Our sources in Washington, D.C. tell us there has been panic since our post a week ago about ex-Drummond executive Dave Roberson who is now considering singing like a canary to federal investigators.
Venable, the prestigious law firm out of Baltimore, that tried unsuccessfully to prevent the indictments of Balch & Bingham partners Steven McKinney and Joel I.Gilbert, is now out and about, hot on the trail. Our sources could not tell us who has contracted them (Balch? Drummond?).
Our website traffic confirms the sheer depth of the panic: we had record traffic on Monday and Tuesday of last week, quadruple the typical traffic and extremely unusual just days before a national holiday.
And what so upsets Drummond, Alabama Power and Balch & Bingham if Roberson were to squeal?
Could it be payments for official acts? The signing of ghost-written letters in exchange for campaign cash? The confirmation of alleged corruption and an alleged bribery ring?
Ex-U.S. Senator Luther Strange, Balch & Bingham’s biggest stooge, appears to face a real criminal problem of his own. Allegedly provoked by Balch, he involved himself in the North Birmingham EPA matter even though Strange had no authority to do so. At the time, the Governor had delegated the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to handle all issues related to the North Birmingham EPA matter.
- On October 13, 2014, convicted felon and Balch-made millionaire Joel I. Gilbert sent Luther Strange, then the Alabama Attorney General, a draft letter about the North Birmingham EPA matter.
- Four days later, on October 17, Strange accepted a $25,000 contribution from Drummond Company.
- Six days later after the money was deposited, Strange signed the ghost-written letter and dispatched it on his official letterhead to the EPA on October 23, 2014.
The vast majority of the U.S. Congressional delegation from Alabama may have their own crisis, too. Even though none of these members of congress represent the North Birmingham area, they jointly signed a letter to the EPA, allegedly provoked, too, by Balch.
- On October 30, 2014, a ghost-written letter drafted by Balch & Bingham and signed by six members of the U.S. House of Representatives in Alabama was dispatched. That same day, Congressman Robert Aderholt reported receiving $5,000 from Alabama Power, according to FEC filings.
- A week before, Drummond Company gave Congressman Bradley Byrne $5,000 on October 22, while forking out another $5,000 to Congressman Mike Rogers on October 24.
- Balch & Bingham sweetened the money trail by tossing $2,000 to Congressman Aderholt on October 28, 2014.
- At various times in October, Congressman Mo Brooks received $2,000 total from Balch & Bingham, $2,500 from Drummond, and $5,000 from Alabama Power.
- Congresswoman Martha Roby reported a $4,000 contribution from Alabama Power on election day, November 4, 2014—five days after the letter was mailed out.
- Over $30,000 was used to grease the wheels.
So who can link this all together? Who possibly sat in on the meetings that dispersed questionable campaign contributions? And who headed the Government Affairs Office at Drummond?
Dave Roberson, the missing link. Dave Roberson, the fall guy. Dave Roberson, the man facing 30 months in federal prison
NOW FOR THE SHOCKER: In the North Birmingham Bribery Case, Dave Roberson was offered an immunity deal if he had testified against Balch & Bingham, according to insiders.
Why didn’t he testify? Why didn’t he take the deal?
Roberson had faith in Drummond Company. He was loyal, and Drummond declared their support after his criminal conviction a year ago, calling him a “man of integrity.”
Six months later in February, Drummond, showing little integrity, reversed course and fired Roberson.
Now Roberson can possibly work out a deal to reduce or even eliminate his prison sentence.
While Balch & Bingham is allegedly under investigation for possible criminal acts outside this matter, Drummond should not be cuddling with the masterminds of their greatest crisis since the death of Garry Drummond.
Drummond must toss Balch & Bingham aside, and have a “Come to Jesus” moment.