EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Attorney's office confirms new charges in a public corruption case

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Attorney's office confirms new charges in a public corruption case

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - In a WBRC Exclusive, the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Alabama confirms they will announce new charges in a public corruption case Thursday in a noon press conference in Birmingham.

Separately, in a statement released late Wednesday, Joel Gilbert, a partner at Balch & Bingham law firm announced he expects to be indicted tomorrow by the U.S. Attorney's office for what he calls "routine legal services he provided his client Drummond Coal Company."

Former State Rep. Oliver Robinson pleaded guilty in early September to 7 counts of corruption related to his work to discourage north Birmingham residents from supporting an expansion of the EPA Superfund site there. Robinson admitted to federal prosecutors he accepted bribes from Drummond Coal to oppose the superfund site expansion.

Gilbert's attorney Jack Sharman said in his statement Wednesday:

Joel Gilbert is innocent of these charges. He did not bribe anyone. This is a case that never should have been brought. Joel represented a client in a legal dispute with the EPA, a powerful and, in this case, over-reaching federal agency. Everything he did while representing that client was lawful and ethical. He is a longtime partner at a leading law firm. A lawyer with a reputation for honesty and integrity, he did what is routine for good counselors to do for corporate and individual clients every day – he engaged a consultant through a written contract to perform real and lawful services.

Copyright 2017 WBRC. All rights reserved.