Thursday, January 5, 2023

Alleged sleaze connected to Southern Company has left Alabama with a rigged judicial system that harms ordinary folks -- including my wife -- in myriad ways

Abdul Kallon

Allegations of misconduct that have been swirling around Alabama Power; its parent firm, Southern Company; and related entities, such as Matrix LLC, could wind up shining much-needed light on the judicial corruption that has plagued Alabama for years, according to a report this morning from, which operates under the banner of the CDLU public charity and advocacy group.

Southern Company has a vice-like grip on the Alabama judiciary, resulting in unlawful rulings that benefit the company and its associated entities -- with all of this often going unnoticed by the public or the press. Writes K.B. Forbes, CEO of the CDLU and publisher of Ban Balch:

With the numerous documents, financial records, and insurmountable evidence of Southern Company’s criminal enterprise, now the greasing and corruption of the judicial branch of Alabama is under scrutiny.

 This is a profoundly important issue, one that hits close to home in the Schnauzer household. In fact, we've had an up-close view of courtroom activities that provide a distressing answer to this question: How does judicial corruption (or incompetence, or both) affect everyday Americans? Consider my wife, Carol. Crooked federal-court rulings, in the Northern District of Alabama, robbed her of full ownership rights to her own house. No, kidding. And Carol's experience ties in with the bigger picture that K.B. Forbes examines. How? The judge who butchered the ruling against Carol was Abdul Kallon, the same judge who oversaw the North Birmingham Bribery Trial -- and when reports surfaced about apparent corruption in that case -- gave up his lifetime appointment and bolted for Seattle, seemingly hoping no one could find him there.

We will have more in upcoming posts on the unpleasant -- and exasperating -- experiences Carol and I have had with judicial corruption. We also will examine this question: Are some of the cheat jobs we've experienced tied to Southern Company and affiliated entities, such as Alabama Power and the Balch & Bingham law firm? At the moment, we can think of at least one instance where there is a possible tie. I would not be surprised if we think of more -- either tied to Balch or a similar "big law" firm, such as Bradley Arant.

For now, let's turn to K.B. Forbes' analysis, which also points to baffling and brazen examples of judges acting with seemingly little, or no, respect for the rule of law. Writes Forbes:

A simple case of breach of contract and misrepresentation was sealed in its entirety. No minors, or victims of sexual assault or domestic violence were involved.

So why was the case sealed then?

Because the case was tied to Southern Company, its subsidiary Alabama Power, and/or sister-wife Balch & Bingham.

Observers have been stunned by the sheer control that Southern Company has over judges and the judicial branch in Alabama.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.

With the numerous documents, financial records, and insurmountable evidence of Southern Company’s criminal enterprise, now the greasing and corruption of the judicial branch of Alabama is under scrutiny.

In our view, the scrutiny cannot come too quickly -- or with too much intensity. Much has been written lately about threats to democracy. But it's possible that nothing threatens democracy quite like judicial corruption. As the son of a World War II veteran who landed on Normandy Beach three days after D-Day, I know men like my father put their lives on the line to protect the U.S. Constitution. But judicial corruption turns the Constitution on its head, often so the privileged and powerful can benefit -- with rulings coming out of the shadows, outside of public view. Here is more from K.B. Forbes about the breach-of-contract case:

The simple case of breach of contract and misrepresentation is ex-Drummond executive David Roberson’s $75-million civil lawsuit against Drummond Company and Balch & Bingham.

No developments in the case are currently available because of the gag order, sealing of the case.

And the motions to seal the case were made shortly after disgraced ex-Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite was subpoenaed to testify. (Gee, is Crosswhite among the privileged?)

Known as the rebirth of the North Birmingham Bribery Trial, the case caused uncontrolled panic by Alabama Power, Drummond, and Balch before it was sealed.

And why does Southern Company seal a case?

So it can cheat and hide high crimes and misdemeanors.

Forbes brings another case to the forefront:

Look at the Newsome Conspiracy Case, where Southern Company’s attorneys at Balch & Bingham sealed the case in its entirety, known as a secret Star Chamber.

The entire case was “won” on a counterfeit order that even Balch admitted was counterfeit.

The counterfeit order was embarrassingly affirmed by the Alabama Supreme Court after contradicting an earlier, split-decision.

Judge Carole Smitherman, who presided over the Newsome Conspiracy Case, was completely biased, calling Newsome’s pleadings an attack on her family.

Why would she allude to her family?

Because her husband, Alabama State Senator Roger Smitherman, received more than $30,000 in legal bribes contributions from Southern Company-linked PACs and donors at critical junctures during the case. Senator Smitherman even sat in on the secret Star Chamber hearings of the Newsome case when no one outside of the case was supposed to be in the courtroom.

Let's return to the issue of privilege, and the price rogue judges extract from everyday Alabamians:

Crosswhite’s inappropriate relationship with disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town helped Alabama Power to be “unmentionable” during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial and allegedly prevented a broader investigation after the convictions, that could have led to indictments of Southern Company employees.

Except for Regions Bank in Birmingham, Alabama has no Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state.


Because of the high risk of a failed and compromised legal system.

What company CEO would want to deal with a corrupt and biased “system of justice” controlled and manipulated by a compromised few in Jefferson County and Montgomery?

The rule of law and the people’s court sadly does not exist, but RICO actions against Southern Company and its criminal enterprise can bring an end to an era of uncontrolled corruption and flagrant miscarriages of justice.

Hear, hear!

How bad is the judicial crisis in Alabama? Well, a judge signed off on what was essentially a state-sanctioned kidnapping in my "arrest for blogging" case. And yes, I spent five months in jail because of a blog post that never has been proven false or defamatory in a court proceeding that included minor details, such as discovery, a jury, a trial. This taste of "Alabama justice" made international news and caused me to be designated the only journalist in the western hemisphere to be incarcerated in 2013 -- all because of a judge (Claud Neilson) granting a prior restraint that has been held unconstitutional under more than 200 years of First Amendment law. That action put Alabama in company with countries such as Iraq, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Uganda.

Speaking of sealed court cases, my "arrest for blogging" case was sealed, and I've never seen the file to this day. And I was a party! How does that happen? Hey, we're talking "Alabama justice" here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sealing records doesn’t bury them forever. Unfortunately this tactic is used in many cases involving government and judicial corruption. I’ve read of several cases that were unsealed. It takes exposure to make that happen. You can’t deny that the federal system is corrupt when a federal judge retires this early. It is disgusting that no criminal action is being taken by the DOJ involving this judge and others. Judges are the last line of defense against corruption. If the local and federal judges are corrupt we are a failed society.