Mayor found guilty in bribery trial

Oct. 29, 2009 at 4:20 PM
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Birmingham, Ala., Mayor Larry Langford was found guilty on all 60 federal counts in a bribery case against him.

Langford, 61, said he would appeal the verdict stemming from the time he was president of the county commission, the Birmingham News reported Thursday.

The trial was held in U.S. District Court in Tuscaloosa after Langford's request because of what he called adverse pretrial publicity.

"I am remarkably calm inside," Langford said outside the courtroom after the verdict was announced Wednesday. "If you are looking for someone with his head down and crying, you are not going to get it here."

At the heart of the government's case was the testimony of Montgomery investment banker Bill Blount and lobbyist Al LaPierre, who pleaded guilty and testified that they laid out about $236,000 in money, clothes and jewelry to Langford, the newspaper said. In return, Langford ensured Blount's investment bank was included in Jefferson County bond deals and interest-rate swaps that reaped the institution $7.1 million.

He was indicted in 2008 after a lengthy federal investigation of the county's financial deals during Langford's tenure.

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