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Mayor Walt Maddox And The Tuscaloosa City Council Welcome CEO Ted Rollins And His Heavy Baggage

Posted on the 12 September 2013 by Rogershuler @RogerShuler

Mayor Walt Maddox And The Tuscaloosa City Council Welcome CEO Ted Rollins And His Heavy Baggage

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox

Do the city leaders of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, approve of child abuse, perjury, and deadbeat dads? A reasonable observer could conclude the answer is yes after the City Council recently voted thumbs up on construction of a new student-housing project called The Grove.

Does that name sound familiar? Well, The Grove is the banner under which Charlotte-based Campus Crest Communities builds student-apartment complexes around the country. Ted Rollins, the company's CEO, has all of the ugliness noted above--and then some--in his background.

How do we know? It comes from our research connected to Rollins v. Rollins, a divorce case in Shelby County, Alabama, described here as the worst courtroom cheat job we've encountered.  The final order from Circuit Judge D. Al Crowson was so flagrantly corrupt and one sided that it has left Ted Rollins' children (Sarah and Emma Rollins) and their mother (Birmingham resident Sherry Carroll Rollins) on and off food stamps for several years.

As CEO of a public company that has received more than $800 million in Wall Street support, Ted Rollins owns multiple private jet craft. And yet, he has no problem allowing his own children to go hungry here in Alabama, just a few miles up I-59 from Tuscaloosa.

Rollins once caused his children to be thrown out of their home in Greenville, South Carolina, all because he refused to make court-ordered mortgage payments. He even has a history of using illegal drugs while on a business trip to meet with officials of a public university. Appropriately enough, Ted Rollins got his "Rocky Mountain High" while in Fort Collins, Colorado, to seal a deal for The Grove at Colorado State University.

Parents of University of Alabama students are going to entrust their children to this guy? Mayor Walt Maddox and his political colleagues apparently have no problem with that. And so far, they have not responded to my questions on the subject, avoiding accountability much the way Ted Rollins does when asked about his repeated violations of court orders.

Almost all of the information about Ted Rollins' unsavory history is a matter of public record. But can Maddox and members of the Tuscaloosa City Council be expected to comb through court records every time a developer seeks approval for a construction project?

Well, in this case, they didn't have to. That's because I did the work for them.

On the morning that the city council was to vote on a rezoning request connected to The Grove project, I sent an e-mail to Maddox and then council member Lee Garrison. (In the August 27 municipal elections, Garrison was elected chair of the Tuscaloosa City School Board and officially gave up his council seat.)

I identified myself as a journalist who had reported extensively on an Alabama divorce case involving Ted Rollins. I cited just some of the ugly facts in the CEO's background and provided links to articles and public documents. I asked Maddox and Garrison if they supported such a corporate executive entering the Tuscaloosa business environment, and if so, why.

My query has drawn no response from either Maddox or Garrison. But I do know my e-mail reached its destination. A source tells Legal Schnauzer that Maddox mentioned the e-mail in a pre-council meeting that day and said he would distribute the information to council members.

Did the revelations have any impact? Did Tuscaloosa city leaders take the documented ugliness in Ted Rollins' background seriously? The answer appears to be no, considering that the rezoning request was unanimously approved that night--and the full Campus Crest project was approved at a subsequent council meeting.

Mayor Walt Maddox And The Tuscaloosa City Council Welcome CEO Ted Rollins And His Heavy Baggage

Ted Rollins

What are we to take from all of this? Well, we know that Tuscaloosa's city leaders were informed in advance about Ted Rollins' background, which includes a state investigation for alleged child sexual abuse of his stepson. In other words, we know that this CEO has been investigated for the kind of behavior that led to the Jerry Sandusky scandal at State College, PA, and Penn State University. But the leaders in another college town, right here in Alabama, seem utterly unconcerned about that.

What exactly did Mayor Maddox and his council colleagues know before putting out the welcome mat for Ted Rollins and his company? Here is the copy of the e-mail I sent at 11:05 a.m. on August 20:

Mr. Garrison and Mr. Maddox:
I'm a journalist in Birmingham and write on justice issues at Legal Schnauzer.
I understand the Tuscaloosa City Council is about to consider issues related to The Grove, a planned student-housing development that is to be built by Campus Crest Communities of Charlotte, NC.
Campus Crest CEO Ted Rollins has extensive ties to Alabama and our court system, and I have reported on him in a lengthy series of posts. My reporting, supported by public documents and witness statements, shows the following:
* Mr. Rollins has been convicted of assaulting his 16-year-old stepson in North Carolina.
* The assault constituted an act of child abuse under North Carolina law.
* Mr. Rollins was investigated for child sexual abuse of the same stepson, based on the complaint of an anonymous concerned citizen.
* Mr. Rollins perjured himself in a divorce action that unlawfully was conducted in Shelby County Circuit Court, greatly reducing his child-support payments.
* Mr. Rollins failed to pay court-ordered child support for almost three years in South Carolina, resulting in a bench warrant for his arrest.
Do the two of you support the arrival of such a "family friendly" company and its CEO in Tuscaloosa? If so, why?
I would appreciate your response to these questions, plus any other comments you care to make, for publication at Legal Schnauzer.

Roger Shuler 
(205) 991-7438 [email protected]

Lee Garrison no longer serves on the City Council, but we will give Mayor Maddox another opportunity to address these issues. Will he remain in hiding, much the way Ted Rollins does when confronted with tough questions? We soon will find out.

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