Jury selection starts in trial of Alabama lawmaker

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - Jury selection is under way in the second fraud trial of Alabama state Rep. Sue Schmitz of Toney. Schmitz's retrial began Tuesday in federal court in Decatur with a judge addressing potential jurors.

Nearly half of the prospective jurors told attorneys they recalled hearing about the case through news reports. Prosecutors accused the 64-year-old Schmitz of using political connections to get a job linked to Alabama's two-year colleges but then doing little work. The Democratic legislator denies any wrongdoing.

Schmitz's first trial was held last summer but ended in a mistrial when jurors couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-02-10-09 1729EST