Tin Shop Tartan - Randolph County Alabama's Own Snarky and Surly Scot Gets All Native

Blogging from the suburbs of the Tin Shop community, Captain Plaid brings Progressivism, and a share of Quixotic angst, to the ridges and hollows of Randolph County, Alabama. Hardly a booster yet rooted here enough to fight, Plaidsters can perhaps find like cause in trying to build local solutions to global concerns. Education, environment, economy, entertainment, engagement ... Trust the Tartan!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Chancellor Roy Johnson and "Family Values"

I've previously posted on Roy Johnson hiring Susan Salatto as the new President of Southern Union as perhaps showing his political nature rather than a desire to have the best person in place. I wonder if this most recent reporting indicates Mr. Johnson's desire to have "his kind of people" in place in these JuCos? Brett Blackledge of The B'ham News has been a bulldog on this issue with today's reporting indicating " In-law of official paid by 3 colleges". The article is very damning I think yet I'll just give you portions.

Three of the state's community colleges each gave $2,000-a-month contracts to the son-in-law of system Chancellor Roy Johnson, state records show.

Gregory Morgan, an Opelika lawyer married to Johnson's daughter, received a total of $6,000 a month under contracts for legal services with the colleges - Snead State Community College in Boaz, Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City and Southern Union Community College in Opelika, system finance records show.

State records show Morgan has received more than $144,000 from the colleges since 2003. Most of those fees were not reported by system officials when a 2005 report was produced showing legal fees paid by the state's community colleges, records show. ...

Morgan is married to Johnson's daughter, Malinda, who works in Morgan's Opelika law office. A woman who answered the phone at the law office Tuesday said Malinda Morgan was working but she was not able to come to the phone.

Malinda Morgan is paid more than $21,000 a year as a curriculum specialist by the Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa under a contract that also provides her state health insurance and retirement benefits. ...

Central Alabama Community College listed Morgan's Opelika law practice, Morgan Associates, as one of its contract lawyers in fiscal 2004 and 2005. The college reported paying Morgan $24,000 from October 2003 to September 2004 and another $24,000 from October 2004 to September 2005.

Central Alabama reported the payments in a systemwide survey of legal fees produced last year by the postsecondary department. But Snead State did not report its payments to Morgan in the survey that was submitted to State Board of Education members.

Southern Union reported paying Morgan only $87.94 in the systemwide survey. Finance records show the college, which Johnson led as president before becoming chancellor in 2002, began paying Morgan $2,000 a month in January 2004 and continued until at least September.

Efforts failed Tuesday to reach Southern Union officials.

Johnson said Tuesday he does not require his college presidents to report their legal contracts to him. He said he also doesn't discuss his son-in-law's law practice with him.

"And I do not arrange contracts for him, if that's what you're asking," Johnson said. "The fact that he's related to me shouldn't prevent him from earning a living."

"Earning a living" indeed! "Where's there's smoke there's fire." is often true and this one is boiling smoke. While I know playing lawyer is hardly all profit this arrangement hardly seems like much more than a way to feather the nest. With benefits and the like this couple has made way more than the average teacher has made in the same period. Peace ... or War!