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Former Ala. Official Pleads Guilty

October 29, 2001

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ The former head of Alabama’s transportation department pleaded guilty Monday to charges he accepted bribe money, some of which went to support his son’s stock car racing career.

Two lobbyists who prosecutors say aided the scheme pleaded guilty Monday to filing false income tax returns.

Jimmy Butts, 57, received $162,000 in bribe money in exchange for favorable treatment on road projects while serving as Department of Transportation director from 1995-99, according to indictments.

Under the plea agreement, Butts will get 15 to 21 months in federal prison and charges against his son, Craig Butts, will be dropped. Jimmy Butts must also pay $25,000 to VisionLand theme park, which sponsored Craig Butts’ race car.

Lobbyists John Teague, 57, and Johnny Moore, 44, cited consulting contracts from cities and others seeking favorable action from the state roads agency, according to indictments.

Those clients would pay 10 percent of any grant to Moore’s firm, Capital City Consultants, as well as to Teague, with Moore and Teague then passing money back to Butts and his son, prosecutors said.

Teague and Moore will be sentenced to six months in federal prison under their plea agreements. Moore also must pay $306,500 in taxes and penalties.

U.S. District Lyle Strom allowed all three men to remain free until their Feb. 19 sentencing.

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