Alabama State University Loses Attorney Over Disregarded Advice

Updated Mar 17, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. ― A former federal judge is resigning as an attorney for Alabama State University.

The Montgomery-based HBCU released a resignation letter on Wednesday from former U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon of Birmingham, who had represented the university throughout a 20-month forensic investigation. The Montgomery Advertiser reported that ASU has paid Clemon’s firm more than $400,000.

In the letter, Clemon writes that his firm is dropping Alabama State as a client because officials failed to heed advice about switching from the Warren Averett firm to an out-of-state firm in hopes of more favorable audit opinions.

Clemon writes that the university has the right to reject legal advice. But he also says the decision resulted in a downgrading of the university’s bonds and other problems.

Alabama State hired Clemon last year amid questions about finances and alleged conflicts of interest at the university. The newspaper reports that Alabama State trustees are scheduled to meet Friday.