MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama gubernatorial challenger Walt Maddox on Thursday asked Gov. Kay Ivey to release more information on her 2015 hospitalization, including if her office directed the state trooper accompanying her to keep it secret.
Maddox held a press conference to comment on accusations by the state's former top law enforcement officer — which Ivey has denied — that her office directed the trooper not to tell his chain of command about the medical incident that occurred during a 2015 trip to Colorado when she was lieutenant governor.
"Let me be absolutely clear. This is not about Governor Ivey's health. This is about abuse of power. This is about a cover-up," Maddox, 45, said.
"With 19 days before the voters go to the polls, Alabamians deserve to know the truth. They deserve to know whether Governor Ivey can be trusted," Maddox said.
He asked Ivey, 74, to release documents, including medical records, about the 2015 incident.
Ivey's campaign responded with a statement saying the allegations are false and calling Maddox a "lying liberal."
Ivey is disputing allegations by former law enforcement secretary Spencer Collier. Collier says the trooper, who was assigned to travel with Ivey, said an Ivey staffer directed him "not to tell anyone, including his chain of command" about the medical incident. Collier said it is standard protocol for troopers to brief their commanding officer about incidents. Collier said Ivey later asked to have the trooper reassigned.
"Apparently Walt Maddox isn't just a liberal. He's a lying liberal. The people of Alabama will see this for what it is - a desperate false attack from a shameless politician who will say or do anything to get elected," the Ivey's campaign wrote in a statement.
Ivey told reporters that said she had altitude sickness during the trip. Collier said the trooper reported she had a mini stroke.
Ivey this week released a letter from her physician. Dr. Brian Elrod said he could not confirm what condition led to the hospitalization, but said he saw no evidence of a mini-stroke when he examined her a day after she was released from the hospital.
"During my examination I saw no evidence of a transient ischemic attack and learned that the extensive work-up done at the Denver hospital, including an MRI, a carotid ultrasound and labs were all negative," Elrod wrote.