Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Alabama Power's Mark Crosswhite would be expected to seek advice from an electrical engeineer, but a criminal defense lawyer as advisor seems out of place


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 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.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Race-based controversy revisits Vincent, Alabama, and the town of about 2,000 residents, near Birmingham, takes a firm stance by disbanding its police force

A public forum in Vincent, Alabama (CNN)

The small town of Vincent, Alabama, has made national news by disbanding its police department after an officer's racist text appeared on social media. It's not the first time the Shelby County community of about 2,000 -- a 45-minute drive south of Birmingham -- has taken firm and united action when a racially charged controversy arose in its midst. That's from a post at the blog. 

Publisher K.B. Forbes, CEO of the Consejo De Latinos Unidos (CDLU) public charity and advocacy group, notes that the earlier issue, which became known as the Vincent Land Grab, began about a decade ago and reached a peak in 2020. It involved the Big Law firm of Balch & Bingham, and Forbes draws parallels between the two controversies:

Two years ago today, Balch political stooges who supported the alleged whites-only land grab in Vincent, Alabama, were humiliated and defeated in a landslide election  when white and African-American voters united.

Now, this month, Vincent united again and reaffirmed a solid stand against the alleged racism that Balch appeared to have openly embraced a decade ago.

From an NPR report about the police department: 

An Alabama police department was disbanded last week after a racist text message sent by one of its three officers surfaced on social media.

The police chief and the assistant police chief were suspended, city of Vincent Mayor James Latimer confirmed to NPR. Then, the city council voted to dissolve the entire department — a move the mayor is calling “a reversible decision.” The remaining officer subsequently resigned, Latimer said.

The city will be relying on the greater Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to respond to emergency calls during the span of a year, according to the mayor.

 Vincent is about a 45-minute drive from Birmingham. Less than 2,000 residents live there, 85% of whom are white and 12% of whom are Black. Forbes notes that the text in question was about slavery, and that turns his attention to the Vincent Land Grab:

                  As we wrote in 2018:

The CDLU met with residents of Vincent, Alabama who allege adamantly that Balch & Bingham lawyers (and their public relations stooges) spearheaded the strategic purchase of farm land and the fast-as-lightening re-zoning of said land,  and oversaw the lucrative transactions for a client called White Rock Quarries, starting almost a decade ago.

The outrage they allege is that only white land owners were approached for land purchases while African-Americans were not; worse, many of these African-Americans were older, senior citizens, descendants of slaves.

The quarry company allegedly considered moving historic slave graves according to local news reports.

The quarry project wound up being shut down. Now, the police department has learned that residents of Vincent, Alabama, take matters of race seriously.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Mark Crosswhite's grip as CEO of Alabama Power is shaking after years of devotion to Balch & Bingham and Matrix LLC appear now to be an albatross

Mark Crosswhite

Mark Crosswhite's allegiance to the Balch & Bingham law firm and the Matrix LLC consulting firm has become a liability as his tenure as the head of Alabama Power appears to be teetering, according to a report at Writes Publisher K.B. Forbes, from his base as CEO of the Consejo De Latinos Unidos (CDLU) public charity and advocacy group:

Mark A. Crosswhite, the former Balch partner and current CEO of Alabama Power, is burnt toast and sources involved in the energy sector are whispering that Crosswhite is definitely out.

Crosswhite’s departure is expected to be announced after Federal Judge Abdul K. Kallon  officially steps down next week.

Other business leaders are saying Crosswhite is done career-wise because of the alleged spying and surveillance scandal in 2017 of his boss, Tom Fanning, and his then-girlfriend.

Does Crosswhite find himself caught in a web of complex financial and political maneuvering? That appears to be the case, Forbes reports:

While Southern Company has attempted (like Florida Power and Light) to say they did not pay for or direct the alleged nefarious misconduct allegedly involving Matrix and related entities and individuals, the reality is the money laundering and smoke-and-mirrors schemes are hidden behind attorney-client agreements and third-party pay-through entities.

Remember, the $360,000 in bribes to ex-State Rep. Oliver Robinson during the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal were laundered through the entity Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE), a Balch-created entity.

Has Southern Company audited or verified every expenditure made to Balch & Bingham? How about each and every invoice paid to Crosswhite’s pal and white-collar attorney Mark White at White, Arnold & Dowd?

