The Associated Press reports:
Former state Rep. Oliver Robinson testified Tuesday that he accepted money to oppose federal environmental cleanup efforts in north Birmingham, telling jurors that in doing so that he felt like he sold out the people who had elected him.
Robinson, a former basketball star and one-time rising star in the Alabama House of Representatives, took to the witness stand as a disgraced politician. He is a key witness for prosecutors trying to prove that two attorneys with a prominent Alabama law firm and a coal company executive paid bribes to Robinson, in the form of a consulting contract, in the hopes of avoiding clean-up costs at a Birmingham Superfund site.
The Birmingham Herald reports:
Robinson, the Gate City native and former UAB and San Antonio Spurs basketball star, said he was approached by David Roberson–the vice president of Drummond’s Government Relations department and a registered lobbyist–in the summer of 2014 to help with the company’s issue regarding an EPA Superfund site in north Birmingham.
The bribery trial is in its second week at Birmingham’s Hugo Black Federal Courthouse. Roberson, along with Balch lawyers Joel Gilbert and Steven McKinney, are each charged with one count of conspiracy, one of bribery, three counts of honest services wire fraud, and one count of money laundering.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys have argued the three men bribed Robinson to oppose the expansion of an the Superfund site into Inglenook and Tarrant, and to oppose adding the cleanup to the organization’s National Priorities List.