Federal entities have been asked to investigate a possible secret deal that kept Alabama Power executives from testifying in last summer's North Birmingham Superfund bribery trial, according to a post at banbalch.com.
K.B. Forbes, co-founder/executive director of the nonprofit Consejo de Latinos Unidos (CDLU) and publisher of Ban Balch, says Alabama Power was the only contributor to a money-laundering scheme not to have a representative called at the Superfund trial. The public certainly has an interest in knowing why Jay Town, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, failed to call CEO Mark Crosswhite or anyone else from Alabama Power. Forbes is seeking answers, and he has turned to Washington, D.C., to find them. From a post yesterday at Ban Balch:
Earlier this month we reported how Alabama Power’s CEO Mark Crosswhite could possibly be under scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Now we, the CDLU, are taking it a step further.
We are asking the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice and the House Judiciary Committee to review the alleged secret deal that prevented federal prosecutors from calling anyone from Alabama Power in the North Birmingham Bribery Trial last year.
Why does the absence of Alabama Power from the bribery trial -- which resulted in convictions for former Drummond Co. executive David Roberson, former Balch Bingham partner Joseph Gilbert, and a guilty plea from former State Rep. Oliver Robinson -- emit a foul odor? For one, the trial never touched some of the creepiest Balch-connected swamp creatures in Alabama politics. Two, it's hard to see how justice could have been done when the chief prosecutor left Alabama Power out of the equation. Forbes explains:
Alabama Power donated $30,000 to the corrupt AstroTurf entity Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE) that laundered money to bought-and-paid for politician Oliver Robinson.
Yet Alabama Power was the only donor to AJE not to testify in the criminal trial that convicted Balch-made millionaire and equity partner Joel I. Gilbert.
Alabama Power is the sister-wife, siamese twin of embattled law firm Balch and Bingham.
David Roberson, with the help of Birmingham attorney and Balch victim Burt Newsome, has filed a lawsuit that promises to pull the mask off behind-the-scenes efforts to protect some of Alabama' s most well-known power brokers and Balch stooges -- Luther Strange, Richard Shelby, Jeff Sessions, Robert Bentley, Gary Palmer, Jessica Medeiros Garrison, and more. It appears we certainly can add Mark Crosswhite to that list. Writes Forbes:
As the most powerful man in Alabama, Crosswhite and other top executives at the utility are all former Balch partners.
But even the most powerful individual for one of the largest employers in Alabama cannot be above the law.
Pulling strings, at the end of the day, helps no one except investigators.