Opening statements were heard Tuesday in a federal corruption case in Birmingham. A coal company executive and two others are accused of bribing then-state Representative Oliver Robinson (D-Birmingham) to oppose a federal pollution cleanup in north Birmingham. The U.S. Attorney's office says Drummond was afraid it would cost them tens of millions of dollars. Prosecutors say Robinson took $375,000 dollars in bribes from Drummond Company's David Roberson, and Balch and Bingham attorneys Joel Gilbert and Steven McKinney. In opening statements, defense attorneys said the money was given to Robinson's foundation for legitimate work, and called Robinson a liar. The Democrat has pleaded guilty, and is expected to testify for the prosecution. Testimony was scheduled to begin Wednesday.
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