Despite stand, Riley aides put contract at AUM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Bob Riley has been critical of legislators hiding state funds for special projects in the budgets of universities. But he has defended a $13 million computer contract that initially was steered by his own Finance Department through Auburn University Montgomery, avoiding legislative review.

Riley's press secretary, Todd Stacy, said Friday the contract that went through AUM was different from state funds being hidden in university budgets by legislators, a practice known as "pass-through pork." But the chairman of the Legislature's Contract Review Committee disagreed. State Rep. Alvin Holmes, a Democrat from Montgomery, said the Riley administration's use of AUM to give the contract to Paragon Source was the same as the practice Riley has been criticizing.

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