Evening news update

Judge King cites conflict of interest in fight against Jefferson County

A Jefferson County judge has rescued himself from the legal battle between Sheriff Mike Hale and the county commission. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Dan King sent a letter out that he is stepping down from the case because of a possible conflict of interest.

In his letter Judge King says he receives a monetary supplement from the county and that is why he may have a conflict. Last week Judge King issued a temporary restraining order that Jefferson County could not cut Sheriff Hale's budget by $5 million in order to deal with the loss of the occupational tax.

The county has appealed King's order to the Alabama Supreme Court. A spokeswoman for presiding Judge Teresa Petelos says she will not reassign the case until the state court rules. Keith Jackson, a law partner of Sheriff Hale's attorney, Rob Riley says the stay is in place and hearing should be held by next week if the restraining order is in place. But Jackson says Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb may have to appoint an outside judge to hear the case.

City councilors ask mayor to draft new budget

It is back to square one as Birmingham city leaders continue to battle over the budget. City councilors and the mayor met Monday afternoon before hopefully voting on the 2010 budget.

The city council has withdrawn its smaller budget presented to the mayor that included seven percent cuts to all city departments.

Councilors unanimously voted to make the proposed budget null and void and to start from scratch. Monday afternoon Councilor Joel Montgomery says if the city cuts more than three percent, it will affect salaries of city employees. All councilors agreed it was never their intent to cut salaries or personnel in any city department. City councilors also confirmed that another reason they scrapped the budget is because they stand at a $17 million deficit.

Jury selection begins in rape trial

Jury selection is now underway in the Aaron Morrison trial. The Hoover man is charged with rape, attempted rape, impersonating an officer, and sex abuse. At the time of his arrest in 2008, detectives said Morrison used police language and other items to convince the victim he was an off-duty officer and that she needed to come with him in his car.

Beware of work at home scams

Birmingham Police are warning folks about an internet scam. It targets people seeking part-time positions called mail assistants for work done at home. Vacancies are posted on Craigslist.com under the name of ABS Consulting. Officials say some victims have been scammed out of as much as $2,800.

Fultondale sports bar destroyed

Fire destroyed the Drop Zone Sports Bar in Fultondale around 10:30pm Sunday. Only the outside walls were left standing. Leldon Hooten owned the building since the 1950s lives nearby. He did not know anything was wrong until he heard a big commotion outside his nearby home. No one was hurt. The cause of the fire is under investigation.