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The Alabama Professional Bail Bonding Board Board January 22, 2021 Meeting Minutes

The Alabama Professional Bail Bonding Board
Board Meeting Minutes

January 22, 2021

With proper and required notice having been provided to the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office along with posting on the websites of the Alabama Secretary of State and the Alabama Professional Bail Bonding Board, a meeting of the Alabama Professional Bail Bonding Board was held on Friday, January 22, 2021 at 60 Commerce Street, Suite 1440, Montgomery, Alabama.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to Section III Open Meeting Act of the Proclamation issued the 18th day of March, 2020, by Governor Kay Ivey, attendance was also perfected via in person and ZOOM audio/video conferencing.  The meeting was called to order at 10:10 a.m. by Chairman Chris McNeil.

A quorum having been established and maintained, the following Board members were present:

District I:  Chris McNeil – in person
District II:  Gustavius Maxie – in person
District III:  Barry Johnson – virtual
District IV:  Alesia Kyser – virtual
District V:  Victor Howard – virtual
District VI:  Jimmie Lay – virtual
District VII:  Edward Giles – virtual
Judge:  The Honorable Spiro Cheriogotis – virtual
Circuit Clerk:  The Honorable Carla Woodall – virtual

Also present was Claire Austin, Acting Executive Director; Brenda Holden (virtual) and Will Parker, Administrative Support; and Mary Goldthwaite (virtual), Board Attorney, Alabama Attorney General’s Office.

Due to attendance via video conferencing, all voting actions of the Board were taken by a call of the roll.

The meeting was opened with prayer offered by Jimmie Lay.

A motion to approve the agenda was made by Jimmie Lay and seconded by Spiro Cheriogotis.  Motion passed unanimously.

The minutes of the November 6, 2020, were previously distributed and reviewed.  A motion was made by Jimmie Lay to waive the reading of the minutes and approve as submitted.  Motion seconded by Barry Johnson.  Motion passed unanimously.

A discussion was held regarding the logistics of having previously-approved minutes signed by the Chairman and Secretary for recording and posting due to challenges of virtual attendance.

The Executive Director’s Report was submitted by Claire Austin related to applications and renewals processed, issuance of licenses, payments of Board expenses, and financial update.  To ensure accurate counts of licenses, it was requested that future reports be categorized as (1) applications received, (2) licenses renewed, (3) new licenses issued, (4) licenses pending, and (5) licenses denied for current year.  The Board was reminded that licenses not renewed by January 4, 2021, licensees must “begin the process again” but background checks completed within the past six months would be accepted, including those on file.  Security for the office and building of the Board was communicated to Board Members.

The Board was informed that there were no licensees to appear before the Board.

Board Attorney Mary Goldthwaite communicated there was no report regarding legal updates.

Claire Austin reported the Investigative Committee was continuing to work on complaints/investigations and will be submitted to the Board at the appropriate time.

Claire Austin reported the Board received $29,050.00 from the Alabama Professional Bail Bond Association related to providing continued education for licensees.

Chris McNeil reported that the Testing Sub-Committee would be meeting next week and the date, time, and method to meet would be distributed to the sub-committee members.

Claire Austin updated the Board on the upcoming Legislative session and the logistics and expected agenda of the House and Senate for 2021.

Claire Austin also reported to the Board the availability of the COVIC vaccine across the State.

The Board was informed the next meeting of the Alabama Professional Bail Bonding Board is scheduled for Friday, March 26, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. at 60 Commerce Street, Suite 1440, Montgomery, Alabama.

A discussion was held concerning authorization of non-licensed bondsmen in counties within Alabama which resulted in the clarification that a Professional Bail Bondsman included those companies posting a $25,000 CD and those posting a corporate surety bond; and a Professional Surety Bondsman was required to be licensed by the Alabama Department of Insurance, and if conducting “recovery” activity must also be licensed by the Alabama Professional Bail Bonding Board.  A Professional Surety Bondsmen may be authorized by Presiding Judges to execute bonds without holding a license issued by the Alabama Bail Bond Board.  Authorization to conduct business is the duty of Presiding Judges in the State of Alabama for each county, and the issuance of occupational licenses and compliance of the Rules and Regulations is the duty of the Alabama Professional Bail Bonding Board.

A discussion was initiated related to a licensee with criminal convictions wherein the Board was advised that applications for licensure by statute are confidential and cannot be discussed in an open meeting when related to good name and character.  Board Attorney Mary Goldthwaite advised the Board to discontinue any discussions unless in executive session.

There being no further business, a motion to adjourn was made by Ed Giles and seconded by Barry Johnson.  Motion passed unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 10:52 a.m.

Respectfully submitted:

Chris McNeil                                                               Carla H. Woodall
Chairman                                                                    Secretary