AEA terminates its Executive Secretary; NEA takes over trusteeship

The Alabama Education Association (AEA) has fired its Executive Secretary Mabry after audits showed misspent funds, reports of an unhealthy work environment, and increasing tensions between AEA and the Legislature. Mabry replaced former AEA head Paul Hubbert three years ago. AEA has been dealing with financial problems, declining membership, a loss of political influence.

The decision seems based on a letter Hubbert sent to AEA board members and administrators in September saying that AEA was in crisis. At that time, the AEA Board voted to stay with Mabry. Since then a financial and human resources audit substantiate Hubbert’s claims.

According to AEA President Anita Gibson, “The audit affirmed serious concerns about a lack of financial controls, appropriate checks and balances and substantial evidence of the failure of our Executive Secretary-Treasurer to meet his obligations toward the sound financial operation of AEA.”

AEA’s once strong political power has been on the decline since 2010 when Republicans took over the state Legislature. In 2014, the organization spent $20 million on the election which didn’t net them any wins.

The audits provided recommendations to deal with AEA’s financial situation. The National Education Association (NEA) has taken over trusteeship of AEA and put Derrick Johnson, NEA’s HR Director, in place as trustee.

AEA has given notice of a “pre-termination hearing for Mabry. No date has been set for the hearing.

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