Besides the fact that former State Representative Oliver Robinson’s district overlapped State Senator Rodger Smitherman’s district, the parallel scandals share many elements, unsavory conduct, and a cast of dubious characters.
In his Writ, Burt Newsome argues powerfully about the familiar, similar type of conduct: laundering money to a politician, utilizing political connections, and working with clients (like Drummond Company) in what appears to be a coordinated effort to manipulate the legal system.
The new, big emerging parallel comes from Judge Carole Smitherman who implicated her entire family during an angry outburst at a hearing on a motion calling for her recusal.
Does this mean possibly that one of her daughters was involved? Why did she say family instead of her husband or spouse?
As AL.com reported over a year ago about the Oliver Robinson Bribery Scandal:
The foundation later paid Robinson’s daughter, Amanda, who actively sought to discourage poor north Birmingham and Tarrant residents from testing their property for pollutants.
During her angry outburst, Judge Smitherman justified the $30,000 in questionable contributions to her and her husband declaring, “A campaign is only over until the votes are certified by the secretary of state in November.”
Problem is both she and her husband are running unoppossed and are shoo-ins for office.
The transcript is more than an example of judicial bias; the transcript reveals hidden clues and possible misconduct that investigators need to probe.
What else could be hiding behind attorney-client privilege at Balch & Bingham?