JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County Commissioners are considering taking a New York investment company to court. JP Morgan never admitted to wrong doing to the SEC but the company did agree to pay $50 million and forfeit $647 million in fees.
On Tuesday, Jefferson County Commissioners say this will not solve the county's mass three billion dollar debt. "No, it does not. It does not preclude the county from future actions if necessary," Bettye Fine Collins, commission president, said.
This comes after former commissioner Larry Langford was convicted of accepting bribes in order to give some of the county bond work to his friend, Montgomery investment banker, Bill Blount.
Commissioners believe there are enough allegations of corruption around the bond deal to force JP Morgan, the largest holder of the county's sewer debt, to make a new deal. "We should have JP Morgan and other banks to ease the burden on the county. We should hold them accountable," William Bell, Jefferson Co. Commissioner said.
Commissioners say county attorneys are considering possible legal action against JP Morgan unless the company agrees to a lower bond debt, something around a $ 1 billion. "What I want to do is cram down of the debt to the point of one point two billion dollars and move forward with three percent rate increases a year," Jim Carns, Jefferson Co. Commissioner said.
While legal action against JP Morgan remains a possibility, at least one other commissioner says there is another choice still on the table." 50 million dollars is a ripple in the pond to our three billion dollar debt," Bobby Humphryes, Jefferson County Commissioner said.