The local residents of Auburn are baffled.
Why were Balch & Bingham consultants so hung up on denouncing in public a proposed NAACP submitted redistricting map as invalid instead of having city officials sit down with the Civil Rights entity and find common ground and a potential resolution?
The answer could be money.
Balch looks like they want to see a brutal legal fight so the alleged racist law firm could be hired by the City of Auburn to defend the indefensible and drain the city coffers of thousands of dollars.
Darmon Walker, the Balch consultant, helped the State of Alabama with redistricting in 2011. The redistricting plan was tossed out by a federal court and the maps eventually had to be redrawn. Walker and his firm made a windfall in the 2011 redistricting debacle. The state lost and had to redraw, yet Balch made thousands of dollars if not millions.
Is Balch lying to and duping the City of Auburn?
Balch had the ridiculous audacity to call false advice, lying to client a “Legal Service.” Balch was sued by David Roberson, the ex-Drummond executive who was sentenced to five years in federal prison after a Balch attorney assured him everything was legal and ethical.
Balch’s defense attorney declared in open court:
Now, that bad legal advice, or alleged bad legal advice, was November 2014. . . . The whole gravamen of this case is based on legal advice that was wrong or false or falsely stated. . . . In addition . . . they say [Mr. Roberson] relied to [his] detriment on this . . . legal advice and was convicted on July 20, 2018 . . . and they suffered damages as a result of that bad legal advice.
It does not depart from the fact that his whole claim is based on poor, faulty legal advice. Whether he was technically a client or not, he says he heard it, he relied on it. The law firm basically gave him false advice. He acted on it, and he was convicted. Nothing could be more a case of a claim against a legal services provider than this case is.
Besides lying, since 2017, Balch has been hemorrhaging, losing clients, partners, and millions. How much? Some estimate in the aggregate losses are possibly over $10 million.
The intelligent choice is for the City of Auburn to immediately terminate Balch.
Mayor Ron Anders, Jr. should pick up the phone and ask for a meeting with city electoral map makers and the NAACP.
Auburn can work as a community instead of wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars on an embattled law firm.