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Gadsden State hired most legislators

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — Gadsden State Community College leads the two-year college system in the number of legislators and their relatives hired, among them a key House budget committee member, The Birmingham News reported Sunday.

Rep. Jack Page, D-Gadsden, discussed his membership on a House budget committee with Gadsden State administrators interviewing him for his $72,337-a-year job, according to the report.

Interim two-year college Chancellor Renee Culverhouse hired Page about a year after she became Gadsden State president.

But Page, vice chairman of the House Government Appropriations Committee, last week declined to discuss with the newspaper his job as community and external affairs liaison at Gadsden State.

Page’s supervisor is John Blue, a college vice president listed in state records as a lobbyist for the college system.

Those interviewing Page in 2002 took notes during their discussion, observing that Page as a budget committee member has “the very first opportunity of available resources because he serves on the committee for appropriations.”

Board member Randy McKinney, who has opposed Culverhouse as interim chancellor, said her hiring of Page and other legislators raises concerns about her leadership.

“This appears to be something that she apparently believes is OK,” McKinney said.

The issue of lawmakers receiving two-year college jobs reached the Legislature last week.

Gov. Bob Riley backs legislation to ban the practice. The bill was filed by Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, and Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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