Former county finance director continues testimony in Langford trial

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - On day three in Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford's federal bribery trial, Jefferson County's former finance director spent the morning on the witness stand.

The story line prosecutors set up for the jury has been that Larry Langford ran a "pay for play" operation. The government tells the jury he received lavish gifts and cash from investment banker Bill Blount. In return, Blount's firm received millions in county business.

On Tuesday, witnesses heard testimony about loans and clothes secured for Langford through Blount. For Wednesday, testimony was made about the business the investment banker received.

Former Jefferson County Finance Director Steve Sayler spent the morning on the witness stand. He says Blount's firm was added to bond work at the request of then Commission President Larry Langford. Sayler testifies Langford and the commission traveled to New York prior to those deals. With Sayler on the stand, the government guided jurors through complicated, often tedious, county bond swaps. The direct line of questioning came with repeated objections from the defense that were often sustained. Sayler has talked about many of those bond deals with banks that employed Blount's firm as a consultant were cut into deals without public knowledge.

Blount with lobbyist Al LaPierre, have pleaded guilty in this case. Both are expected to testify for the government during this trial.