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Larry Langford trial, Day 2: Opening statements, highlights


Wade on Birmingham - The trial of Larry LangfordOngoing coverage of Birmingham mayor Larry Langford on trial in Tuscaloosa for bribery.

Opening statements: Federal prosecutor George Martin calls Langford a wheeling and dealing politician, one who took bribes, including a $12,000 Rolex watch. Defense attorney Michael Rasmussen countered with maybe a less? more? flattering description of Langford as a “shopaholic,” one taken in by Montgomery investment banker Bill Blount.

Highlights: Langford appointee and City of Birmingham finance director Steve Sayler testified that Langford understood bond swaps, the complex financial transactions that led Jefferson County into billions of dollars of sewer debt and virtual bankruptcy.

Remon’s owner Remon Danforah said that Langford was a regular customer, running up a tab as high as $14,000. Total bill? $54,400 in clothing. He also said that Langford’s first trip to the store included Blount and lobbyist Al LaPierre.

Quote of the day:Everyone in the room seems to be wearing clothes by Remon. Except for us print guys, of course.” — Birmingham News columnist John Archibald

Homework: “High Stakes and Cheapstakes,” from Birmingham Weekly writer Kyle Whitmire:

Cupidity is a word that has all but vanished from our language. It is lust and materialism wrapped into one, and like the best poisons, it is lethal in small doses.

Next: Sayler resumes testimony Wednesday.

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Complete coverage: The trial of Larry Langford.

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