Contractor cleared by grand jury

Published 7:48 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An Elmore County grand jury decided there was insufficient evidence necessary to indict Randal Christopher Hall, President of Brundidge’s S.A. Graham Co., for allegedly stealing $100,000 worth of material from the Alabama Department of Transportation.

On Oct. 25, 2010, Hall was arrested and charged with the theft of large amounts of riprap, rock used to armor shorelines, streambeds, bridge abutments, pilings and other shore structures against erosion.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

ALDOT investigators later found the material on the property of a private landowner in Titus, who said he was storing the material as a favor to the company.

Tony Harris, a spokesman for ALDOT, said the court decision will allow the company to bid again on state projects.

“We are aware of the grand jury’s decision to no-bill in this case and we’re taking the appropriate steps to restore his company to our bidding list,” Harris said. “His company will be eligible for projects in the upcoming lettings.”

Harris mentioned that the next scheduled letting date is set for Feb. 25, and that Hall’s company will be able to bid on the upcoming projects.

Randall Houston, district attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit, clarified what the grand jury’s decision signified.

“A no-bill decision means that either there was no crime committed, or that the person accused didn’t commit the crime,” Houston said.

Houston explained that in order to return a “True Bill” of indictment, it takes 12 votes from a grand jury to determine that probable cause exists for the indictment, and then vote in favor of it.

Because the grand jury issued a no-bill decision in this case, it essentially means the indictment charge against Hall has been dropped.

“Based on what I heard, it is a likelihood that the grand jury believed there was a communication problem between Hall and the transportation department,” Houston said. “At first blush, it appeared that something wrong was going on and, therefore, it was definitely something that needed to be looked into. So the investigators did their job, presented the evidence and the decision was made.”