Jury convicts state senator in corruption trial

Published 5:59 pm Wednesday, January 21, 2009

BIRMINGHAM — A federal court jury has convicted state Sen. E.B. McClain and a Jefferson County minister on all charges in a corruption trial in Birmingham.

Jurors got the case Wednesday morning after receiving final instructions from a federal judge. They reached a guilty verdict on all 48 counts late Wednesday afternoon.

Prosecutors say the Rev. Samuel Pettagrue accepted about $760,000 in state grant money obtained by McClain to run a nonprofit foundation and then gave the six-term Birmingham Democrat more than $300,000 in kickbacks.

The men were charged with multiple counts of bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and mail fraud.

Attorneys for Pettagrue and McClain said the grants and payments were proper.