North Birmingham Bribery Case

Day 11: Balch Ethics Lawyer Warned Gilbert; Defense Teams Collapse

Although there was lots of excitement and drama today over a possible mistrial, the real bomb that dropped today was that of Chad Pilcher,  a Balch & Bingham government affairs attorney who testified that he warned Joel Gilbert about using State Representative Oliver Robinson’s position or letterhead. Pilcher regularly consults with the Alabama Ethics Commission, he testified.

John Archibald of AL.com tweets:

Pilcher said he warned Gilbert that Robinson could not use his official position or letterhead to help. Gilbert, documents show, edited Robinson’s position into letters sent In Robinson’s name.

Pilcher is the first Balch lawyer on the stand who remembers his advice and involvement, and who recalls the Robinson contract and states his questions about pitfalls of hiring a legislator to carry your water. Was worried that Robinson himself broke the law, so he told Gilbert.

Kyle Whitmire commented that the testimony not only hurts the defendants, it “makes the defense attorneys look stupid. This whole trial, they’ve been setting up Pilcher to be the guy who gave the OK.”

We interrupt our post with an appropriate music video.

In other testimony today,  Amanda Robinson, daughter of the bought-and-paid-for politician Oliver Robinson, testified this morning. She again highlighted ghost-writer extraordinaire Joel Gilbert’s actions.

Kyle Whitmire of AL.com tweeted:

Amanda Robinson recounts working with Gilbert and Roberson, says she didn’t write a letter to the Alabama Environmental Management Commission that purports to be from her. She says she does not know who wrote the letter. Her dad gave it to her.

Amanda Robinson says that her dad, Gilbert and Roberson decided what Get Smart Tarrant’s messaging would be. And now we’re looking at yet another letter to homeowners over Amanda’s signature line that she says she didn’t write. Came from Gilbert, she says.

This afternoon, Speaker of the Alabama House Mac McCutcheon testified.

And Whitmire summarized the testimony in one sentence:

A lot of testimony just to say Oliver Robinson voted on a Joint Resolution written by the guy paying him at Balch.

Much of the late morning was reading into the record and to the jury the redacted grand jury testimony of Joel Gilbert.

But the real bomb was Pilcher.

The defense teams this afternoon completely collapsed as Pilcher tossed them over the side of a cliff.


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