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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Paul Bryant Jr.: A Man With Ties To Crime Looms Over A Decision About Birmingham's Drinking Water

Mulberry Fork intake facility

The governing board of the University of Alabama soon is expected to make a decision that could have an adverse impact on the drinking water for more than 200,000 people in the Birmingham metro area.

The controversy about proposed strip mining near the Mulberry Fork has been extensively covered in the local press. If approved, the project would discharge wastewater only 800 feet from a major drinking-water intake facility for the Birmingham Water Works Board.

Floating under the radar is background information about Paul Bryant Jr., who serves as president of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees. The board owns most of the 1,773 acres at the mining site, and a recent al.com op-ed piece by Black Warrior Waterkeeper Nelson Brooke says a decision is expected any day.

If the trustees approve Shepherd Bend LLC's plan to strip mine in the area, one of Birmingham's primary sources of drinking water could be at risk. Do members of the UA board possess the kind of forward thinking that is needed to handle such a tricky issue? Public records suggest the answer is no. In fact, records indicate that Paul Bryant Jr. has no business serving on any board that manages public resources.

That's because Bryant has documented ties to a massive insurance-fraud scheme that led to a 15-year federal prison sentence in the late 1990s for a Pennsylvania lawyer/entrepreneur named Allen W. Stewart. (By the way, a source tells Legal Schnauzer that Stewart was released from federal prison in early 2011, so he now is a free man; His sentence was due to run through 2012 and into 2013, but he was eligible for an early release.)

One of Bryant's companies, Alabama Reassurance, was implicated in at least nine counts involving a $15-million financial scam. Alabama Re has since been liquidated, along with its $238 million in admitted assets, and replaced with a company called Alabama Life Reinsurance.

Why was Alabama Re liquidated, and what happened to that money? Why were Paul Bryant Jr. and his associates never held accountable for their documented ties to insurance fraud? How could Bryant, given his sketchy background, wind up as president of a university governing board? Is the public aware that a man with a history of fraud might cast the key vote in a decision that could befoul a major source of drinking water?

Paul Bryant Jr.
We've been asking those questions for months now, but the public seems mainly interested in Bryant's connections to Alabama football, which he has helped restore to its status as a national powerhouse. After all, Bryant played a major role in the hiring of Coach Nick Saban, who has led the Crimson Tide to two national titles, and counting. Citizens, however, might want to pay attention to the Mulberry Fork issue--before it's too late. Writes Nelson Brooke:

This should be a simple decision. It makes absolutely no sense to mine coal at Shepherd Bend and pollute a major source of Birmingham's drinking water. Protection of drinking water sources is critical and necessary. There is no better way to ensure clean drinking water for future generations. 
UA Trustees have the ability to do the right thing, but will they? They expressed interest in allowing coal mining on this property back in 2007. 
Since then, the necessary coal mining permits have been issued to Drummond (owner of Shepherd Bend LLC). Two permits are under appeal, one by Black Warrior Riverkeeper and Southern Environmental Law Center and the other by the Birmingham Water Works Board. Although these appeals are currently under way, mining could start any day.

What is at stake? Several local entities have been fighting the push for strip mining in an environmentally sensitive area. But does the public at large get it? Writes Brooke:

A coalition including Black Warrior Riverkeeper, the Birmingham City Council, local businesses, citizens, students, student organizations and nonprofit organizations across the state have been asking the University of Alabama System Trustees to go ahead and condemn the possibility of allowing Drummond Company, or any mining company, to mine coal on their property at Shepherd Bend -- to no avail. There is no good reason for the UA System Trustees to wait on taking a stance any longer. Our water is too precious a resource for indecision. 
If you or your business use tap water for drinking, bathing, cooking, gardening, or anything, you are a stakeholder in this decision. If you care about your fellow Alabamians and think we all deserve clean water, then get involved in this important battle before it is too late. Allowing a coal mine this close to a public water source sets a terrible precedent in the state of Alabama.

I would echo Brooke's words and add the following: Citizens need to take a close look at the backgrounds of individuals who serve on the UA board. The thought of Paul Bryant Jr. being involved in a decision related to critical natural resources should give anyone pause.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for staying on this story, LS. Amazing that this is even under consideration.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it football season? Why are you writing about this garbage?

Black Lightning said...

So the guy in Pennsylvania is out of prison? That's interesting. You ought to track that dude down and interview him. Can't wait for that. I'm a Georgia fan and want revenge.

Anonymous said...

Roll Tide! Roll Tide!

Sharon said...

Nelson Brooke and his folks do great work. People had better wake up, if they prefer their drinking water without mining sludge.

Anonymous said...

Looks like this is intentionally being done so that people will move. Exactly what the ICLEI would like to see happen!

Raymond said...

Paul Bryant likes his money and his drinking water the same color--green.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Shepherd Bend is owned by Drummond family, and Gary Neil used to serve on UA board. This is a done deal. Book it.

Anonymous said...

I'll have what Eddie Lacy's drinking.

legalschnauzer said...

What is the ICLEI? Can anyone enlighten?

Anonymous said...

Schnauzer, your just pissed because you couldn't cut it as an employee at UA, even at one of our branch campuses. Roll Tide!

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear from some of the people who got screwed on their Alabama Re policies. Wonder how they feel about PBJ. War Eagle! Get on the Gus Bus!

