Another Matrix Mess? Joe Perkins and Matrix Goons Allegedly Smear Self-Made Businessman Stan Pate

Joe Perkins, the diminutive consultant to Alabama Power and founder of Matrix, LLC, the obscure political consulting firm, is embroiled in yet another scandal.

This time Perkins and his Matrix firm are in the middle of a lawsuit in the heart of Alabama that alleges libel and slander.

This latest scandal out of Tuscaloosa raises the serious question: Who would ever want to hire Perkins, the Oompa Loompa of Alabama politics, if you could end up getting sued, fired, or investigated?

Look at Florida.

Matrix, LLC, was officially terminated by Florida Power & Light (FPL), one of the largest utilities in the United States, in December. A few weeks later, FPL’s CEO was ousted in January.

Last August, an FPL company spokesman said in a statement. “Learning about the surveillance of the CEO of Southern Company further reinforces our decision to have severed all ties with Matrix, a consultant we regret ever having associated ourselves with.”

And who allegedly approved that surveillance? Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite who was also ousted last November.

Now let’s look at the latest scandal out of Tuscaloosa. reports:

Stan Pate, Tuscaloosa businessman and political donor, subpoenaed Joe Perkins, founder of Montgomery-based political consulting firm Matrix LLC, last month in a libel lawsuit.

Pate filed a civil lawsuit in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court in February against William L. Stephens, Jr., Gary Simpson, and Alvin Ray Grayson over statements made about Pate and various real estate projects on an Alliance for Responsible Growth website and Facebook page. 

Pate filed the lawsuit for libel/slander, harassing communications and invasion of privacy/false light. Stephens filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in April. 

Pate also subpoenaed Perkins for the following information related to his involvement with Alliance for Responsible Growth:

        • Any and all contracts, communications, or correspondence between any representative of Matrix, LLC and William L. Stephens, Jr.

        • Any and all contracts, communications, or correspondence with any representative of the Alliance for Responsible Growth and any representative of Matrix, LLC or any representatives of Matrix, LLC.

        • Any and all advertisements or fliers created for the Alliance for Responsible Growth.

        • Any and all invoices, bills to, or payments from the Alliance for Responsible Growth or William L. Stephens, Jr.

Perkins is listed as the media contact on Alliance for Responsible Growth’s website. Perkins and Matrix represent a variety of powerful interest groups in Alabama. The consulting group has been in the headlines in recent months for their work in Florida, Alabama, and a settled lawsuit between Perkins and former Matrix CEO Jeff Pitts.

So who is REALLY funding this alleged smear effort?

Is William L. Stephens, Jr. of the Alliance for Responsible Growth another “fall guy” like David Roberson was for the Alliance for Jobs and the Economy during the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal?

Is Alabama Power or another deep pocket entity behind this effort to smear Stan Pate?

Was Balch & Bingham in any way involved in the creation of this alliance? adds:

Jeffrey Smith, Pate’s attorney, said in the lawsuit the Alliance for Responsible Growth’s website is “replete with malicious and false information related to Mr. Pate, his projects, and business interests.” 

“The website is evidence of Mr. Stephens’ malice toward Mr. Pate in referring to Mr. Pate, among other slanderous and libelous statements, as ‘greedy.’ Stephens also made false and misleading statements about another project proposed by Mr. Pate on Rice Mine Road,” Smith said in the lawsuit. “It is clear that the Alliance for Responsible Growth Facebook page was initially created not for any legitimate civic discourse but, again, to paint Mr. Pate and his businesses in a false light and to cause damage to Mr. Pate in his business  efforts and damage his plan for the project at the McFarland Mall site, the Rice Mine Road project, and other projects.”

So who is Stan Pate?

He is a successful businessman, philanthropist, and political donor.

According to BhmWiki, Pate was an A-student in Tuscaloosa’s public schools, graduating from high school in 1975. Though he had planned to enlist, the close of the Vietnam War led him instead to enter college with an eye toward a medical career. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Alabama in 1981.

After briefly working for local chemical companies, Pate determined to go into business for himself and invested in rental property. His ventures were immediately successful, leading him to pursue business opportunities across the country. In addition to buying, leasing and selling property, his Pate Holdings offers real estate management, development and construction services.


Kerr Running to the Fire Escape? Five-Alarm Scandal Engulfs Southern Company

Jim Kerr, the former Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel at Southern Company, who met with us, the CDLU, in December of 2017 and later lied to us about Southern Company’s involvement in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal and the Newsome Conspiracy Case, is allegedly looking for a new job, according to

Watkins writes:

On January 5, 2023, the Southern Company announced that Jim Kerr would assume the position of chairman of the Board of Directors, CEO, and president of the Southern Gas Company, effective on March 31, 2023.

… Jim Kerr is attempting to flee his new CEO job at the Southern Gas Company.

Last month, Jim Kerr quietly submitted his resumé to the executive search firm of Korn Ferry, a management consulting firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Korn Ferry offers executive job placement services for senior management executives who are looking for better employment opportunities.

After we “outed” Jim Kerr as a racist, black employees at the Southern Gas Company wanted to have no association with him.

During the first week of April, Jim Kerr worked hard to endear himself to the company’s black employees

However, Jim Kerr’s words on the audiotape [with the CDLU] and his actions in the North Birmingham situation overshadowed his phony attempts at endearment and his self-serving “wokeness” makeover at the Southern Gas Company.

The company’s black employees are not buying it.

They saw beyond Kerr’s fake smiles, hand-holding, and hugs while he was prancing around in their faces. They have judged Kerr by his words on the audiotape and his hostile actions toward the company’s black customers in North Birmingham. These customers had their environmental justice rights willfully suppressed by a cold and calculating Jim Kerr for the benefit of the Southern Company, Alabama Power Company, and their business alliance partners.

The news came as Southern Company is embroiled in a five-alarm scandal involving alleged accounting fraud, self-dealing, money laundering, secret contracts, and conflicts of interest allegedly involving Southern Company executives and members of Southern Company’s Board of Directors.

