The former head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s southeastern operations faces six state felony charges, and the former chairman of the Alabama Environmental Management Commission faces three felony charges related to a federal investigation into efforts to stop a cleanup of toxic industrial waste in North Birmingham.
Trey Glenn, who resigned from his EPA post earlier this week, was indicted by a Birmingham grand jury on six felony counts of using his position for personal gain and 14 misdemeanor ethics charges.
Scott Phillips, the former AMEC chair who also was a partner with Glenn in a consulting firm during his tenure with the commission was indicted on three felony counts of using his position for personal gain and 13 misdemeanors.
The indictments were handed down Nov. 9, but the number of charges and their nature was not confirmed until the documents were made available Wednesday in the Alacourt online reporting system.
All the charges relate to soliciting money from Drummond Company, which operates the ABC Coke facility in Tarrant, and contracting with the Balch and Bingham law firm in Birmingham as part of the scheme.
Glenn, who was head of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management from 2005 to 2009, partnered with Phillips to form a consulting firm after Glenn left ADEM. Phillips was a member or the chair of AMEC during the time.
The felony counts against Phillips accuse him of unlawfully using his position on the commission, including resources and materials he controlled, to perform work for Drummond and bill them through Balch.
Glenn’s felony charges accuse him of aiding Phillips in the acts leading to his charges.
The misdemeanor charges for Phillips are for soliciting money from Drummond to use his influence as a commissioner; Glenn’s misdemeanor charges are for conspiring with Phillips to commit those crimes.
Drummond vice president David Roberson and Balch partner Joel Gilbert were convicted in federal court earlier this year of paying former state Rep. Oliver Robinson to use his influence among North Birmingham residents. Robinson was supposed to persuade them to oppose an effort to expand an EPA Superfund site into areas of Tarrant and North Birmingham. Expanding the area would have cost Drummond in extra cleanup costs.
Robinson pleaded guilty and testified during the trial. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison and three years on supervised release.
Glenn and Phillips both testified in that trial, which is when their consulting partnership was revealed, along with payments they received from Drummond and Balch and Bingham.
Each of the felony charges carries a possible prison sentence of between two and 20 years.
Glenn and Phillips were released from the Jefferson County jail on $30,000 bonds.