Larry Langford Birmingham Mayor is Convicted Felon

Cheryl Phillips's picture

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford was found guilty and convicted of multiple counts of bribery in a federal corruption trial in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday. Now a convicted felon, Langford immediately ceases to be mayor due to Alabama law and City Council President Carole Smitherman will be the interim mayor until a special election can be held.

Larry Langford, 61, now the former mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, was investigated by the SEC on corruption charges in 2007. In 2008 a lawsuit was filed against Langford for illegally accepting $156,000 in cash and benefits.

On December 1, 2008, Larry Langford was arrested by the FBI on a 101-count indictment alleging conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns in connection with a long-running bribery scheme.

Prior to the guilty verdict, Larry Langford stated that he was confident in his chances of winning the case. However, the verdict came back in less than two hours, as jurors apparently had no hesitancy in finding Langford guilty.

The jury obviously had no doubt that Mr. Langford accepted more than $230,000 in cash, expensive clothing and jewelry in exchange for steering $7.1 million in county bond business to his friend, Montgomery investment banker Bill Blount. Langford was found guilty of bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns.

Now a convicted felon, Larry Langford not only gives up his position as Mayor, he had to immediately give up his passport and cannot have any guns in his possession.

“This is a good day for Jefferson County because a corrupt politician was convicted,” Assistant United States Attorney George Martin stated after Langford's guilty verdict. “It is also a sad day for Jefferson County because a corrupt politician was convicted.”

“We all have trials in our life,” Langford said outside of the courthouse. “I don’t agree with the verdict but it’s done.” Langford maintained his innocence, and plans to appeal. “I’m not the only person who has gone on trial for something that they didn’t do. But if you expect to see me crying with my head dropped, you’ve picked the wrong one,” he said.

Cheryl Phillips

sources: Wikipedia, CNN, Fox6 WBRC

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