Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Suicide of Balch & Bingham attorney William "Bo" Lineberry adds a tragic and stunning turn to apparent federal probe related to North Birmingham scandal

Bo Lineberry

An attorney at Birmingham's embattled Balch & Bingham law firm committed suicide yesterday, adding a sad and shocking turn to reports of a possible federal investigation related to the North Birmingham Superfund bribery case. William Dice "Bo" Lineberry reportedly played a central role in setting up a financial entity that was at the heart of the Superfund scandal. From a report at, under the headline "Attorney Commits Suicide; Federal Investigation Rocks Balch and Southern Company; Crosswhite Out?" Writes Publisher K.B. Forbes:

Federal Judge Abdul K. Kallon resigned a week ago. Last Thursday, two Assistant U.S. Attorneys allegedly resigned, now sources told us and we confirmed this morning that Balch & Bingham partner William Dice Lineberry, known to many as “Bo,” committed suicide early yesterday.

Lineberry was the Balch lawyer who helped set up the money laundering entity Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE) in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal.

Former Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert and ex-Drummond executive David Roberson were convicted in the scandal and are currently in federal prison.

Hours after the suicide, Balch updated Bo Lineberry’s profile with an “in memoriam” and simply mentioned Lineberry had “passed away.”

We, the CDLU, set aside our differences, and extend our deepest sympathies to the Lineberry family and Bo Lineberry’s colleagues at Balch & Bingham during this very difficult and sad time.

Sources tell Legal Schnauzer that Lineberry attempted suicide at an unknown time in the hours prior to yesterday morning. He was transported to a local hospital and removed from life support early Tuesday.

Balch was at the center of the North Birmingham matter, but the case's impact goes well beyond the law firm's walls, Forbes writes:

In June of 2019, investigators in Washington, D.C. told us that Balch was not the problem but that Alabama Power was, due to the bottomless resources at their command. Now, this last fall, sources told us Mark A. Crosswhite, the Chairman and CEO of Alabama Power and former Balch partner, was the alleged target of this obstruction of justice probe.

Tom Fanning, the Chairman and CEO of Alabama Power’s parent company Southern Company, appears to have let their most profitable subsidiary do what they want with impunity.

Will Fanning lead by example and force Crosswhite to resign or retire?

The Three Stooges (Balch, Drummond, and Alabama Power) appear to have manipulated federal prosecutors during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial.

And CDLU’s three letters with documentation to the Office of Professional Responsibility at the U.S. Department of Justice in late 2019 and early 2020 apparently spurred a much-needed federal investigation.

The rebirth of the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal appears to be sweeping and strong, with three federal resignations and, sadly, a suicide.

Who and how many of the Three Stooges’ lackeys and alleged co-conspirators will be held accountable?

Lineberry's suicide likely stands as the most shocking incident in a string of troubling events related to the North Birmingham matter. But the scandal, whether it's in criminal or civil court, seems to keep growing, leaving this question: What will turn up next, and will someone (or some entity), ultimately, bring the corruption -- long tied to Alabama's business, legal, political, law-enforcement, and judicial communities -- to an end? Writes Forbes today:

The JeffCo Medical Examiner confirmed moments ago that they have Lineberry’s body,  and a detailed report will be issued in four to six weeks.

For years we have used the word “carcasses” figuratively to describe all the individuals who have been fired, arrested, or soiled by their relationship with Balch and/or their sister-wife Alabama Power.

And now someone has killed himself. A father. A husband. A respected lawyer.

Heartbreaking. Tragically heartbreaking.


Anonymous said...

I've been following this story for a while, but I never dreamed something like this would happen.

legalschnauzer said...

This news will knock a lot of people back on their heels. If you do a quick Google search for "Bo Lineberry," you see that he was a very active attorney, involved in a lot of development projects around the Birmingham area. He left a mark on the community.

legalschnauzer said...

