CDLU calls on Trump to Fire Former Balch Lobbyist

Individuals tied to environmental racism should have no sanctuary in the U.S. Department of Justice or the Executive Branch.

With the federal indictment yesterday of two partners of Balch & Bingham over the Robinson Bribery Scheme,  we called on the Trump Administration today to fire Jeffrey H. Wood, Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, for his role in the alleged conspiracy to suppress African-Americans in Alabama from testing their toxic and contaminated properties under the CERCLA/Super Fund Act.

Before joining the Trump Administration, Woods was a lobbyist at Balch & Bingham, working for the Environmental and Natural Resources practice out of their Washington, D.C. offices.

Steven McKinney, head of the Environmental and Natural Resources practice at Balch was indicted yesterday along with Joel Gilbert, another Balch partner, who allegedly funneled $360,000 in bribes to a corrupt Alabama state politician who in turn discouraged African-Americans from getting their toxic property tested.

We applaud U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town for seeking justice for the poor African-Americans of North Birmingham who were the real victims in this bribery scheme.

Now is the time for the Trump Administration to dismiss Wood who as a Balch & Bingham lobbyist worked closely with these two indicted partners and had his fingerprints on this debacle.

Individuals tied to environmental racism should have no sanctuary in the U.S. Department of Justice or the Executive Branch.

According to lobbying disclosure reports, Woods met on Capitol Hill to discuss CERCLA/Superfund laws and policies in the second quarter and third quarters of 2016.  In addition, the CDLU reviewed a U.S. Department of Justice memo from February saying, because of his work at Balch, Wood would be recused from any “CERCLA matters related to the North Birmingham CERCLA site in Alabama.”

In June, because of our efforts, the Trump Administration quietly decided to nominate Jeffrey Bossert Clark instead of Wood as Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division. This happened only days after the CDLU sent dispatches to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary calling on them to block the Wood nomination.