Sep. 18--Michael Patterson became commissioner of the Alabama Department of Revenue in March when James Hayes moved to the Capitol to become Gov. Don Siegelman's senior adviser.
The former associate counsel for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama has been on the job four months as the state's chief tax collector.
He talked last week about his duties and the status of the agency whose tax collections underwrite most state governmental services.
QUESTION: Where were you born.
ANSWER: I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Q: How did you get to Birmingham?
A: All my family on my mom and dad's side is from Alabama. My dad got a job in New York about a year before I was born. We lived there until I was about 11, then we moved back.
Q: Why did the family come back?
A: My mother felt the city was getting a little too tough for my brother and sister and me and thought the South would be a better place to raise children. That happened in 1975.
Q: You went to UAB. Was it just convenient?
A: I went to the University of Alabama for 2 1/2 years and my last year and a half was at UAB. It was convenient to home.
Q: Was Blue Cross your first job out of college?
A: Yes. Before this, my first …