- Associated Press - Friday, November 3, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled against the state auditor and a legislator who challenged Alabama’s use of oil spill settlement funds to build a beach hotel.

Justices on Friday upheld a Montgomery judge’s decision dismissing the lawsuit filed by Auditor Jim Zeigler and state Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow of Red Bay that sought to block the project. The two filed a lawsuit against then-Gov. Robert Bentley, arguing that the state spending on the project required legislative approval.

Alabama is building a 350-room beachside hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park. The hotel is projected to open in the fall of 2018 and will be able to accommodate gatherings of 1,500 people.

The state earlier this month settled a lawsuit filed by an environmental group over the project.

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