Plan to Honor Former Birmingham Mayor Convicted of Bribery Sparking Controversy

A plan to honor a former Birmingham mayor who went to prison for bribery is sparking disagreement in the city.

Birmingham’s current mayor, Randall Woodfin, has proposed renaming a city recreational facility for Larry Langford, an ex-mayor convicted in a bribery scheme a decade ago.

Langford died in January after being released from federal prison because of poor health. Woodfin told the City Council recently that Langford made contributions and deserves to be honored.

But reports that council member Hunter Williams wrote Woodfin saying the city would send the wrong message by honoring a convicted felon.

Langford was convicted of taking about $235,000 in bribes in return for directing lucrative bond work to an ally while he was head of the Jefferson County Commission. Those deals helped bankrupt Alabama’s most populous county.

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