Birmingham’s mayor and former Jefferson County commissioner was convicted of accepting bribes in exchange for giving 7.1 million dollars in sewer bond business to a bond underwriter who was a friend of his. Federal authorities arrested Larry Langford on Monday for the corruption probe that could lead to the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Langford was found guilty of accepting 236,000 in cash and gifts from Bill Blount who was a Montgomery investment banker and lobbyist Al LaPierre. In this case, both men pleaded guilty and testified that they had made payments to Langford while he was the head of the Jefferson County Commission to guarantee business for Blount Parrish & Co., Blount’s investment bank. The Court charged Langford with 60 counts including bribery, money laundering, conspiracy, and filing false tax returns. William Blount, Al LaPierre, and Langford were all charged and convicted on 101 counts. City Council President Carole Smitherman will take Langford’s place as mayor of Birmingham.
This case proves to show that all public officials need to be cautious in their dealings and understand that if they are involved in corrupted matters, they are eventually going to get caught. Many government officials agree on presenting an anti – corruption law that will bring accountability and transparency to state and local governments alike in order to prevent a situation like Langford’s to happen again.