How should Southern Company move forward? Forbes offers a suggestion:

Better yet, Southern Company should demand invoices and conduct a line by line forensic audit of the millions paid to Sloppy Joe Perkins and his related entities. The secret contracts between Sloppy Joe and Alabama Power did not require invoicing, a stunning revelation for a publicly-traded company.

Sloppy Joe revealed in June that 18 tax-exempt entities laundered over $50 million. How much of that, if any, came from Alabama Power?

Tom Fanning may not want to turn a stone as he prepares to retire, but federal investigators have the capacity to do so.

The bottom line is Crosswhite is done, burnt toast because of his million-dollar religious devotion to Balch and Matrix, both of which have become enormous liabilities.

After Crosswhite departs, Alabama Power must terminate Balch and Matrix and clean out the rusty septic tank.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Will surveillance of Tom Fanning, head of Southern Company, lead to the downfall of the empire that Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite has built?

Mark Crosswhite (right) and Jay Town

What fallout might Alabama Power (APCO) executives face in the wake of reports about surveillance of Tom Fanning, CEO of Southern Company, the power company's parent firm? Publisher K.B. Forbes addresses that question -- especially as it pertains to APCO CEO Mark Crosswhite -- in a post at You might say it creates "bad optics" for Crosswhite. Writes Forbes:

The allegation that Alabama Power Chairman and CEO Mark A. Crosswhite authorized the spying on and surveillance of Tom Fanning, the Chairman and CEO of Alabama Power’s parent company, Southern Company, and Fanning’s then-girlfriend has rocked the utility sector.

Although Southern Company is attempting public relations damage control to prevent further fallout, the facts speak for themselves and Crosswhite appears to have made a mockery of Southern Company.

For decades, Alabama Power has run uncontrolled.

What kind of environment has that created at Alabama Power? It appears to have led to some hot water:

Crosswhite, a former Balch & Bingham partner, has funneled millions of dollars to the embattled and alleged racist law firm, subsidizing the firm. The firm has lost millions as money-making partners leave and numerous clients dump the firm.

He appears to have directed millions a year in secret contracts to the Oompa Loompa of Alabama, “Sloppy Joe” Perkins and his affiliated companies with no invoicing needed. Perkins and friends are accused of engaging in alleged unsavory if not criminal misconduct.

While Perkins is in a heated fight with his once-protégé Jittery Jeff Pitts, criminal investigators are looking at election violations, money laundering, and abuse of bogus tax-exempt entities among other matters tied to the Matrix Meltdown.

The Perkins-Pitts legal battle could lead to more unsavory revelations about Big Power in Alabama:

Although Alabama Power was unmentionable during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial, the jaw-dropping photos of Crosswhite chugging cocktails with U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town allegedly at the height of the criminal trial appear to confirm a secret deal was cut.

Crosswhite’s downfall appears to be a culmination of uncontrolled hubris, unlimited arrogance, and the need to be in absolute power.

Last week, we asked: Did Crosswhite find out if his boss Tom Fanning wears boxers or tighty whities?

Now, today we present a possible answer and another satirical cartoon addressing Crosswhite’s surveillance scandal. Click here to download image.

Friday, August 12, 2022

As U.S. Judge Abdul Kallon prepares to step down from his lifetime post, Matrix LLC and its allies seem to be creating a living purgatory in Alabama

Abdul Kallon

U.S. Judge Abdul Kallon, an Obama appointee, is about to step down from his lifetime position -- a move so unusual, almost unheard of -- that it raises this otherworldly question: Are Matrix LLC and its allies creating a peculiar kind of purgatory in Alabama?

That's a heavy idea straight out of Roman Catholic doctrine, and Publisher K.B. Forbes explains in a post at why it seems to apply in "The Heart of Dixie." Writes Forbes:

When the news story broke in June that Matrix agents allegedly spied on a journalist in Florida, our first reaction was, what’s the big deal? This is nothing compared to what happens in Alabama.

Less than three weeks from today, Federal District Judge Abdul K. Kallon will step down.

The presiding judge of the North Birmingham Bribery Trial appears to be another carcass in the long history of “use, abuse, and dispose of” mentality of Alabama powerbrokers.

