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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mayor Larry Langford Found guilty - faces a potential sentence of 805 years

Larry Langford: 'Calm inside' as verdicts halt career

LANGFORD 091028 

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford waits outside the the Federal Building in Tuscaloosa, Ala, as the jury deliberates during his federal bribery trial Wednesday, October 28, 2009. (The Birmingham News /Tamika Moore) Larry Langford, Birmingham's mayor and a former Jefferson County commissioner, has been found guilty in his federal bribery trial.

Langford,
who is 61 or 63, was found guilty of taking about $236,000 in cash and gifts from Montgomery investment banker Bill Blount and lobbyist Al LaPierre.

Both pleaded guilty in the case and testified they made cash payments to Langford while he was the president of the Jefferson County Commission to ensure business for Blount's investment bank, Blount Parrish & Co.

"We all have our trials, this too will pass," Langford said as he walked from the courtroom followed closely by his wife.

"The citizens of Birmingham have been fantastic to me," he said outside the courthouse.

He said the verdict will be appealed. "I'm no crybaby, but ..."

"At the end of the day, I shot my best shot, but the jury ruled the way that they did," he said, in a wide-ranging press conference outside court.

"All this trial did was interrupt my Bible study classes for two weeks," he said, adding he faces a potential sentence of 805 years. He said if he lived to be 80, he would have to die and "come back 10 more times" to serve such a sentence.

Judge Scott Coogler
decided Langford would forfeit $241,843. The lawyers agreed.

Coogler ordered a sentencing report within 90 to 120 days and said Langford would remain free until then on the existing $50,000 unsecured bond.

Birmingham City Council President Carole Smitherman is now mayor of Alabama's largest city. (Corrected: A swearing in is not required)  More HERE

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