Posted by: Max Reiss
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama's next attorney general announced his public corruption team Thursday.
Addressing white-collar crime and corruption in the state is one of Luther Strange's goals for when he takes office next week.
"I think if you don't make it a priority then people will, if they don't feel like somebody is watching and is willing to enforce the laws then you're just inviting people to take advantage" Strange said.
Strange did not go as far to say that the state fosters a culture of corruption or that public officials take part in illegal activity. He did say that the state needs to take a greater role in those types of cases.
"For too long the federal government has come to Alabama and enforced our laws against public corruption" Strange said. "For instance this ongoing investigation into the legislature and whether some members were bribed and so forth and I think the state needs to play an active role in that and not let the federal government handle all of those cases."
The public corruption team Strange assembled consists of former federal law enforcement officers and legal professionals. Their primary responsibility will be looking at how to prevent white-collar crime in Alabama as well as addressing it head on when investigations are required.
Another one of Strange's priorities will be taking on those responsible for the oil spill and those responsible for paying claims.
"Our people have been terribly damaged. I'm personally going to handle that case and hold bp and all responsible parties accountable including Ken Feinberg and the other people responsible for paying our people for the damages they've incurred."
Governor-elect Bentley has said previously that he would like to negotiate with BP, the company that leased the exploded rig, in order to reach the maximum settlement possible. Bentley feared that filing suit against the oil giant could last years and yield an even smaller settlement.
All of Alabama's constitutional officers will be sworn in Monday.