Mark Crosswhite is out as chair of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) after photos surfaced of him meeting with U.S. Attorney Jay Town before the summer 2018 North Birmingham Superfund bribery trial. According to multiple news reports, the purpose of the meeting was to rig the trial and reach a deal where no executives from Alabama Power, where Crosswhite serves as CEO, or parent firm Southern Company would be targeted in the federal probe. The meeting apparently helped serve to designate former Drummond Company executive David Roberson -- who was convicted and has filed a $75-million lawsuit that has helped unmask much of the corruption behind the bribery trial -- as the "fall guy.
It did not take BCA long to distance itself from Crosswhite. The Web site banbalch.com broke the photos story last Monday (Jan. 27), and two days later, Yellowhammer News issued a report that -- without mentioning the Town photos -- Crosswhite has been ousted at BCA. Perhaps the question of the moment: How long will Alabama Power stand by its man?
In a post dated Feb. 2, banbalch.com confirmed Crosswhite's ouster as BCA chair. Writes banbalch publisher K.B. Forbes:
Last Tuesday, insiders at the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) gave us a heads up that something was going to happen after the jaw-dropping photographs of Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite and U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town surfaced showing them having drinks at the Moon Shine Lounge.
As another observer told us vulgarly about the bombshell photographs: “No f***ing caption needed.”
On Thursday, Mark A. Crosswhite was replaced as Chair of the powerful business group after only having served as chair since late 2018.
How ironic was Crosswhite's exit at BCA over allegations of corruption? Forbes provides the answer:
The group went through turmoil in the summer of 2018 when Crosswhite successfully spearheaded the move to oust Bill Canary as the president of the group on the eve of the North Birmingham Bribery Trial.
Canary was blasted for being closely tied to corrupt officials, allegedly lying on the stand, and bruising the reputation of the BCA. Canary was replaced by respected political insider Katie Boyd Britt, former Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby.
Crosswhite, a former partner at Alabama Power’s sister-wife Balch Bingham, is under fire for having had what appears to be inappropriate meetings with Jay Town.
During the criminal trial, attorneys for the defendants were allegedly not allowed to mention Alabama Power unless they first cleared it with Alabama Power’s criminal attorney.
The secret deal has rattled the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.
John Mazyck has been elected as chairman of BCA’s board, succeeding Mark Crosswhite.
Here is more on Mazyck's appointment from Yellowhammer News:
The Business Council of Alabama (BCA) on Wednesday officially announced the organization’s 2020 board of directors and executive committee, including a new chairman.
John B. Mazyck has been elected as chairman of the board, succeeding Mark Crosswhite in that role. Prior to being elected as chairman, Mazyck held several key leadership roles within BCA, including as chair of the organization’s political arm.
Crosswhite became chairman of BCA in 2018 at a pivotal time in the organization’s history. His leadership is credited within Alabama political circles as saving BCA and unifying the state’s business community ahead of a historic 2019.
Crosswhite might be receiving faint praise from BCA, but he's getting rough treatment in other quarters, as banbalch reports in a post titled "Town and Crosswhite Mocked and Humiliated":
Members of the U.S. Department of Justice are in disbelief. U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, we are told, is rattled and in disbelief.
The photos are beyond humiliating!
Mocked inside the Beltway, Mountain Brook, and on Goat Hill, now comes the satirical cartoon showing how corruption is about to swallow Town and Crosswhite. (See cartoon at the top of this post.)
And the satire does raise two serious questions:
* Why was Alabama Power allegedly shielded and “unmentionable” during the North Birmingham corruption trial?
* Why was Jeffrey Bowers, the cop son of Alabama Power retired executive Willard L. Bowers, never investigated for the alleged abuse of the color of law, the color of authority in the Newsome Conspiracy Case?