UPDATE: Gov. Ivey responds to Hanceville mayor’s comments


CULLMAN – As controversy swirls around today's news that Sen. Paul Bussman, R-Cullman this morning called for Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail's immediate resignation over comments Nail made about Gov. Kay Ivey, the governor issued the following response to The Tribune:

"I’ve spoken with Mayor Nail, and he has apologized for his inappropriate comments about me posted on social media. This situation is another reminder of the truth that words matter and that everyone, especially public officials, will be held to a high-standard for our remarks, even those made in jest online. Though I do not condone the mayor’s comments, they will not keep me from my continued focus on governing and serving the people of Alabama."

Bussman on Friday called on Nail to resign over the "inappropriate and disrespectful" comments Nail allegedly made about Ivey on Facebook.

Bussman said in a statement to the media: "I read your inappropriate and disrespectful comments regarding Gov. Ivey with tremendous disbelief. Gov. Ivey has been extremely helpful to your city and this county. Making those comments even between old friends is not acceptable. In my opinion you have caused irreparable damage and have severely compromised our ability to work with the state for the betterment of our citizens. I ask you to resign your position as mayor of Hanceville immediately."

AL.com first reported the comments about Ivey on Thursday:

The mayor of a small Alabama town said Thursday he meant no disrespect to Gov. Kay Ivey after posting a sexually suggestive comment on Facebook about a picture he took with the governor.

Kenneth Nail, mayor of the Cullman County town of Hanceville, said his comment was meant as "just a little funny" in responding to a comment by a man Nail described as "an old friend."

The photo, which Nail posted on Facebook just after noon on Wednesday, has the mayor standing next to Ivey in a group shot in the capitol in Montgomery. In the photo, Nail is standing so that his right hand and arm is obscured behind Ivey.

In the comments on the Facebook post, a poster asked, "Where is your right hand"

Nail responds, "She did have a smile on her face, didn't she LOL"

Nail posted the photo to his Facebook page on Wednesday. The alleged comments reported by AL.com have since been deleted.

On Thursday, Nail posted the following: "Well Facebook friends it's been a long week. With the injury of our officer and not a lot of sleep not making excuses , I made a remark yesterday about our visit to Montgomery. It was really Two Old Friends with a back-and-forth post. I made a inappropriate comment in reference to the governor. That was not my intent but I do want to apologize for that remark looking back it was a mistake. So if I offended anyone especially our governor I want to apologize. I am human and make mistakes every day but I will try to do better."

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Photo courtesy of the governor's office / Hal Yeager