- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - State Auditor Jim Zeigler is asking to join an ongoing lawsuit over the use of oil spill settlement funds to build a beachfront hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park.

Zeigler on Tuesday filed the motion to intervene in the civil lawsuit in Montgomery circuit court.

Former Conservation Commissioner Charley Grimsley, a longtime opponent of the project, in April filed a lawsuit against Gov. Robert Bentley challenging the use of the money for the project.

Bentley has moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that Grimsley does not have a basis or standing to sue.

The state is building a 350-room hotel and conference center that can handle gatherings of up to 1,500 people.

Bentley has said he hoped to have the hotel open by 2018.

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