BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Mike Bolin, the Alabama Supreme Court justice voted five days ago to become Jefferson County attorney, has withdrawn as the county's top legal adviser. Bolin said several heartfelt conversations with his wife were a strong factor for his decision to decline the position and remain on the Alabama Supreme Court. The decision to accept the position…
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Mike Bolin, the Alabama Supreme Court justice voted five days ago to become Jefferson County attorney, has withdrawn as the county’s top legal adviser.
Bolin said several heartfelt conversations with his wife were a strong factor for his decision to decline the position and remain on the Alabama Supreme Court.
The decision to accept the position was done “quickly before my wife and I really discussed it,” Bolin said. “It happened over about an eight day period and five of those days I was in Boston at a conference by myself.”
The justice said his wife, Rosemary, is a person of great instincts who has been a guide during his career as a county probate court judge and justice on the Supreme Court.
“She was just worried about the challenges facing every player on the county team,” Bolin said. “And I think she worried about whether or not I would be happy giving up a job that I am happy with, taking on a world of problems where any lawyer that comes in here is going to have a learning curve. I don’t care who he or she is.
“You can be versed in bankruptcy, you can be versed in personnel matters, you can be versed in the ordinary flow of litigation through the county. My thought was somebody has to do it. My home needs me. I live here and this is the right thing.
“The more I talked with my wife afterwards the . . . as Friday night and the weekend wore on she caused me to have second thoughts. I won’t say there is remorse . . . I had misgivings whether or not I had chosen the correct career path for what would be the final chapter of my professional career at my age.
“I’m 64, I’ve lived here in Jefferson County all my life,” Bolin continued. “My parents lived here from the time World War II was over. There was nothing that would tempt me to leave what I’ve always considered a dream job on the Alabama Supreme Court, except this and particularly for this commission.
“This action on my part is in no way any reflection upon the Jefferson County Commission and its elected members,” Bolin said. “They have been nothing but honest and forthright with me, and again, I am honored to have received their consideration.”
Bolin was selected by a majority of the commission Thursday to replace Jeff Sewell, who retired involuntarily this month after a commission committee voted to terminate his employment.
Bolin delivered the news earlier today to Commission President David Carrington and Commissioner Jimmie Stephens, a friend for more than 40 years.
Both were stunned and had said Bolin would be a key hire for the troubled county.
“The commission has the utmost respect for Judge Bolin and looked forward to him becoming a valued member of Jefferson County’s management team – but this career move just wasn’t meant to be,” Carrington said.
Stephens said he was disappointed by the news but supports Bolin’s decision.
“He has his priorities in order,” Stephens said, “God, his family and his country – in this case the county.”
Carrington said the commission will resume the process of finding a new candidate for the position who has “impeccable credentials and the highest standards of ethical performance.”