Category Archives: North Birmingham Bribery Case

Bought and Paid For! Southern Company Criminal Enterprise Buys Civil Rights Advocates and African American Activists

In January, Refuge In Troubled Times Community Development Corporation held its fourth candlelight vigil in Birmingham to memorialize the murdered victims of violence. reported:

Brenda Paige Ward, founder of Refuge In Troubled Times, said her goal is to bring the community together and set a path for change.

“We need to come together in unity and do something about all of the deaths, and the murders, and the homicides and all of the things that are going on around our city. This is our city and we have to do something for our children,” Ward said.

Ward created the nonprofit in 2011, after the fatal shooting of her eldest grandson RaSheed Ali Ward, 19, on June 17, 2010. Keith Hilson, 24, was also killed in the shooting. No one has been arrested for their deaths.

But Ward (pictured above) is more than a heart-broken grandmother.

She’s also an alleged stooge for the Southern Company Criminal Enterprise.

Ward is the alleged driver of the van entering Forbes’ community.

In 2020, self-anointed Apostle Brenda Paige Ward, rented a large van from Budget Rentals at the Birmingham Airport, showed up in CDLU’s Chief Executive Officer K.B. Forbes’ neighborhood.

Ward, along with a dozen or so African American actors, held a two-minute “shoot and scoot” fake protest adjacent to Forbes’ home, terrorizing neighbors and Forbes’ then-eight-year-old daughter who cried thinking they were killing an innocent African American like George Floyd.

Ward and others were part of Southern Company’s campaign of terror and intimidation against Forbes and Burt Newsome, the attorney who took on Balch & Bingham, the sister-wife of Alabama Power, a wholly owned and most profitable subsidiary of Southern Company.

Ward, showed up, without apparently knowing who she was protesting or for what reason.

The buffoons couldn’t even spell Forbes’ last name correctly, calling him Forger, Forges, or Forgis. Even the Apostle Brenda Paige Ward couldn’t spell Forbes’ name.

Ward telling a friend on Facebook that the target was Forges.

The Southern Company Criminal Enterprise utilized Matrix, the obscure political consulting firm founded by the diminutive “Sloppy Joe” Perkins.

An investigation by Spotlight, recently published in The Guardian, revealed that Matrix funneled resources to influence Civil Rights groups and leaders.

Entities controlled by Matrix paid $115,000 to Charles Steele Jr, the head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and about $170,000 to the Rev Deves Toon, national field director for the National Action Network (Nan), according to verified internal Matrix documents and tax records.

The SCLC was a desegregation pioneer in the south and active in the first protests against environmental racism. Nan, founded by the Rev Al Sharpton, spotlights violence faced by people of color. In 2023, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and the leader of the Environmental Protection Agency spoke at Nan events.

In an interview last year, Steele confirmed one payment from Matrix but categorized it as a contribution for civil rights work. Neither he nor his organization responded to additional questions. Toon did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Even Southern Company Chairman Tom Fanning acknowledged greasing the wheels.


Tom Fanning… confirmed in a May interview with Floodlight that the company at the time was still working with Matrix and with civil rights groups including the SCLC. The company did not respond to later requests for comment.

“There’s a real business reason why we do this,” he said, claiming a mutual benefit for the company and the civil rights groups.

The Southern Company Criminal Enterprise has bought and paid for Civil Rights advocates and African American activists to attack other minority activists like Forbes.

Fanning, Perkins, Ward and others demonstrated total ignorance about Forbes, who lived in Chile as a child, is the son of a Hispanic immigrant, and is fully bilingual.

Forbes and the CDLU were working with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2020 as informants about the misconduct in Alabama, and the criminal enterprise did not like the fact.

And now, today Forbes and the CDLU are working to hold Fanning and the Southern Company Criminal Enterprise accountable for wasting millions of shareholder resources on campaigns of fear and intimidation that had no corporate purpose whatsoever and violated the civil rights of innocent victims, including children.

Dumb Career Move! Former Mississippi Speaker Joins Balch Firm with Two Former Attorneys Currently Sitting in Federal Prison

A former speaker, a child predator, and a money launderer enter a bar near the Pearl River…

The former Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives has made the dumbest career move.

Philip Gunn has joined Balch Policy Advisors, LLC, a subsidiary of embattled law firm Balch & Bingham, according to news reports today.

Gunn joins the firm of the former esteemed Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert, federal inmate 35504-001, who was convicted in 2018 of bribery and money laundering among other crimes in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal. He also joins the firm of the former eight-year Balch attorney Chase T. Espy, federal inmate 04104-510, who was convicted for possession of kiddie porn.

The move comes three months after the public disclosure that Balch’s top client, Southern Company, had been sued for fraud in Mississippi in regards to the Kemper Plant debacle. The false claims suit was unsealed five years after it was filed and seeks up to $1.1 billion in damages. The suit alleges that Southern Company and its subsidiary Mississippi Power repeatedly defrauded the U.S. Department of Energy.

