth Beshears reported Saturday morning that the NEA cleaned house at AEA Friday night, removing Mabry from his post and blocking building access to Joe Reed, the former associate executive secretary of the organization.
Sources have told Yellowhammer that the locks to the AEA offices were changed at 4 a.m. and NEA is now in charge of the building.
Reporting from the AEA public meeting Saturday morning, Brian Lyman of the Montgomery Advertiser said AEA president Anita Gibson confirmed that a pre-termination notice had been given to Mabry, who will face a hearing.
Lyman also reported that Gibson said an audit raised “serious concerns” about a lack of financial controls and a lack of checks and balances.
AEA was once considered a political powerhouse in Alabama under the direction of the late Paul Hubbert.
After the Republicans seized control of the State House and Senate four years ago, the new majority moved swiftly to bring AEA under control by passing laws that stopped state employees from being able to miss extended time from their jobs to serve in the legislature. Bills were also passed to end payroll deductions for education employees that had been used as political campaign contributions for AEA to gain favor with elected officials.
AEA spent tens of millions of dollars backing their chosen candidates in the latest state elections with little or no success. In local elections, AEA endorsed Brett King for state senate District 17 over Shay Shelnutt, but Shelnutt won the race.
Despite the failed strategy, Mabry continued to rail against Republican legislators who control the purse strings to education.
Shortly before his death, Hubbert issued a scathing letter attacking Mabry’s leadership style and decision making.
According to Hubbert, Mabry had left the once powerful education group in financial shambles.
Jenn Horton of WSFA in Montgomery reported that the AEA board has remained in executive session through much of Saturday morning.