Arrests in Corruption Investigation

A federal corruption investigation Monday culminated in the arrests of  state Rep. Jack Williams  (R-Vestavia Hills) and former Alabama Republican Party Chairman Marty Connors.  Gilbert Ford, the CEO of California-based Trina Health, was also charged.  The men were accused in an alleged 2016 bribery scheme to pass a bill benefiting the company.  "We followed the evidence, [and] it led us to Micky Hammon (R-Decatur)," Franklin said, referring to the-then House Majority Leader.   "We got what information we could from him to ... expose others involved in this corruption." Hammon last year pleaded guilty to a felony mail fraud charge, and was sentenced to three months in federal prison.  Ford hired Connors to lobby for a bill requiring Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama to cover diabetes treatments at the company's centers, said Franklin, while Williams was recruited to hold a hearing on the bill as chairman of the House's Commerce and Small Business Committee.  Franklin said Gilbert was bribing Hammon to move the bill, and that Connors and Williams were aware of the payments.   Connors and Williams appeared in Montgomery federal court, and were released on $25,000 bond each.   Williams opted not to seek reelection to the Legislature, and instead launched a campaign for the Jefferson County Commission.   It was unclear whether Williams would continue with the campaign.  Gov. Kay Ivey reacted to the arrests by saying, "There is no place for corruption or deception in  public service."    

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