In a separate post, outlines in great detail the alleged secret contracts and potential conflicts of interest involving a Southern Company subsidiary and another company, once near financial death, called Southern Fiber Company. 

Watkins writes:

How did Southern Fiber Company, which was destitute in 2020 when it applied for a PPP loan in 2020, become awash in multimillion dollar fiber optic installation contracts with Georgia Power Company in 2022?

Why is this Georgia Power Company key external vendor relationship not listed in the consolidated Form 10-K financial statement for 2022 filed by the Southern Company with the SEC on February 15, 2023? The amount paid to Southern Fiber falls within the Southern Company’s definition of a “material” expense for its 10-K for 2022.

It is obvious that someone in the Georgia Power/Southern Company sphere of influence has taken a special interest in growing Southern Fiber Company.

It is also obvious that the Southern Company, via its partnership between Georgia Power and AT&T, has staked out the hosting of fiber optic communications lines – for a fee — as a profit center for the Southern Company’s business operations. The installation, splicing, maintenance, and repair business of these fiber optic lines is an add-on economic benefit for Southern Fiber and whoever else is discretely financing and growing the company behind-the-scenes.

Some individual or entity has financed the restructuring and rapid expansion of the Southern Fiber Company and this person or entity is hiding behind the thick veil of a well-known Georgia law firm to conceal his/her/its identity.

It is obvious that somebody at Georgia Power is channeling a lot of fiber optic installation work to a company that was near bankruptcy in 2020.

Who at the Southern Company would have a focused interest in growing Southern Fiber Company?

And now more gas is being thrown on the fire with the expected report on a steamy sex scandal in which mistresses were allegedly paid off in millions.


Speechless! Steamy Sex Scandal About to Rock Southern Company; Mistresses Allegedly Paid Off in Millions is about to document a steamy, illicit sex scandal allegedly involving millions of Southern Company’s shareholder dollars.

The investigative report comes as Southern Company faces a highly anticipated civil RICO lawsuit, an ongoing SEC probe, an investigative review after numerous complaints were filed with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency, and alleged investigation(s) by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Donald Watkins writes:

One important fact was never disclosed to the 9 million Southern Company customers who were forced to pay these rate increases: These utility companies used millions of dollars of customer money each year to pay the mistresses and lovers of Southern Company executives and other corporate officers.

What is more, these secret romances, as well as the inherent conflicts of interest related to them, were never disclosed to the Southern Company’s board of directors or to the company’s state and federal regulators, as required by law.

We have all of the fascinating details related to this sex and romance scandal. We will break down this misuse of corporate funds for you.

Stay tuned for an explosive investigative report that will leave you speechless!


Subsidizing Racism and Pedophiles? McWane Funnels Over $1.1 Million to Balch & Bingham

Will they remove McWane’s name from the children’s science center in Downtown Birmingham?

McWane, the cutting-edge and innovative iron pipe, plumbing, and waterworks company, has taken an enormous step backwards by hiring embattled law firm Balch & Bingham for lobbying services in Washington, D.C.

Starting in 2020, McWane has emerged as Balch’s largest federal lobbying client and Open Secrets reports that McWane has paid the alleged racist law firm over $1.1 million.

In March, Chase T. Espy, an eight-year veteran of the Balch firm, who had pled guilty to possession of kiddie porn, was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison.

Espy, a registered sex offender, was arrested by local authorities in August of 2021 for soliciting a child for sex. The online “child” actually was an undercover local law enforcement officer.

According to authorities, there were approximately 69 videos and four images of child sexual abuse material located on Espy’s cellphone including two involving toddlers, 20 depicting penetration, three depicting humiliation, and 29 involving masturbation.

The total number of child sexual abuse material images for sentencing purposes was 5,178.

Espy’s plea deal described the repulsive, graphic, and disgusting images and videos. (We wanted to literally throw up when we read the document last fall.)

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, East Texas Electric Cooperative, Northeast Texas Electric Cooperative, Globe Life, O’Neal Industries, and others finally cut the ropes with Balch?

Espy’s kiddie porn included 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.

Targeted with $50 gift cards

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.

But McWane appears not to care.

Jim Proctor, Senior Vice President of Legal and External Affairs at McWane, should immediately terminate Balch & Bingham.

If there is a specific lobbyist or team of lobbyists he likes, he should tell them to jump ship, like William F. Stiers did in 2017.

McWane is paying Balch $30,000 a month or $360,000 a year. McWane spends about $800,000 a year on lobbyists. They should shift the $360,000 to one of their other firms or find another well-qualified firm without the baggage.

We have no bones to pick with McWane or Mr. Proctor except to criticize their absurd decision to hire an embattled law firm that has two former attorneys sitting in federal prison right now.

According to a recent review of Balch’s website, people of color account for less than 9 percent of their professionals and only 2 percent of their partners.

Critics are asking, “Will they remove McWane’s name from the children’s science center in Downtown Birmingham?”

Not a bad idea if they keep on subsidizing a law firm that has yet to apologize to the residents and African American children of North Birmingham.


“Fall Guy” Follies: Drummond’s “Confused” General Counsel Briefed Since Inception About North Birmingham Scheme

The emails and documents we recently received show unequivocally that Blake Andrews, the “confused” General Counsel of Drummond Company, was briefed regularly about the North Birmingham Scheme.

On February 18, 2015, at the inception of the money laundering entity, Alliance for the Jobs and the Economy (AJE), convicted felon and now ex-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert reached out to Andrews and his underling, Curt Jones, an Assistant General Counsel at Drummond Coal Company.

AJE was not incorporated until almost two weeks later, on March 3, 2015 in the State of Delaware.

Both men, according to Gilbert’s email, “expressed interest in participating in the planning/strategy session of the establishment” of AJE.