Kallon will join the elite ranks of disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, former U.S. Senator Luther Strange, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, disgraced ex-EPA administrator Trey Glenn, ex-Probate Judge Alan L. King, ex-State Representative Oliver Robinson, along with numerous other carcasses of agents and stooges that have stacked up over the past five years for having allegedly danced tango with one or more of the Three Stooges (Alabama Power, Balch and Drummond).

Like the slasher movie franchise Friday the 13th, how many more idiots will drive up to Crystal Lake just to be murdered? How many more idiots will “bow down and kiss the ring” of one or more of the Three Stooges just to eventually be turned into burnt toast?

Forbes has reason to be in touch with such issues. His public charity and advocacy group, CDLU (Consejo De Latinos Unidos) has been in touch with officials at the highest level of the U.S. Department of Justice as the "Matrix Meltdown" has grown in the press to include recent coverage by The Guardian and

How does this tie to the political consulting firm Matrix LLC and its allies? Forbes explains, giving special attention to Matrix founder Joe Perkins:

“Sloppy Joe” Perkins created a living purgatory when he published a rambling statement on in late June outlining a criminal enterprise involving 18 tax-exempt entities that allegedly laundered over $50 million, only to have it deleted 8 days later

Then the bombshell revelation exploded last week that Alabama Power executives were spying on Southern Company CEO and Chairman Tom Fanning and his then-girlfriend.

Alabama Power denied the allegation, but why would the esteemed attorneys for “Jittery Jeff” Pitts, Perkins’ ex-CEO and once-protégé, put that in a pleading?

Sources tell us that Pitts allegedly has irrefutable and rock solid evidence of Alabama Power Chairman and CEO Mark A. Crosswhite’s alleged involvement in the surveillance of Fanning who is to retire this year.

The Fanning story almost was as stunning as Kallon's resignation, and details appear in Jefferson County court documents, writes Forbes: reported more details of the surveillance:

The listed “target” of the surveillance was Kimberly Tanaka, a fitness club owner and then-girlfriend of Fanning, but private investigator Derek Uman surveilled Tanaka and Fanning at her work and at his home.

Tanaka said she was in a serious and public relationship with Fanning that ended abruptly in 2017. She was unaware of the surveillance until recently.

“This was all news to me and I still don’t know why,” she told…. “It’s a little unnerving.”

She said she had no idea why anyone would think following her would put pressure on Fanning.

Uman, founder of Clear Capture Investigations of Gainesville, Fla., staked out Fanning’s Atlanta home and photographed him running on a wooded hill on a cul-de-sac leading to his secluded house. Uman followed and videoed Tanaka, gathered photos and billed then-Matrix CEO Pitts $6,881.55 for surveillance, travel, meals and more. 


So if true, did Crosswhite find out if his boss Tom Fanning wears boxers or tighty whities? Did the surveillance cause the relationship in any way “to end abruptly?” 

This brings us back to the North Birmingham Bribery Trial, over which Abdul Kallon presided:

Although the media has not mentioned this, the spying on Fanning occurred in 2017,  at the time of the  anticipated and eventual indictments in the North Birmingham Bribery Trial. Was Crosswhite concerned Fanning was going to cooperate with federal authorities? 

Perkins’ Purgatory could also  seriously impact Drummond Company and their “confused” general counsel Blake Andrews. 

What revelations does Pitts know about the coal company?

Will Pitts’ deposition in the Matrix Meltdown bring to light secret operations, an orchestrated campaign, and the alleged set-up of “Fall Guy” and ex-Drummond executive David Roberson?

All this to consider as federal investigators quietly probe the alleged misconduct stirred by “Sloppy Joe’s” big mouth, big ego, and big mistake.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Chris Blevins, the Alabama deputy who beat and pepper sprayed me in our home and hauled me to a five-month stay in jail for blogging, has died at age 48

Chris Blevins


The Alabama deputy who beat and pepper sprayed me inside our own home -- and helped cause me to spend "five months in jail for blogging" -- has died.

Chris Blevins  died on July 25, 2022, at age 48. From his obituary:

After graduating from Erwin High School, [Chris] went on to graduate from the Birmingham Police Academy in 1996 where he remained until 1999. That year he joined the Shelby County Sheriff’s office where he worked as a Field Training Officer and on the Tactical Response Unit. Chris received the Medal of Valor in 2005 for his actions in attempting to save a drowning person who was fleeing apprehension. He was known for his calm demeanor even during times of tremendous stress and would receive numerous commendations over his 26 years as a law enforcement officer. In 2015 he was awarded Officer of the Year. 