Note that the law firm has set up a subsidiary to funnel money to the former Speaker. Why is that? To hide transparency? To obscure clients? To live off more government pork?

Balch appears to be seeking more contractual cronyism.

As we reported last August:

In Mississippi, Balch, has obtained 76 government contracts worth over $43 million since 2014, according to a state transparency website.

However those financial numbers have plummeted, too.

In 2020, Balch obtained over $12.2 million in Mississippi state contracts that included $2.1 million in consulting fees related to the rental assistance debacle.

In 2021, Balch was given $5.7 million in state government contracts in Mississippi when The Washington Post investigative report was published, rocking the Magnolia State.

Last year, in 2022, their reputation damaged while in the spotlight, Balch was only able to obtain a mere $1.6 million in Mississippi state contracts.

That equals less that a third of what they earned the year before and a mere 13 percent of their 2020 contract numbers.

Contractual cronyism appears to be coming to a chilling close.

Will Gunn turn the tide for Balch and expand contractual cronyism? Will Gunn and others cash in I.O.U.’s and bring in clients?

Time to pull out the magnifying glasses and alert the watchdogs.

A former speaker, a child predator, and a money launderer enter a bar near the Pearl River…

Whores of Babylon! Southern Company’s Grip on Alabama Media, Smear Sites, and Paid Stooges Affirmed

The Guardian has published a damning investigative report by Floodlight that shows unequivocally that Southern Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Alabama Power has allegedly bought, manipulated, and infiltrated media coverage throughout the State of Alabama.

The Guardian writes:

For decades, Alabama Power has sowed influence across the state, according to interviews with more than two dozen former and current reporters, civil rights activists, utility employees and environmentalists.

What’s happening in Alabama is an example of how special interests have taken advantage of the diminishing reach and influence of shrinking mainstream newsrooms in the US. In their place have sprung up fake “pink slime” news sites operated by political interests; a utility that secretly created news outlets to attack its critics; and a Florida publisher who accepts payments for positive coverage.

This investigation into power companies infiltrating local media follows Floodlight’s revelation earlier this month about how utilities wield influence among civil rights groups.

In the last decade, nearly a dozen local reporters and editors were hired to staff the two Alabama news outlets. A Floodlight review of the content since the utility founded the Alabama News Center in 2015 shows it publishes overwhelmingly positive stories about the power company.

Coverage of the utility by the Birmingham Times, which was funded with money from Alabama Power’s charitable arm the Alabama Power Foundation, consists of reprinted stories from the News Center and the utility’s own press releases.

The Southern Company criminal enterprise used these same tactics and venues in the campaign of fear and intimidation against Burt Newsome and his family, us (the CDLU), and our CEO, K.B. Forbes and his family in the summer of 2020.

That summer, the Alabama Political Reporter (APR) viciously and repeatedly attacked Forbes, this website, and the CDLU.

Josh Moon, a once-respected journalist, amputated his brain and did a series of orchestrated hit jobs through 2021 attacking the CDLU, K.B. Forbes, and Burt Newsome.

Moon even allegedly stalked the CDLU, showing up to our headquarters.

Moon with hair and Moon showing up to CDLU’s headquarters

Southern Company paid APR $120,000 through Matrix, the obscure political consulting firm, according to documents we obtained anonymously, to attack and smear Forbes and Newsome.

The Guardian affirms the history of payouts to APR whose publisher appears to act like a forgetful Bangkok whore:

Two Alabama Political Reporter journalists recounted separate instances of a critical story they wrote about Alabama Power being killed without explanation by their outlet in 2013 and 2021. Each suspected the articles were held to appease Alabama Power. At least as far back as April 2013, the Alabama Political Reporter was being paid $8,000 a month by Matrix, the consulting firm employed by Alabama Power, leaked records show. The site’s publisher didn’t remember the stories and denied they were killed because of the utility.

And is this aggressive approach new? Not, says The Guardian:

Even before Alabama Power created its own news entities, four reporters in the state said the utility was aggressive in squashing negative news coverage, including frequently challenging reporting by demanding to meet with top newsroom leaders or threatening lawsuits.

In 2001, Birmingham’s Fox6 station killed a story about an elderly woman who died after life-sustaining equipment was turned off in her home when Alabama Power halted her electric service over failure to pay. Three former newsroom staffers who asked not to be named said a station executive – who later went to work for Alabama Power – spiked the story.

Lovely. Isn’t the Southern Company criminal enterprise just lovely?

Balch & Bingham’s Managing Partner in Houston Dumps Firm After 8 Months

Balch & Bingham partner Audrey F. Momanaee, who unexpectedly became the Office Managing Partner in Houston, Texas last June after four top partners and attorneys fled the firm, has now herself left the embattled law firm.

The exodus of Momanaee leaves Balch’s Houston Office with only one full-time attorney. How embarrassing!

