Former State Rep. Oliver Robinson to Be Sentenced Thursday in Bribery Scheme

Former Rep. Oliver Robinson testified in trial over allegations he had been bribed.

The sentencing of former state Rep. Oliver Robinson is scheduled for Thursday in federal court. Federal prosecutors asked the judge in a filing earlier this week to give Robinson a lighter sentence because he helped investigators.

Robinson was part of a scheme to block the expansion of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleanup site in North Birmingham and Tarrant. He encouraged his constituents there not to have their soil tested for contaminants in exchange for bribes. After pleading guilty, he cooperated with federal prosecutors in investigations that led to the conviction of a former Balch & Bingham attorney and a Drummond Company executive.

U.S. Attorney Jay Town of the Northern District of Alabama has asked that Robinson be sentenced to 33 years in prison, pay $161,151 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and forfeit $390,783 from bribes. When his indictment was announced last year, prosecutors said Robinson’s charges carried potential sentences that could imprison him for years.

In a motion filed Tuesday in federal court, Town says Robinson began cooperating “soon after receiving the Grand Jury’s subpoena.” The prosecutor says Robinson met with investigators several times over 15 months and testified during the trial of the lawyer and coal company executive.

While Robinson publicly cooperated with federal investigators, some of the information he provided may not be public record. His attorney Michael Whisonant filed a motion on Tuesday asking that some records remain sealed because they “contain the names of minors as well as private health and medical information.”

The judge has not filed a response to the request regarding sealed documents.