Monday, November 21, 2022

String of press reports -- led by a Birmingham-based blog and advocacy group -- leads to retirement announcement of Alabama Power's Mark Crosswhite

Jay Town and Mark Crosswhite

Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite, once known as "the most powerful man" in the state, is set to retire after a years-long trail of press reports about the ties of his company and its closely aligned law firm, Balch & Bingham, to a series of scandals -- most notably the North Birmingham Bribery case. Daniel Tait, of The Energy and Policy Institute, broke the retirement news in a Tweet this morning, citing a corporate filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The retirement is set to take effect on Dec. 31, 2022.

The most important journalism on the story almost certainly came from a Birmingham-based blog called The dogged reporting of K.B. Forbes, publisher of Ban Balch and CEO of the CDLU public charity and advocacy group, likely led to Crosswhite's fall from grace. Under the headline "The 'Most Powerful Man in Alabama' Resigns in Disgrace! Crosswhite Scalped by Scandal," Forbes writes:

The resignation is tied to an avalanche of scandal including an alleged federal investigation of criminal obstruction of justice in the North Birmingham Bribery Trial, the surveillance of Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning and his then-girlfriend allegedly under the direct orders of Crosswhite, and the alleged criminal acts and misconduct surrounding the Matrix Meltdown and Alabama Power’s multi-million-dollar secret contracts to Matrix founder “Sloppy Joe” Perkins.

Two years ago tomorrow, we prophetically wrote that Crosswhite would have to retire or resign. It was in the wake of photos we published of disgraced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town chugging cocktails with Crosswhite allegedly at the height of the North Birmingham Bribery Trial.

         We wrote at the time:     

    Did Crosswhite or [Alabama Power’s outside criminal attorney Mark] White strike the secret deal with Town to keep Alabama Power “unmentionable” during the criminal trial? Did Crosswhite mislead parent company Southern Company about Alabama Power’s involvement in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal or the Newsome Conspiracy Case? What truly was Alabama Power’s role with the money laundering entity Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE)? Was Alabama Power in anyway involved in the idiotic orchestrated campaign this past summer in which an innocent family was terrorized by paid buffoons?

The following also turned out to be prophetic:

Unlike other Southern Company wholly-owned subsidiaries, Alabama Power appears to operate completely differently, looking more like a vengeful gang of arrogant fraternity members instead of level-headed corporate executives.

When we first met with federal investigators in 2017 about Balch & Bingham, they were more concerned about Alabama Power rather than Balch.

The accounts of dubious activities might not be over, writes Forbes:

Since 2020, new stunning revelations tied to Alabama Power have come out (some yet to be reported).

The unsavory misconduct scalped what Crosswhite’s once adoring fans called “the most powerful man in Alabama.”

Now Crosswhite joins ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and appears as yet another disgraced power-hungry fool.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Shuler. Looking forward to more.

Anonymous said...

The consulting agreement, that's not chump change, but a significantly lower rate of compensation than before. Could be a few people are waiting to see the rest of the details in the upcoming filings.

Perhaps the undisclosed details of the consulting agreement include continuing corporate paid legal representation while the 'retiree'continues to consult on corporate matters?

legalschnauzer said...

@11:50 --

You're welcome, but the real thanks should go to K.B. Forbes and CDLU. They have led on this story all the way. In quite a few cases, Forbes writes about issues related to Balch/Alabama Power before they happen. Prophetic, indeed.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:26 --

Thanks for an insightful comment. Excellent points. "Corporate-paid legal representation"? Hmmm . . I wonder how many of Alabama Power's rank and file get that.