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McGill out of School, on Parole

By By Connie Nowlin Managing editor
Steve McGill Jr., a state probation and parole officer and former member of the Escambia County Board of Education, was sworn in Wednesday to serve on the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. McGill lives in Freemanville.
He is the son of Lowell S. McGill Sr. and Ouida McGill of Atmore, and a graduate of Escambia County High School.
McGill's service on the board was in question because leaders of the Legislative Black Caucus had said that body would oppose the nomination because four of the five new members are white.
If that opposition keeps the Senate from approving the nominees, their appointments would expire in February.
The leaders of the caucus said that if the nominees were allowed to sit on the board, it would have five white members and two black members. Rep. Alvin Homes, the chairman of the group's affirmative action committee, said that would be inappropriate because the majority of prisoners in the Alabama correctional system are black.
McGill was hesitant to resign from the school board because it was unsure if he would be allowed to serve on the Parole Board, and he did not want to leave the school board when it is facing the vote on an increase in ad valorem taxes in December.
His fear was that if he left the school board, it could jeopardize the tax vote. One of the measures the school board may be forced to take if the tax does not pass is closing Huxford Elementary School. Huxford is in District 7, McGill's old district.
"Steve was an excellent school board member and made great contributions to Escambia County Schools," said Superintendent of Schools Melvin 'Buck' Powell.
"I'm going to miss him greatly. His input and his influence will be missed by other school board members, too."