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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

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds107426
Madison76728
Lauderdale75968
Neshoba72844
Jones70133
Scott66312
Forrest59539
DeSoto57510
Rankin4569
Leake45212
Holmes44330
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Attala31118
Yazoo2964
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Kemper15511
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Carroll11911
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Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Greene331
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie301
George292
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19073

Reported Deaths: 672
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2321118
Jefferson1901104
Montgomery185843
Tuscaloosa83616
Marshall7089
Franklin5858
Lee56234
Shelby52819
Tallapoosa43466
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Unassigned3062
Morgan3021
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Lowndes26512
Etowah26312
DeKalb2573
Autauga2415
Coffee2391
Sumter2287
Houston2265
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Pike2120
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Barbour1771
Marengo1756
Lauderdale1722
Calhoun1673
Wilcox1577
Choctaw15310
Cullman1521
Clarke1492
St. Clair1351
Randolph1287
Dale1240
Marion12411
Pickens1205
Talladega1195
Limestone1080
Chilton1071
Greene954
Macon934
Winston910
Jackson833
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Escambia753
Washington736
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