Government Corruption

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A federal grand jury investigating government corruption heard from two men who led the Alabama Democratic Party during former Governor Don Siegelman's unsuccessful lottery campaign in 1999.

Jack Miller, who was party chairman, and Giles Perkins, who was the party's executive director, were called before the grand jury yesterday. The panel has spent three days this week reviewing events from Siegelman's 1999-2003 term.

The lottery foundation, formed by Siegelman, reported paying the State Democratic Executive Committee more than $730,000 in March 2000, for voter turnout efforts during the 1999 campaign.

Miller and Perkins declined to discuss why they were called before the grand jury.

Siegelman was indicted by a federal grand jury last month on charges of conspiring to rig bids on state medical contracts, but no charges have been filed against him by the grand jury in Montgomery.

On Tuesday, the grand jury heard from Bob Rzonca, a former senior vice president of IPSCO steel company. The Legislature approved a bond issue in 1999 that included financial incentives for an IPSCO steel plant being built in Montgomery County.

Nick Bailey, a former Siegelman aide who has pleaded guilty to federal charges, testified to the grand jury on Monday.