[This post originally was published three years ago on October 17, 2017. Now a list of the top partners at Balch & Bingham who were alllegedly involved in the scheme has been compiled. Ex-Drummond executive David Roberson told The Washington Post that at least 20 other lawyers at Balch were involved besides convicted felon and ex-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert. As the Roberson civil case makes its way through the appeals process, the eventual video depositions should make Balch, Drummond, and Alabama Power perspire profusely.]
“Excitement comes from knowing what to expect,” screams the Balch & Bingham web site.
Not exactly, especially when it involves federal investigators.
Indicted Balch partner Steven McKinney, who served as chair of the firm’s Environmental and Natural Resources practice, is probably not that excited that he is facing an up to 20-year prison sentence, a possible death sentence for the 62 year-old.
For $360,000 to funnel through Balch and the Alliance for Jobs and the Economy, (usually in lumps of $14,000) someone must had approved those payments and reviewed the outgoing expenditures on a regular basis.
Who on Balch’s Executive Committee knew? How often did management review outgoing expenditures? Was it not their fiduciary responsibility to make sure partners were getting value for every contract, every expenditure made? Did they raise a red flag or turn a blind eye on this scheme?
These are serious questions that federal investigators need to ask and look at.
For the head of a lucrative practice area, McKinney may have shared his scheme with others, especially higher-ups.
Balch said they are cooperating with federal investigators and making sure the entire firm is adhering to the highest ethics and standards. Balch must also review the actions or inaction of their Executive Committee and management team, be it exciting or unexciting; expected or unexpected.