In our story about the over 20 entities that participated in AJE, we posted the body of the email written by former Balch partner Steve McKinney warning Drummond executives and his staff about emails falling into the wrong hands. Blake Andrews and Curt Jones were included in the header.

In the body of the email, McKinney called the operatives “the Drummond/AJE team.”

Interesting choice of words or a Freudian slip of the keyboard?

A day after McKinney warned Andrews and others about the emails, he drafted another email to Blake Andrews discussing:

  • 1.) a potential AJE contractual agreement with Dr. Kenneth A. Mundt of ENVIRON. The goal was to present “truth squad” work that went counter to the arguments laid out by GASP and the EPA.
  • 2.) and asking Andrews if Balch’s AJE effort was or was not “perfectly on track with the company’s interests and concerns.”

As we reported in 2020 before ex-Drummond executive David Roberson’s $75 million civil lawsuit was sealed in its entirety, Drummond’s attorney foolishly argued that lying to and framing Roberson was ” a legal service.”

We wrote at the time:

Drummond’s attorney threw a hand grenade when he testified at the hearing. This is what he foolishly said:

With respect to the argument that Drummond’s general counsel was not giving  legal advice, I think [Roberson’s attorney] just made the argument for me. Their theory is that Drummond’s general counsel formed a legal opinion that this whole plan was illegal and did not tell Mr. Roberson about it, and in fact told him things that would basically make him be the fall guy, I think is their theory. That is — the formation of a legal opinion as to whether something is legal or illegal is the definition of what a lawyer does. So I don’t know that I can state it any better than [Roberson’s attorney] did. That is legal services.

Problem is that Drummond’s General Counsel Blake Andrews allegedly never, ever told Roberson the scheme was illegal.

Roberson’s attorney Burt Newsome rips Drummond’s argument to shreds. From the transcript:

[Drummond’s attorney] did a great job summing up Balch and Drummond’s legal services argument in a nutshell. He just told you because Blake Andrews formed in his head that this lobbying scheme was illegal and decided, I better not pay these invoices to the foundation because I’ll go to jail, then I’m going to — so I’m going to get David Roberson to pay these so he will go to jail, that that was providing a legal service to Mr. Roberson. That is absurd. Blake Andrews making a legal opinion in his head that this is illegal, I better not pay these, I better get somebody else to do it, that’s not giving legal advice to Mr. Roberson. That doesn’t make David Roberson his client. That makes David Roberson him and Balch’s fall guy.

Roberson appears to have been set up as the “Fall Guy” in the North Birmingham Bribery Case.

In court documents, Drummond denied ever having received invoices in Andrews name, an apparent bold-faced lie.

In early 2021, Roberson filed concrete evidence that Drummond Company lied in a court proceeding and that original invoices sent to Drummond from Balch & Bingham were addressed to Blake Andrews, the “confused” General Counsel of Drummond Company.

White lies, damn lies, and fall guys!

Blake Andrews should have been and should be investigated for his participation in AJE and the North Birmingham Bribery Scheme.

Now, in 2023, Andrews should also be probed for his alleged role in which Roberson’s defense attorneys (paid by Drummond) rejected a full-immunity deal for David Roberson back in 2017, allegedly trampling Roberson’s civil rights.

The only “confusion” we see has been the truth.


Holy Tanaka! Southern Company Pays Hush Money to Fanning’s Ex-Girlfriend and the Spy who Infiltrated Her Life

Kim Tanaka

Ex-Alabama Power Chairman and CEO Mark A. Crosswhite was ousted in November for spying on his boss Tom Fanning, the Chairman and CEO of Southern Company, in 2017 and his then-girlfriend, Kim Tanaka.

Tanaka is a beautiful, dedicated, hard-working and “pleasant to the eyes” gym instructor.

The surveillance in 2017 was to find evidence of a bisexual tryst to blackmail and force Fanning to step down so that Crosswhite could take over. But Fanning was a heterosexual male, killing the scheme.

But the surveillance appears to have never ended. Holy Tanaka! reports:

On September 22, 2022, Kimberly Tanaka finally had enough of the Southern Company’s corporate surveillance program that had turned her life upside-down since 2017. Tanaka called police to a location in Metro-Atlanta to report a “stalking incident.”

While visiting AFPI Global Investigations in Atlanta, Tanaka and her private investigators found a GPS tracking device with a magnet under her car.

She was livid.

In 2022, Tanaka was still under surveillance and worse, alleged paid operatives of obscure political consulting firm Matrix, LLC, founded by the Oompa Loompa of Alabama politics, Joe Perkins, infiltrated Kim Tanaka’s circle of friends. reveals:

Beginning in May of 2017, the espionage crew hired Kristen Hentschel, a Florida-based free-lance field producer for ABC News and “several PR firms in different states, non-profit organizations and private companies to investigate stories, interview subjects and provide information and materials and footage to whomever she is working for.”

Hentschel was paid to develop a close personal friendship with Kim Tanaka, a professional and very credentialed fitness trainer at an Atlanta area gym. Even though Hentschel was living out of state, she succeeded in becoming one of Tanaka’s best friends and confidants. They even vacationed together.

Tom Fanning, who cut off all telephone contact with Tanaka in late 2017, desperately tried to reach her after she contacted Fanning via email about a call she received from a Bloomberg News reporter (Josh Saul) who was in the mix with the spy operatives who planted Kristen Hentschel within Tanaka’s friendship circle.

Remarkably, Fanning confessed to Tanaka, via a reply email, that he knew about the surveillance, but he did not say when or how he learned about it. Tanaka refused to accept Fanning’s repeated phones calls to discuss the matter, but she saved his voice messages in which he pleaded with Tanaka to call him back.

Tanaka ended up getting a stack of gold from Southern Company for the invasion of her privacy and the intrusion of her seclusion.

Watkins reports:

After learning that she was the victim of a Southern Company surveillance program, Ms. Tanaka threatened to sue the Southern Company for violating her right to privacy. Tom Fanning and Jim Kerr promptly resolved Tanaka’s legal claims. However, they did so in a clandestine manner and in amounts that evaded the company’s reporting requirements on its 10-Q and 10-K regulatory filings.

