Troy King is either totally clueless or completely tone-deaf when it comes to ethics. The Birmingham News keeps finding more and more questionable situations in which Troy just happened to find himself. The latest? He accompanied the director of an advocacy group when she went to ask Roy Johnson for money. Mr. Johnson was then the chancellor for the state’s two-year college system and, btw, the target of an AG’s investigation. Troy has since recused himself and turned over the investigation to the St. Clair county’s district attorney, and Mr. Johnson was fired before he could pay the extor— I mean, find some grant money.
Miriam Shehane, executive director of Victims of Crime and Leniency, said King accompanied her to a meeting with Johnson to ask the two-year college system to provide grant money for VOCAL.
The meeting, in March 2006, came months after the attorney general’s office and federal prosecutors began investigating the two-year college system. A spokesman for King said the request was not improper because King was not asking for anything for himself.
Of course he wasn’t, but his mere presence at the meeting made Ms. Shehane’s request an offer Mr. Johnson couldn’t refuse. Here’s the man who’s investigating you coming in and asking for money — even if it wasn’t for himself and even if he didn’t ask directly — and you think you have the option of saying no?
Shehane said she left the meeting with a good feeling about the grant, but it ultimately did not materialize. The state school board fired Johnson in July.
Or maybe Troy’s not as scary as he thinks he is. I don’t think Roy Johnson ever hired the mother of one of Troy’s staffers, despite Troy’s request that he give her a job.
Appointing Troy King has to be the worst decision Bob Riley ever made. Bob can’t run for re-election in 2010, but he might want to help out his party’s next candidate by getting rid of this embarrassment sooner rather than later. I hear Troy has gubernatorial aspirations himself. Please, God, tell me the people of Alabama aren’t that stupid.