Smitherman: 'Heavy heart I assume duties'

Carole Smitherman (WBRC video)
Carole Smitherman (WBRC video)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham City Council President Carole Smitherman said the conviction of Larry Langford was a "sad day" for Langford, the city, and the state of Alabama.

Smitherman became the acting mayor of Birmingham Wednesday afternoon after Larry Langford was convicted of federal corruption charges.

Smitherman issued a statement to FOX6 News Wednesday night saying it was with a "heavy heart that I assume the duties of acting mayor."

"This is a sad day for my friend, Larry Langford, his family, our city, and the state," Smitherman said. "Birmingham is a great city known for her ability to use her resources and her people to rise above adversity."

Smitherman said she would work for a seamless transition.

"In this time of tribulation, it is imperative that the leadership of this City stands united and ready to deal with our challenges," Smitherman said. "Birmingham will prevail."

Smitherman said she would meet with the executive staff of the mayor's office Thursday morning and other city employees Thursday afternoon. She also planned to hold a news conference in Council Chambers at City Hall at 10 a.m. Thursday.

"Tomorrow we will begin the process of moving the city forward," Smitherman said. "We must serve the people who elected us and depend upon us."

You can watch Smitherman's news conference Thursday at 10 a.m. live on FOX6 and www.FoxAlabamaLive.com.