Ousted Ala. lawmaker gets 6 years for bribery

E.B. McClain
E.B. McClain

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A federal judge in Birmingham has sentenced former Alabama state Sen. E.B. McClain to almost six years in federal prison for taking thousands of dollars in kickbacks in a bribery scheme.

U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre imposed the sentence during a hearing Friday for the 69-year-old McClain, rejecting prosecutors' call for a term of more than 17 years behind bars.

A jury in January returned felony convictions against McClain, who is from Midfield, and the Rev. Samuel Pettagrue.

McClain, a six-term lawmaker, automatically was kicked out of the Senate.

Prosecutors argued that McClain sent about $758,000 in grants to a private foundation run by Pettagrue, who paid him kickbacks totaling $306,000.

They said Pettagrue took about $45,000.

Pettagrue's sentencing was delayed till a later date due to a car accident Friday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)