Jefferson County employees hold rally to return to work

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Around fifty Jefferson County employees are staging a rally at the downtown Birmingham courthouse.

The Friends of Jefferson County Employees are sponsoring the rally to persuade the Jefferson County Commission to return employees to their jobs and end the administrative leave.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale, Alabama State Senator Rodger Smitherman, Representative Priscilla Dunn and the head of Jefferson County SCLC Reverend Calvin Woods were all in attendance.

At the rally, Reverend Woods called for an immediate return to work for Jefferson County employees. He added that if the workers are not restored, all county commissioners should resign their posts. Woods says that the Legislature has passed a new tax and he believes the money is there for employees to return to their jobs. Woods later said that he would like to ask Governor Bob Riley and the State to take over Jefferson County if commissioners refuse his demands.

Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins says that there is not enough money yet for the return of employees and stated that if there was enough money, there would be no need for a bridge loan from Regions for $25 million.