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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lawmakers to discuss $13 million contract


State Rep. Alvin Holmes, chairman of the legislative contract review committee, told South Union Street's Sebastian Kitchen on Tuesday that he will subpoena records from a company that received a $13 million computer contract if the information is not given to him.
Holmes, D-Montgomery, requested for Janet Lauderdale, who runs Paragon Source LLC, to attend the Wednesday meeting of the legislative review committee. He said he received a letter on Tuesday from the attorney for Lauderdale stating she would not attend the meeting, but that he would be there to answer questions.
Holmes requested documents showing who was being paid through the $13 million contract and how much they were being paid.
Acting Finance Director Bill Newton sent a letter to Holmes stating that the state sends the money to the contractor, Paragon, who performs the work, and does not have information on who the private company pays through the contract.
Holmes said it was the first time since he has been on the committee that a state department refused to release such information to the oversight panel.
Several people have been critical of the no-bid contract because the headquarters for Paragon are listed as personal residences in Virginia and in a gated community in east Montgomery. Holmes asked the governor not to sign the contract, but spokesmen for Gov. Bob Riley have said lawyers have looked at the contract and not found any legal concerns.
Newton said the company has performed well in helping the state to revamp the computer system used for its finances including payroll and paying bills.
The legislative contract review committee meets at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the State House.

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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