Alabama's Drummond Company and Balch Bingham law firm allegedly conspired in schemes to launder money and conceal payments designed to lobby the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against designating an area in North Birmingham as a Superfund site, according to a third amended complaint in a lawsuit filed by a former Drummond executive.
David Roberson, former VP of government affairs, essentially became the fall guy for Drummond in the summer 2018 bribery trial. But Roberson is fighting back in the civil arena, and according to a report from the banbalch.com Web site, that action is producing revelations that could lead to more corruption probes at two of Alabama's largest corporate and legal entities. From banbalch.com:
A new third amended complaint from ex-Drummond Company executive David Roberson sheds new light on internal matters that could provoke more corruption probes of Drummond Company.
First up: the targeting of poor black children with a “coat drive” looks like it was a way to launder more money to convicted felon and bought-and-paid-for politician Oliver Robinson.
Using a coat drive for poor black children to launder money headed for the pocket of a corrupt politician? Can the stench of corruption get any more hideous than that? This is directly from the amended complaint in the Roberson lawsuit:
As part of its public relations campaign to defeat the EPA in North Birmingham and at the request of Joel Gilbert of Balch Bingham, David Roberson, on behalf of Drummond Company, wrote a $5,000.00 check to be used to purchase 100 fifty-dollar gift cards to Burlington Coat Factory to be used to purchase winter coats for kids in North Birmingham.
Unbeknownst to Plaintiff Roberson as Joel Gilbert concealed this information from the Plaintiff, Balch and Oliver Robinson had agreed for Oliver to keep $2,500.00 out of the $5,000.00. Plaintiff did not learn of this hidden fact until his criminal trial in July of 2018. Plaintiff suffered damages as a result of Balch’s concealment of it allowing Oliver to keep half of the $5,000.00 as the prosecution in Roberson’s criminal trial used this $2,500.00 payment to Oliver Robinson as damaging evidence against Roberson in his criminal trial to help it obtain a conviction against him.
If that scam doesn't make you want to puke, try this one on for size, as reported by banbalch.com:
But worse than that, are the revelations tied to Balch Bingham’s stooges Trey Glenn and Scott Phillips currently facing a criminal ethics trial in Jefferson County.
How ugly are the details? From the amended Roberson complaint:
Balch Bingham, LLP contracted with Trey Glenn (who invoiced Balch under the company name of Southeast Engineering Consulting, LLC and directed the payments to Scott Phillips) to lobby the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (or “ADEM”) to oppose the EPA in listing the North Birmingham site on the National Priorities List. The Balch invoices to Drummond seeking reimbursement for the payments to Trey Glenn and Scott Phillips were paid by Drummond General Counsel Blake Andrews and approved by Drummond CEO Mike Tracy. At the time that Scott Phillips and Trey Glenn were receiving money from Balch via Drummond to lobby ADEM on a policy matter involving the listing of North Birmingham as a Superfund site, Scott Phillips was on the Alabama Environmental Management Commission (or “AEMC”). The AEMC is the entity that oversees ADEM.
Neither Glenn nor Phillips, while they were lobbying ADEM about it opposing the EPA’s listing of North Birmingham as a Superfund site, disclosed to ADEM the existence of their contract with Balch Bingham or that they were indirectly being paid by Drummond Company.
If that sounds gross to you, it's probably because you have integrity -- something that is in short supply throughout Alabama's corporate/legal/political industrial complex. We give the last word to banbalch.com:
The concealment is now out in the open.
Shockingly, Drummond Company allegedly hid the money laundering and hid the secret greasing of Balch stooges from their then-Vice President of Government Affairs, David Roberson.
Are the allegations potent enough to spur more probes from law enforcement and regulatory agencies of Drummond Company, retired Drummond CEO Mike Tracy and Drummond Company’s General Counsel Blake Andrews?
Richard Mullen, the new CEO at Drummond, may have to mop up this mess before it floods the basement.