Al LaPierre pleads guilty - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Al LaPierre pleads guilty

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham lobbyist Al LaPierre pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy and filing false tax returns.

LaPierre faces 8 years in jail after confessing he funneled money from Montgomery investment banker Bill Blount to Birmingham Mayor (and then-county commissioner) Larry Langford in exchange for Langford steering county business to Blount.

Al LaPierre told a judge he was pleading guilty because he was in fact guilty of these charges.

After 20 minutes of questioning, Judge Scott Coogler accepted LaPierre's plea.

"Very remorseful. As I said earlier, mixed emotions, somewhat relieved to have made a decision and put this matter behind him," LaPierre's attorney Tommy Spina said. "But at the same time saddened by the effect his decision to plead guilty has had, particularly on his family members. And I know he's let himself down."

Langford told FOX6 News Wednesday LaPierre's testimony will help, not hurt his case. Langford has said before that any money he got was a loan, not a bribe, though LaPierre's plea says the lobbyist will testify the exchanges were meant to influence Langford.

The Dean of Samford's Cumberland Law School said it will be up to a jury to decide who they believe.

"The facts as outlined in that case, the plea agreement -- the fact there was a coverup before the SEC, and they'll have other evidence of intent, other crimes evidence," Judge John Carroll said. "For example, we know Mary Buckelew is expected to testify in that case, there may be others that testify in that case. The government's case is not solely built on LaPierre's testimony but he certainly is an important part of it."

"I think Al came across exactly as he really is," Spina said. "He's contrite, he's remorseful, he made a mistake. My experience in cases is that jurors are able to see past that in making a determination about whether a witness is truthful or not."

Al LaPierre faces a maximum of 8 years in prison, but that could be knocked down to 4 years if prosecutors believe he substantially helps their case with his testimony. He remains free on bond until sentencing. The trial of Larry Langford and Bill Blount is scheduled to begin August 31st.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Mickey: Scattered showers kick off the work week

    Mickey: Scattered showers kick off the work week

    Monday, July 23 2018 6:55 AM EDT2018-07-23 10:55:06 GMT
    Mickey's forecast for July 23 (Source: WBRC Weather)Mickey's forecast for July 23 (Source: WBRC Weather)
    Mickey's forecast for July 23 (Source: WBRC Weather)Mickey's forecast for July 23 (Source: WBRC Weather)

    We begin our Monday morning with mostly clear skies and temperatures in the 60s to low 70s. Today we have a decent chance of scattered shower and storms developing, especially into east Alabama due to a low off to our east. The rain and potential thunderstorms look to be highest into the afternoon to evening. Expect highs today near 83 degrees.

    More >>

    We begin our Monday morning with mostly clear skies and temperatures in the 60s to low 70s. Today we have a decent chance of scattered shower and storms developing, especially into east Alabama due to a low off to our east. The rain and potential thunderstorms look to be highest into the afternoon to evening. Expect highs today near 83 degrees.

    More >>
  • Wes: Comfy start Monday morning; Spotty showers, storms developing by lunchtime

    Wes: Comfy start Monday morning; Spotty showers, storms developing by lunchtime

    Sunday, July 22 2018 11:26 PM EDT2018-07-23 03:26:41 GMT
    (Source: WBRC)(Source: WBRC)

    It feels incredible tonight thanks to a nice break in the muggy levels. Dew points were running about 10 degrees lower than yesterday and you can feel it in the air.

    More >>

    It feels incredible tonight thanks to a nice break in the muggy levels. Dew points were running about 10 degrees lower than yesterday and you can feel it in the air.

    More >>
  • BBA program aims to retain area's skilled workforce

    BBA program aims to retain area's skilled workforce

    Sunday, July 22 2018 11:19 PM EDT2018-07-23 03:19:15 GMT
    (Source: WBRC Video)(Source: WBRC Video)
    (Source: WBRC Video)(Source: WBRC Video)

    This “brain drain” is a problem for employers who struggle to fill middle-management positions, particularly in the high growth industries economic leaders want to target.

    More >>

    This “brain drain” is a problem for employers who struggle to fill middle-management positions, particularly in the high growth industries economic leaders want to target.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly