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Riley brings back former cabinet member

Gov. Bob Riley has brought back former State Finance Director Drayton Nabors to oversee the handling of federal stimulus funds.

Riley says he’s still negotiating a contract for Nabors, who’s a Birmingham lawyer and former Alabama chief justice.

Riley announced a state hiring freeze in December, but the governor says Nabors’ hiring doesn’t conflict with that. Riley says he announced at the time that exceptions would be made for essential state services and that Alabama needs someone to coordinate the estimated $3 billion the state could receive from a stimulus package.

Nabors and his law firm got a contract last year that will pay up to $400,000 for representing the Riley administration in a lawsuit challenging how Alabama levies property taxes.