Blevins was good at his job, and his survivors include a wife and two daughters.

Blevins looked like a strong fellow, and I can confirm that he was powerful. It's always sad when someone dies too young, perhaps unexpectedly. I've tried not to hold ill will toward Blevins. I'm not sure I've always been successful on that front, but I suspect his actions in our home come under the heading of "following orders from someone above." I doubt Blevins ever made another arrest like mine in his career.

The order giver should have known that such an arrest was unlawful, per Payton v. New York (U.S. Sup. Ct., 1980). And it put Alabama on par with Russia, Uganda, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other rogue states when it comes to arresting journalists. I'm sure it wasn't part of Blevins' duty to make determinations on such legal issues, so it's probably fair to say he was just doing his job.

In his obit, I could not help but notice that Blevins was an animal lover -- with one dog and three cats. Mrs. Schnauzer and I have had one dog and three cats over the years.

In our brief time together, I wish Blevins and I could have spent time swapping stories about our pets. That's not the way it worked out, but I'm sorry to learn of his passing. Our sympathies go out to his family and friends, including his four-legged friends.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Have Matrix LLC operatives engaged in behind-the-scenes machinations to manipulate Alabama court cases and deprive certain litigants of justice?

Scene of the Burt Newsome car crash

Documents revealed last week in Birmingham raise these troubling questions:

* Have representatives of the Matrix LLC consulting firm attempted to manipulate court cases in Alabama?

* If so, have serious crimes been committed and justice tarnished in "The Heart of Dixie" -- and perhaps, beyond?

The documents were filed on behalf of former Matrix CEO Jeff Pitts, who is suing founder Joe Perkins. For good measure, Perkins is suing Pitts.

Publisher K.B. Forbes addresses the issues in a post at Writes Forbes:

In “Jittery Jeff” Pitts’ court filing [last] week, he outlines alleged misconduct by Matrix’s founder “Sloppy Joe” Perkins, including allegedly setting up phony groups and digital websites to intimidate individuals while influencing litigation.

Is Pitts referring to the North Birmingham Bribery Trial, David Roberson’s $75-million lawsuit, or the Newsome Conspiracy Case? Or all three?

All three litigated cases involve alleged criminal obstruction of justice.

Alabama Power and its sister-wife Balch & Bingham were involved in all three cases, two of which were sealed in their entirety, creating secret Star Chambers where no public information is available.

The Pitts revelations, Forbes note, shine unflattering light on Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite and Jay Town, former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama:

Alabama Power was “unmentionable” during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial and ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town allegedly let this travesty of justice occur.

More than 20 other Balch attorneys were allegedly involved in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal and numerous Alabama Power executives were briefed regularly on the developments.

Now people are asking, was Town’s “lone wolves” theory a Matrix creation

The Newsome case was disturbing in a number of ways. Court documents indicate it was an effort by Balch & Bingham to claim a chunk of Burt Newsome's banking practice. Newsome is a solo practitioner who appears to be no competitive threat to a firm the size of Balch. Writes Forbes:

Was Matrix involved in any way with the Newsome Conspiracy Case, as Sloppy Joe’s daughter claims?

Balch used all its political might and a counterfeit order to “beat” Newsome. In the end, Balch won a $242,000 judgment while losing tens of millions (if not $100 million) in client fees and lobbying fees, while legacy partners left in droves.

The Roberson matter grew out of of the North Birmingham quagmire. Forbes writes:

In Roberson’s civil case, Balch, Drummond Company, and Alabama Power panicked and vigorously sought protective orders. The case was sealed. While no information is available on the case or proceedings, David Roberson appears to have been set up as a “fall guy.” His lawyer, Burt Newsome of the Newsome Conspiracy Case, was hit head-on in a 2020 vehicle crash and his law firm’s bank checkbook was stolen in the middle of the night.

What to make of all this? Do Alabamians have a right to expect honest courts? Have some litigants been deprived of justice? Will the ugliness apparently tied to certain court cases ever end? Will Jeff Pitts' testimony help provide answers? Writes Forbes:

The tactics have utterly failed, and actually appear to have backfired.

