What would happen if Langford is convicted?

With the decision of the jury looming in the Larry Langford federal corruption trial, many want to know what would happen in the city of Birmingham if the Mayor is convicted.

If Langford is convicted, Council President Carole Smitherman would assume the duties the same day as the conviction.

The Council President Pro Tem then would take over as Council President.

The Mayor Council Act requires the Council to call a special election within five days of Langford's vacancy from the office. The election must be held within 90 days of that period.

It is possible that a legal question may arise over who will be interim mayor after Smitherman initially takes it. The law states: "While the president of the council is serving as acting mayor, he shall not sit with the council or vote on any matters before the council."

With a new council taking office during this time period, it is not clear what would happen in the Council President election. Some believe Smitherman would not be eligible because she would be interim mayor. Some say the new Council President would then replace Smitherman as Interim Mayor.

This is expected to be a legal issue if the mayor does get a guilty verdict from the jury.

Here is what the law states:

Article IV Sec. 4.05 Vacancy in office of mayor.
Whenever any vacancy in the mayor shall occur by reason of death, resignation, removal
or any other cause, the president of the council shall assume the duties of the office of
mayor effective on the date such vacancy occurs and shall serve as acting mayor until a
new mayor is elected and qualified as hereinafter provided. The acting mayor shall
receive no compensation, expenses or allowances as a councilman while acting as mayor,
but he will receive the same rate of pay and allowances provided for the mayor whose
vacated office he fills, and the compensation received for days of service as acting mayor
shall not be counted in determining the maximum annual per diem compensation
permitted council members. While the president of the council is serving as acting mayor
he shall not sit with the council or vote on any matters before the council. The election
commission of the city, if there be one, and if not then the council thereof, shall within
five (5) days of the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of the mayor call a special
election to fill such vacancy, such election to be held on a Tuesday not less than 30 days
and not more than 45 days from the occurrence of such vacancy; provided, however, if a
regular or special election is scheduled or required to be held within 90 days after the
occurrence of such vacancy but more than 30 days after such occurrence, then the
vacancy in the office of mayor will be filled at such regular or special election. Notice of
such election shall be given at the expense of the city by one publication at least 18 days
in advance of the same in one (1) or more newspapers published in such city. The
method, procedure and requirements of qualifying, voting upon and determining the
successful candidate shall be the same as is provided herein relative to the election of the
mayor at regular elections, except that statements of candidacy must be filed at least 20
days before the date set for such election. The successor to the mayor chosen at any such
election shall qualify for office as soon as practical thereafter, and shall be clothed with
and assume the duties, responsibilities and powers of such office immediately upon such
qualification, and shall hold office for the unexpired term of his predecessor and until his
successor is elected and qualified. (Act No. 452, as amended by Act No. 133, 1965)