Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Apologies to Rep. Steve Hurst

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my coverage of Rep. Steve Hurst's accident near my home a few weeks ago and I have decided that I owe him an apology. I have called him and personally apologized over the phone, but the readers of my blog need to know that I have apologized as well.

Since there was no way to prove whether or not Rep. Hurst was drinking I should never have stated that he was. I did hear, from what I consider a reliable source, that alcohol was involved, but, for all I know that reliable source could have a vendetta against Rep. Hurst and could have been willing to put out false information regarding his condition at the time of the accident.

Sometimes, when I see a chance to jump on a member of the legislature I take it. The majority of them are so corrupt one could believe almost anything about them. They are the people we love to hate in Alabama. But, from here on out I won't make serious trouble for any member of the legislature unless I know for absolute certain that my information is irrefutable. That's a promise.

Now, Rep.Steve Hurst has a very good bill up for consideration this session that I would like all of my readers to get behind and push very hard for. It is HB253 and it would mandate that any public agency testing blood or urine samples to determine if an individual is in compliance with the terms of his or her parole or probation to retain the samples for a certain period of time to allow independent testing at the cost to the individual when the samples test positive.

Currently if someone on probation or parole fails a urinalysis they are immediately arrested and taken back to jail or prison and the urine sample is destroyed thereby leaving them no chance to have an independent analysis done. Plus, there are hundreds of over the counter medications and prescription medications that are non-narcotic that can cause a false positive on a drug screen. According to Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb in her address to the joint session yesterday 1,600 people are in an Alabama prison for the technical violation of a dirty urine. That costs Alabama taxpayers $24,365,800 a year just to house in prison. Wonder how many of those 1,600 are there because of a false positive on a drug screen?

This bill would clear those 1,600 out of prison and provide a safeguard for everyone else on probation or parole from immediately returning to prison because of a dirty urine.

I am not sure when this bill will be coming up in the Judiciary Committee but Rep. Hurst said he would let me know as soon as he got a better handle on the time frame. I hope that all of my readers will help to get this bill passed. It's a really good one.


Oli said...

What happened to the dashboard cam Loretta? It seems you're taking your eyes off the ball.

Anonymous said...

I admire your honesty, and I hope I get a chance to vote for you for public office again.


Don said...

Anyone who voluntarily publicly admits to having made a mistake and vows to not repeat it is a first class top notch citizen in my book. Of course, I hope Loretta knows that I have held her in high regard since I first became acquainted with her. said...

Dear Loretta, My son was incarcerated in the Elmore County jail from December to April and then sentenced to a Rehab center from April until October 2010. The alleged violations were a dirty urinalysis and moving without changing addresses. The PO would not take mine or my son's word that he had only been two days at his new address. He moved two houses up the street from my residence. I don't know whether to file a motion with the judge based on the new probation reform signed by Gov. Riley April, 2010, or not. My son has always gotten the short end of the stick whem it comes to the law in Elmore County. Sheriff Franklin is a compassionate official who has tried to help my son. However there is only so much he can do to help. Would you please advise me as to what I should do? Thank you for your honesty and integrity in standing up for your beliefs.

Connie Freeman