Town’s Downfall Part 4: Shielding Alabama Power

Now that Town has been ousted, will investigations of Alabama Power, Balch & Bingham and other Balch stooges proceed ahead? And when will the other shoe drop? When will Crosswhite be forced to retire or resign?

As the final post on the downfall of disgraced and now former U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, we focus on the inappropriate shielding of Alabama Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Company and the sister-wife of embattled law firm Balch & Bingham.

In our request for a probe of Town, we wrote:

During the criminal trial of Balch & Bingham partner Joel I. Gilbert and Drummond executive David Roberson in July of 2018, criminal defense attorneys were allegedly instructed not to mention Alabama Power or their ties to the money laundering entity Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE) without first clearing it with Alabama Power’s criminal attorney.

Beyond being untouchable, Alabama Power was unmentionable. The secret deal is an absolute travesty of the due process of law and demonstrates a blatant lack of integrity or impartiality by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama. Shielding Alabama Power from any negative publicity is simply unacceptable.

We also outlined possible violations of rules of the U.S. Department of Justice caused by the photos of Town and Crosswhite, writing:

The anonymous photos appear to show Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite paying for the refreshing cocktails at the Moon Shine Lounge. Although receiving a drink (without alcohol) is permissible as a gift, U.S. Department of Justice guidelines specifically say:

An employee may not solicit or accept a gift given because of his official position or from a prohibited source to include anyone who:

      • Has or seeks official action or business with the Department….
      • Has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance of an employee’s official duties….

The rules also state: 

      • The timing of the gift creates the appearance that the donor is seeking to influence an official action.
      • The gift was provided by a person who has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official job duties.
      • Acceptance of the gift would provide the donor with significantly disproportionate access.

We are not sure what Town is drinking or even if it has alcohol. Yet, the timing of the gift, the timing of the meeting creates the appearance that Alabama Power and Crosswhite were seeking to influence an official action.

Obviously Crosswhite and Alabama Power appear to have significantly disproportionate access to Town, even if the drink was not spiked or of high value.

In April, we received a letter from the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice, saying the matter had been reviewed and forwarded to two other divisions including the Office of Professional Responsibility.

We viewed that as a wink in our direction because we had carbon copied and sent a separate cover letter to the OIG in our original request for a probe. There was no need to write to us, but we are happy that they did.

Now that Town has been ousted, will investigations of Alabama Power, Balch & Bingham and other Balch stooges proceed ahead? And when will the other shoe drop? When will Crosswhite be forced to retire or resign?