Columbiana Mayoral Candidate Admits Past DUI Convictions

By: Keysha Drexel--The Birmingham News
By: Keysha Drexel--The Birmingham News

Columbiana mayoral candidate and the city's current District 2 City Council representative Stancil Handley said he is not hiding from his past.

Handley, 63, said he has been convicted of three charges of driving under the influence of alcohol -- one in 1994, one in 2005 and one in 2007.

"I've done things in my past that I'm not proud of, but I will not try to deny my past," Handley said.

He is running against incumbent Allan Lowe and 19-year-old political newcomer Matthew G. Morris Jr. in the Aug. 28 municipal election.

Handley said he was arrested by the Shelby County Sheriff's Department on a DUI charge in December 1994 and convicted in 1995.

He said he was arrested and convicted on a second DUI charge in Calera in 2005. He said his third DUI arrest and conviction was in 2007 in Calera.

"The only defense I can have (is) these are things that happened and they are in the past," Handley said. "My past personal life should not be the issue. The future of this city is the issue."

Handley was elected to the Columbiana City Council in 2004. He has lived in Columbiana for 32 years and has been a doctor of optometry since 1979. He owns and operates an eye care clinic on Main Street in Columbiana.

"This past, my past, never interfered with me being a good citizen or a good doctor and hopefully this will not be a factor in me being a good and compassionate mayor," he said.

Handley said voluntarily he went through an alcohol rehabilitation program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham after the 2007 arrest and successfully completed the program.

Handley said he is not an alcoholic.

"The state Board of Optometry is not going to allow an alcoholic to practice in this state," he said. "I had to satisfy the court system, but even more stringently, I had to satisfy the Board of Optometry."

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