Sharper Focus on Alabama Power

[Yesterday, our Monday traffic broke a year-high record as readers read our post about the Scary Canary and allegations of bribes for official acts on government letterhead.The post below was originally published on November 26, 2018 and focused on Southern Company. Now that CEO Tom Fanning has brilliantly distanced Southern Company from Balch & Bingham, the same questions arise about their wholly-owned subsidiary, Alabama Power and its CEO Mark Crosswhite. Changes to the post are in purple.]

When we, the CDLU, took on the powerful hospital sector for price gouging uninsured families, some hospitals arrogantly called us irrelevant, unknown, unimportant.

After spurring three U.S. Congressional investigations (including the one pictured above) and numerous federal, state, and local probes, hospitals began to reach out to us to put the ugly chapter behind them—a complete reversal.

In October, Alabama Power, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Company, was directly linked to the Newsome Conspiracy Case, the legal debacle allegedly spearheaded by Clark A. Cooper,  a partner at Balch & Bingham who was eventually fired and is now selling mattresses.

We briefed Tom Fanning, CEO of Southern Company, with the ugly details in an email in October of 2018.

Is Southern Company going to investigate the mess or,  in truth, does the alleged abuse under the authority of color open too many skeletons?

After the conviction of ex-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert in July, many people felt that more individuals should have been indicted in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal.

The move a little over two weeks ago by the Jefferson County Grand Jury to indict Balch stooges Scott Phillips and Trey Glenn demonstrates that the investigations are not over.

Our conversations, meetings, and exchanges with U.S. congressional staff, media, Wall Street analysts, and investigators [including some last month in June of 2019], reassure us now that Alabama Power is the focus, the sharper focus.

Topics of interest include:

  • Jeffrey H. Wood, the Balch & Bingham D.C. lobbyist inquiring about the North Birmingham EPA clean-up effort in 2016, who was on Capitol Hill on behalf of Alabama Power.
  • The use of attorney-clients privilege, non-disclosure agreements, and other schemes to obscure alleged criminal if not unethical conduct.
  • Alabama Power’s donation of $30,000 to the Oliver Robinson Foundation, one of the entities used in the bribery scheme.
  • Alabama Power’s donation of  $2,500 to State Senator Rodger Smitherman, the husband of Judge Carole Smitherman, who a few days later, without a hearing, tossed aside Newsome’s amended complaint.
  • Alabama Power’s alleged involvement in the corrupt entity Alliance for Jobs and the Economy and an alleged bribery ring.

Alabama Power may have been told our efforts are irrelevant, unknown, unimportant.

But with the changing winds in Washington, D.C. and the impulse to seek justice, more probes and more investigations are coming.

Alabama Power and Mark Crosswhite can no longer sit on the stool, near the sidelines as the Keystone Cops at Balch & Bingham continue to fumble the ball while ignoring the obvious.

And all this while the civil RICO lawsuit is being meticulously drafted in the wings.