OCTOBER 29, 2009
After a lively eight-day trial a federal jury took less than two hours to convict the deplorable mayor of Alabama’s largest city of 60 corruption charges, including bribery, conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.
Disgraced Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford, a former Jefferson County commissioner and heavyweight in the local Democratic Party, orchestrated a massive pay-to-play scheme in which he traded hefty bribes for coveted public contracts worth millions of dollars. The veteran lawmaker took at least a quarter of a million dollars in cash and other gifts, including jewelry and fancy clothes.
Before the trial started an investment banker and a lobbyist had pleaded guilty to bribing Langford and both offered damaging testimony in court. The banker’s bribe assured that his firm was included in county bond deals and interest-rate swaps that earned his business more than $7 million. The shady deals have left the county on the verge of bankruptcy.
Langford, a powerful fixture in local politics for more than three decades, was immediately removed from office and faces decades in prison. He plans to appeal and claims he’s been treated worst than a famous child-molesting serial killer (Jeffrey Dahmer) who murdered 17 men and boys before getting caught in 1991. Langford isn’t a cannibalistic assassin like Dahmer but he’s clearly no saint. A local newspaper has documented the politician’s corruption in a detailed series called the Langford Files.
Eager to defend her beloved husband, Langford’s emotional wife (Melva) guaranteed her hubby’s innocence and played the race card, claiming that “only in Alabama can a black man not get a fair trial.” Scurrying away from the courthouse after the verdict, she added that the Justice Department has been “conspiring and working hard to get my husband.”
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