When you at some moment believe there will be an epiphany, redemption, and acts of contrition by the leaders at Balch & Bingham, it is then when you hear the unbelievable, the most appalling conduct ever and equate Balch & Bingham with the worst dregs of humanity.
Your shock causes you to utilize vernacular of the gutter to describe Balch, and you shake your head in absolute disgust.
Today was such a moment.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Archibald of AL.com writes a column describing testimony and evidence from the Balch/Drummond corruption trial that would tick anyone off.
Balch & Bingham equity partner Joel I. Gilbert spearheaded this bribery scheme and was convicted on all six federal charges, including money laundering.
One of the revolting ways this collection of derelicts wanted to suppress poor African-Americans in North Birmingham from having their toxic and contaminated property tested by the EPA was by using their children.
They held a coat drive, in which the families of poor kids were told they could get a free coat – and hear a Get Smart pitch on the evils of the EPA. It was like a time share for toxins. [NAACP Birmingham Metro President Hezekiah] Jackson helped Get Smart get into churches, and suggested it hold poster and essay contests with children during Black History Month.
Joel Gilbert, a lawyer convicted last week of bribing Robinson, led efforts to fight EPA’s proposed cleanup in north Birmingham and Tarrant. He developed strategy to convince residents not to allow the EPA to test their soil, even though studies had shown elevated levels of toxins.
Prosecutors asked Gilbert in trial if he had convinced the leaders at Tarrant Elementary School not to have the school grounds tested for poison.
Objections from the defense prevented his answer, but planned tests for toxins on school grounds were cancelled.
Let’s be clear: Joel I. Gilbert was on Balch & Bingham’s payroll up to the moment he was convicted.
Although Balch would like everyone to know now that he has been an ex-partner for less than a week, the fact is when Gilbert, his co-defendants, paid consultants, and other lackeys concocted the targeting of children, Gilbert was at the time an honored, revered, and respected partner—equity partner and Balch-made millionaire.
As we reach out to Balch clients and Wall Street institutional investors, we believe these acts against the children of North Birmingham by Balch’s once respected partner will probably cause them to use the vernacular of the gutter and suspend Balch & Bingham once and for all.