We are not surprised as Balch has lost numerous legacy partners and seasoned professionals, only to be replaced by inexperienced junior attorneys. So desperate for experenced attorneys, Balch rehired and pulled a former partner out of retirement to join the firm last August.

Globe Newswire reports:

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Audrey F. Momanaee has joined the firm’s Houston office as partner in the Commercial Litigation group. As an accomplished litigator, Audrey focuses her practice on matters involving business disputes, commercial and contract claims, catastrophic property claims, construction defects and delays, and matters involving trade secret protection and litigation. 

Balch suffered a massive exodus in Texas last summer as we reported in August:

Two years ago, after opening a new office in Austin, Balch predicted they would grow to 25 to 30 attorneys in the Lone Star State. Balch crowed that they had seven lawyers in Houston in a news report published that June of 2021. Now, today, Balch has been decimated and only three lawyers remain in Houston, with one of them actually based in Birmingham. From seven to three. Balch’s total number of attorneys in the Lone Star State is in the single digits, nowhere near 25 or 30.

Who else at Balch & Bingham is dusting off their resume? What carrots are being offered to other lawyers at Balch’s satellite offices?

The undisputed fact is that the North Birmingham Bribery Trial, the Newsome Conspiracy Case, the Elderly Exploitation Scandal, the Matrix Meltdown, and Southern Company’s “fear and intimidation” campaigns appear to have taken their toll and permanently damaged Balch & Bingham’s reputation.

Balch originally hired Momanaee as a partner in May of 2022. She didn’t last two years at the alleged unscrupulous firm, and quit eight months after abruptly taking over the managment of Balch’s Houston office.

Federal inmates Gilbert and Espy

With two former Balch attorneys sitting in federal prison, Momanaee made the intelligent decision.

Now in 2024, Balch has shrunk again and is still in the single digits in Texas.

We wish Audrey the best of luck!

We’re Back! Get Ready for Retirements, Resignations, Regulatory Investigations, More Alleged Racism, and a Rebirth of the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal.

Happy New Year!

After a brief hiatus, is back. A lot of news is happening in the background and the Southern Company criminal enterprise appears to be trying to clean up (or cover up) their trail of carcasses and human excrement in their million-dollar campaign of fear and intimidation against innocent families, minorities, and us, the CDLU.

New Balch partners: Diverse as a jar of mayonnaise

Balch & Bingham, the embattled and alleged racist law firm, is still in turmoil as Managing Partner Stan Blanton gloats about make-believe diversity awards while promoting four all-white attorneys as partners this month.

Southern Company CEO Chris Womack has hit, and Alabama Power CEO Jeff Peoples will hit, the magic “mandatory retirement age” of 65 . Insiders claim that Alexia Borden, current Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Alabama Power, will replace Peoples, while Kim Greene, CEO of Georgia Power, will replace Womack.

2024 may be the Year of the Woman.

Speaking of women, Kristine L. Svinicki, the former Chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) who became a Member of the Board of Directors of Southern Company in 2021, may have spurred two investigations at the regulatory body: one by the OIG to see if there has been any form of illegal contact or communication between Svinicki and staff at the NRC. (Svinicki has a lifetime ban.)

We have learned there may be a second probe by the Office of Investigations at the NRC that is looking at outside alleged criminal conduct by Southern Company, including the false claims acts out of Mississippi that were unveiled in November.

Will Svinicki resign in 2024 from the Southern Company Board of Directors?

Finally, we understand through sources in the environmental movement, that allegedly an appeal has been filed by the Energy and Policy Institute to open and unseal David Roberson’s $75 million lawsuit against Drummond Company and Balch & Bingham.

The rebirth of the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal may happen in 2024, as ex-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert still sits in federal prison. We will have a lot to write about in the forthcoming weeks and months.

Wishing you, our dear reader, good health and prosperity in 2024!

A Year Later: A Prelude, Not an Aftermath, as Southern Company Faces the Music

A year ago, the embattled CEO of Alabama Power Mark A. Crosswhite was ousted in disgrace. The surveillance efforts and scandalous acts of the Southern Company criminal enterprise were exposed in the public arena.

A few days after the announcement, we, the CDLU, received anonymously spreadsheets and documents outlining how Southern Company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the summer of 2020 attacking us, the family of our CEO, K.B. Forbes, and Burt Newsome and his family.

Both Forbes’ and Newsome’s young children were targeted and at times cried in fear by the foolish acts paid for Southern Company.

Newsome’s and Forbes’ children targeted.

Southern Company’s campaign of fear and intimidation worked: the Forbes family fled their home, and Newsome had to hire and install new security and safety measures.

In recent days, speaking to insiders and seasoned law enforcement officials, Crosswhite’s resignation was not an aftermath but a prelude of what is coming down the pike.

Southern Company is facing the music.