Instead, the payments to Kim Tanaka are/were laundered through a Southern Company vendor. These payments are the subject of an upcoming article.

In addition to Kim Tanaka, Kristine Hentschel received “hush money’ payments, as well. Again, the money was laundered through a Southern Company vendor to avoid detection.

Money laundering. Hush money. Pay throughs.

What will the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission say?

“Pleasant to the eyes” has now provoked internal strife.

As the old moralists say, the pleasure is momentary, the price abominable!

Tanaka Getting Dragged Across the Floor

Corporate Execs Were Protected by Southern Company Lackeys; Balch Warned that Emails Could “Easily End Up in the Wrong Hands”

For at least two years, 2017 and 2018, U.S. Attorney Jay Town, Principal Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appear to have never allowed a probe of Southern Company or an expansion of the investigation in North Birmingham to happen on their watch.

Since the Southern Company criminal RICO enterprise had their grip on the U.S. Department of Justice with three of their most staunch lackeys in key positions, no probes or an expansion of the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal ever happen.

Southern Company Stooges (L to R) Sessions, Wood, and Town

The anonymous documents we, the CDLU, received included a list of corporate attendees to a luncheon of the Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE) that was held on November 30, 2015.

The AJE, an entity pushed by ex-Alabama Power Chairman and CEO Mark A. Crosswhite, was the organization that laundered over $360,000 in bribes to former Alabama State Representative Oliver Robinson.

Through the emails and documents that we have obtained, over 20 entities were involved at some point with the AJE.

The “lone wolves” theory issued by disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town was a crock.

Southern Company was involved (as were others) and a good prosecutor should have interviewed each and every entity and individual involved, even if their involvement was peripheral.

McWane’s Proctor

From Jim Proctor, Senior Vice President of Legal and External Affairs, at McWane, to Chip Grizzle, General Counsel at Brasfield & Gorrie, from Van Richey, the CEO and President at American Cast Iron Pipe Company, to Joe Howle, the Manager of Environmental, Community, and Government Affairs at Vulcan Materials, each and every individual who had any interaction with AJE should have been interviewed.

Now with a new EPA director, Michael S. Regan, and new leadership at the U.S. Department of Justice, law enforcement should re-open the North Birmingham Bribery Probe and investigate Southern Company’s criminal RICO enterprise, and the other 19 or so entities involved with AJE.

Embattled law firm Balch & Bingham was so wary and preoccupied with the scheme that Balch partner Steve McKinney dispatched an email in April of 2015 warning staff and Drummond executives to be careful about dispersing information in email correspondence since “your emails will not be privileged and it not hard to imagine that they could easily end up in the wrong hands.”

McKinney included a distribution list that included top brass at Southern Company, Drummond, ABC Coke, Alabama Power, McWane, United States Steel and the American Cast Iron Pipe Company.

Balch & Bingham’s Steve McKinney warned that emails could “easily end up in the wrong hands.” We have intentionally obscured email addresses out of privacy.

In an addition to that email, we also received a list of attendees to an AJE luncheon, showing that many leading businesses were invited to participate at the inception of this money laundering entity.

At the lunch was Mike Thompson, the owner of Thompson Tractor who was listed as a director of the AJE in the incorporation documents from the State of Delaware.

Thompson allegedly took Balch & Bingham’s biggest stooge, former U.S. Senator and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, directly to Drummond’s headquarters in 2014 to meet Drummond family members and pick up a $25,000 check.

Mike Thompson

A few days later, Strange signed a letter ghost-written by Balch & Bingham attacking the EPA’s efforts to put the North Birmingham Superfund Site on the National Priorities List and expanding the site to include the City of Tarrant.

An official act in exchange for an alleged $25,000 bribe?

Without a doubt, now is the time to re-open the North Birmingham probe and question all of these business leaders and entities.

The four pages of attendees. We have removed email addresses and phone numbers out of privacy.

Email Exposé: Southern Company Lobbyist Critical Element in North Birmingham; DOJ Compromised

The trifecta was complete. With U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Principal Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood, and U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, Southern Company compromised the U.S. Department of Justice with three of their most ardent lackeys in power at the same time.

We, the CDLU, provided documentation in December of 2017 to Jim Kerr, the Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Chief of Staff of Southern Company showing indisputably that Jeffrey H. Wood, a lobbyist for embattled law firm Balch & Bingham, had lobbied on behalf of Alabama Power in the second and third quarters of 2016 specifically about the North Birmingham CERCLA matter.

We provided Kerr with lobbying reports from the second quarter and third quarter of 2016 filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives showing he was clearly on Capitol Hill inquiring about CERCLA.

CERLA stands for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the North Birmingham CERCLA matter eventually led to bribery scheme born at the offices of Balch & Bingham and led by Balch-made millionaire Joel I. Gilbert, who is currently serving a 5-year sentence in federal prison for bribery and money laundering.

In January of 2018, during a phone call, Kerr falsely told us that Southern Company was not involved in the North Birmingham Bribery Scheme or the Newsome Conspiracy Case. Both were lies.

When confronted on the call about Jeffrey H. Wood, Kerr was side-swiped and obviously caught unprepared.

At first, Kerr said he wasn’t sure what we were asking, but after repeating the question with reminders, he took 5 seconds to respond with a canned legal answer: “It’s, um… I told you that I looked into the information provided me. We reviewed the information and I have no concerns about anything inappropriate.”

As The Root reported in 2018:

Kerr responded, “We do not see a place to step into [the Robinson scandal].” That rings hollow considering that Wood, Balch’s point lobbyist for Southern, was lobbying on Superfund policy at the time on behalf of Southern. In fact, Wood has specifically recused himself from any matters at the ENRD pertaining to the 35th Avenue site, suggesting that he was specifically lobbying about the site. After [the CDLU] pointed this out, Kerr took a long pause before going full Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “We reviewed the information. I have no concerns about anything inappropriate.”

