The fate of the Confederate statue at the Madison County Courthouse may now rest with the Office of the Alabama Attorney General.
The change in direction came after the Committee on Alabama Monument Protection said the request from the Madison County Commission "is outside the scope of the Committee's authority."
The response came via an email from Steve Murrray, the director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, sent to Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong, which was time stamped Wednesday, July 8, at 8:25 a.m.
In it, Murray said his office received Strong's request on July 6. He said the reason the committee couldn't weigh in on the request is because the monument is "situated on public property for 40 or more years."
The monument was originally erected in 1905 and then partially rebuilt in the late 1960s when it was damaged.
On July 9, a day after he was sent the response by Murray, Strong said in a statement to WAAY 31:
"Madison County was prepared to present our waiver to the Committee on Alabama Monument Protection on July 9, 2020. While disappointed the Committee meeting was canceled, I feel we have the strongest of cases to lawfully preserve and relocate this monument to Maple Hill Cemetery. I trust the 11 members of the Committee will objectively hear our case in October and deliver a favorable authorization to relocate this monument. The Madison County Commission is unanimous in this effort and our community has come together supporting this lawful remedy."
According to its calendar, the next Madison County Commission meeting is scheduled on July 22, 2020 at 10 a.m.
Back on June 25, the Huntsville City Council unanimously voted to allow Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle to petition Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall to allow the monument to be relocated to Maple Hill Cemetery.
Dozens have called for the statue's relocation during various city council meetings over the past several weeks. The city council won't reconvene until July 23.