As federal investigators probe these allegations of criminal obstruction of justice and the abuse of the judicial system in Alabama , the curiosity of what explosive developments could come to light during Jeff Pitts’ deposition becomes even more interesting.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Stunning revelations about surveillance of Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning leave a pile of unanswered questions in court battle over Matrix LLC

Tom Fanning

Why would Matrix LLC conduct surveillance of Tom Fanning,  CEO of Southern Company -- the parent firm of Alabama Power, one of Matrix's own clients? Perhaps of even more interest, what is Fanning going to do about it?

Those two questions are hanging in the air after a report this week from about the dueling lawsuits -- in Florida and Alabama -- involving former Matrix CEO Jeff Pitts and the firm's founder, Joe Perkins. Court documents do seem to answer this question: Why did Pitts leave Matrix in the first place? More on that in a moment.

As for the stunning revelations about the surveillance of Fanning and his associates,'s John Archibald and Kyle Whitmire write:

The political consulting firm Matrix LLC has long gathered intelligence for powerful politicians and corporate interests in Alabama, and in the process nurtured a fearsome reputation.

In its work, Matrix or its employees have surveilled environmentalists and journalists, smeared politicians and manufactured protests — to the benefit of its clients, including Alabama Power Co.

In 2017, however, it did more than look outward to potential threats. It looked upward, at Alabama Power’s parent, Southern Company and its CEO.

What will Fanning do about the intrusions into his life? Publisher K.B. Forbes has thoughts about that at the blog First, he refers to a post he wrote last October:

Rumors are flying that Southern Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Fanning is retiring next year.

And Alabama Power CEO and Chairman Mark A. Crosswhite is allegedly telling bourgeois insiders that he has the lock and key to the C-Suite at Southern Company, Alabama Power’s parent company.

Crosswhite is unfit to serve.

He worked as a top partner for alleged racist and embattled law firm Balch & Bingham before taking the revolving door to Alabama Power.

Instead of distancing himself from Balch, Crosswhite appears to be embracing his former employer, even allegedly subsidizing the firm with lucrative business as Balch is hemorrhaging from alleged unsavory and criminal scandals engulfing the 99 year-old firm.

Now unsubstantiated rumors say Alabama Power and unknown related entities have indemnified Balch and others for their alleged criminal, racist, and egregious misconduct.

Hiding behind non-disclosure agreements and now allegedly million-dollar indemnity deals, the Crosswhite scandal smells like raw sewage.

Forbes then offers his assessment of what Fanning should do

Now, before federal investigators come knocking, Fanning needs to make some tough executive decisions and

  1. Fire Crosswhite.
  2. Disengage Matrix and “Sloppy Joe” Perkins.
  3. Terminate Balch and Bingham.

Forbes also offers insight, taken directly from court pleadings, into the reasons behind Pitts' departure at Matrix:

Getting back to Pitts, we believe strongly now that he resigned after decades of service to “Sloppy Joe” Perkins because he saw alleged criminal misconduct. His mentor was letting him take over, but instead Pitts left, because, as his court pleading states, he saw “inappropriate and unethical business practices.”

Now Pitts could be planing to sing about “high crimes and misdemeanors” at his deposition with Perkins’ lawyers.

Are the Three Stooges (Alabama Power, Drummond, and Balch) vulnerable?

As for the Fanning surveillance, it centered around a former girlfriend. From

The listed “target” of the surveillance was Kimberly Tanaka, a fitness club owner and then-girlfriend of Fanning, but private investigator Derek Uman surveilled Tanaka and Fanning at her work and at his home.

Tanaka said she was in a serious and public relationship with Fanning that ended abruptly in 2017. She was unaware of the surveillance until recently.

“This was all news to me and I still don’t know why,” she told on Sunday. “It’s a little unnerving.”

She said she had no idea why anyone would think following her would put pressure on Fanning.

Uman, founder of Clear Capture Investigations of Gainesville, Fla., staked out Fanning’s Atlanta home and photographed him running on a wooded hill on a cul-de-sac leading to his secluded house. Uman followed and videoed Tanaka, gathered photos and billed then-Matrix CEO Pitts $6,881.55 for surveillance, travel, meals and more. Uman addressed the invoice to Pitts.

