Alabama EMA Director Bruce Baughman Resigns

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Bruce Baughman, has resigned after leading the
state's response to three hurricanes and a deadly series of tornadoes.

Baughman's resignation today comes more than four years after he left his position as a top official with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to join Governor Riley's cabinet.

The 59-year-old Baughman headed Alabama's response to major disasters including Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricanes Dennis and Katrina in 2005.

Alabama's emergency response to Katrina was generally praised while other states were criticized for response to the storm that ravished the Gulf Coast.

Baughman also was in charge of EMA operations on March 1 when tornadoes killed 10 people in Alabama. That included eight Enterprise high school students who died when a hallway collapsed.

Riley said he has already begun searching for Baughman's replacement. Riley says assistant EMA director John D. James will assume his duties until a permanent director is named.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)