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:42--

Alabama Re was an underwriter, so I don't think they actually issued policies. As I understand it, they helped back up policies that were written by other companies. But your point is a good one. Lot of people got screwed because of a scam involving Alabama Re.

Anonymous said...

Could you reprint this after the Alabama -Notre Dame game? I might be able to pay attention then.

Anonymous said...

Will Nick Saban be drinking from the Mulberry Fork?

Anonymous said...

Get on the "Gus Bus"?

I like that. Mind if I steal it?

War Eagle!!

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:57--

Feel free. One of my commenters thought of it. If he or she objects, I will let you know.

Otherwise, "drop off the key, Lee," when you are done.

Anonymous said...

International Council for Local Enviormental Initiatives ICLEI... They are the pushers of UN Agenda 21 ie one world government. Birmingham is on their list of participating cities. They are German. Nazis if you will.

Gerry With A G said...

There goes Rhymin' Simon!

Anonymous said...

Nick Saban can walk across the Mulberry Fork to get bottled water. This won't concern him.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 11:03--

Thanks for the info. They are about having large population centers move around? Is that a "pro business" thing or more of a control/fascist thing?

I suppose screwing up drinking-water supplies would be one way to force people to move around.

Anonymous said...

No they are about population control. New World Order under UN control. Certainly not pro business. If they complete their agenda, no one will own homes anymore and will live like sardines in metro developments. Kind of like "The Grove". It's no secret. Look it up. See for yourself what our wonderful leaders have in store for US ALL.

Anonymous said...

I'm an Alabama fan, and even I like "get on the Gus bus." Can't get that little jingle out of my head. Dammit, wish they hadn't fired Chizik.

Anonymous said...

It's why our courts no longer go by constitution (in most cases) and law. They are grooming us for what's to come. People who think the tea party are a bunch of crazies should be thanking them for their efforts. They've been fighting against Agenda 21 which is why they've been tagged as crazies and muffled! They are actually patriots and should be listened to and taken seriously. Our freedom is at stake and diminishing fast!

Anonymous said...

In the early aughts, the HUDSON INSTITUTE IN NEW YORK, that is the "President" conversed about:

ISRAEL in charge of America's new world order, Agenda 21, or call it the "Globalism Agenda."

WATER TO BE CONCEALED WAS AND IS A VERY DEADLY AGENDA!

What it is in reality is culling the herds of the global human population so the "elite" of earth can manage their STOCKS more efficiently now that the STRAW BORROWERS were instrumental in the stealing of real wealth.

Not a new ideology, just the SALES VIA NEWS MEDIA has caused a South African APARTHEID as intended.

WHAT DIFFERENT AGENDA IS IN THE US, AS COMPARED TO THE POLITICIANS THAT WERE USED [JIMMY CARTER ET AL] FOR THE WORST RELIGIOUS HOSTILE TAKEOVER EVER, WAY WORSE THAN ROMAN CATHOLIC AND THANK GOD WE DID NOT GET THE MORONS, I MEAN JEWISH AMERICANS' "MORMON ZIONISTS!"

"... On November 19, Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, lambasted the United States for blocking a bid by the UN Security Council to condemn Israeli violence in Gaza. In response, Erin Pelton, a spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the UN, misguidedly admitted to preventing any resolutions because they didn’t address the conflict’s “root cause”—Hamas firing rockets into Israel.

.. Regrettably, the Obama administration parroted a long-standing mantra of U.S. foreign policy that “Israel has the right to defend itself.” Not once did they assert that Palestine, too, has the right to defend itself. In a November 22 article for a popular left-leaning website called The Daily Beast, Daniel Levy wrote, “A magnifying glass would be required to identify anything but business as usual in Washington’s approach to managing this latest crisis. The standard, unwavering support for any and every Israeli action was on display.” AMERICANFREEPRESS.net

WHAT SAY YOU COWBOY RACIST, HOW ABOUT THE US AND "CHILDREN," WE DO NOT SEE CHINA ASSISTING OR "DOING" OTHER COUNTRIES AS DOES THE US AND ISRAEL, EUROPE THE SUPPOSED HIGHER CIVILIZATION A ZIONIST APARTHEID SINCE THE QUEENS OF THE NETHERLANDS, ENGLAND, SPAIN ARE STILL NAZIS AFTER ALL.

Anonymous said...

Anon December 5, 2012 1:02 PM, YES ISRAEL HAS HAD A LONG TIME TO TAKE AMERICA DOWN, begin with the so called "Holy Land" sold to far too many "Americans" as though humans writing ancient history can actually be trusted in a reality about what can never be except for an opinion or opinions of certain belief systems that are not a universal truth.

Religions running a U.S. Constitutional Republic is just flat against the law.

THE SUPREME COURT NEEDS TO BE PETITIONED, and this must not stop until the violations to the U.S. Constitution CEASE, DESIST, STOP.

Simply rise up and get with the new world order of ~ the aught years can shine the beacon of light on the non-transparent Nazis, changing the disorder once again into another chapter in the going forward.

History is an ongoing experience.

Winners write, We The People CANNOT LOSE with journalists such as Legal Schnauzer ~ this couple has done their part now it is time for all the readers, followers, bloggers to PETITION the Supreme Court and also recommend LS for the "Callaway Award."