Uman, who said he has done lots of work for Matrix, refused to talk about the content of his investigation, saying that would be illegal. He did confirm the authenticity of the report, and said the invoice “was paid with a Matrix check that was signed by Joe Perkins.”

Asked about the Fanning spying, Perkins pointed in Pitts' direction. Pitts responded by pointing at Perkins:

In an interview with on Monday morning, Perkins emphatically denied he had anything to do with the surveillance of Fanning and blamed the spying on former “rogue” employees, including Pitts.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) asks Attorney General Merrick Garland for a federal probe of possible corruption involving utilities tied to Matrix LLC

Kathy Castor

A member of Congress is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate possible corruption connected to Montgomery, AL-based consulting firm Matrix LLC, according to a report from

U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor dispatched a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland yesterday demanding a probe of Alabama Power’s alleged go-to political fixer, Matrix, the obscure political consulting firm engaged in alleged influence peddling and alleged criminal acts.

Citing an article from Wink News, which is based in the Fort Meyers, FL, area, Ban Balch publisher K.B. Forbes reports:

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) said in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday that recent press reports in Florida had “exposed apparent corruption, influence peddling and breaches of the public trust by Florida’s largest electric utility Florida Power & Light and its officers.”

“Numerous public corruption scandals involving electric utilities across the country have resulted in federal public corruption criminal and civil probes, and it appears that such oversight is needed in Florida now,” the letter said.

Her letter comes on the heels of our direct contact with federal investigators about Matrix’s alleged criminal misconduct involving 18 tax-exempt entities and more than $50 million in money laundering.

This might seem like a Florida story, but it has deep roots in Alabama. Writes Forbes:

Although Florida Power & Light has terminated its contracts with entities and individuals tied to the Matrix Meltdown, Alabama Power  allegedly is STILL paying Matrix and Matrix founder “Sloppy Joe” Perkins  more than $2 million a year without the need for invoicing.

Although news reporting has been focused primarily on Florida, reliable sources tell us there are numerous investigative efforts now looking at Alabama and the Three Stooges (Alabama Power, Drummond, and Balch & Bingham).

With ex-Matrix CEO “Jittery Jeff” Pitts’ deposition ready to pry the filthy treasure chest of alleged dirty deeds wide open, the Congresswoman’s letter has caught the perfect wave.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Depositions and subpoenas, following Guardian article, heighten the intrigue surrounding court battle in Alabama and Florida over Matrix LLC

Joe Perkins

Last week's explosive article in The Guardian drew national attention to the ongoing legal battle between Joe Perkins, founder of Montgomery, AL-based Matrix LLC, and the firm's former CEO, Jeff Pitts. New legal issues are making the already fiery story even hotter, according to a report at

Perkins' attorneys have scheduled a Pitts deposition. But Pitts is striking back, writes Publisher K.B. Forbes:

Pitts dropped a double whammy on Friday: his legal team subpoenaed both Alabama Power and Southern Company for documents and files all related to “Sloppy Joe”(Perkins) and Matrix from at least 2015 through 2020. 

That raises all kinds of questions, and Forbes spells them out:

Are Matrix’s alleged dirty deeds and alleged criminal acts ready to be exposed?

Will Pitts’ attorneys hand over damaging information to the feds?

Will executives, goons, and thugs of the Three Stooges (Balch, Drummond, and Alabama Power) rush to cooperate with federal investigators?

Keeping Alabama Power “unmentionable” during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial is nothing compared to what looks like a network of paid consultants, stooges and actors that appear to intimidate critics and engage in truly unsavory acts.

Will “Jittery Jeff” (Pitts) expose the worst of the alleged dirty deeds?

 Forbes lists a few unsavory acts that might draw scrutiny:

This is no longer a laughing matter.

The stakes are extremely high.

Forbes then provides a wide-angle view of the issues at hand:

Mark A. Crosswhite of Alabama Power, Blake Andrews of Drummond, and the leadership at Balch have much to worry about.

And as we mentioned in April, journalists and federal investigators are zeroing in. The Guardian stories appear to be part of that broad effort.

“Jittery Jeff ” didn’t simply walk away from a long-term mentor. He may have seen some alleged unethical or criminal acts he probably didn’t approve of or like.

And now Pitts’ deposition will open everyone’s eyes to how far Matrix and “Sloppy Joe” allegedly pushed the envelope on behalf of the Three Stooges.