Legislation for state legal fees blocked

MONTGOMERY, AL  - Gov. Bob Riley has blocked a legislative resolution that would have forced the state to pay legal fees to a Montgomery law firm hired to stop the state from proceeding with a $13 million computer contract.

A spokesman for the governor, Todd Stacy, said Riley refused to sign the resolution, which is known as a "pocket veto" killing the measure. The firm of Thomas, Means, Gillis & Seay was hired by the Legislature's Contract Review Committee to represent the panel in a lawsuit seeking to stop the Finance Department's $13 million contract with Paragon Source LLC.

Stacy said taxpayers should not be forced to pay for what he called a "frivolous" lawsuit. The chairman of the contract review panel, Democratic Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery, said Riley refused to pay the firm for political reasons.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)