The star witness in the federal bribery trial of two Birmingham attorneys and a coal company executive concluded his testimony Thursday, admitting he took bribes to try to influence a north Birmingham chemical cleanup site.
"I was bribed, and I sold out my community," said former State Representative Oliver Robinson, who has already pleaded guilty to accepting $360,000 in bribes to work against expanding a Superfund site on 35th Avenue in Tarrant.
Joel Gilbert and Steve McKinney, attorneys for the law firm Balch and Bingham, and David Roberson, an executive with Drummond Coal Company, are all charged with paying the bribes to Robinson.
Much of the day in court was spent attacking the credibility of Robinson, who resigned from the Alabama House of Representatives last November. During questioning from attorneys for the defendants, Robinson was accused of lying, under oath, at least twenty times during his testimony. Robinson denied that allegation.
As part of his plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Robinson agreed to testify in this case.
The attorney for Drummond executive David Roberson also grilled Oliver Robinson over taking payoffs, saying, "You were willing to sell out your community for...chump change."
Robinson responded, "Now that I look back on it, I sure did."
Next on the stand was Onis "Trey" Glenn III, the current EPA Region 4 Administrator.
Glenn, who has also served as a former director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, testified he worked as a private technical consultant on the Tarrant Superfund site for Balch and Bingham. Glenn testified he did not know Robinson was being paid by the law firm to help with community outreach about the cleanup site.
Testimony will resume Friday morning at 9 a.m. It is expected to continue for several days.
Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.