Last month, the whistleblower lawsuit filed in 2018 over Southern Company’s boondoggle Kemper Plant in Mississippi was unsealed.

It took 5 years for the big reveal, but the chickens have come home to roost.

Insiders and officials say that more federal probes are in the works, confirming what we wrote last month: “The Southern Company Criminal Enterprise is being held accountable, and the investigations currently underway are deep, massive in nature, and slowly coming together.

Matrix, Balch & Bingham, Alabama Power, and their goons appear to be in the middle of this firestorm.

The long-ago Newsome Conspiracy Case, from a decade ago, ended with a $242,000 judgment against Burt Newsome, but cost Balch & Bingham between $40 and $100 million in clients and fees in the aggregate.

Now Balch’s sister-wife, Southern Company maybe on the hook for billions in fines, liabilities, and regulatory settlements for, in part, partaking in the foolish criminal acts against Newsome and his family that had no corporate purpose whatsoever.

We now ask Southern Company the same question we asked Balch: Have you lost your minds?

Jax Axe? Balch Partner Krechowski “Old Enough to Know Better”

Civil Rights champion Ernesto Pichardo, who won a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision for Civil Rights and religious freedom in 1993 against the City of Hialeah, demanded today that the Jacksonville City Council table the appointment of Patrick Krechowski to the Downtown Investment Authority Board of Directors.

“Patrick Krechowski is a partner at the alleged racist and embattled law firm of Balch & Bingham. Two former Balch attorneys are sitting in federal prison, now, today this very moment: one for bribery and money laundering; the other for possession of kiddie porn. As a partner, Mr. Krechowski cannot say he doesn’t know about the deplorable misconduct at the firm,” declared Pichardo who serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Consejo de Latinos Unidos (CDLU), a public charity and national advocacy organization.

Pichardo added, “Just recently, the Town of Orange Park rejected the hiring of Mr. Krechowski and Balch & Bingham, a humiliating defeat for a seasoned attorney. Mr. Krechowski is old enough to know better and should have the wisdom to leave Balch & Bingham and their baggage behind. There are many other, more honorable law firms in Jacksonville.”

Gilbert before the prison uniform

In October of 2021, ex-Balch partner, Joel I. Gilbert reported to federal prison to serve a five-year sentence for bribery and money laundering in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal, which targeted low-income African American children and their families from having the EPA test their toxic and contaminated property. The bribery scheme was born at the offices at Balch & Bingham. North Birmingham is 92.5 percent African American, and Balch has yet to apologize or make amends with the community.

Espy before being caught soliciting a child for sex

In March, Chase T. Espy, a long-time Balch attorney was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography. In 2021, Espy was arrested for allegedly soliciting a child online. The CDLU immediately reached out to U.S. Department of Homeland Security which investigates child trafficking and exploitation. CDLU’s advocacy led to the federal indictment of Espy in June of 2022.

Because of CDLU’s advocacy, Balch has seen 18 of 18 major clients in Washington, D.C. terminate them.  Balch & Bingham appears to have lost between $40 and $100 million in the aggregate as the firm has lost clients and seen an exodus of legacy and money-making partners since 2017.

In 1993, Pichardo won a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision for religious freedom and Civil Rights after his Afro-Caribbean faith came under attack due to blatant intolerance and discrimination by racists and religious bigots. Pichardo has been a member of the Board of Directors of the CDLU since 2003.

$1.1 Billion in Damages? Southern Company Sued for Alleged Fraud in Mississippi; Federal Probes Continue

The first shoe has dropped! As we reported in May of 2019, Southern Company was under federal investigation in Mississippi.

An excerpt from four years ago:

Atlanta-based Southern Company disclosed it is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice over a power plant that already has caused the company years of heartburn and billions of dollars.

Southern said it learned of the probe by the DOJ’s Civil Division on Monday and that it involved the Kemper County plant owned by the utility’s Mississippi Power subsidiary.

The trifecta of alleged criminal misconduct by Southern Company done in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi is starting to come into the public light.


Southern Company allowed Alabama Power and then-Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite to do whatever they pleased because the most profitable subsidiary was helping pay for the billion-dollar cost overruns at two boondoggles: the Kemper Plant in Mississippi and the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Georgia.

Now the first of three major actions against Southern Company has begun.

The Associated Press reports:

A former employee is suing to force a Mississippi utility to repay $382 million that the federal government gave to build a failed coal-fueled power plant.

Kelli Williams, a former construction manager for Atlanta-based Southern Co., filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company and its subsidiary Mississippi Power Co. in 2018. That lawsuit, unsealed Monday, alleges that the two firms defrauded the U.S. Department of Energy and state regulators in a failed quest to build a $7.5 billion power plant.

Williams says the company lied repeatedly about the plant’s cost overruns and spiraling delays, enticing the U.S. Department of Energy to keep delivering subsidy payments and persuading the Mississippi Public Service Commission to not revoke its permission for construction.