Jim Kerr goes silent for 5 seconds when asked about Jeffrey H. Wood in 2018.

But now, never-seen-before emails delivered anonymously to the CDLU, show that Jeffrey H. Wood indeed was in the thick of the North Birmingham effort to suppress African Americans from having their toxic and contaminated property tested. The population of North Birmingham is 92.5 percent Black.

Jeffrey H. Wood

On May 18, 2016, Wood briefed Joel I. Gilbert about efforts on Capitol Hill, confirming that he was on Capitol Hill specifically about the “EPA’s actions in North Birmingham.”

The hearing on Capitol Hill was an attempt to help the criminal scheme to suppress African Americans by having congressmen allege that EPA employees were overzealous, acting improperly, accessing property without permission of the owner, and overreaching in their conduct.

They even alleged that the EPA was trying to close businesses employing people in the energy sector.

They even provided an unnamed affidavit, the star of the hearing, in an attempt to grill the two representatives of the EPA.

An orchestrated spectacle indeed!

But an hour later, Gilbert, so proud of the efforts on Capitol Hill by Southern Company, sent an email to the top brass at Drummond Coal Company, including “confused” Drummond General Counsel Blake Andrews, and executives from their affiliated company, ABC Coke.

What affidavit?

Southern Company lobbyist Wood was a critical element in the spectacle. He worked with congressional staff to create “talking points” and brought Congressman Gary Palmer “up to speed.”

And the unnamed affidavit, the star of the hearing?

Per the criminal enterprise’s request, the affidavit was not entered into the record nor was the name of the affiant ever released by Congressman Palmer.

An orchestrated spectacle indeed!

Eight months later, Jeffrey H. Wood would be one of the first people to enter the Trump Administration on inauguration day as the acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Wood would work under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions whose number one lifetime financial supporter as a candidate for U.S. Senator had been Southern Company while his number two lifetime financial supporter was Southern Company’s sister-wife Balch & Bingham, according to Open Secrets.

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions Top Lifetime Financial Contributors

That summer of 2017, Jay E. Town would be confirmed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

The trifecta was complete.

With U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Principal Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood, and U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, Southern Company compromised the U.S. Department of Justice with three of their most ardent lackeys in power at the same time.

Is it no wonder that no one expanded the North Birmingham bribery investigation after Gilbert and Roberson were found guilty in 2018?

Is it no wonder that no one investigated the terrorist acts and death threats against Burt Newsome, his wife, and his four young children in the summer of 2018?

Is it no wonder that no one investigated the initial billion-dollar cost overruns at the Kemper Plant in Mississippi and the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Georgia?

Is it no wonder that no one investigated Jay Town who blocked four FBI investigations into the Newsome Conspiracy Case?

Southern Company was too powerful, too entrenched.

These emails demonstrate without a doubt that Southern Company was “up to their eyeballs” in North Birmingham and that the criminal RICO enterprise had three powerful lackeys in the U.S. Department of Justice that appear to have been more loyal to Southern Company than the pursuit of blind justice.

An orchestrated spectacle indeed!

Ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and ex-Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite enjoying libations before they both resigned in disgrace.

Southern Company Involved “Up to Their Eyeballs” in North Birmingham

Southern Company lied to us in 2018 when they said they were not involved in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal.


Jim Kerr, the former Chief Compliance Officer, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief of Staff of Southern Company blatantly denied in January of 2018 that Southern Company was involved with the immoral and criminal effort to suppress African Americans from having their toxic property tested by the EPA.

Kerr had the audacity to call the racism a “hypothesis.”

Now, we, the CDLU, have received a bunch of emails and documents anonymously showing that Southern Company was indeed involved in the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal up to their eyeballs.

As we mentioned in our “Kingpins of Obstruction” post in March, disgraced ex-Alabama Power Chairman and CEO Mark A. Crosswhite was the one who insisted in 2015 that a new entity be created instead of using the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) to respond to the EPA, according to anonymous documents obtained by

The Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE) was created and incorporated under orders of Crosswhite by the late William “Bo” Lineberry, the Balch partner who committed suicide last year.

Crosswhite was the Chair of the BBA in 2015.

Batch of documents sent to the CDLU included the email originally published by in March.

Southern Company was so concerned about the North Birmingham situation that any matter related to the area was referred to Balch & Bingham.

According to the documents we received recently, in July of 2015, Matthew Bowden, the then-Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Alabama Power, forwarded two emails from Crosswhite to then-Balch partner and now convicted felon Joel I. Gilbert.

Crosswhite had sent the emails to both Bowden and Zeke Smith, asking them to review the matter.

Zeke Smith

Zeke Smith is the Executive Vice President of External Affairs who authorized the expenditure of over $300,000 to terrorize and intimidate the Hispanic family of our Executive Director and CEO, K.B. Forbes, in 2020 and smear Burt Newsome, the attorney targeted by Balch & Bingham.

The two emails were sent to Crosswhite by the General Counsel of the BBA in regard to an invitation by the EPA to the BBA asking them to participate in a task force regarding North Birmingham brownfields.

A brownfield is a former industrial or commercial site where future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination. Most of North Birmingham is contaminated and toxic.

Crosswhite took a BBA matter and turned it into a Southern Company matter.

Besides funneling $360,000 to AJE to buy off a politician, the criminal RICO enterprise used a web of businesses and an alleged “don’t-ask-just-donate” bribery ring to launder money used in nefarious and criminal misconduct.

More to come…


RICO Enterprise Lied and Bribed! Southern Company’s “Creative Accounting” at Vogtle Exposed

Net income at Southern Company rose to $3.5 billion in 2022, a 47 percent increase as compared to 2021.

Last year, the Alabama Public Service Commission rubber-stamped three rate increases at Alabama Power generating an estimated $400 million a year in additional revenue.

