Friday, December 2, 2022

Documents surface that show Alabama Power and Southern Company funded a Web site that falsely portrayed a Birmingham attorney as a rapist

Burt Newsome

Alabama Power and Southern Company funded an effort to falsely accuse a Birmingham-area attorney of rape, newly revealed documents show.

Burt Newsome, proprietor  of Newsome Law LLC, was the target of the smear campaign, according to  a post at Publisher K.B. Forbes, who also is CEO of the CDLU public charity, says it is unclear why Newsome was chosen as the target for such an underhanded attack. Newsome has a successful practice in Shelby County, but he appears to engage in the standard practice of lawyering, serving mostly banks, other financial institutions, and small businesses -- nothing you would expect to be controversial.

Forbes writes that it reminds him of a scene from The Godfather, with Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite in the role of Don Corleone (originally played by Marlon Brando), a mob patriarch who launches vengeful campaigns on behalf of those who are willing to kiss his hand. Writes Forbes:

Who kissed Crosswhite’s hand so that Alabama Power would allegedly use all its resources at his command to target an innocent man, Burt Newsome, his young twins, and his entire family?

The expenditures against Newsome make no sense and have no fiduciary purpose for the wholly owned subsidiary of a publicly traded company, Southern Company. We believe the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission and federal investigators will agree.

Newsome’s legal career has been one of actively supporting the business community in Alabama and west Georgia, representing banks and small businesses. Besides paying his monthly electric bill, Newsome has had no interaction whatsoever with Alabama Power.

Newsome is not an environmentalist or tree-hugging green activist. He’s a traditional Southerner.

Forbes knows what it's like to be in Newsome's shoes. Forbes and his family were the targets of an intimidation campaign, apparently because of his reporting on sensitive subjects related to the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal. 

Documents now have surfaced that help trace how such campaigns came to light. The implications are profound, as Forbes notes: The evidence, he says, "show an alleged criminal enterprise that was entrenched and well-funded by Alabama Power/Southern Company, confirming the tentacles that have seeped throughout the highest levels of government, the legal system, and corporate world of Alabama.

[Further, the records show] "Alabama Power/Southern Company not only targeted the Newsome and Forbes Families, the company also allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to smear Newsome and Forbes."

What about specifics? Forbes provides them:

Alabama Power Executive Vice President of External Affiars Zeke Smith allegedly approved expenditures from the obscure political consulting firm Matrix to Go Daddy and A2 Solutions to reserve domain names and create two websites, one that went live, and the other that never did and remains under construction. The dates in the documents match ICANN data, the global registry of domain names. The websites have been confirmed by ICANN to be hosted by A2 Solutions.

Unbelievably, the website that went live was way over the top filled with slander, falsehoods, and defamation.

The website falsely called and defamed Newsome as “a rapist” and falsely claimed that K.B. Forbes, our Chief Executive Officer, was defending a rapist.

Does Newsome have a sketchy background? Doesn't look like it, Forbes writes:

Newsome grew up in Columbus, Georgia where his father was Chairman of the Board and Lay Leader of St. Luke United Methodist Church – one of the largest Methodist churches in the State of Georgia. Newsome’s Sunday School Teacher was former President Pro-Tem of the Georgia Senate and founding Chairman of Troutman Pepper Strategies, the late Pete Robinson.

Newsome, in his legal profession, may have sued an entity or individual who was a friend of a friend or acquaintance that went running to kiss “Don Crosswhite’s” hand . . . and asked for a vengeful favor. . . . 

Newsome had never, ever been arrested until the cop-son of an Alabama Power executive arrested Newsome in a “staged arrest” on a false misdemeanor menacing charge that was eventually dropped and expunged.

Incredibly foolish and putting enormous liability on the company, Alabama Power/Southern Company used the mugshot from the “staged arrest” of the Newsome Conspiracy Case to act as if Newsome had been arrested for rape: 100 percent false, a lie.

On August 27, 2020, Alabama Power/Southern Company paid to have hundreds of signs posted throughout downtown Birmingham promoting the defamatory website, and the documents confirm the expenditure.

The sheer audacity for Alabama Power/Southern Company to allegedly approve this enormous expenditure to defame Newsome, Forbes, and the CDLU, through Matrix and its founder “Sloppy Joe” Perkins, is stunning and jaw-dropping.

Forbes is quick to point out that his organization has a history of standing up for victims of sexual predators:

On top of that, we, the CDLU, have defended rape victims from sexual predators. The alleged defamation by Alabama Power/Southern Company is monumental.

We championed the victims of sexual assault at an adult day care center in California known as Healthy Start.

These developmentally disabled adult children were raped and sodomized by Juan Fernando Flores while inept government agencies did nothing. Because of CDLU’s loud voice, the facility was permanently shut down. The civil case, independent of us, was settled out of court.

But Alabama Power/Southern Company didn’t care. They wanted to defame Newsome, probably for a friend of a friend. They wanted to slander us, the CDLU, probably on behalf of their sister-wife Balch & Bingham. They wanted to smear Forbes maybe because of our reporting.

Without a doubt, massive civil lawsuits and RICO actions (plus federal probes) against Alabama Power/Southern Company and “Sloppy Joe” Perkins will be Crosswhite’s legacy.

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