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Lawson State College fires son of former chancellor

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — Steve Johnson, whose father was ousted last year as two-year college chancellor, has been fired from Lawson State Community College after officials investigated payments he received from a contractor working at the school.

Johnson, 38, earned nearly $69,000 annually to handle special building projects at Lawson. He was terminated Thursday by Lawson State President Perry Ward, who had placed him on leave in August after Johnson acknowledged receiving $3,000 a month from an Anniston architecture firm to help it oversee its building projects at Lawson.

Jay Jenkins said his company, Jenkins Munroe Jenkins, stopped paying Johnson in June, but said he wasn't sure when the payments began. Jenkins said his father, Julian Jenkins, arranged the payments.

The Jenkins' firm received more than $4 million in work from two-year colleges after Roy Johnson became chancellor in 2002, The Birmingham News reported. The firm also helped Roy Johnson build a $1.3 million home in Opelika.

Steve Johnson's ex-wife, LuAnn, resigned from her $46,000-a-year recruiting job at Southern Union State Community College last week, school officials said Thursday.

State school board members fired Roy Johnson in July after learning about jobs and contracts given to his relatives.

Roy Johnson's daughter, Malinda Morgan, lost her jobs last year, but had received more than $70,000 annually from the Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa and the Central Alabama Skills Consortium in Opelika. She was also paid by a Jasper company whose owner has admitted paying kickbacks to college officials.

Her husband, Greg Morgan, canceled contracts totaling $72,000 a year with three colleges. Linda Johnson, Roy Johnson's wife, remains employed at Southern Union, school officials said. She has been on annual and sick leave since Johnson was fired in July, receiving her annual salary of about $100,000.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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