Did Espy ever solicit or abuse a child in his eight years while working at Balch & Bingham?
How many truly honorable clients will terminate Balch & Bingham now that the embattled firm allegedly covered-up the misconduct of an alleged pedophile?
No corporate client with a moral conscience should be using Balch & Bingham.
How many clients will end their relationship with Balch over Balch’s history of alleged child exploitation?
Will McWane, Alabama Power, East Texas Electric Cooperative, Northeast Texas Electric Cooperative, Globe Life, O’Neal Industries, and others finally cut the ropes?
Just three days before Balch & Bingham’s 100-year celebration Saturday night at The Club located on a picturesque hilltop overlooking the Downtown Birmingham skyline, ex-Balch attorney Chase T. Espy, who worked at Balch for eight years, pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges of possessing kiddie porn.
Last year, Espy was arrested for seeking sex with a child online.
While Balch attorneys, staff, and their spouses chowed down on a surf and turf dinner, the allegations of child exploitation appear to be causing enormous indigestion, internal strife, and humiliation.
Balch attorneys from Jacksonville, Florida to Jackson, Mississippi are in disbelief, humiliated, and looking for a way out, sources claim.
The kiddie porn included 69 horrific sex abuse videos of young children and revolting photos of young children less than 12 years of age, according to law enforcement officials.
But child exploitation is not new at the century-old law firm.
The young children in North Birmingham, an area that is 92.5% African American, were targeted and alleged victims of Balch & Bingham’s repulsive scheme in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal which suppressed and discouraged African American families from having their toxic and contaminated property tested by the EPA.
Handing out free coat gift cards to poor Black children to discourage EPA testing was one of the abhorrent acts spearheaded by Balch & Bingham’s convicted partner and criminal felon Joel I. Gilbert, now sitting in federal prison.
The idea to target the children of North Birmingham was born at the offices of Balch & Bingham.
In their long battle against Burt Newsome, a competitor and successful banking attorney, Balch & Bingham allegedly used the obscure services of Matrix, LLC and Sloppy Joe Perkins in an attempt to smear, intimidate, and defame Newsome, sources close to the Matrix Meltdown tell us.
And what was one of the terrorizing acts done against Newsome? The targeting and threats against Newsome’s four young children.
Investigators appear to be now looking at Matrix to see if they were or were not involved in these alleged criminal acts.
In 2018, in an act to terrorize the family, someone sent the Newsome family a threatening package: Five pieces of luggage and numerous clothing outfits. There were approximately three dozen outfits for mom and the young Newsome children.
The message was crystal clear: get ready to pack and leave town.
Were they threatening the family? The father, Burt Newsome? Was he going to be injured, killed or murdered? Or were the wife and children going to “disappear” on a permanent vacation?
Two years after the criminal threat, Newsome was hit head-on in a horrific car accident.
The targeting of Newsome’s young children is disgraceful. The targeting of poor African American children is reprehensible.
But the alleged cover-up of Espy is truly unforgivable.
When Espy was arrested last year, a Balch spokesperson, in sheer panic, stepped on a landmine while trying to save face by telling the Montgomery Advertiser that they had terminated the alleged sexual deviant “nearly one year ago.”
If true, what did Balch know and did they report Espy’s misconduct to the state bar or local authorities? After 8 years on the job, an attorney is simply not terminated like a rookie.
The bottom line is children need to be protected from pedophiles and sexual predators, no matter what powerful positions or connections they may hold or have.
Balch admits they terminated Espy in 2020. What did Balch uncover and why would an eight-year veteran of the firm be abruptly fired? Did Balch fail to report despicable behavior or criminal acts to law enforcement authorities?
And why in heaven’s name would Balch let Alabama Governor Kay Ivey hire Espy months later and put the Administration at risk if they knew Espy appeared to be trouble?
Espy used the internet and online resources as he allegedly sought sex with a child.
Sources at Balch told us that the wireless IP address at the Balch offices in Birmingham was allegedly changed in 2020 just weeks before Espy was fired. Was it an easy fix to a complicated issue?
Everyone knows that Espy’s sick sexual desires and deviant criminal behavior didn’t happen overnight. What did Espy view or download on Balch servers? Did Espy ever solicit or abuse a child in his eight years while working at Balch & Bingham?
Balch appears not to care about child exploitation or an alleged pedophile that walked in their hallways, having refused to apologize to the public in general, the North Birmingham community or the Newsome Family.
At their 100-year celebration, Balch played a video about the firm. No mention of once-esteemed colleague and partner Joel I. Gilbert who sits in federal prison. No mention of Chase T. Espy who plead guilty to kiddie porn 72 hours beforehand. No mention of Balch partner William “Bo” Lineberry who hung himself in April.
So distraught, Balch didn’t even send out a fluffy news release about their 100-year celebration.
The humiliation is real and now clients have to unequivocally cut the ropes and terminate Balch & Bingham.
And the professional and honorable partners and attorneys at Balch who have self-honor and dignity need to dust off their resumes.
Unforgivable. Truly unforgivable.