“If DOE had known that defendants were intentionally deceiving the agency about the state of the Kemper project and were intentionally withholding accurate data about the project’s progress and viability, DOE would have ceased funding and supporting it,” an amended complaint filed Monday alleges.

If Williams wins, the company could be forced to pay triple damages, or more than $1.1 billion. 

It has taken five years to unseal the whistleblower lawsuit against Southern Company, but we are not surprised.

The Southern Company Criminal Enterprise is being held accountable, and the investigations currently underway are deep, massive in nature, and slowly coming together.

In Georgia, expect possible criminal charges and litigation against Southern Company regarding the other boondoggle: the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant.

In Alabama, look for potential RICO litigation, SEC fines, and criminal charges surrounding the years of illegal surveillance, harassment, and alleged corruption of the judicial branch by the Southern Company Criminal Enterprise.

Federal investigators are allegedly looking at obstruction of justice and accusations of criminal concealment.

In April of 2022, Federal Judge Abdul K. Kallon resigned and fled to Seattle.

The next day, two Assistant U.S. Attorneys allegedly left the Northern District of Alabama, followed by the shocking suicide of William “Bo” Lineberry, a Balch & Bingham partner who hanged himself.

Seasoned law enforcement authorities told us in 2022 that the Lineberry suicide spoke volumes about the depth and seriousness of the alleged federal probe.

Southern Company’s Alleged Racist, Anti-Cop Stooge Reappears

The $318,000 spent by Southern Company in the summer of 2020 was to pay multiple stooges to allegedly attack and impede the individual and Civil Rights of the Hispanic Family of K.B. Forbes, our Chief Executive Officer, who is the son of a Latino immigrant, in an orchestrated campaign of fear and intimidation.

The start of that Southern Company campaign was to hire rabble-rouser Carlos M. Chaverst, Jr., to attack Forbes and allegedly create a race war between African Americans and Hispanics.

Chaverst, a well-known activist who is allegedly racist and anti-cop, shot the first salvo in the Southern Company campaign that utterly backfired.

On July 2, 2020, Chaverst posted a Facebook Live video where he called Forbes a “racist white man” and WYPIPO, while using other, more graphic vulgarities in a now deleted profile.

That summer, Chaverst was arrested by three different law enforcement agencies for numerous outstanding warrants and alleged criminal acts, including inciting a riot.

Shortly thereafter, in the winter of 2021, Chaverst allegedly relocated to Colorado, where toking marijuana is legal, and launched a media production platform.

Now, this week, Chaverst reappeared in Birmingham, as “a public relations representative for Rep. John Rogers” who has been indicted for obstruction and bribery.

Alabama Media Group ( reports:

A federal grand jury in September charged Rogers, D-Birmingham, with obstruction of justice and obstruction of justice by bribery, alleging that he offered public money to the founder of a nonprofit in exchange for the founder lying to the FBI about a kickback scheme involving public tax dollars. also published the photo (above, on top of this post) with this caption:

Carlos Chaverst (left), a public relations representative for Rep. John Rogers, and Varrie Johnson Kindall (right), who has also been indicted in the same case as Rogers, leaving the federal courthouse after Rogers’ hearing on Oct. 30. (Hannah Denham /

Southern Company has paid millions to Joe Perkins and his affiliated entities including Matrix, LLC.

Matrix, LLC, in turn paid obscure entities, envelope journalists, and individuals to allegedly conduct surveillance operations, viciously harass minorities, and smear perceived enemies, like K.B. Forbes, Burt Newsome and their families.

The Forbes family, which was targeted and harassed by Southern Company, was forced to flee their home in Birmingham, and arrived abruptly that summer of 2020 to Mexico.

Even the FBI, usually tight lipped, wrote they were “glad” Forbes and his family were safe in Mexico, after Burt Newsome was nearly killed in a head-on collision.

With the shooting of a .22 caliber projectile into the rear bedroom window of Forbes’ home this past September, law enforcement is well aware of Chaverst and his past involvement in Southern Company’s campaign of fear and intimidation against the Forbes family.

Chaverst has repeatedly attacked and allegedly smeared law enforcement agencies since 2018. He also is affiliated with Frank Matthews, a Southern Company stooge and antisemite booster, who was paid thousands of dollars to allegedly attack the CDLU and publicize a smear website against Newsome and Forbes paid for by Southern Company.

Chaverst appears to be no friend of law and order, and allegedly sold his “public relations” efforts for 30 pieces of silver to Southern Company goons in the summer of 2020.

Ironically, Alabama Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, donated $6,000 directly to indicted politician John Rogers and thousands more through affiliated political action committees.

And here comes Carlos as his mouthpiece, direct from Colorado, where marijuana, the burning weed with its roots in hell, is legal.

Southern Company should be coughing and choking from the smell and smoke of that thick doobie!

