The two most challenging, non-pandemic issues currently facing the United States probably are systemic racism and police misconduct. In 2012-13, the two issues collided in central Alabama to create what has become known as the Newsome Conspiracy Case. The case involved a staged arrest of Burt Newsome, a solo-practitioner attorney, to help steal his lucrative collections practice -- allegedly at the behest of individuals connected to the scandal-plagued Balch Bingham law firm of Birmingham.
How did simply operating a successful, small law practice turn Burt Newsome into a target -- and how did an effort to ruin him leave one of Alabama's best-known companies tarred with the brush of vile racism? K.B. Forbes, publisher of banbalch.com, explains in a post titled "Shock: Newsome Conspiracy Cop is Son of Respected Alabama Power Executive."
A Columbiana, Alabama, police officer who pulled Burt Newsome over in May of 2013 in an alleged “staged arrest” was none other than Jeffrey Bowers, the son of Willard L. Bowers, the retired, long-time executive at Alabama Power who last served as Vice President of Environmental Affairs for the utility.
Was this “staged arrest” done for the benefit of embattled law firm Balch Bingham?
Alabama Power and Balch Bingham are called “sister-wives.” Almost a century ago, the brother of Alabama Power’s president started the firm.
Mark A. Crosswhite, a former Balch Bingham partner, is currently the CEO of Alabama Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Company.
Hours after Burt Newsome’s “staged arrest,” a Balch Bingham partner allegedly emailed and distributed copies of Newsome’s mug shot on a Saturday afternoon to banking clients. . . .
The “staged arrest” link appears to connect Alabama Power directly to the Newsome Conspiracy Case. Jeffrey Bowers is now a Lieutenant with the Columbiana Police Department.
As far as the Newsome Conspiracy Case goes, not only was there a direct tie between Willard L. Bowers and Balch Bingham, but Bowers lives on the same street as one of the co-conspirators' home office.
In addition, an attorney representing one of the Newsome co-conspirators, Robert M. Ronnlund, who allegedly engaged in what appears to be criminal obstruction of justice, and whose wife is a former Balch Bingham partner, lives 528 yards from Willard L. Bowers.
Allegedly abusing the civil liberties and civil rights of Burt Newsome under the color of authority was more than a foolish move; the alleged actions by the co-conspirators has brought Alabama Power into the middle, front and center, of this eight-figure debacle.
Willard L. Bowers consulted with Balch Bingham on a regular basis as an executive officer of Alabama Power, including when Balch helped Bowers incorporate Keep Alabama Beautiful in 1995, according to state records. Balch also helped Bowers as a private individual organizing his own limited-liability company WLB, LLC in 2009.
How does racism enter the picture? it makes an ugly appearance, as Forbes explains:
While we respect the men and women in blue, Lt. Jeffrey Bowers appears to have dishonored the code of ethical conduct. Lt. Bowers’ social media post that blatantly attacks Muslims as goat fornicators appears to be a revolting display of sheer stupidity and disgusting vulgarity that we believe is conduct unbecoming of a law enforcement official. . . .Jeff Bowers, by the way, is just one of many cops to engage in online Islamophobia, apparently with little or no consequences.
When we skewered Southern Company’s Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel over the phone in January of 2018, he regurgitated a canned answer that Southern Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Alabama Power had no link to the Newsome Conspiracy Case.
Now a can of rotten worms has spilled wide-open.