Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Balch & Bingham has an accused child-predator problem, and it's leaving burn marks from the Alabama Governor's Office to the U.S. Supreme Court

Gov. Kay Ivey: "Burn, Baby, Burn" (banbalch.com)

Balch & Bingham's handling of former attorney Chase Tristian Espy, now facing child-solicitation charges, have left burn marks from the Alabama Governor's Office all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a report at banbalch.com. It all reminds us of the question many television viewers asked when actress Shelley Long departed the long-running comedy hit Cheers: "What was she thinking?"

In fact, Ban Balch Publisher K.B. Forbes asks a version of that question when writing about the Espy matter, under the headline "Fallout: Balch’s Alleged Child Predator Burns Governor Kay Ivey and Causes a SCOTUS Cringe":

What in God’s name was Balch & Bingham thinking by not warning Alabama Governor Kay Ivey about alleged child predator and former Balch associate Chase T. Espy?

After eight long years at the embattled law firm, Espy, according to Balch’s own mouthpiece, was terminated in September of 2020. In April, just days after the alleged online solicitation of a child, Espy was hired as Deputy General Counsel to the Governor.

Balch should have warned the governor. But then again, maybe Balch believes that the law firm “owed no duty” to tell the Governor or her staff the truth.

Ivey has longstanding ties to Balch & Bingham, but it might be time for her to rethink those:

Balch’s former partner Will Sellers was Ivey’s top political advisor until she appointed him to the Alabama Supreme Court.

His wife, Lee Sellers, is currently the Director of Special Projects and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor.

Balch is wrapped around the Governor like a warm blanket by Montgomery’s power couple.

For whatever reason Espy was terminated, Balch should have warned the Governor or her Deputy Chief of Staff.

Instead, Espy’s arrest created international headlines because the alleged sexual deviant worked for the Governor.

That casts an unflattering light on the highest office in Alabama politics, and it might be wise for Ivey to start asking some tough questions, suggests Forbes:

Now the Governor needs to ask, who recommended Espy for the job? Who provided references and glowing letters of recommendations?

From September through March, Espy was “self-employed,” according to LinkedIn. Was he given a generous severance package by Balch?

Balch, like always, has wiped Espy clean from their website and blogs, but Espy was no little minion above a paralegal.

Espy was a valued attorney for eight years at Balch who even appeared on pleadings before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Can you imagine that an alleged pedophile, an alleged sexual pervert who sought sex with a child was presenting before the Roberts court?

Cringingly embarrassing.

Balch appears to not have had the decency, the integrity to warn their closest political allies.

And the fallout has begun.

The Sellers need to distance themselves from the once-prestigious law firm, and no one in Montgomery should trust Balch, whose core value appears to be lying while burning their friends.

And the Espy fiasco proves so.

Burn, baby, burn!


legalschnauzer said...

If I were Kay Ivey, I would be highly pissed.

legalschnauzer said...

As K.B. Forbes noted, this story drew international coverage because Espy worked for the governor's office. If you do a Google search on Espy's name, it will give you a sense of how widespread the coverage has been.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this has been the biggest story since Ivey has been in office. She has to love that.

legalschnauzer said...

I don't know if it's the biggest story, but it might be the most widely covered story of Ivey's tenure.

Anonymous said...

Balch seems to operate in its own universe, with little or no regard for the rights or concerns of anyone else.

Anonymous said...

With friends like Balch, who needs enemies?