Third-Party Risk! Florida Town Council Rejects Balch & Bingham; Embattled Law Firm Offered to Work for “Flat Fee”

Can the situation get any worse for Balch & Bingham?

The Town Council of Orange Park, Florida has rejected a bid from the law firm. Not a single council member voted for Balch, one of three firms contending to provide legal services to the town, according to local news reports.

Worse, Patrick Krechowski, a Balch partner, “said that the majority of services for Balch & Bingham would be covered under a flat fee…”

A flat fee for a law firm with over 200 attorneys? Unheard of!

Could Balch be so desperate or in such bad financial shape that they are no longer billing hourly?


We heard of the alleged financial troubles at the firm when Balch partner William “Bo” Lineberry committed suicide last year by brutally hanging himself.

The firm’s toxic reputation is tied to multiple factors including the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal in which poor, African American children and their families were targeted in a bribery scheme born at the offices of Balch & Bingham. Once-esteemed Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert is currently serving a five-year prison term because of his involvement in the bribery and money laundering scheme.

Lineberry, incredibly, was the attorney who incorporated the entity in which the bribes were laundered through.


Chase T. Espy, another ex-Balch attorney, is serving an eight-year prison term for possession of kiddie porn. He was arrested in 2021 by local authorities for soliciting a child for sex online, and because of our outreach to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Espy was investigated and later indicted in 2022 for possession of kiddie porn.

Numerous clients and money-making partners have fled the embattled firm. Known as the sister-wife of Southern Company, Balch has even seen the utility reduce their workload.

With two convicted ex-attorneys currently sitting in federal prison, who would want to have Balch, an apparent third-party risk, as their counsel of record?

Mrs. B

Let us not only remember that Blacks and children were victims of Balch’s alleged misconduct, but also the elderly.

Balch partner Amy Davis was recorded by 88-year-old Joann Bashinsky (Mrs. B) telling Mrs. B that she could lose her house (even though it was paid off) if she didn’t allow Balch and others to represent her interests.

Mrs. B was worth a whopping $218 million, and that appears to be why Balch and others wanted to control the elderly woman and her assets. The alleged Elderly Exploitation Scandal is one of the many aspects that appears to have damaged Balch’s reputation and created an unsustainable third-party risk.

In recent months, other law firms have picked-off top partners from Balch, and insiders claim that Balch maybe bought out by Bradley or another firm.

With flat fees, green-behind-the-ears attorneys, and minimal bonuses, Balch could be in an irreversible death spiral.

Another Blow: Globe Life Terminates Balch & Bingham

On Friday, reported that Globe Life has terminated the embattled law firm Balch & Bingham as their lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

Balch saw 18 of 18 major clients terminate the firm between 2017 and 2020 due in part to our educational and advocacy efforts.

According to Open Secrets, Balch appears to have garnered five newer, monthly paying lobbying clients: two utilities out of Texas, O’Neal Industries, Scatr LLC, and McWane, their highest paying client.

Currently, two former Balch attorneys are sitting in federal prison; one for bribery and money laundering, the other for possession of kiddie porn.

The criminal convictions appear to have hindered the development of clients and provoked the exodus of top money-making partners and attorneys.

Balch’s Houston office was gutted this summer when four Balch lawyers jumped ship.

Balch was forced to bring a former partner out of retirement apparently because the brightest legal minds allegedly do not want to be associated with or work for Balch.

Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert is serving a five year sentence for bribery while former Balch attorney Chase T. Espy (right) is serving over an eight year sentence for possession of kiddie porn.

Southern Company Retaliatory Shooting? DOJ, SEC, NRC, and FBI Briefed

Southern Company ought to be ashamed about this disgraceful act of violence.

Is Southern Company’s longtime consultant Joe Perkins simply out of control? Is the Oompa Loompa of Alabama politics, who is paid millions by the utility, finally being shown the door by Southern Company?

What would cause an unknown and alleged Southern Company goon to shoot a .22 projectile into a perceived adversary’s bedroom window?


The U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Alabama Prim Escalona, U.S. Department of Justice leaders in Washington, D.C., the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI office in Birmingham, investigators at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and officers of the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have all been briefed on the retaliatory shooting against K.B. Forbes, CDLU’s Chief Executive Officer.

Forbes met in person yesterday afternoon with the FBI.

“Southern Company crossed a line when they targeted my family in the summer of 2020 and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a forensic colonoscopy of everything associated with my family, including the exportation of a princess bed for my then-three-year-old daughter. Now, what has happened is a criminal threat and an infringement of our Civil Rights. No one, and I mean no one, messes with or threatens my family and young children. Southern Company ought to be ashamed about this disgraceful act of violence,” Forbes declared.

What we do know is that the trigger was pulled behind the fence of Forbes’ home right into his bedroom window. The shot was straightforward and direct.

Trajectory of the .22 caliber projectile

The window that was hit is located several inches above the bedroom floor, but is located about 5 feet from the outside lawn.