Bo Lineberry was heavily involved in economic development, with a strong background in tax law. From is bio at Balch & Bingham Web site:

Bo was a well-regarded tax attorney, widely recognized for his work in economic development, non-profit formation, governance and state and local taxation. He represented businesses, individuals, public charities, private foundations, social welfare organizations and business leagues across Alabama and the Southeast. He was recognized by Best Lawyers in America for nonprofit/charity Law and served as an active a member of the Alabama Law Institute Committee on Nonprofits.

Anonymous said...

Maybe David Roberson really was the fall guy at Drummond. David is a biologist, and I doubt he had any idea what he was getting into with those invoices.

legalschnauzer said...

A lawsuit on that very issue is going on right now. David Roberson is one of many people who have suffered deeply from all of this.

legalschnauzer said...

This headline likely sums up renewed interest in the North Birmingham case:

North Birmingham Superfund investigation takes on new life as David Roberson's lawsuit against Drummond kicks into high gear with discovery phase (Dated 11/5/20)

legalschnauzer said...

From the 11/5/20 post:

A probe into possible misconduct related to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) site in North Birmingham has been reborn, according to a report today at From the report:

Blake Andrews and Mike Tracy, what have you done?

Drummond Company, who foolishly walked goose-step with embattled law firm Balch & Bingham, faces a new North Birmingham Bribery Investigation from the legal team of ex-Drummond executive David Roberson.

Well-read legal blog Legal Schnauzer reports that Roberson’s attorney, Burt Newsome, has dispatched initial discovery requests.

We understand that more discovery requests and video depositions are in the works.

Newsome, who has hired an around-the-clock private security firm and installed cameras and motion-detectors at his home and offices, was nearly killed in a head-on car crash in September that some speculate appears to have been intentional.

legalschnauzer said...

More key info from 11/5/20 post:

Could the U.S. Department of Justice renew its probe of the investigation, which apparently was compromised from the outset under former U.S. Attorney Jay Town? That remains unclear:

The rebirth of the North Birmingham Bribery Investigation comes just months after disgraced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town resigned after we, the CDLU, spurred a U.S. Department of Justice probe.

The alleged secret deal between Town and Alabama Power to shield and not even mention the utility during the criminal trial is history.

Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite and other insiders at the utility will be subpoenaed for a video deposition and all their correspondence, memos and documents, including check copies and payments made to the money laundering entity, Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE).

Mike Tracy, the former CEO of Drummond, and Blake Andrews, General Counsel at Drummond, who allegedly set up David Roberson as the “fall guy,” will be grilled for their alleged unconscionable conduct.

And all the entities who funded and partook in the Astro-Turf entity AJE will have to answer for their conduct. (Who told you to donate? Why did you donate? What were the goals according to those who solicited you?)

And those who testified or bore witness at the criminal trial in the summer of 2018 will have an all-star reunion show. Joel I. Gilbert, Steven McKinney, Oliver Robinson, Trey Glenn, Scott Phillips, Irving Jones, Jr., Chad Pilcher, and Lance LeFleur to name a few.

The Pandora Box is about to open and show who was really responsible for pulling the strings and engaging in the the bribery scheme spearheaded allegedly by Balch.

Anonymous said...

The “bible” on Steele was written by Sue Sturgis, with the Institute for Southern Studies, in a 2010 story called, “Industry wraps coal ash regulation fight in the mantle of Civil Rights.” I like to think I’ve advanced her work by reporting some of Steele’s activities since that story, and aim to do more of that with this post.

Here’s an abbreviated time-line designed to illustrate Steele’s connections to Alabama Power and the campaign this website exists to expose.

2004: Steele becomes CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The SCLC, as its often called, is the Atlanta-based civil rights organization co-founded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

August 2008: Steele incorporates an Atlanta-based consulting business called Charles Steele & Associates.

February 2009: Lance Brown incorporates the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy, or, PACE. The incorporation papers are drafted by William Lineberry, with Balch & Bingham, the Birmingham-based firm perhaps best known for its long-time representation of Alabama Power.

legalschnauzer said...

@1: 48 --

Thank you for an insightful comment. I encourage folks to read the comment carefully and also check out the "Mr. Dunn Goes to Montgomery" Web site. Lots of interesting information there re: Alabama Power and associated entities.

Anonymous said...