State senator Burkette resigns from seat with no explanation

Published 6:22 am Wednesday, September 2, 2020

State Sen. David Burkette of Montgomery resigned from the Alabama Legislature, a spokeswoman for the governor said Tuesday.

The Montgomery Democrat submitted his one-sentence resignation Tuesday to Ivey and Senate leadership. His resignation is effective immediately.

Burkette did not elaborate on his sudden departure. However, the Alabama Ethics Commission last year forwarded a complaint involving Burkette to prosecutors, although the nature of the complaint was not disclosed.

“Governor Ivey is disappointed, but firmly supports the rule of law, and particularly in this situation when there has been a clear misuse of public trust,” Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola said.

Burkette, a retired educator, served on the Montgomery City Council from 2007 to 2018. He was elected to the Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Quinton Ross, who is now the president of Alabama State University. Burkette suffered a stroke in December of 2018, and used a wheelchair at the Statehouse while scheduling therapy sessions around legislative duties.

The Montgomery Advertiser reported that a 2017 Montgomery city audit found found that two nonprofits could not document their spending. Burkette gave the nonprofits nearly $43,000.

A special election will be held to fill the seat.