Friday, May 30, 2008

Ala Senator McClain indicted: Bribery, money laundering

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State Sen. E.B. McClain has been named in a 50-count indictment by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud money laundering and bribery involving a program receiving federal money.

U.S. Attorney Alice Martin during a press conference today said McClain used his public office for "personal profit."

"He worked the 'pass through grant process not to help his community and those in need of GED training, but to line his pockets with over $300,000," Martin said.

McClain, 67, a Midfield Democrat, is already facing state theft charges. Both cases involve a $65,000 grant in 2002 from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to the Community Resource Center, a nonprofit founded by the Rev. Sam Pettagrue.

Pettagrue was also named in the federal indictment.

McClain, who was hired as a consultant for Pettagrue's nonprofit, received at least $55,500 from special legislative grants sent to the group from 2001 to 2003. At times he was paid directly from the state grants he requested for the group. Pettagrue was also charged in that case.