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Johnson calls on AG, DA to investigate Gov. Bob Riley

Ex-Riley ally and GOP candidate for governor directs appeal for probe to King, Brooks

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Johnson, former cabinet member under Gov. Bob Riley, today announced that he has sent a letter to Alabama Attorney General Troy King and Montgomery Country District Attorney Ellen Brooks requesting investigations of possible violations of law by Riley.

According to Johnson, Riley has taken actions that have benefited the law firms where Riley's son and son-in-law practice. He also called on state law enforcement officials to probe Riley's 2002 gubernatorial campaign's receipt of campaign contributions from Mississippi Indian casino owners and their agents and the impact it may be having on public policy in Alabama.

"I signed the Governor's 'Code of Ethics' pledge in November 2005, stating that I pledged 'my actions to always reflect first and foremost what is in the best interest of the State of Alabama and her taxpayers," said Johnson. "In January 2009, I reported concerns of potential conflicts of interest by Governor Bob Riley relative to the Jefferson County sewer negotiations directly to the US Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama. I took that step firstly because it was the right thing to do as a public servant working for the taxpayers of Alabama, and secondly, because my signature on the Governor's 'Code of Ethics' was my personal commitment to 'uphold and daily apply the highest degree of professional standards.' 

Johnson stated that he believes threatening letters he has received since announcing his candidacy stem from "private and public comments I made regarding actions taken by Governor Riley that appear to be contrary to state law."

Johnson said critical principles are at stake: "No state official is above the law. The people deserve to know whether or not their Governor has violated the law. The next Governor should be someone who is committed to telling the truth no matter how uncomfortable that might make people in power. This is the only way we will clean up Alabama politics and government once and for all. And, above all else, I refuse to be bullied by the cowards who are anonymously threatening me and my family."

Johnson pointed to four specific areas that warrant investigation by King and Brooks. Johnson previously reported his concerns to federal law enforcement officials and has spoken publically about them during his campaign.

The specific areas of concern raised in Johnson's letter include:

The law that prohibits conflicts of interest requires that state cabinet officials report "any matters that come to his or her attention in his or her official capacity which constitute a violation of this chapter."

Johnson served as head of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) in the Riley administration before launching his campaign for governor earlier this year.

"I assume the Governor will cooperate with your investigations since he has stated on numerous occasions his support for Alabama's law enforcement activities," Johnson wrote.

"In addition, Riley Press Secretary Todd Stacy was quoted on Nov. 26 that 'We hope law enforcement will investigate this, find out who is responsible and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law'," he concluded.