Why would Drummond Company ask ex-Drummond executive David Roberson about alleged bribes that have nothing to do with his $75 million lawsuit against Drummond?
In a filing last week, Roberson replied to a list of admissions (and denials) that Drummond Company provided.
But the reply about an alleged bribe to Balch & Bingham stooge and ex-U.S. Senator Luther Strange is causing a stir:
As head of government affairs at Drummond, I never made or recommended any campaign contributions on behalf of the company that were a bribe and/or in any way illegal. The political contributions to Luther Strange were in exchange for him to sign letters as the state attorney general opposing North Birmingham being made a Superfund site. I never met with Luther Strange in connection with this contribution and was not made aware of it until after the fact.
Also, Roberson lays out his exchange with Blake Andrews, the “confused” General Counsel at Drummond Company. Roberson replied:
[Blake Andrews] proceeded to tell me he was now getting three invoices a month from Balch Bingham, including a legal bill, a consultant-reimbursement bill, and now another consultant-reimbursement invoice for the Oliver Robinson Foundation (ORF). He stated that this was getting “confusing” for him to manage three invoices from the same firm, and he had come to ask if I would mind handling the ORF invoice, to initial and forward on to Mike Tracy. I told him if it was a problem for him, I would be glad to help out.
And what bombshell does Roberson state in this filing?
At trial, it became obvious to me that I was being used by Blake Andrews to be the fall guy for Drummond reimbursing the illegal payments made by Balch Bingham to the Oliver Robinson Foundation. That played the pivotal role in what convicted me. Looking back on things, the only reason for Blake to ask me to process only those invoices was that he knew what was going on was illegal.
The heart of the litigation is against Drummond and Balch who wrongly appear to have used Roberson as a fall guy in a criminal bribery scheme.
But what is most bothersome is the line of questions about alleged bribes or “pay-to-play” that have nothing to do with the Roberson case.
Why would Drummond ask these questions or even open this Pandora’s box? Is there hostile anger at Drummond against Balch & Bingham, Alabama Power, or other contributors of the money-laundering entity Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE)?
Is Drummond’s upper management tired of being played as fools and would prefer a rebirth of the North Birmingham Bribery Case than falling on the sword by themselves?
We have covered some foolish, mind-boggling, and even corrupt acts these past four years, but nothing appears to be as stupid as trying to open up a new criminal probe of unknown bribes.
Roberson’s civil case that should have been settled behind closed doors months ago.
Instead, Drummond has let the beast grow yet another ugly head.