News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Don't blame choir for off-key notes

You might call the attorney general's explanation for using Alabama Power Co.'s luxury box at an Atlanta Braves game preaching to the choir.

Then, you might call it blaming the choir, or singing badly off key.

But leave it to Alabama Attorney General Troy King to demonstrate that he's in over his head as the state's chief law enforcement officer.

In trying to explain how using the power company's luxury box and 14 tickets wasn't a conflict of interest, Mr. King hit on a novel thesis: Alabama Power Co. actually made gifts of nine of the tickets to members of Mr. King's church choir, not to him.

He was simply the conduit through which the tickets passed from the power company to his church members. He and his family only used five tickets.

None of the ethics filings on the tickets, food, or luxury box came about until the Birmingham News began asking questions recently.

Comparable boxes rent for about $2,000 a game, the tickets cost $45 each and the food bill ran to $1,262.64.

Mr. King says he sees no conflict of interest. But he's also the attorney general who didn't see anything wrong with seeking a job for a friend in the state's two-year college system at the time his office is investigating the activities that led to the firing of former Chancellor Roy Johnson.

Mr. King conceded that "probably" was not a wise decision. Perhaps, he should have tried blaming the choir.

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