By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY— Assistant Finance Director Rex McDowell, who has been closely associated with recent questionable State software upgrades, calls Texas home, where he owns SoftSwitch Communications, Inc., a company that offers fully integrated, hosted communications solutions, as reported by Bob Lowry in 2011.
According to Lowry’s report, McDowell, a Montgomery native, is registered to vote in Texas, holds a Texas drivers license and even though he receives a six figure salary from the State of Alabama, he reported on his ethics disclosure that he spends “one-third or more” of his time on his Texas-based communications company.
McDowell’s company offers advanced telephone systems, local & long distance service, e-mail, voice mail, unified messaging, wide area network support and more.
According to Lowry, McDowell, “Began commuting from Texas to a job in the Finance Department in the early days of former Gov. Bob Riley’s administration in 2003.”
Reportedly, Jim Main, who served as Finance Director in the Gov. Bob Riley administration, had informed McDowell that he would need to choose between working for the State and running his business in Texas. McDowell stepped down from Finance in 2005. However, the ultimatum rendered under Main was voided when Main was appointed to the Criminal Court of Appeals, and Newton took the Finance helm in 2009.
McDowell was he the college roommate of current Finance Director Bill Newton.
Lowry’s reports raise serious issues, such as why McDowell, a Texas business owner, is pushing software solutions that cost Alabama taxpayers so many millions of dollars?