Thursday, December 08, 2005

Lawsuit likely in Siegelman influence case

Former Gov. Don Siegelman will be a defendant in a civil suit if a Montgomery lawyer finds out he took bribes from a chemical waste management company in exchange for a tax break.

Siegelman already faces federal charges for allegedly accepting bribes for a tax break on waste disposal for Chemical Waste Management's Emelle facility, something he denies.

The charges are related to what prosecutors say was an improper relationship with lobbyist Clayton "Lanny" Young, who is accused of paying Siegelman and ex-aide Nick Bailey for the deal.

"If I get evidence that indicates to me that Don Siegelman was paid illegally to influence this decision, then I will sue him," said Doyle Fuller, the Montgomery attorney who filed the suit against Young, Bailey, the Alabama Department of Revenue and Waste Management last year seeking tax reimbursement for the state. Siegelman said he had nothing to do with the Alabama Department of Revenue's decision to reduce Waste Management's tax on certain waste from $51-per-ton to $21-per-ton in 1999.

"It's just phony baloney," Siegelman said. "For one, it didn't have anything to do with me, and two, from what I understand, the decision that was made was made in the best interest of the state."

Lowndesboro Mayor John Nichols claims the tax breaks cost the state $8 million.

Read More at the Montgomery Advertiser

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