Marvin Wiggins

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Marvin Wiggins
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Current Court Information:
Alabama Circuit 4
Title:   Judge
Salary:  $ 120-150k
Service:
Active:   1999-2016
Past position:   Attorney, Law Office of Johnnie Hardwick
Past position 2:   Attorney, Chestnut, Sanders, Sanders, Pettaway & Campbell, LLC
Personal History
Undergraduate:   Alabama State University, 1986
Law School:   Howard University, 1990
Grad. School:   Emory University, 1992

Marvin Wiggins is a judge of Circuit 4 in Alabama. He has served in this position since January 19, 1999, following his election in 1998. Wiggins was re-elected in 2010 to a term that expires in 2016.[1][2][3]

Education

Wiggins received his undergraduate degree from Alabama State University in 1986, his J.D. from Howard University in 1990, and his master of laws degree from Emory University in 1992.[4][5]

Career

Prior to being elected to the court, Wiggins practiced law with the firms of The Law Office of Johnnie Hardwick and Chestnut, Sanders, Sanders, Pettaway & Campbell, LLC.[4]

Awards and associations

Awards

  • 2002: MLK Peacekeeper’s Award
  • 2002: Emancipation Proclamation Humanitarian Award
  • 2001: Greene County SCLC Black Achievers of Alabama
  • 2001: Bridge Builders Award
  • 1997: William Moses Kunstler Racial Justice Award [4]

Associations

  • 2005-Present: Member, Alabama State University’s Board of Trustees[4]

Elections

2010

Wiggins was re-elected to Circuit 4, earning 100% of the vote.[6]

Main article: Alabama judicial elections, 2010

In the news

Audit of Alabama State University (2013-2014)

Governor Robert Bentley's office released a 38-page preliminary audit of Alabama State University (ASU) on October 14, 2013. The audit was commissioned to investigate claims of fraud at the school. It included a complete audit of all the school's financial activity from 2007 to 2011. The preliminary report suggested various instances of financial waste and conflicts of interest. Specifically, it alleged that relatives of trustees, Marvin Wiggins and Elton Dean, received an undue amount of money from the school.[7]

The audit pointed to funds received by Wiggins' relatives through a dropout-prevention camp run by his wife which was contracted by the university. The camp did take place before Wiggins was appointed to serve on the board, and no issues regarding the summer program were ever voted on or discussed by the board.[8]

The audit also pointed to a high salary received by Wiggins' sister-in-law--a disbarred attorney who was hired as a professor at ASU. However, minutes from the board meeting indicate Wiggins abstained from voting on her selection as a faculty member.[8] A total of $205,301 was received by Wiggins' family members through the school according to the report.[9]

Wiggins, however, suggested that the audit was a political move. On the day the preliminary audit was made public, he stated,

Governor Bentley was provided on Friday with information related to me that clearly and concisely disputed the findings of his report. Instead of basing his actions on facts, he has arbitrarily decided to try to remove me from the board so that he can begin the process of controlling Alabama State University. Our University has gained everything we have through struggles and fights for decades, and if a fight is what Gov. Bentley wants, he will certainly get it.[10][11]

The full report is available here: Alabama State University (ASU) Independent Financial Forensics Assessment

Former university president, Joseph Silver, recommended the audit although he held his post as president for just three months. In September 2012, Silver claimed he discovered irregularities with some of the school's contracts. He was subsequently placed on paid administrative leave by the board of trustees. Silver later received a $685,000 settlement from the school.[12]

Governor Bentley asked trustees Marvin Wiggins and Elton Dean to resign. Dean agreed to do so.[8]

Wiggins refused to resign and argued that the governor's actions were due to politics and racial bias. The state's two historically black colleges contain provisions in their constitutions which allow the state's governor to remove trustees. However, 13 other colleges in the state have no such provision. Wiggins serves as vice-chair of the board. The board is chaired by the governor. However, in the governor's absence, the vice-chair conducts board meetings. Bentley's attendance at such meetings was reportedly rare--most were chaired by Wiggins.[8]

Wiggins removed

On July 25, 2014, Governor Bentley removed Marvin Wiggins from the Alabama State University Board of Trustees. The governor cited conflict-of-interest violations in a letter to Wiggins that announced his removal from the board. The letter claimed that Wiggins had benefitted from payments by the university to his wife, had participated in getting his sister-in-law a job despite her disbarment, and had unduly requested a $100,000 fund for the trustees to use for hiring and trips.[13][14]

Discipline (2009)

Wiggins was reprimanded by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary in 2009 and suspended for 90 days without pay due to violations of the Code of Judicial Ethics. He failed to recuse himself from a voter fraud case that involved three of his relatives.[15]

See also

External links

References

Alabama Supreme CourtAlabama Court of Civil AppealsAlabama Court of Criminal AppealsAlabama Circuit CourtsAlabama Municipal CourtsAlabama Probate CourtsAlabamaAlabama countiesAlabama judicial newsAlabama judicial electionsJudicial selection in AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Middle District of AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of AlabamaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh CircuitAlabamaTemplate.jpg