Wednesday, September 20, 2023
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Birmingham Mayor Guilty of All Charges

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (CN) - Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford faces up to 805 years in prison after being convicted of all 60 corruption charges against him. The federal jury took just over 2 hours to reach its verdict Wednesday after an 8-day trial that included testimony from former friends who said they bribed Langford with more than $236,000 in money and gifts while he was president of the Jefferson County Commission. But Langford was unrepentant after the verdict, saying, "Jeffrey Dahmer wasn't treated this bad."

In exchange for the bribed, Bill Blount's investment bank got $7.1 million in county business, including sewer bond sales. The multibillion-dollar sewer bond fiasco has left Jefferson County on the verge of bankruptcy.

Blount and Al LaPierre, a political lobbyist, testified against Langford, who did not testify.

But Langford blamed everyone but himself in a 20-minute news conference after the verdict, in which he continued to maintain his innocence.

Langford said that if "Bill Blount had $7 million, you can bet your ass I would have $3 and a half million." The disgraced mayor said he was "not the first person to go on trial for something they didn't do."

Langford blasted the media for its coverage, calling a reporter for NBC13 a "snake" and instructing reporters to tell both sides of a story.

Langford's wife, Melva, said, "The media played a big part in smearing my husband's name" and added that "blacks will never get a fair trial in Alabama."

Langford jumped on this accusation, saying that the prosecution had "struck as many blacks as possible" from the jury. He added, "Jeffrey Dahmer wasn't treated this bad."

Jeffrey Dahmer was a child-molesting cannibal. He was beaten to death in prison.

Langford questioned why the jury came back with a verdict so soon, saying that after eight days of testimony, they "never looked at any evidence" and "they formed a conclusion before they saw any testimony."

With the conviction, Langford has been automatically removed from office. He will be replaced by Carole Smitherman, Birmingham City Council president.

Sentencing will be in about three months. Langford will remain free on bond.

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