Two attorneys weigh in on recent corruption allegations

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Two high profile Birmingham attorneys are weighing in on the corruption charges leveled against a state lawmaker and former state party chairman.

Vestavia Hills Representative Jack Williams and former GOP chairman Marty Connors are accused in the federal indictment of taking part in a conspiracy to commit bribery as it related to federal healthcare programs.

"It's very, very detailed and explicit. Lays out a very difficult situation for any defendant in this situation," Roger Appell said.

Jim Parkman defended Senator Hari Ann Smith in the Bingo corruption case. Smith was acquitted on all charges.

"The question I have, that I always look at. Is it really a bribe or is it something the legislator was going to do anyway," Parkman said.

Both Appell and Parkman say they would attack a key government witness, like former lawmaker Mickey Hammon who prosecutors said accepted a bribe to push the bill to benefit Trina Health in the legislature.

Connors and Williams are accused of honest services violation and honest services wire fraud. The attorneys contend the prosecution will have to convince the jury, money was exchanged or promised.

"Because what is the difference between a bribe and giving someone a campaign contribution?," Parkman said.

But they also said this case will come down to the evidence.

"In a case this detailed and factually that has so much evidence in the indictment, if it proves to be true the best thing is to work out a deal,"  Appell said.

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