Southern Company,  Spotlight on Balch & Bingham

Town’s Downfall Part 1: The Jaw-Dropping Photos

The jaw-dropping photos were in an unmarked envelope stuffed in ex-Drummond Executive David Roberson’s mailbox during Thanksgiving weekend last year.

U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, former Balch & Bingham partner and Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite, and lobbyist Mike Cole were enjoying cocktails.

We couldn’t believe it.

Soon, after closely examining the photos, we confirmed they were taken at the Moon Shine Lounge at the Elyton Hotel in Downtown Birmingham.

When we, the CDLU, received copies of the photos, we immediately dispatched our formal complaint along with copies of the photos to the Office of Professional Responsibility at the U.S. Department of Justice.

In our letter overnighted in December of 2019, we wrote, “The act itself of drinking libations with a potential defendant is highly inappropriate and unethical, but there is more, much more.”

We then provided documents and a narrative of some of the alleged wrongdoing, starting with the Newsome Conspiracy Case:

Late last year, we learned that Jeffrey Bowers, a Lieutenant with the Columbiana Police Department in Alabama and the son of a retired Alabama Power executive was involved in the alleged “staged arrest” of a competitor of Balch & Bingham, Burt Newsome, a sole-practitioner attorney who services and represents banks.

Clearly abuse under the color of law, we were flabbergasted to hear this past spring that FBI agents in Birmingham were not going to do anything because “their hands were tied behind their backs.”

Burt Newsome was unfairly targeted and wrongly arrested; and Newsome had his civil liberties trampled on in an alleged conspiracy spearheaded by a Balch & Bingham partner.

Even though we have provided binders filled with incriminating evidence, we believe Jay E. Town’s relationship with Mark A. Crosswhite was more important than the pursuit of justice.

Was Alabama Power really untouchable?

We outlined and provided documentation to the Justice Department about how Alabama Power was the only entity that donated to the Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE) not to testify in the North Birmingham Bribery Trial in 2018 and how there appears to have been a “secret deal.”

We closed our letter with the DOJ requesting a probe:

We are asking for your office to probe Jay E. Town’s alleged misconduct. When Gilbert and Roberson were convicted and later sentenced to federal prison, Town hypocritically stated, “It is my hope that these convictions and sentences will dissuade those who seek to gain unlawful advantages in the political process for their personal gain…and at the expense of too many.”

Obviously at the Moon Shine lounge, Town appears to have been accepting “unlawful advantages in the political process” for the personal gain of Alabama Power, Balch & Bingham, and their operatives.

Burt Newsome deserves justice. The residents of North Birmingham deserve justice….Town’s alleged misconduct has been at the expense of too many.


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