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State accepts county’s payment for removing rebel monument

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The state dropped its objection to ending a lawsuit over Madison County’s removal of a Confederate monument after officials clarified the source of the $25,000 that was used to pay a fine for taking down the rebel memorial.

Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office sued to make the county pay a $25,000 state fine for removing the memorial last year, and then it balked when the county tried to pay the penalty this summer. The state said the money came from an anonymous source, and that the county itself had to pay.

The county clarified that the clerk received money from the county and not a third party, so the state dropped its objection to dismissing the suit, a spokesman for Marshall’s office said Friday. A judge dismissed the state’s attempt to keep the lawsuit going, effectively ending the matter.

Alabama lawmakers passed the law to protect monuments and impose fines for their removal in 2017 amid a national movement to take down memorials honoring the Confederacy.

Demonstrators sought the removal of the Huntsville statue and other numerous Confederate statues around the nation last year amid nationwide protests against racial injustice following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

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