Alabama lawmaker, lobbyist charged in bribery scheme

An Alabama legislator and a lobbyist who once chaired the Alabama Republican Party were arrested Monday on conspiracy charges related to payments made to another lawmaker to advance an insurance bill, prosecutors announced.

Posted: Apr 2, 2018 1:40 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama legislator and a lobbyist who once chaired the Alabama Republican Party were arrested Monday on conspiracy charges related to payments made to another lawmaker to advance an insurance bill, prosecutors announced.

State Republican Rep. Jack D. Williams of Vestavia Hills and lobbyist Marty Connors were charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and mail fraud. The California-based owner of Triana Health diabetes treatment centers, G. Ford Gilbert, was also arrested.

Prosecutors said in a statement announcing the trio of arrests that Gilbert had paid then-state Rep. Micky Hammon, who was the Republican majority leader, to push legislation in 2016 that would require the state's dominant insurance company to cover treatments at Triana clinics.

Prosecutors said Connors, who was lobbying for the bill, knew about the payments to Hammon, and recruited Williams to use his position as a House committee chairman to hold a public hearing on the bill. Williams also knew of the payments and acted to help Hammon, "who, as everyone in the scheme knew, was experiencing grave financial problems," federal prosecutors said in a statement.

It was unclear from court records if any of the three men have an attorney.

Hammon was removed from the Alabama Legislature last year when he pleaded guilty to illegally using campaign funds for personal use. A judge in February sentenced Hammon to three months in prison for felony mail fraud. No additional charges were announced against Hammon.

Williams has served in the House of Representatives since 2004. Connors served as chairman of the Alabama Republican Party from 2001 to 2005.

The charges announced Monday is the latest in a string of corruption investigations that have ensnared Alabama politicians.

Former Rep. Oliver Robinson, a Democrat, pleaded guilty last year to taking a bribe for using his legislative position to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency's prioritization of a pollution site in Birmingham.

Last year, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance charge and stepped down amid accusations of an affair with an aide.

In 2016, former Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard was convicted of ethics violations including using his public office to drum up clients and investments for his businesses.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 265146

Reported Deaths: 5777
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17741191
Hinds16891332
Harrison14279204
Rankin11239220
Jackson10917190
Lee9071145
Madison8599169
Jones6731118
Forrest6208124
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Pike270181
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Wayne213734
Winston207671
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Newton199946
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Holmes172068
Clay166837
Tallahatchie157235
Stone152525
Clarke148162
Calhoun141322
Smith130026
Yalobusha123335
Walthall114537
Greene113729
Noxubee113026
Montgomery112036
Carroll106822
Lawrence106817
Perry105131
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Webster96824
Tunica89021
Claiborne88825
Jefferson Davis88430
Benton85823
Humphreys84724
Kemper80920
Quitman7139
Franklin70617
Choctaw63713
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45217
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 441170

Reported Deaths: 6660
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson646811007
Mobile31620572
Madison28310217
Tuscaloosa21525275
Montgomery19954332
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Baldwin17256189
Lee13205107
Morgan12639142
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Walker6036183
Jackson601545
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Blount547386
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Franklin374950
Russell357515
Chilton345473
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Escambia335444
Tallapoosa3149109
Dallas313296
Chambers304270
Clarke300236
Pike262531
Lawrence254155
Marion253761
Winston233642
Bibb222348
Geneva211547
Marengo209331
Pickens199631
Hale185244
Barbour182738
Fayette178629
Butler174460
Cherokee165731
Henry159925
Monroe152421
Randolph146436
Washington142327
Clay130546
Crenshaw124045
Macon122337
Cleburne121825
Lamar120222
Lowndes115536
Wilcox107922
Bullock103528
Perry100018
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Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63618
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