It might seem strange that one of the most trusted advisors to Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite -- long considered a powerful force in the state -- is criminal defense attorney Mark White. But the most accurate explanation might be a simple one, according to a report from banbalch.com Publisher K.B. Forbes, who doubles as CEO of the Consejo De Latinos Unidos (CDLU) public charity and advocacy group. Writes Forbes:
Mark A. Crosswhite, the former Balch & Bingham partner and current embattled Chairman and CEO of Alabama Power, has a curiosity.
His most trusted advisor appears to be white-collar criminal attorney Mark White of White, Arnold & Dowd. . . .
What kind of CEO would put his fate in the hands of a white-collar criminal attorney?
A CEO of an electric utility would understandably have a seasoned electrical engineer, environmental resources consultant, or marketing person near his ear. Even a governmental affairs person would be a valuable advisor.
But why a white-collar criminal attorney?
Forbes points to evidence that White seems to have a keen interest when a court case has any possible tie to Alabama Power:
During the North Birmingham Bribery Trial, according to court observers, White was allegedly at the proceedings every day.
Before the [David] Roberson case was sealed, White was allegedly in court listening to every legal argument and motion.
We, the CDLU, even bumped into him outside the Jefferson County Courthouse after attending a heated hearing in Roberson’s $75-million civil lawsuit, before the secret Star Chamber was enacted and before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. White was chattering away on his cell phone, waiting for the street light to change.
Is it possible Crosswhite has danced a little too close to the fire at times, and White is trying to keep his friend from getting burned? That could be the case, Forbes reports:
Is the alleged misconduct surrounding Alabama Power and Mark A. Crosswhite too close to the edge or have they crossed the line?
With the Matrix Meltdown, the alleged unethical, immoral misconduct by Sloppy Joe Perkins and Jittery Jeff Pitts has spilled wide open.
Will the spilled sewage overwhelm Crosswhite?
When the story broke about Crosswhite and Alabama Power having allegedly spied on and conducted surveillance of his boss Tom Fanning and his then-girlfriend, Alabama Power (through a Southern Company spokesperson) denied it.
But then again federal investigators believe there are plenty of liars associated with Alabama Power who twist the truth like taffy.
Not surprisingly, Mark White has been busy lately. Writes Forbes:
Recently, Mark White filed court documents trying to quash Jittery Jeff’s subpoena of Alabama Power and all documents related to Sloppy Joe and Matrix. The panic has just begun.
The curiosity of having a white-collar criminal attorney as a trusted advisor is not so strange as it is telling.