Montgomery Circuit Judge James Anderson dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday filed by Birmingham Southern College asking the court to force State Treasurer Young Boozer to issue the college a $16 million loan.
Anderson hinted last week when the suit was filed that he struggled to see where he would have the authority to grant such a request. Lawyers for Birmingham Southern were unable to sway Anderson to their side in court Wednesday.
With the college’s board of trustees meeting on Oct. 30, lawyers for Birmingham Southern College said there is a very real likelihood the college will shut down following the Fall semester.
The arguments fell largely along the same lines as last week’s meeting. Anderson noted the statute’s language that specifically states the treasurer “may, in his or her judgment,” issue the loan. He also cited the recent Alabama Supreme Court decision in a lawsuit against Alabama Department of Transportation Director Jon Cooper regarding his actions in building a new bridge in Baldwin County.
Attorneys for BSC argued that Boozer acted beyond the bounds of his discretion, and that his actions amount to an unconstitutional veto of actions by the state legislature.
“The Legislature disagreed with the Treasurer and created this program to save Birmingham-Southern College, but the Treasurer has unlawfully exercised a veto by delay of a law the Legislature passed and the Governor signed,” BSC attorneys argued in the original complaint. “Rather than fulfill his duty, the Treasurer has undermined the Legislature. “
BSC President Daniel Coleman said in a statement Wednesday that Boozer betrayed the college’s good faith.
“The timeline of our interactions clearly demonstrates that his behavior was arbitrary and capricious,” Coleman said in the statement. “We also believe he is misinterpreting t’he language of the Act pertaining collateral.”
Boozer said in a statement that he was “pleased with the dismissal of this lawsuit and confirmation that I have acted in accordance with the law.”