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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2020

For media inquiries only, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491

Attorney General Steve Marshall Determines That City of Mobile Violated the
Memorial Preservation Act, City Agrees to Pay Fine

(MONTGOMERY) — Attorney General Steve Marshall announced today his
determination that the City of Mobile violated the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act by removing a historic statue previously located on public property.

The Memorial Preservation Act was passed in 2017 by the Alabama Legislature to protect architecturally significant buildings, memorial buildings, memorial streets, and monuments located on public property for 40 or more years. The Act specifically charges the Attorney General with the duty of enforcement, much as he is authorized to prosecute all civil actions necessary to protect the rights and interests of the State.

“On June 4, the City of Mobile removed a 120-year-old statue of Admiral Raphael Semmes from public property within the city,” said Attorney General Marshall. “Now that the City has acknowledged its intent to remove the monument permanently, the facts surrounding the removal and a plain reading of the law led me to determine that the Act was violated. After being notified of that determination, the City has agreed to pay the required fine of $25,000
without a court order.”

The legal agreement entered into today by the State and the City of Mobile is linked here.

[For links, click PDF icon at upper right of release]

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The primary duty of the Attorney General is to serve as legal counsel to Alabama's state agencies, departments, and officers. Our office is prohibited by law from providing private citizens with legal advice, representation, or opinions (Code of Alabama, 1975, Title 36, Chapter 15). The Attorney General's Office does not handle any domestic cases (example: child support, child custody, divorce, etc.) or probate matters (real estate, wills, property disputes, etc.). To obtain an attorney or legal aid referral, you may contact the Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Service at http://www.alabar.org or by calling 1-800-392-5660 .