Attorney General King counters Riley argument of BP lawsuit

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Attorney General Troy King fired back, "This irresponsible budget caused proration, not my lawsuit," as he denies his lawsuit against BP had any impact on the company's denial of an $148 million claim.

Governor Bob Riley blamed King's lawsuit against BP as the reason for the denial.

Without the money, Riley declared the education budget in 2% proration cutting $113 million out of the education budget. King in a news conference Friday in Montgomery says the governor in his State of the State Address said there would be no need to trim the budgets because of the economy.

Now, the governor tried to make  quick claim with BP to prop up the education fund.

"Governor Riley seems unable to see beyond the end of the few months left in his term of office and has approached you as a panhandler begging for crumbs," King said.

In Montgomery, Governor Riley disagreed with the attorney general.

"He is going down this path no other attorney general is going down. No other governor is going down. He is just wrong," Riley said.

The governor says King is upset because of Riley's refusal to okay an outside legal firm to help with the lawsuit. "He is upset because I will not sign a contract, a contingency fee contract that is going to pay someone literally ten's of if not 100's of millions of dollars." Riley said.

King says he never believed BP would give Alabama the money. That 's why his lawsuit is necessary. "I want to speak directly to BP. Your days of dealing with Governor riley and exploiting the state's financial problems are over." King said.

The attorney general says he will file the suit once the losses to the state are documented.

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