With the Alabama Supreme Court saying Balch must stand trial for fraud in ex-Drummond executive David Roberson’s $75 million civil lawsuit, more criminal indictments are needed.
The Three Stooges of this horrific saga known as the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal need to be held accountable.
The rebirth of the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal may go on for another three or four years in secret, in a sealed and closed Star Chamber.
However, federal investigators can and must dig deep into the shenanigans.
Larry, Curly and Moe have been replaced by “Lying” Balch, “Confused” Drummond, and “Unmentionable” Alabama Power.
1. More Potential Lies and Possible Co-Conspirators
The bottom line is if Balch can mislead and lie, and call the bullshit a “legal service,” then what other lies or misleading statements have they provided to federal investigators?
In 2017, we asked, who on Balch’s Executive Committee knew about the bribery scheme?
As the judge in the criminal case wrote during the trial, “[Balch partner Joel I.] Gilbert told the grand jury that others at the law firm ‘were aware of [the] engagement’ of Robinson on behalf of Roberson’s employer, and Defendant [Balch partner Steven] McKinney testified that Gilbert told him that ‘the government affairs guys vetted [the agreement with Robinson’s Foundation] and said it was okay.'”
But Gilbert had lied to McKinney as he had done so to Roberson.
David Roberson told The Washington Post in 2020 that beyond convicted felon and ex-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert, allegedly another 20 Balch & Bingham attorneys were involved in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal.
So how many Balch partners or attorneys were involved in stamping their seal of approval on the purchase of corrupt politician Oliver Robinson?
How many more individuals at Balch knowingly were involved in processing the over $360,000 in bribes to Robinson?
2. Tampered Evidence
More importantly, how many documents, invoices, and/or emails have been tampered with and by whom?
On December 1, 2014, convicted ex-Balch & Bingham partner Joel I. Gilbert dispatched a letter of intimidation to GASP, the health and environmental public charity that they tried to undercut.
According to Balch billing documents, Gilbert may have been on vacation the week of Thanksgiving 2014, because his last billing is for Friday, November 21, 2014. The letter is dated December 1, 2014, a Monday, but nothing shows up in the December billings.
Who paid for that letter? Were there alterations of billing documents and invoices?
Were federal prosecutors misled or hoodwinked?
Balch allegedly may have provided a manipulated invoice to federal authorities during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial as the original invoice.
Drummond claimed in pleadings before the Roberson case was sealed in its entirety that “Balch’s first draft of the invoice was incorrectly addressed to Blake Andrews…”
Drummond’s lawyers were so furious that the original invoice was being used in the $75 million civil lawsuit, Drummond even subpoenaed the former secretary of convicted felon and ex-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert. She handwrote “It should be David Roberson” on the invoice.
Who really cares who actually scribbled down the change?
The undisputed fact is the original invoice was changed. Was Roberson duped, signed off on the corrupt invoice, and set up as the “fall guy?”
Federal investigators need to only look at an example of the alleged alteration of evidence in the Newsome Conspiracy Case—the future RICO suit against Balch that currently is awaiting further indictments.
Nothing should surprise federal investigators. Nothing.
3. Paid Balch Stooges
Then there are Trey Glenn and Scott Phillips who should be probed by federal investigators. As readers may recall, Glenn and Phillips were indicted in November of 2018 by a local grand jury.
Balch & Bingham contracted with Trey Glenn who then directed payments to Scott Phillips to lobby the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to oppose the EPA in listing the North Birmingham site on the National Priorities List.
At the time that Scott Phillips and Trey Glenn were receiving money from Balch to lobby ADEM on a policy matter involving the listing of North Birmingham as a Superfund site, Scott Phillips was on the Alabama Environmental Management Commission, the entity that oversees ADEM.
Drummond Company reimbursed Balch for Glenn and Phillips’ consulting “work,” but ex-Drummond executive David Roberson was mislead and never, ever told of the lobbying scheme.
The lobbying scheme and testimony from Phillips and Glenn were used to convict Roberson in his criminal trial. Roberson was allegedly told by Drummond executives and lawyers at Balch that the consulting work paid to the duo was in regardsto the ABC Coke plant, a lie.
4. “Confused” Drummond and Alleged Bribes
According to sources, the federal government wanted Roberson to honestly testify about the alleged bribes from Drummond Company to politicians.
