Ala. lawmaker: state plane used by Riley aides

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A state legislator is complaining that two top officials in Gov. Bob Riley's administration used a state plane to travel to newspapers in Birmingham and Huntsville to defend a no-bid computer contract.

Democratic state Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery said Thursday that Riley communications director Jeff Emerson and state Finance Director Bill Newton should reimburse the state for the trip. He said Riley told him that he can use the plane Friday to visit the same newspapers to explain why he thinks it's a bad contract. Emerson confirmed that he and Newton and Riley chief of staff Dave Stewart flew on the state plane to defend the $13 million contract with Paragon Source LLC. The company has no business phone listing or Web site, but has done work with state previously.

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