Ivey Replaces ABC Board

Gov. Kay Ivey  (Source: Robert Carter)

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey has replaced the three members of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

The new members are Col. Alan Spencer of Tuscaloosa, Melissa Morrissette of Mobile and Walter Bell of Mobile. The appointments require confirmation by the Alabama state Senate, which won’t likely happen until the next regular session in February, but the new members begin serving immediately. Their terms expire in 2022.

Spencer replaces Michael Ingram; Morrissette replaces Sameutta Drew; Bell replaces Robert “Bubba” Lee. Ingram and Drew were appointed by former Gov. Robert Bentley, and Lee was appointed by former Gov. Bob Riley. Their terms had expired in 2016, Ivey’s office said today, but they hadn’t yet been replaced.

Dean Argo, a spokesman for the ABC board, said the agency found out about the change Tuesday.

“We do not have any information other than the letters from the governor’s office that she has appointed three new members,” Argo said this morning. “That’s all we know.”

In June 7 letters to her new appointees, Ivey told them they’d be making important decisions that directly affect the citizens of Alabama.

“I have made honesty and integrity a priority in my administration, and I know that you will embody these two virtues while serving the people of Alabama,” Ivey said in the letter.

Spencer, a veteran Air Force officer, stepped down later last year after four years at the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. He’d previously served as chief of staff to former U.S. Reps. Sonny Callahan and Jo Bonner. Bonner is now Ivey’s chief of staff.

Bell served as Alabama Insurance Commissioner in Riley’s administration.

Morrissette is co-owner of LLB&B Inc. Real Estate in Mobile.

The ABC Board oversees about 170 retail liquor stores around the state, as well as wholesale liquor distribution.