Rep. Holmes: I was asked to make ASU investigation racial - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Rep. Holmes: I was asked to make ASU investigation racial

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Rep. Alvin Holmes says he does not believe racism played a role in the audit of ASU Rep. Alvin Holmes says he does not believe racism played a role in the audit of ASU
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

State Representative Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) is not shy about speaking out about the topic of racial inequality, but there's a hot button issue in Montgomery that he's declining to see in such a light.

Rep. Holmes tells WSFA 12 News he was asked to make the investigation of Alabama State University and a controversial audit report appear racially motivated. Alabama State University is a historically black college.

Holmes is claiming that former ASU Trustee Donald Watkins and ASU Executive Vice President John Knight asked him to question the motives of former university president Dr. Joseph Silver and to attack Governor Robert Bentley, who is the head of the ASU Board of Trustees by virtue of his governorship.

Holmes, a longtime Montgomery lawmaker, says he refused to make racial claims because he does not believe race played a role in Silver's questions or Bentley's request for a forensic audit of the university.

Both Watkins and Knight deny they asked Holmes to become involved in the situation.

ASU is currently suing the auditing firm, FSS, in a California court for negligent and intentional interference in a false and misleading audit. In its court filing, ASU cites a "long and ugly history of discrimination against its African American citizens and their institutions..." and that the state "has had a long history of allowing its historically white universities to be governed by independent boards of trustees."

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