2 state officials removed by Robert Bentley receive apology from Gov. Kay Ivey

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Governor’s Office) — Two high-ranking state officials removed from their positions last year by former Gov. Robert Bentley have been cleared of wrongdoing.

Both James Nolin, finance department chief information officer, and Rex McDowell, assistant director of finance information/administrative services, received letters of apology in recent days from Gov. Kay Ivey.

In the letters, the governor cited two state audits and an FBI investigation that all determined there was no criminal activity by either Nolin or McDowell.

Ivey wrote that Bentley's decision to remove the men from their positions "was unsupported and unjustified by any evidence presented to the governor. Moreover, even if Gov. Bentley had been presented with evidence of criminal activity, it was, in my view, premature and inappropriate to publicly comment before the investigation had begun."

The removals occurred in June 2016 after Alabama Law Enforcement Agency head Stan Stabler reported concerns of a computer security breach.

In the letters, Ivey said the men deserved for their names to be cleared publicly since the media published Bentley's concerns about criminal activity.

"On behalf of the governor's office and the people of Alabama, I extend a sincere apology for the difficulties you endured throughout this ordeal and as a result of the unwarranted negative publicity," Ivey wrote to both men.

More on this story at AL.com.