Wade on Birmingham

Heads up: Let’s sue something!


Larry Langford Jefferson County’s debt crisis could be the worst in U.S. history, thanks to bond swaps and other financial shenanigans. Who’s to blame? The government says Larry Langford, former head of the county commission and current head of Birmingham.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint today against the mayor for taking more than $156,000 in cash and benefits, in exchange for helping his good buddy Bill Blount get in on the bond swap action worth more than $6 million in business. Also named is Al LaPierre, another Langford pal/lobbyist/former head of the state Democratic Party. The SEC accused LaPierre of receiving $219,500 from Blount to help win the county’s financial business.

Langford and LaPierre have denied any wrongdoing.

At the heart of the case, accusations of concealed payments, backroom deals and financial mismanagement of public funds of the worst kind. Meanwhile, the mayor continues to propose sketchily detailed projects and funding for the city. Where, and how, will it all end?


  • The SEC press release
  • How Langford’s $70,000 clothing crunch may have cost billions to county residents (PDF)
  • Langford: “My whole life has been put out in the public. Name me another official that’s been put under that type of scrutiny.”
  • WBHM interviews Glenn Gordon of the SEC (MP3)
  • Fox 6 explains the complexities of municipal finance in Bond Deals 101

Birmingham News: SEC files civil complaint against Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford, banker and lobbyist

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1 Yip for “Heads up: Let’s sue something!”

  1. Ginny
    Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 11:21 pm

    When do we start flagellating ourselves?

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