Lance LeFleur, the Director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) became le fleur fanée on the witness stand today.
As AL.com John Archibald tweeted about testimony from the witness stand from the courthouse today:
Lance LeFleur, who Glenn described as “timid” when confronted with what big business wanted from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, is timidly answering questions on the stand.
LeFleur timidly says he didn’t know Scott Phillips, on the board that appoints him, was working for Balch & Bingham.
LeFleur said he did not know Def. Joel Gilbert wrote the letter Gov. Bentley sent to him, urging LeFleur to take strong action of EPA plans. Gilbert wrote a lot of letters.
Lance LeFleur, head of ADEM (Alabama’s version of EPA), said Trey Glenn and Balch wanted ADEM to “have a more forceful voice” in supporting their view.
LeFleur says ADEM worked with the governor’s office to draft letter to EPA about toxic site. We already know Balch was writing letters for the governor about it. This is not environmental policy. It is just more money and politics. The playing field is not level, but it is toxic.
Although the flower wilted on the stand, LeFleur exposed to what length Balch went to disperse letters written by a Balch partner on behalf of a Balch client (Drummond).
The testimony today was smashing.
The words from the stand shows a web of politicians and paid goons who appear to be all intimidated or controlled by Balch & Bingham. Balch ran the operation, called the shots, and appears to have had everyone’s undivided attention.
Interestingly, Archibald commented in a tweet, “Def. Joel Gilbert, in emails to fellow defendants, worked to have people from Gov. Bentley’s office and AG Luther Strange’s office sit in on ADEM meetings to pressure the environmental regulator to fight EPA. We might as well just abolish ADEM. Privatize it and let Balch run it.”
The web of Balch & Bingham agents in the political apparatus was exposed.
As Kyle Whitmire of AL.com tweeted:
Everybody at every level of government — the mayor of Tarrant, the Jefferson County Commission, ADEM, AG Luther Strange, Gov. Robert Bentley, the Alabama Legislature, Alabama’s DC delegation (except Terri Sewell) — delegated their power of the pen to @BalchBingham.
As we observantly forewarned about Balch last August when they pushed and obtained a Star Chamber:
Balch & Bingham may have wanted to demonstrate the enormous power and influence they have over Smitherman and the judicial proceedings in Alabama. Instead, Balch & Bingham appears to have shown the public what money and influence peddling can buy: your own, private, secret Star Chamber.
In this criminal trial they allegedly bought their own, private, secret State Legislator.
And Balch dispersed their ghost-written letters against the EPA utilizing political stooges like Luther Strange.