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Friday, February 06, 2009

Court backs AL Gov. in lawsuit over AAMU trustees

The State Supreme Court today dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block four Alabama A&M University trustees appointed by Gov. Bob Riley from sitting on the board.

Riley appointed the four, including Huntsville developer David Slyman, last year, but they were rejected by the state Senate. Riley re-appointed them after the Legislature went out of session. Several taxpayers sued to block those appointments.

Today's high court ruling dismissed that suit on the grounds the taxpayers had no grounds to sue.

"Our position from the beginning has been that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring this case and, therefore, the court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction over this case," Riley said today. Today's decision is a confirmation of our position. I'm hopeful now that the board will come together as a functioning board of trustees and conduct its business for the university in a manner in which they are bound to by their fiduciary duty."

"We have lost a battle, but not the war," said plaintiffs' attorney Troy Massey of Montgomery. "These four trustees must still be confirmed by the Alabama Senate during the current session. I am disappointed, but not really surprised."

The suit contested Riley's appointment of trustees David Slyman Jr., Leroy Richie, Edward May, and the Rev. Clyde McNeil.


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