State School Board Ousts Johnson as 2-year College System Head

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Governor Riley says he agrees with the
state school board's decision to fire two-year college system
chancellor Roy Johnson.

Johnson was fired by the board today on an eight to nothing
vote. The firing comes amid turmoil over an investigation of
Alabama Fire College finances that caused a legislator to agree to
plead guilty.

Riley is in China on an industry hunting trip, but issued a
statement saying he believes the board's action is in the best
interest of the state's two-year college system.

Johnson did not attend today's meeting. He said in a statement
he would have preferred to have left the position under different
circumstances. But he says he hopes the board's action will return
the focus of the two-year system to -quote- "the colleges and the
students they serve."

Board member Stephanie Bell of Montgomery says the firing of
Johnson was not just a result of the investigation of the Alabama
Fire College at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa. She
says it was because of concern about Johnson giving jobs and
contracts to member of his own family and concern over misuse of
private foundations that help support some of the schools

Byars says the board's decision was based on a provision in
Johnson's contract that allows board members to fire him without
cause if they give him 240 days notice.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)