The testimony the feds also sought included details of an alleged bribery ring of “do-not-ask” but “just-send-the-check” co-conspirators. But Roberson’s criminal attorneys allegedly rejected a full-immunity deal. Roberson would be a free man today.
With the criminal attorneys being paid generously by Drummond Company, some observers wonder: Was the rejection of the immunity deal done solely for Drummond’s benefit at Roberson’s expense?
Blake Andrews, General Counsel of Drummond Company, was allegedly so “confused” by the invoices in the North Birmingham Bribery Scheme, he allegedly had Roberson sign off on them as the “fall guy.”
Was “Confused” Andrews involved in any way with the rejection of this immunity deal?
Drummond allegedly vowed to keep him on the payroll, pay for his criminal litigation costs, and take care of Roberson and his family. Yet six months after his conviction, Roberson was terminated. He lost his home, his possessions, and barely can pay for the prescription drugs of his family members.
The Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE) was the corrupt entity behind the money laundering of $360,000 in bribes to disgraced ex-State Representative Oliver Robinson.
The AJE was the alleged brainchild of Alabama Power and as we reported in 2017, Mike Thompson of Thompson Tractor was listed as a director of the money laundering entity.
Thompson was also the fundraising chairman in 2017 of Balch’s biggest stooge U.S. Senator Luther Strange and allegedly has had deep and close frienships with Crosswhite and the Drummond family.
Strange involved himself in the North Birmingham EPA matter, allegedly provoked by Balch, even though Strange had no authority to do so. At the time, the Governor had delegated the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to handle all issues related to the North Birmingham EPA matter.
- On October 13, 2014, convicted felon and Balch-made millionaire Joel I. Gilbert sent Luther Strange, then the Alabama Attorney General, a draft letter about the North Birmingham EPA matter.
- Four days later, on October 17, Strange accepted a $25,000 contribution from Drummond Company.
- The $25,000 was allegedly hand delivered in 2014 to Attorney General Strange when Thompson allegedly brought him over to Drummond Company’s executive offices, circumventing government affairs and meeting with members of the Drummond family directly.
- Six days later after the money was deposited, Strange signed the ghost-written letter and dispatched it on his official letterhead to the EPA on October 23, 2014. (Read the source documents here.)
5. Alabama Power’s Secret Deal and the Matrix Meltdown
In court filings in the Roberson case (before it was sealed), Alabama Power claimed the utility “was a victim of those who ran AJE.”
As we said before, cry us a polluted river!
The money-laundering entity of the Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE) was the alleged brainchild of Alabama Power while emails from convicted Balch-made millionaire Joel I. Gilbert discussing the North Birmingham Bribery Scheme were sent to Alabama Power while convicted ex-Drummond executive David Roberson in some instances was simply carbon-copied. Alabama Power was briefed regularly.
In their pleadings Alabama Power also discusses our post on Jeffrey H. Wood, the ex-Balch & Bingham lobbyist who was on Capitol Hill in 2016 being briefed on the North Birmingham CERCLA matter at the height of the bribery scandal on behalf of Alabama Power, calling information on Wood’s lobbying efforts “irrelevant.”
What really angered Alabama Poweris the alleged secret deal with disgraced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town in which Alabama Power was “unmentionable” during the criminal trial, calling the allegations a “conspiracy theory.”
The jaw-dropping photos of Town and Crosswhite at the Moon Shine Lounge are not a “conspiracy theory.”
Now Alabama Power has more controversy with alleged secret indemnity agreements and multi-million-dollar contracts not requiring detailed invoicing.
The Matrix Meltdown is causing a storm of documents to be leaked and a published report outlined how Alabama Power allegedly dished out $2.5 million to Joe Perkins, the founder of the obscure political consulting firm Matrix, without the need to provide itemized invoices.
For years, incredible rumors and colorful innuendo circulated around Matrix, now in the middle of an ugly, two-state divorce between founder Joe Perkins and his once-protege Jeff Pitts.
The allegations include using actors, smearing political opponents, setting up AstroTurf campaigns, hiring brain-dead journalists, and engaging in fear-tactics that could appear to be criminal acts.
And these alleged fear-tactics and criminal acts, could they the center of a criminal investigation that could lead to more indictments?
We hope so.