The Birmingham attorney for former Jefferson County Commissioner Chris McNair says his client is ready to move forward with his life.
"Overall he is doing fine and the main thing he is happy to be home," attorney Doug Jones said.
Jones was in Minnesota Thursday to welcome McNair out of federal prison and he brought the 87-year old back to Birmingham. Jones was aware three weeks ago that an early release was possible. Now Jones said McNair wants a quiet life.
"Oh, I think at this point in his life he wants to live out his life with family. He is not physically cable of doing much. He wants to be part of the family," Jones said.
McNair is expected to live with his wife Maxine and his daughters. McNair is on supervised release and he will be expected to report regularly to federal authorities. McNair will also be required to pay the restitution that he still owes from his 2006 bribery conviction. At last check, Jones said that amount was around $400,000.
Next month will be the 50th anniversary of the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing which killed McNair's daughter. Jones said he thinks McNair would like to take part in the commemoration if he is able.
"I think he would like be. I think his family would want him to be. I think the church wants him to be. I think the community as a whole would like to see him involved. It's a big, big event," Jones said.
Jones said everything came together for McNair's release in time to take part in the 50 Year Forward event like it was ordained. As for McNair's legacy, his attorney hopes the good overshadows the bad.
"What we wanted people to recognize is what he did following that bombing. Instead of being bitter, instead of leaving the community, he stayed here. Became a public servant, made the state, made this city a better place," Jones said.
McNair's first meal was a homecooked meal of baby back ribs, grilled chicken, lima beans, fried okra and cornbread. Jones said it was a special moment when he arrived home for the first time.
"He was pensive coming home. Not too excited. Not too talkive. When he walked into that kitchen last night and embraced Maxine, he lit up. It was a very warm poignant homecoming. He wants to be a part of this family," Jones said.
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