The most-profitable subsidiary of Southern Company, Alabama Power, has been helping cover the enormous billion-dollar cost overruns at both the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant and the boondoggle Kemper Plant in Mississippi.

But Alabama Power is not alone.

Another Southern Company subsidiary, Georgia Power obtained a $1.8 billion rate increase on December 20, 2022.

Causing outrage, the rate increases come as Southern Company generated almost $30 billion in revenue in 2022, seeing revenues increase by 26 percent in a year.

Net income at Southern Company rose to $3.5 billion in 2022, a 47 percent increase as compared to 2021.

Pouring in billion-dollar profits even while suffering billion-dollar cost overruns, Southern Company’s criminal RICO enterprise appears to have used a web of subsidiaries, affiliated entities, political insiders, and creative accounting to deceive or manipulate ratepayers, investors, and regulators.

Funneling millions to not-for-profit entities or political action committees, giving blatant bribes campaign contributions directly or indirectly to public service commissioners or key politicians, hiring political smear artists, and contracting powerful government insiders, the RICO enterprise has successfully continued to operate without repercussions by easily targeting or silencing perceived enemies or critics.

Until now.

Ogelthorpe Power, one of three minority operators of the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant, filed a devastating civil lawsuit last June and outlined some of the horrific shenanigans and creative accounting that Southern Company’s subsidiary, Georgia Power, has engaged in, to lie about Vogtle cost overruns.

Ogelthorpe states:

Ignoring all prior cost forecasts for Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including the cost
forecast of $17.1 billion that nearly brought the project to an end and was the reason the co-owners entered into the Co-Owner Term Sheet and Global Amendments, Georgia Power apparently takes the position that the term “VCM 19 Forecast,” which is defined as “the total project cost of which GPC’s share is $8.4 billion,” contains a hidden math formula. According to Georgia Power, one is to divide $8.4 billion by Georgia Power’s Ownership Interest (45.7%) to produce a result of $18.38 billion, and that number – which has never been a cost forecast for the project and has never been discussed by the parties – rather than $17.1 billion, should be viewed as the total project cost at the time of VCM 19. Georgia Power’s theory, while creative, is entirely inconsistent with Georgia Power’s own presentation of the relevant numbers at the time the co-owners entered into the Co-Owner Term Sheet and Global Amendments.

Using creative accounting to turn $17.1 billion into $18.38 billion is truly absurd.

To obscure and pass along $1.2 billion in additional cost overruns using a hidden math formula, Southern Company affirms that the criminal RICO enterprise is deceptive, dishonest, and devious.

But who isn’t surprised?

Southern Company, using embattled law firm Balch & Bingham, dishonestly targeted an innocent father of four.

Southern Company, using the obscure political consulting firm Matrix, LLC, deceptively targeted and terrorized a Hispanic family.

Southern Company deviously paid for a website falsely calling an attorney a rapist.

The deception is coming home to bite Southern Company.

The math is simple and exposes the absurdity of the RICO enterprise.

The cost overruns at Vogtle are in the billions. Southern Company obtained rate increases in the billions, sticking it to the ratepayers. All the while, Southern Company was making billions in revenue, net income, and profits.

Final question: Who is cooking the books?


Spreadsheets Confirm Waste of Millions by Southern Company Against Innocent Victims

The expenditures had no corporate purpose whatsoever.

In a seven-week period in the summer of 2020, Southern Company approved expenditures of over $318,000 to target, smear, intimidate, and threaten innocent victims. The victims included us, the CDLU, Burt Newsome, K.B. Forbes and their respective families.

The CDLU, the Forbes Family, and the Newsome Family were not adversaries or competitors of Southern Company or its subsidiaries.

At a burn rate of $45,000 a week, Southern Company may have spent more than $1 million a year in expenses related to dark ops, surveillance, and clandestine misconduct spearheaded by obscure consulting firm Matrix, LLC.

Here are the spreadsheets that are just some of the documents now in the possession of federal law enforcement and federal regulators:

The spreadsheets demonstrate sheer out-of-control spending approved by Zeke Smith, the Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for Alabama Power.

Moon before he amputated his brain and shaved his head.

The discredited Alabama Political Reporter (APR) was bought and paid for $120,000 that would be disbursed monthly through August of 2021, according to the spreadsheet.

APR was the highest paid stooge, according to all entries on the financial records.

Besides the smear pieces from that summer of 2020, brain amputee and disgraced CDLU stalker Josh Moon wrote two more APR hit pieces in January and February of 2021 attacking Burt Newsome and K.B. Forbes.

Moon’s hit pieces flopped and were mocked, an embarrassing career moment for a has-been journalist and failed realtor.

Southern Company spent over $20,000 in boosting APR hit pieces on digital platforms including Facebook, that utterly backfired.

Southern Company also spent over $9,000 developing and publicizing two smear websites on Forbes, the CDLU, and Newsome. One site falsely defamed and called Newsome a rapist and untruthfully labeled and defamed Forbes as a defender of a rapist.

The second site never went live.

Antisemite booster Frank Matthews was paid $6,000 to put up signs and hand out flyers about the website. Ironically, the signs were removed by the City of Birmingham within 48 hours of their appearance, in late August of 2020, during a severe rainstorm.

The earliest dated expenditure was June 11, 2020 in which Southern Company approved the purchase of software Import Genius at $399.00 to track an exportation by the Forbes Family.

The expenditure, with no corporate purpose, was a stunning invasion of privacy.

On that same day, June 11, 2020, the Forbes Family received a Bill of Lading (BOL) from the shipping company used by Pottery Barn. The Forbes’ exported a Princess Castle Bed to Mexico for their then-three-year-old daughter.

Fake Protesters enter in rented van from Budget.

1st Boost was an apparent $5,000 payment for the initial attack on Forbes, where they terrorized his family and made his then eight-year-old cry in fear.

Southern Company buffoons in a rented van went to the house adjacent to Forbes’ and held a quick “shoot and scoot” fake protest, and left within two-minutes.

