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School Board Approves Byrne as Chancellor

By Associated Press

Montgomery, AL – The state school board voted 8-to-1 Thursday to hire state Senator Bradley Byrne as chancellor of Alabama's two-year college system. He is the fourth person to be in charge of the program since it became the focus of a federal corruption probe last year.

Ella Bell was the only board member to vote against Byrne.

After he was given a 248-thousand dollar contract to run the Postsecondary system, Byrne, a Fairhope Republican, resigned from his seat today. Byrne previously served on the state school board and was G-O-P Governor Bob Riley's choice to lead the system.

A Montgomery circuit judge cleared the way Wednesday for the board to hire Byrne, rejecting a complaint that said the process had violated Alabama's open meetings law.

The search for a permanent chancellor began last year after Roy Johnson was ousted from the post and fired amid questions about system work done by family members.

Retired Samford University President Thomas Corts and Gadsden State Community College President Renee Culverhouse held the job on an interim basis, but Corts resigned amid conflict with the board and Culverhouse resigned citing health problems.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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