Former State Representative Pleads Guilty to Multiple Charges

Sep 8, 2017

A former state representative in Birmingham has pled guilty to multiple charges in connection with an EPA Superfund site in the area.

 

Oliver Robinson
Credit ballotpedia.org

Federal prosecutors are charging former Representative Oliver Robinson with conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud and tax evasion. Prosecutors say Robinson took a contract with a private law firm in exchange with using his position in the state legislature to fight the expansion of an EPA Superfund site in Birmingham. The Superfund site is heavily contaminated with lead, arsenic, and other chemicals.

 

The law firm in question represents Drummond Coal. The EPA had notified Drummond Coal that they were likely a cause of pollution in the area. Robinson's opposition in the legislature kept Drummond from paying clean-up costs. In exchange, the law firm paid Robinson approximately $360,000 over the course of two years.

 

At the time, Robinson argued that expanding the Superfund designation would further stigmatize the affected area of Birmingham, which is deeply impoverished. After charges were filed, Robinson's attorneys say he is "taking complete responsibility for his mistakes and misjudgements".

 

Robinson will be sentenced on December 7. Currently, federal prosecutors have not named or charged any individuals associated with Drummond Coal or the law firm, Balch and Bingham.