A staff attorney for Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has been arrested on a child-solicitation charge and was promptly fired.
Chase Tristian Espy's ties to Alabama power brokers go well beyond Ivey. According to a report at banbalch.com, Espy, 36, joined the politically connected firm of Balch & Bingham in 2012. Before that, Espy was a legislative aide to former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has longstanding ties to Balch & Bingham, which serves as the primary law firm for Alabama Power. From a report at al.com:
A staff attorney for Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has been arrested on a child solicitation charge and was immediately fired.
Chase Tristian Espy, 36, is charged with child solicitation by computer/electronic solicitation of a child, which is a Class B felony.
Espy, a Birmingham attorney and former deputy general counsel in the Office of Governor, was booked into the Jefferson County Jail at 9:28 p.m. Wednesday, according to jail records.
The Vestavia Hills resident was released from lockup at 1:56 a.m. Thursday after posting $30,000 bond.
Efforts to reach Espy for comment weren’t immediately successful.
Homewood police Sgt. John Carr confirmed the department’s Special Investigations Unit arrested Espy. No additional information was released, but Carr said the operation is part of an ongoing effort by the Homewood Police Department to combat crimes involving the exploitation of children.
Ivey’s office confirmed Espy was fired Thursday morning and released this statement to AL.com on Thursday: “The allegations against Mr. Espy are serious, tragic and shocking. While he was employed by our office for only a few months, Mr. Espy has been terminated. As this is an ongoing investigation, no further information is available at this time.”
Espy's arrest adds to a string of public embarrassments for Balch & Bingham. Here is more from banbalch.com:
From alleged elderly exploitation to now accusations of child solicitation, what other scandals will batter Balch & Bingham’s reputation?
AL. com reports:
Chase Tristian Espy, 36, is charged with child solicitation by computer/electronic solicitation of a child, which is a Class B felony. Espy, a Birmingham attorney and former deputy general counsel in the Office of Governor, was booked into the Jefferson County Jail at 9:28 p.m. Wednesday, according to jail records.
For nearly a decade, Espy was an attorney at Balch & Bingham but left to work for the Office of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey just a few months ago.
Espy joined Balch in October of 2012 after working as a legislative aide for the Balch Zombie, former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions.
Ivey fired Espy immediately this morning according to various news reports.
Espy’s alleged conduct is sickening. Really sickening.
And Balch is clueless as to why more and more clients are distancing themselves from the embattled law firm which appears to be tied to more revolting scandals as time goes by.
As for the string of embarrassments for Balch & Bingham, here is a scorecard -- at least a partial one:
* The arrest and conviction of partner Joel Gilbert in connection with the North Birmingham Superfund bribery scandal;
* The apparent set-up of former Drummond Company executive David Roberson as the fall guy in the Superfund scandal;
* The alleged framing of Birmingham attorney Burt Newsome, apparently engineered by former Balch attorney Clark Cooper, in an effort to claim part of Newsome's banking practice;
* The apparent elder exploitation of the late Joann Bashinsky, Golden Flake heiress and beloved Birmingham philanthropist;
* Historic ties to the Ku Klux Klan;
* Historic ties to the segregationist policies of former Gov. George Wallace, including his "Stand in the School House door" to keep black students out of the University of Alabama;
* Gov. Ivey seems to have a taste for Balch & Bingham lawyers. In addition to hiring Espy, she hired Will Sellers as her campaign chair and then appointed him to the Alabama Supreme Court -- even though his former firm is soaking in scandal.