Opening statements begin in Alabama trial for alleged bribery scheme

scales of justice gavel court

Lawyers made their opening statements on Tuesday in the trial over an alleged bribery scheme involving pollution in Birmingham, Ala.

The trial involves two Balch & Bingham lawyers, Joel Gilbert and Steven McKinney, as well as Drummond Co. vice president David Robertson.

The three are accused of bribing former state Rep. Oliver Robinson. Prosecutors say the firm represented Drummond, and Robinson got $360,000 to oppose expansion of a Drummond-linked cleanup site.

While Robinson pleaded guilty last year, all three defendants continue to maintain their innocence, which they first asserted in the courtroom in October.

During the trial, defense lawyers disputed the prosecution’s account of the ordeal, saying their clients did nothing wrong.