Galliher Not Target Of Alabama Two-Year College System Probe

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — State Rep. Blaine Galliher said he has been told by federal prosecutors that he is not a target of the investigation of the state’s two-year college system.

Galliher, R-Gadsden, was one of more than a dozen current and former legislators subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in Birmingham investigating the system. Most of the legislators subpoenaed work for the two-year college system or have ties to it.

Galliher said he testified before the grand jury on Monday and was asked what kind of work he does for the two-year system. Galliher is the director of training for business and industry for Gadsden State Community College.

“They asked me a lot of different questions. They were satisfied that I have a job and that I work,” Galliher said. “I was treated courteously and I’m glad I went.”

State Sen. Jimmy Holley, R-Elba, also testified before the grand jury Monday. Holley, who is retired from Troy University and has never worked for the two-year system, declined to say what he was asked by the grand jury.

Another legislator, Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, told New York Times Regional Newspapers in Gadsden, Florence and Tuscaloosa that he was also subpoenaed to testify, but has yet to appear before the grand jury.

Morrow said he has been retired for 10 years from his job as a two-year college instructor and doesn’t know what the grand jury would want to know from him.

“I called and asked them why they wanted me to go and they said my ex-wife worked for the system,” Morrow said.

Morrow worked for the two-year college system from 1970 until 1998. He was elected to the Legislature in 1990 and continued to work for the system until his retirement.

He said he has no idea why a grand jury would be interested in him or his ex-wife.

“I haven’t actually gone yet,” he said. “I was going to do it yesterday but even though I have no reason not to and I’m not afraid to appear before the grand jury, I always heard before you talk to a federal agent you should talk to a lawyer, and I haven’t talked to a lawyer.”

A spokeswoman for Alice Martin, the U.S. attorney in Birmingham, said Martin doesn’t comment on grand jury investigations.

The federal investigation of Alabama’s two-year college system has already resulted in plea agreements from former Chancellor Roy Johnson and former state Rep. Bryant Melton, D-Tuscaloosa. State Rep. Sue Schmitz, D-Toney, has been indicted, but says she is not guilty.

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