Ron Sparks out as Gov. Ivey abolishes Office of Rural Developmen - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Ron Sparks out as Gov. Ivey abolishes Office of Rural Development

Ron Sparks is out after the Office of Rural Development was closed Wednesday. (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo) Ron Sparks is out after the Office of Rural Development was closed Wednesday. (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Continuing the transition to her own administration, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey spent her second day in office further deconstructing pieces of the former governor's programs. First order of business, Ivey abolished the Office of Rural Development.

The office was created by Robert Bentley in 2011 and falls under the direction of the  Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, or ADECA. Bentley established it to improve and advance education, healthcare, and economic development in the rural areas of the state. 

"Rural Alabama is near and dear to my heart," Ivey said. "Don't forget I'm from rural Wilcox County. My decision to shutter the Office of Rural Development will refocus rural development efforts into existing agencies."

Ivey's decision to close the office means its head, Ron Sparks, no longer works for the state. Sparks was a former agriculture commissioner who ran against Bentley in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Following his loss to Bentley, he was hired to run the new position.

Another high-profile member of the ex-governor's staff also found himself out of a job before noon. Stan Stabler was Bentley's secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency following the termination of Spencer Collier. Ivey accepted Stabler's resignation and Wednesday is his last day before retiring.

On Tuesday, Ivey fired Jon Mason, the husband of former Gov. Robert Bentley's once top aide, Rebekah Mason, with whom he was accused of having an affair.

Her first official act as governor was to sign the judicial override bill that took away judges' power to override a jury's sentence in capital cases. 

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