The Next David Roberson? Southern Company Sell-Off Begins

David Roberson, the “fall guy” for the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal, was well-respected and beloved in Alabama’s highest circles until he was allegedly betrayed by his “friends” at Balch & Bingham and co-workers at Drummond Company.

Balch & Bingham, who has declared in court filings that they “owed no duty” to Roberson, not even to tell him the truth, has been stung for their arrogance and battered reputation.

The corrupt scheme of targeting poor black children and allegedly bribing their parents with $50 gift cards from Burlington Coat Factory was born at the offices of Balch & Bingham.

In the interim, not only has David Roberson lost many “friends,” he lost his possessions and  the family home, and is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Now comes a report about insider sell-off’s at Southern Company, the parent company of Balch & Bingham’s sister-wife Alabama Power. Simply Wall Street reports:

We wouldn’t blame The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) shareholders if they were a little worried about the fact that Christopher Womack, a company insider, recently netted about US$669k selling shares at an average price of US$67.99. That’s a big dump….

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Chairman, Thomas Fanning, for US$93m worth of shares, at about US$62.99 per share. So it’s clear an insider wanted to take some cash off the table, even below the current price of US$66.87. We generally consider it a negative if insiders have been selling, especially if they did so below the current price, because it implies that they considered a lower price to be reasonable. 

This single sale was 75% of Thomas Fanning’s stake.

Why the sell-off? What is provoking this? Personal needs?

As readers may remember, Southern Company appears to have three White Elephants:

  1. The Kemper County Power Plant in Mississippi (under federal investigation).
  2. The multi-billion dollar Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Georgia (currently over-budget and counting).
  3. And Mark A. Crosswhite, the CEO of Alabama Power and former Balch & Bingham partner, caught drinking cocktails with the U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town in some compromising photos.

A White Elephant is a possession whose cost, particularly that of maintenance, is out of proportion to its usefulness. In modern usage, it is an object, building project, scheme, business venture, or facility considered expensive but without use or value.

Has Mark A. Crosswhite become unuseful or too expensive for the publicly-traded company?

Crosswhite was stripped as Chair of the Business Council of Alabama just days after the jaw-dropping photos were published.

And as we wrote in October:

Will Crosswhite, the “most powerful man in Alabama,” be the next “fall guy” for the corrupt state of affairs in Alabama?