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April 21, 2011
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Suzanne Webb (334) 242-7351
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(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange announced the conviction
yesterday of Samuel P. Pettagrue, 58, of Leeds, on state charges related to the theft of grant
funds inappropriately diverted to former State Senator E.B. McClain. Pettagrue pleaded
guilty in Jefferson County Circuit Court to one count of third-degree theft. He received a
sentence of 12 months and was granted probation for one year. His sentence will be served
concurrently with a federal sentence of five years probation imposed for his 2009 conviction
of 47 counts of money laundering, mail fraud, bribery and conspiracy.
The circumstances leading to Pettagrue’s conviction were stated in a warrant as
follows: In April 2002, McClain, as a state Senator directed a $65,000 grant from the
Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to an organization called the
Community Resource Center in Jefferson County, of which Pettagrue was executive
director. McClain notified Pettagrue that the grant money was coming and directed
Pettagrue to divert $45,000 back to McClain. Pettagrue wrote a check for $45,000 to
McClain, which McClain deposited into his checking account. Both men were aware that
McClain was not entitled to the money and had done no work for it.
“The public corruption surrounding this case was an outrageous abuse of the
people’s trust, and an example of the great need for this office to have a good and effective
working relationship with other law enforcement and prosecutors. I am pleased that the
state charges in this matter are being resolved, and proud of the continuing good work of
the Attorney General’s Investigations Division and Public Corruption and White Collar
Crime Division.”
A joint investigation by the State and by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern
District of Alabama resulted in federal convictions against both men. McClain is currently
in federal custody serving a sentence of five years and 10 months for 47 counts of money
laundering, mail fraud, bribery and conspiracy. State charges of theft and theft by
deception still are pending against McClain, 60, of Midfield.
The State investigation and prosecution was handled by the Attorney General’s
Investigations Division and by Assistant Attorney General Bill Lisenby, Jr. of the Attorney
General’s Public Corruption and White Collar Crime Division. St. Clair County District
Attorney Richard Minor was appointed to supervise the investigation and prosecution on
behalf of the State of Alabama.
501 Washington Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 242-7300