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State employee was on collegesí payroll

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — While working for former Gov. Don Siegelman and U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, Gina Bailey McKell drew a paycheck from Alabamaís two-year college system.

McKell received nearly $73,000 a year from one college to work in the governorís office and later more than $76,000 a year to work in Davisí office until she resigned last year, according to the report.

Both Siegelman and Davis are Democrats.

McKell is the cousin of one of Siegelmanís former closest aides, Nick Bailey, who became a prosecution witness at the ex-governorís bribery trial. Sheís the daughter of Jake Bailey, the former longtime president of Wallace State Community College in Hanceville.

With a high school diploma, McKell received her first two-year college job in April 1997. She was hired by Jefferson State President Judy Merritt to work 19 hours a week in the schoolís community relations office, system records show.

Her pay jumped to just more than $65,000 a year in November 2000, after she was named community affairs coordinator.

It was shortly after that, McKell said, that she went to work for Siegelman. She was assigned to the Governorís Office on National and Community Service. Her salary rose to $72,659 in May 2001 while she worked for Siegelman, records show.

After Siegelman lost to Riley in 2002, McKellís salary transferred from Jefferson State to Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, system records show.

Between her jobs with Siegelman and Davis, McKell remained on the college payroll in the governorís office for a few months during Republican Bob Rileyís transition into office.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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