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Alabama Architect Defrauded Two-Year System With Bribes, Prosecutors Say


Federal prosecutors say Anniston, Ala. architect Julian W. Jenkins gave bribes worth $85,000 to two-year college system Chancellor Roy Johnson and his family and $1,800 to a college president in return for more than $2.6 million in contracts.

The allegation was made in a federal forfeiture complaint filed Tuesday against Jenkins’ business property in Anniston and related bank accounts.

It follows a similar forfeiture complaint filed against Johnson’s $1.3 million house in Opelika, Ala., last year.

Neither Jenkins nor Johnson is charged with a crime. But the filing Tuesday says Jenkins is a target of an ongoing criminal investigation, and prosecutors say Johnson is accused of using kickbacks from contractors to build his house.

Johnson has denied the allegations.

The Birmingham News, which first reported the Tuesday filing, noted that Jenkins could not be reached for comment.

He did not immediately return a call to his Anniston office by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The filing notes Jenkins “has been involved in a scheme to defraud the state of Alabama in violation of federal law since at least January 2002.” Jenkins’ firm worked on 54 projects at 11 two-year colleges during the period prosecutors claim he paid the bribes, the filing states.

Jenkins told the News in previous stories that he helped Johnson build his Opelika house and agreed to wait for payment of nearly $35,000 until Johnson sold it at some point in the future. Jenkins also said he paid Johnson’s son, Steve Johnson, $3,000 a month to help oversee a project at Lawson State Community College, where Steve Johnson was employed at the time.

The filing did not name the college president who allegedly received $1,800 in “goods and services” from Jenkins. But the News reported Joanne Jordan, the former Southern Union State Community College president and now the interim Shelton State Community College president, said Jenkins helped her design her Lake Martin home.

Jordan and Jenkins have stated he simply reviewed her architectural plans and gave advice, the newspaper said.

by Associated Press

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