Wade on Birmingham

Birmingham mayor Larry Langford arrested by feds


As has been expected for some time, the FBI arrested Birmingham mayor Larry Langford this morning. He was taken into custody at his place of business, Birmingham Budweiser.

Birmingham mayor Larry LangfordAlso arrested are William Blount, an investment banker at Blount Parrish and Co. in Montgomery, and Langford’s friend Al LaPierre. The three face charges of conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns.

U.S. Attorney Alice Martin detailed the federal government’s investigation into Langford’s side business deals while he served on the Jefferson County Commission.

During the news conference, Martin said between 2003 and 2006, Blount paid about $235,000 in clothing, jewelry and charge account bills.

Martin also said, Blount gave Langford an $11,000 Rolex watch.

Martin said it was all in return for steering Jefferson County bond business to Blount’s Montgomery firm, including the multi-billion dollar sewer bond business.

Martin said “He (Langford) sold his public office to friend.”

During the news conference Martin said Langford received bribes from Blount, through friend Al LaPierre, to buy clothes and jewelry from expensive New York boutiques and high end stores in Birmingham as well.

At 10 a.m. in Birmingham federal court, Langford, in leg shackles, pleaded not guilty. He and LaPierre are both out on $50,000 bond. Langford cannot travel outside the Northern District of Alabama without court approval.

Blount also pleaded not guilty and is out on $100,000 bond.

Deborah Vance-Bowie, Langford’s chief of staff, released this statement:

“As you know, the Mayor was detained this morning by federal authorities. We do not know the details of his detention at this time. City business will go on as usual as we are all here to do a job, and we’ll continue to do our jobs to ensure we deliver the best services to the taxpayers of Birmingham.

“This is certainly no surprise to us — we anticipated something happening soon especially knowing Alice Martin’s days in office are numbered with the swearing in of a new president in late January — just a little over a month from now. We are glad the mayor will finally have his day in court.

“As members of his team, we stand behind him and look forward to the day when we can return the focus to the important issues before the city.”

Langford served on the commission from 2002 to 2007 until elected mayor of Birmingham in November 2007.

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6 Yips for “Birmingham mayor Larry Langford arrested by feds”

  1. One, Two, Punch… Plea, Langford out on bond « Musings on Birmingham
    Monday, December 1, 2008, 11:57 am

    […] Not to say that we didn’t see it coming — Mayor Langford was arrested by Federal authorities today.  He entered a not-guilty plea and was released on bond within hours of his arrest.  More details at Wade on Birmingham. […]

  2. Geoff
    Monday, December 1, 2008, 12:02 pm

    It’s cause he’s black! It’s racism! Oh. Wait. When did Birmingham last have a white mayor? I’m betting many of those were crooked too. It’s politics as usual in Alabama. In the US. In the world. I say we blame politics and go with philosophy instead.

    So, Mr. Candidate… what’s your philosophical view on… ?

  3. Wade
    Monday, December 1, 2008, 12:36 pm

    @Geoff: I’ve also heard it’s a Republican plot to take down Dems before Bush leaves office.

    If it makes it to trial, it’ll be interesting to see where they hold it. Can Langford get a fair trial in Birmingham?

  4. Kenn
    Monday, December 1, 2008, 12:40 pm

    This day leads me to the most important question of 2008:

    Which is more soul-warming: Wade’s 101 or LaLa’s?

    It’s a tough call.

  5. Wade
    Monday, December 1, 2008, 1:00 pm

    Wade’s 101: The Crimes of Larry Langford

    1. Possession of a sharp tongue.
    2. Half-baked ideas, with intent to use.

    101. Dutch: “The last three years!”

  6. Wade on Birmingham » Blog Archive » Larry Langford trial: Day 1: Getting started
    Monday, October 19, 2009, 6:48 pm

    […] see:Heads up: Larry Langford’s first yearHeads up: Busy signalHeads up: The tell-tale heatBirmingham mayor Larry Langford arrested by fedsHeads up: It’s reigning […]

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