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Riley denies Siegelman involvement

By By Bob Martin, The Alabama Scene
Gov. Bob Riley says he has never had a conversation with anybody in an attempt to influence Don Siegelman’s case, and said he told Siegelman that in person before the former governor’s trial.
Riley said recently on a Tuscaloosa News Town Hall Web cast that his comments were at a ceremony they both attended at the state capitol building and he told Siegelman face-to-face that he had never talked with anybody about his case, and never would.
The current governor described it like this: “It was before Siegelman’s trial because he was saying, ‘This was a Republican conspiracy,’ ” Riley said. “And I told him, I said, ‘Look, you might win the case, I don’t know…but I’m going to tell you, just so you know, and you know that I know that you know, that there is nothing that I have ever done personally, there is nothing that my family has ever done to you or said about you.’ ”
The governor said he continued with following words to Siegelman: “Now, you can keep going out and saying Riley’s doing this, but no one will ever find a time, any time that we’ve ever done it, and we’re not going to start now.”
In response, Siegelman told The News this past week that he remembers the function at the Capitol and remembers talking to Riley, but does not remember what they talked about.
The governor also ridiculed the idea that the White House or Karl Rove had anything to do with the Siegelman case, however this past week the Department of Justices opened an investigation into whether or not selective prosecution or politics played a role in the Siegelman trials in Birmingham and Montgomery.
Getting Volkswagen would require special session
Unsubstantiated reports continue to suggest that a site in Limestone County near Huntsville will be the choice of Volkswagen to build a manufacturing plant that will employ 2,000 workers. The source says that the Limestone site has won out over a site in Chattanooga, Tenn.
A report on News 12, WDEF in Chattanooga posted a recent headline “Did Chattanooga just lose the Volkswagen plant?” and cited a Birmingham based website which cited an anonymous source in reporting that Volkswagen has picked the Limestone County site. The web site says its source also provided it with accurate tips that Kia would locate in West Point, Ga. and Hyundai would choose Montgomery. The web site is southernautocorridor.com.
Volkswagen has said it will announce its site choice in July and that Tennessee, Alabama and Michigan are in the running. If Alabama is chosen by the German manufacturer it will require a special session of the legislature.
House Speaker Seth Hammett said Gov. Riley told him a special session would be needed to approve an incentive package if Europe’s largest automaker does pick an Alabama site.
The incentives could be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot, but only if lawmakers approved them by about Aug. 4, at least three months before the election.
New PSC rules to help consumers
The Alabama Public Service Commission is taking steps to help protect telephone customers from being billed for services which were not requested.
The commission adopted new rules to regulate third-party telecommunication providers and companies that handle their billing.
The rules, to be implemented at the start of the new fiscal year in October, are meant to put an end to the practice of putting unauthorized charges on a consumer’s telephone bill, a ruse known as “cramming.”
PSC Commissioner Susan Parker says this practice is the single thing she gets the most complaints about. What happens, she says, is that some groups use deceptive practices to sign up consumers for services, such as web hosting, that they don’t want and don’t realize they’re paying for it.
Parker says the new regulations will require third-party operators to register and detail to the commission the way they sign up customers for extra services and to make absolutely clear in their billings what services were provided.

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