Alabama finance director retiring amid possible ALS diagnosis

Alabama Finance Director Kelly Butler has announced his retirement amid health concerns that...
Alabama Finance Director Kelly Butler has announced his retirement amid health concerns that doctors believe may lead to a diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s Disease(Source: State of Alabama)
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 2:22 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey announced Wednesday that Alabama’s state finance director will soon retire for health reasons.

“Earlier this week, Alabama Finance Director Kelly Butler notified me that he will be retiring on August 1st due to complications that may be associated with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” Gov. Ivey said.

Ivey said Butler will undergo additional testing in the coming days but that his physician said early symptoms pointed to a possible diagnosis of ALS.

“Throughout my career, I have been so incredibly fortunate to work with many great people on behalf of our wonderful state,” Butler said. “Serving as Governor Ivey’s Finance Director has been the honor of a lifetime. While this was not the news anyone would hope for, I take comfort in my faith and am grateful for the support I know Beverly, my family and I will receive going forward from so many friends, colleagues, and relatives. Looking ahead, I’m going to do everything humanly possible to help the doctors and researchers find a cure for ALS so that one day, this becomes a disease that people talk about in the past.”

Butler has worked for the State of Alabama for some 36 years, starting his career with the state as a revenue examiner in the Alabama Department of Revenue before moving to the Legislative Fiscal Office where he worked for 19 years.

Prior to becoming Finance Director in 2018, Butler served as Assistant Finance Director for Fiscal Operations and State Budget Officer.

“Without exception, Kelly Butler has been the finest Finance Director to have ever served the State of Alabama,” Ivey stated. “He is the epitome of a dedicated public servant; he is as honest and hard working as he is good and decent. The people of Alabama owe Kelly a profound debt of gratitude for his extraordinary example of what a true servant leader is and should be.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, ALS is a progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control. It often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in a limb, or slurred speech.

Eventually, the disease affects control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe, the Mayo Clinic states. There is no known cure.

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