State UMW chief John Stewart testified before a grand jury on Aug. 9 about a 1999 contribution to the Ala. Dem. Party that went unreported. The $50,000 contribution was made at around the same time that then-Gov. Don Sigelman was campaigning for a state lottery. It was not reported by the Dem. Party in 1999, but showed up on the next report filed with the Ala. Secy. of State. A former partner in the investment firm AFS Equities appeared before the grand jury a week earlier to discuss Democratic Party donations that his firm handled for about a week in 1999. The money was sent to an out-of-state investment account.
The fed. grand jury has been investigating several events of Siegelman’s 1999-2003 term, incl.: donations to the 1999 lottery campaign; Siegelman’s appointments to the state panel that gives hospitals permission to expand; a tax break given to Waste Management in 1999; and $200,000 given to the Alabama Democratic Party that ended up in an out-of-state investment account. Former Siegelman aide Nick Bailey, who signed a cooperation deal with federal prosecutors last year, made his second appearance before the grand jury on the 9th. [Birmingham News, 8/10/04]