The blue arrow in the picture to the left shows the 5-foot drop from the pierced window .

The trajectory of the projectile passed by the playground area in Forbes’ backyard. The shot, unequivocally, was targeted directly at the window, and not a fluke accident or ricochet.

The lots behind Forbes’ home are higher and above Forbes’s lot, so the individual who took the shot would have had to climb down, behind his home.

And why retaliate?

The CDLU has been working with investigators in multiple government agencies regarding Southern Company’s alleged criminal acts, illicit surveillance efforts, and gross misconduct.

But Tuesday’s story about Southern Company’s alleged surveillance operation of U.S. Department of Justice officials and then-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town was beyond explosive. The alleged acts are felony crimes.

In 2021, a couple days after ex-Drummond executive David Roberson testified about the $25,000 alleged bribe to former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange in exchange for a letter to be sent to the EPA regarding the North Birmingham clean-up site, Roberson’s car window was shot out.

Strange’s official act in exchange for $25,000 appears to have been a felony crime, too.

To threaten those who write, talk, testify, or criticize Southern Company’s criminal enterprise, a .22 projectile sends an unwavering message of violence and physical harm, or possible death.

And Southern Company has the audacity to tell The Wall Street Journal that they have “moved on?”

Moved on?

Maybe moved on from misdemeanors to felonies.

Bombshell: Southern Company Surveillance Effort of U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town Exposed


The jaw-dropping photos we obtained and published in 2020 of then-U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Jay E. Town chugging cocktails with then-Chairman and CEO of Alabama Power Mark A. Crosswhite were allegedly paid for by Southern Company in a deep, covert surveillance effort of the U.S. Attorney’s office.

According to a high-level source in Atlanta, Southern Company allegedly paid Matrix, LLC to spearhead a covert surveillance effort of U.S. Department of Justice officials and prosecutors in Birmingham.

The release of the photos was done intentionally to send a message to Town: Southern Company owns your ass.

Crosswhite allegedly ordered the surveillance program as a member of Southern Company’s Management Council.

Since Alabama Power was never prosecuted or ordered to testify in the North Birmingham Bribery Trial because of alleged corruption and a secret “unmentionable” deal, Southern Company allegedly wanted to keep Town from ever expanding the probe in the future.

Chugging fool!

The photos eventually led to the Town’s abrupt resignation, and his political career was left in shambles.

While Crosswhite was allegedly furious that we published the photos and ordered an all-out, unwarranted attack against us, the CDLU, the Newsome Family, and the Forbes Family, sources claim that Joe Perkins, the founder of Matrix, LLC, allegedly ordered the release to benefit and justify his annual multi-million-dollar secret contracts with Southern Company subsidiaries.

The photos eventually led to the disgraceful resignations of both Town and Crosswhite.

In June, Southern Company admitted to The Wall Street Journal of paying for and conducting surveillance efforts. Last year, numerous news reports outlined the surveillance of journalists in Florida allegedly conducted by Matrix goons.

But the latest surveillance allegations are beyond egregious. They are criminal, worse than blackmail.

Southern Company set up a meeting with Town, and then their paid stooges allegedly took compromising photos of Town drinking cocktails with Crosswhite.

Pack your bags!

When the surveillance scandal broke last year, Perkins allegedly barked at Crosswhite, “Pack your bags!”

Now, today, this very moment, Perkins, Matrix, Balch & Bingham, and Mark White all should be told to “pack their bags.”

The egregious and criminal era of dirty deeds, dishonorable surveillance, and deplorable misconduct must come to an end.

Southern Company can no longer tolerate these shenanigans.

The farce of not knowing who authorized the surveillance or for what purpose does not absolve the senior management or Board of Directors at Southern Company.

Baker Donelson, AmFam Sued for $13.1 Billion Over Illegal Surveillance; Is Southern Company Next?

A headline story in rocked the legal community in 2021. A respected law firm came under fire for conducting illegal surveillance and video recording of a woman and her family. reported:

The long-lived, knotty personal injury case that … ultimately settled for $11 million has spun off yet more litigation, with a new complaint accusing Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, American Family Insurance and a local private investigation company of illegally surveilling and video-recording the plaintiff and her family.

Fittingly, the new complaint seeks big money: more than $13.1 billion and change in punitive damages. Plus attorney fees.  

The allegations in the Baker lawsuit are minimal compared to the illegal surveillance, alleged criminal acts, and campaign of fear and intimidation orchestrated by Southern Company and their paid stooges against us, the CDLU, the Newsome Family, and the Forbes Family.

In June, Southern Company admitted that they paid for and conducted a surveillance effort against their Chairman Tom Fanning and his then-girlfriend in 2017.

The company foolishly told The Wall Street Journal that they did not know who authorized the surveillance effort or for what purpose.

Like AmFam, Southern Company apparently targeted young children.

Southern Company engaged in surveillance of the Newsome twins.

