October 30, 2009

Perp Walk Update: Larry Langford Convicted on Bribery and Fraud Charges

We have an update to the Perp Walk post we shared with you last year about Birmingham, Ala. mayor Larry Langford. He was convicted in federal court on 60 counts of bribery and fraud during his term on the Jefferson County Commission. The Democratic mayor faces a sentence of up to 805 years in prison. Federal prosecutors said that Langford accepted money and gifts totaling more than $230,000 from a banker in exchange for $7 million in business on county bond deals. [SOURCE]

Langford and several supporters questioned the jury’s verdict, some blaming the conviction on race.
"In Alabama, Black people will never get a fair trial," wife Melva Langford said. "There should be a total investigation of the Justice Department."
Prosecutor George Martin said calling for such an investigation was "ridiculous," and he denied that race played a role in Langford's prosecution or the trial's outcome. "It was a diverse jury. It was because of the evidence, not the jury," he said. One of Langford's attorneys, Glennon Threatt, who is Black, said he has done previous corruption cases with white defendants, and race was not a factor. The jury had both Blacks and whites on it. The case was tried in Tuscaloosa, 60 miles away, after Langford requested a change because of publicity.

Carole Smitherman, the president of the City Council, will serve as interim mayor until an election is held within three months.

1 comment:

Janet Shan said...

I read about this. It is a shame that Larry Langford engaged in this behavior. When will politicians learn that you can't have it both ways. Rep. John Conyers' wife will be sentenced shortly on some similar charges.