Will Balch & Bingham Partner Turn Federal Witness?

After the federal indictments were handed down, Balch & Bingham partners Joel Gilbert and Steven McKinney were put on an indefinite leave of absence and their Balch.com web pages were taken down.

Balch released this statement to al.com:

“Today we learned of the federal grand jury action regarding Joel Gilbert and Steve McKinney. While we note that Mr. Gilbert has denied the charges and vowed to vigorously defend himself, and expect Mr. McKinney to do the same, the charges allege actions that, if proven to be true, are contrary to the ethical values that guide our firm’s attorneys and staff. We take these issues very seriously. We are continuing to cooperate fully with government authorities because, in part, we believe strongly that our firm is not implicated more broadly in the alleged conduct. Both Mr. Gilbert and Mr. McKinney are on an indefinite leave of absence. We will continue to ensure that all of the firm attorneys and staff, across our footprint, fully understand and are adhering to the highest standards of legal and ethical compliance.”

Looks likes Balch has seen the writing on the wall and appears to have thrown the indicted partners under the bus.

We note the silence from Steve McKinney (Pictured). Will McKinney turn federal witness? Will he, too, start singing like a canary?

On his web page at Balch (since taken down), McKinney wrote, “I ‘get the call’ when an environmental problem has developed and legal or strategic help is needed fast.”

So who called McKinney when Drummond needed help? Who thought of the idea about suppressing the African-Americans in North Birmingham? Who did he report to about the Robinson Bribery scheme? Did any other partners or Balch lobbyists know about this scheme?

On that same now defunct web page, McKinney noted, “I come from a blue-collar home where education and a serious work ethic came in daily doses.”

Maybe its time to use blue-collar smarts to shorten one’s possible prison sentence, a  potential death sentence.

At 62 years of age, even a 15 year federal prison term would mean McKinney could die in prison. Now that’s a bitter dose of reality.