Southern Company paid a vendor to target and harass the Newsome Family, including Newsome’s four young children.

Jeff Peoples, Chief Executive Officer at Alabama Power, signed off on an “extra work authorization” in 2018 paying obscure political consultant “Sloppy” Joe Perkins an additional $39,300 on top of the secret multi-million-dollar annual contracts his firms received.

And what was the $39,300 allegedly for? For “transportation organization management” according to the document, but a blatant lie, Southern Company insiders confirmed.

Newsome’s two boys were followed around by Southern Company goons.

Besides sending a threatening package of travel bags and outfits, Southern Company stooges conducted a surveillance effort against Newsome, his wife, and children.

The Newsomes were followed, spied on, and trailed throughout Birmingham, including to a point where Newsome’s wife saw her car broken into and windows smashed, in a targeted smash-and-run.

A Southern Company goon verbally abused Newsome’s wife at one point.

stolen credit card obtained from the break in of Newsome’s wife car was used in the purchase of the travel bags and outfits.

Zeke Smith, Alabama Power Executive Vice President for External Affairs, authorized over $318,000 in expenditures during a seven-week period in the summer of 2020 in a campaign of fear and intimidation against the Newsome and the Forbes families, according to anonymously received documents.

Southern Company made Forbes’ girls flee Alabama.

K.B. Forbes, CDLU’s Chief Executive Officer, and his wife and two young daughters were targeted.

The campaign included surveillance and harassment efforts of the Forbes Family.

The terror and harassment included multiple phone calls to Forbes’ wife, one demanding to know her location, another asking if she was at home, and a third offering to “drop off a package.”

Moon with hair and a brain

Foolishly, brain amputee Josh Moon, a disgraced former journalist and failed realtor, showed up at CDLU’s then-headquarters demanding information, and providing a false name and cell phone number one digit off from his real cell number (what an idiot!).

Moon and his colleagues at Alabama Political Reporter were paid $120,000 by Southern Company, that was authorized by Zeke Smith, to viciously attack and harass us, the CDLU, the Newsome family, and the Forbes family.


Moon apparently was surveilling our headquarters and allegedly drove in front of the Forbes household, where a pick-up truck matching his truck’s description was captured on security cameras.

A judge refused to dismiss the case against Baker Donelson in April of 2022 and it was resolved and settled in May of this year.

In the pleadings against Baker Donelson and AmFam, the complaint states:

[The] Baker Donelson Defendants and the AmFam Defendants hired, retained, paid, directed, instructed, and supervised the Martinelli Investigations Defendants in an unlawful investigation and unlawful surveillance of Plaintiff and subsequently ratified the criminal and tortious conduct….

One thing Southern Company unequivocally knows is that their executives (Crosswhite, Peoples, Smith, etc.) hired, retained, paid, directed, instructed, and supervised Matrix, Balch & Bingham, Joe Perkins, Mark White, and others to allegedly investigate, harass, intimidate, and engage in surveillance of Newsome, Forbes, and the CDLU.

Sources claim Newsome’s legal team is putting the final touches on a somewhat similar pleading, preparing to move ahead with a massive lawsuit against Southern Company, Matrix, LLC, and their other stooges, asking for similar damages.

Flopped! Balch & Bingham’s Humiliating Debacle in Texas

Two years ago, after opening a new office in Austin, Balch predicted they would grow to 25 to 30 attorneys in the Lone Star State.

Balch crowed that they had seven lawyers in Houston in a news report published that June of 2021.

Now, today, Balch has been decimated and only three lawyers remain in Houston, with one of them actually based in Birmingham.

From seven to three.

Balch’s total number of attorneys in the Lone Star State is in the single digits, nowhere near 25 or 30.

What a humiliating debacle!

Cherry-picking the best of the best, Balch’s competitors appear to have ravaged the once prestigious law firm.

As we reported last week, Bradley picked up three of them: Balch’s Houston Office Managing Partner and two top minority attorneys who fled Balch’s Houston office earlier this summer.


Now we’ve learned that the fourth attorney to dump Balch in Houston was partner J. Eric Holland, who escaped to Duane Morris.

Duane Morris stated in a news release, “Our practice group continues to advance and prosper,” said Brian P. Kerwin, chair of Duane Morris’ Corporate Practice Group. “Eric’s background continues to bolster our fund formation capabilities, which is a powerhouse offering to our clients.”

Competitors appear to be advancing and prospering in Texas, while Balch is not.

Who else at Balch & Bingham is dusting off their resume? What carrots are being offered to other lawyers at Balch’s satellite offices?

The undisputed fact is that the North Birmingham Bribery Trial, the Newsome Conspiracy Case, the Elderly Exploitation Scandal, the Matrix Meltdown, and Southern Company’s “fear and intimidation” campaigns appear to have taken their toll and permanently damaged Balch & Bingham’s reputation.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and indeed, Balch appears to be the biggest losers.