The buffoons couldn’t spell Forbes’ last name correctly.

Law enforcement showed up after a terrorized neighbor called 911. For their own safety and suggestions from law enforcement, Forbes’ family fled to Mexico while Forbes’ neighbors moved, placing a deposit on a new home six-days after the fake protest.

The expenditures of terror and intimidation had no corporate purpose whatsoever.


Spring Break Madness at Southern Company

We will return next week.

However, Spring Break madness has erupted at Southern Company.

From stunning reports, to allegations of accounting fraud, from independent directors allegedly pocketing millions, to Kristine L. Svinicki’s unethical, conflict-of-interest tainted appointment, Southern Company is suffering from complete chaos. Employee morale is in the toilet and employees are making their angry voices known.

Spring Break…a time to let loose and party.

The chain of command at Southern Company changes this week, yet no one is drinking from a beer bong, or celebrating with a wet t-shirt contest.

Instead, Kerr, Peoples, Fanning and others are suffering from a severe hangover caused by Balch & Bingham, Matrix, LLC, and the Oompa Loompa of Alabama politics, Joe Perkins.

Documents related to the criminal RICO enterprise have brought to light the high crimes and misdemeanors that Southern Company never, ever thought would be exposed.

Hungover: ( L to R) Jim Kerr, Jeff Peoples, and Tom Fanning. Joe Perkins is alert in baby carrier.

Southern Company Dismisses Suppression of African-Americans in Alabama as a “Hypothesis”

[This post originally was published on June 30, 2020 after the murder of George Floyd. Now, with the riveting report about Jim Kerr from, the Southern Company Board of Directors appears to have been consistently and repeatedly misled by their Chief Compliance Officer, Kerr. Kerr lied to us and now documents, including financial spreadsheets, in our and law enforcement’s possession demonstrate unequivocally that Southern Company was involved in both the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal and the Newsome Conspiracy Case.]

Refusing to fire alleged racist law firm Balch & Bingham, Southern Company CEO and Chairman Tom Fanning’s leadership is now under attack.

New audio files appear to expose systemic racism at the utility.

In 2018, one of Southern Company ‘s top executives refused to acknowledge or condemn racism attributed to a bribery scheme while on a phone call with the CDLU.

Jim Kerr

Jim Kerr, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and the Chief Compliance Officer at Southern Company, allegedly reviewed two matters involving Balch after meeting with the CDLU.

One of the matters was the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal whose main objective of suppressing African-Americans from having their toxic property tested by the EPA was born at the offices of the embattled law firm Balch & Bingham.

For 98 years, Balch & Bingham has received millions in fees from Southern Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

North Birmingham is 92.5 percent African-American.

Kerr had the audacity to dismiss the racist scheme, telling K.B. Forbes, the Chief Executive Officer of the CDLU, “I don’t accept your proposition or your hypothesis.”

Forbes responded, “Should [Balch & Bingham]  have the right to suppress African-Americans? You think that’s okay? I’m asking you point blank, do you think it’s okay? Do you find it morally repugnant or not Jim? Come on take a stand!”

Jim Kerr of Southern Company would not accept the “proposition” or “hypothesis” that North Birmingham scheme to suppress African-Americans was racist.

Kerr would not react until the CDLU brought up an analogy of Southern Company’s refusal to hold Balch accountable would be like refusing to hold Woolworth accountable when they “wanted to keep Blacks out of the soda fountain.”

Kerr called CDLU’s analogy “preposterous” but the CDLU rebutted Kerr, saying, that it was accurate because the bribery scheme discriminated against poor African-Americans in North Birmingham CERLA.”

Kerr then again refused to acknowledge or accept that the North Birmingham scheme discriminated against poor African-Americans, declaring, “I have no evidence that that is the case that any entity involving my organization or any entity based on the information that I’ve been given that that is the case. Your analogy is unfounded.”

Southern Company’s General Counsel again refused to accept that the suppression of African-Americans in North Birmingham, an area that is 92.5% Black, was discrimination.

But then Kerr was blindsided by the CDLU.

Jeffrey H. Wood was a lobbyist for Balch & Bingham and was lobbying on Capitol Hill in 2016 about the North Birmingham EPA matter at the same time as the bribery scheme in North Birmingham against the EPA was happening.

Former State Representative Oliver Robinson, a Balch partner, and a Drummond Company executive were sentenced to federal prison in the bribery and money laundering scheme.

But Wood was not lobbying on behalf of Drummond.

Wood was lobbying for Alabama Power, whose top three executives (CEO, General Counsel, and VP of Government Affairs) are all former Balch & Bingham partners. Alabama Power is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Company.

At first, on the phone call, Kerr said he wasn’t sure what we were asking, but after repeating the question with reminders, he took 5 seconds to respond with a canned legal answer: “It’s, um… I told you that I looked into the information provided me. We reviewed the information and I have no concerns about anything inappropriate.”

Even national news publication geared towards African-American millennials The Root noted Kerr’s 5 seconds of silence:

Kerr responded, “We do not see a place to step into [the Robinson scandal].” That rings hollow considering that Wood, Balch’s point lobbyist for Southern, was lobbying on Superfund policy at the time on behalf of Southern. In fact, Wood has specifically recused himself (pdf) from any matters at the ENRD pertaining to the 35th Avenue site, suggesting that he was specifically lobbying about the site. After [the CDLU] pointed this out, Kerr took a long pause before going full Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “We reviewed the information. I have no concerns about anything inappropriate.”

Southern Company’s 5 seconds gap to reply with a canned answer.

Earlier this month, Tom Fanning (pictured above) hypocritically declared he was ready to “uncover and destroy systemic racism in all its forms.”

Fanning should then immediately and unequivocally fire his vendor, his company’s law firm of choice, Balch & Bingham.

If Fanning continues to refuse, then Fanning should be fired for lying to investors, misleading the public, and deceiving the African-American community with empty words and empty promises.


