Wade on Birmingham

Larry Langford trial, Day 3: Kicks and kickbacks


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

Highlights: City finance director Steve Sayler completed his testimony, saying the original estimate for Jefferson County’s sewer repairs was $1 billion. The former county finance director discussed the bond swaps, but said he wasn’t aware Blount Parrish was receiving hundreds of thousands in fees. Langford’s friend, Bill Blount, runs the firm. Sayler also said that Blount Parrish had no expertise at the time in bond swaps.

Other witnesses testified that Blount bought thousands of dollars of clothing and shoes for Langford and fellow county commissioner Mary Buckelew, who lied to a grand jury about those gifts. Among the items bought for Langford during trips to New York: five pairs of shoes (three women’s pairs, two men’s) for $1,684, a leather jacket for $2,000 and a watch for $12,000.

One juror was nodding off in the afternoon after fighting off sleep this morning.

Quote of the day:Blount said he had a very good relationship with the mayor and had control of three votes on the commission.” — James Lister, banker at Lehman Bros. in 2003, when Blount called about Jefferson County bond swaps and his relationship with Langford.

Homework: “Next Birmingham City Council president could be mayor for a while,” by Birmingham News editorial writer Joey Kennedy

Who do you think is the best choice of those remaining who are likely to be picked to lead the council? The battle for president supposedly will be between Steven Hoyt and Roderick Royal.

Next: Blount takes the stand Thursday.

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Complete coverage: The trial of Larry Langford.

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