Use of Fear, Threat of Death: Alabama Power CEO Jeff Peoples Approved Terrorizing Children and Hid Payment as “Transportation Organization Management”

Top Alabama Power employees have been documenting Peoples’ demands to cover themselves in the event things at the company blowup…

Yesterday’s breaking news report from that included audio of Alabama Power’s new but embattled Chairman and CEO Jeff Peoples declaring “what ya’ll are going to get from me is sunshine and transparency” has caused a firestorm at the utility.

Peoples comments of “sunshine and transparency” go counter to the hard evidence law enforcement and others have.

Peoples, as Executive Vice President of Employee and Customer Services at Alabama Power, hid additional payments to Matrix, LLC, the obscure political consulting firm that allegedly engaged in nefarious if not criminal misconduct and other entities tied to Matrix’s founder, Joe Perkins, by issuing vague “extra work authorizations.”

Y’all like obscuring the truth?

As we pointed out in December, shortly after ex-Alabama Power Chairman and CEO Mark A. Crosswhite resigned in disgrace, Peoples signed off on an “extra work authorization” in 2018 paying Perkins an additional mid-five figures on top of the secret multi-million-dollar annual contracts the firm and its founder, Perkins, received.

Now, today, we publish that work authorization in its entirety:

And what was the $39,300 allegedly for?

For “transportation organization management” according to the document, but a blatant lie insiders confirm.

The reality is the extra work authorization was to target and terrorize the young children of Burt Newsome.

Newsome, an attorney who represents banks and financial institutions, was stunned when his wife and four young children were sent a threatening package tied to the “extra work authorization.”

As we wrote in August of 2018:

But now come the real sick idiots who sent the Newsome family a threatening package: Five pieces of luggage and numerous clothing outfits. 

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?

The extra work authorization was authorized on August 3, 2018 and the incident against the Newsome family happened four days later on August 7, 2018 according to the police report.

A stolen credit card obtained from the break in of Newsome’s wife car a few days earlier was used in the purchase of the travel bags and outfits. Use of a stolen credit card is a felony.

As Donald wrote yesterday:

Alabama Power Company employees are very uncomfortable with Jeff Peoples, but they are meeting his leadership demands. After all, Peoples is their new CEO.

However, top Alabama Power employees have been documenting Peoples’ demands to cover themselves in the event things at the company blowup because they know that Jeff Peoples funded all the Joe Perkins/Matrix “dirty tricks” projects, with absolutely no accountability.

Perkins’ Southern Company-related work assignments are the subject of multiple media and law enforcement investigations in multiple states. Perkins handwritten notes have also implicated Southern Company in a massive $27 billion, multi-year accounting fraud scheme.

And the massive, multi-year accounting fraud scheme is evident in these obscure “extra work authorizations” used to pay for insidious, nefarious, if not criminal misconduct, and allegedly including identity theft, robbery, retaliation against an informant, use of a stolen credit card, use of fear, threat of murder, threat of bodily injury or death, invasion of privacy, intrusion of seclusion and much, much more.

And these Southern Company executives cannot foresee a criminal RICO case right before their eyes?

Barking Joe

Maybe Joe Perkins is barking at Peoples like he barked at Crosswhite before Crosswhite’s sudden but expected demise.

This bogus “transportation organization management” work order adds to last week’s sensational allegation from that Peoples allegedly spent up to $30,000 a month in corporate funds on hookers and party pads.

A forensic audit is in order and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission must broaden their probe to look at bogus work orders, wire fraud, and alleged misappropriation of corporate funds. Any criminal findings should be referred to the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the meantime, Southern Company must terminate Joe Perkins, Jeff Peoples, Balch & Bingham and all the elements involved in the criminal RICO enterprise.

Newsome’s children deserve it. Investors deserve it. Rate payers deserve it.

The era of dirty deeds, dirty lingerie, and dirty accounting methods must come to an end, no matter how ugly or painful the consequences are.

Painful but necessary: a forensic audit is in order.

Come Hell, Hookers, or High Water, Southern Company Desperately Seeks Resolution and Reset

Another week and another cancellation today of Southern Company’s public meeting with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission about Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant Reactors 3 and 4.

The cancellation comes on the heels of this week’s sensational allegation from that Alabama Power’s new CEO Jeff Peoples allegedly spent up to $30,000 a month in corporate funds on hookers and party pads. writes:

Let’s party!

Reportedly, Alabama Power CEO Jeff Peoples had a propensity to spend up to $30,000 per month of the company’s money on party pads and black prostitutes at a time when this utility company was raising rates on its customers. These expenditures were reportedly funneled through … black subcontractors. None of this corporate misconduct was disclosed in the company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sources claim that King & Spalding was unprepared for the alleged accounting fraud tied to the hookers and cost overruns at Vogtle and Kemper.

King & Spalding was following the alleged web of corruption, bribes, deceptive misconduct and inappropriate relationships with law enforcement including disgraced ex-Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite’s secret deal with ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town.

Southern Company will need to hire a forensic accounting firm to review what their independent accounting firm Deloitte and Touche missed and overlooked.

Sources claim that Southern Company is trying to resolve the extreme turmoil and chaos at the utility giant, obtain a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and hit the reset button before the change of command in two weeks.


Outgoing Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning wanted to have a smooth transition, but multiple complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by victims of Southern Company’s criminal RICO enterprise have ended that dream.

The rocky transition and controversies swirling around the company have now spilled over. Beyond law enforcement and regulatory probes, Southern Company has now garnered the attention of national media.

As Southern Company desperately seeks resolution and a reset, observers agree that if the sensational allegations are true, then Alabama Power CEO Jeff Peoples needs to be immediately terminated.

And regardless of what criminal misconduct he may or may not know, Joe Perkins, the shadow president of Alabama Power and the Oompa Loompa of Alabama Politics, and his affiliated entities need to be fired now, today, this very moment.

Who will lead the charge? Fanning? incoming CEO Chris Womack?

Or a criminal indictment?