Or maybe not, if journalists like John Archibald keep digging and reporting.
Among the committee members who defended Collins was Matt Lembke of Vestavia Hills, who said he was “shocked” at the “outrageous” attempt to condemn Collins.
Lembke is a lawyer with Bradley Arant Rose & White, by the way, which is paid by the county to help with the sewer debt. On Jan. 27, the commission voted 3-2 — with Collins on the “3″ side — to raise Bradley Arant’s pay cap to $3 million.
There’s more. Collins’ backers have repeatedly said her anything-before-bankruptcy stance trickles from Gov. Bob Riley, for whom she carries water.
Which is interesting. Because Lembke also has worked as counsel to Riley several times, including the bitter 2002 election contest. Lembke worked closely with the governor’s son, Rob Riley, before former Gov. Don Siegelman conceded.
For what it’s worth, the County Commission on Jan. 20 voted to pay Rob Riley’s firm $725,000 to represent the sheriff’s department.
For what it’s worth.
And while friends are great, a fearsome family is better.
For if Bettye Fine Collins’ name sends shivers down some backs, the name of her brother can make politicians full-on sweat.
Joe Fine, of Fine Geddie & Associates, is no partisan hack whose fortunes rise and fall on the wave of public opinion. He is a PACman and a kingmaker — one of the biggest purveyors of political cash in Alabama.
Fine Geddie’s 11 political action committees, with names such as BiPac, Leg PAC and CanPAC, gave out some $7.6 million in contributions since 2006, according to Secretary of State records. Not just to Republicans. Not just to Democrats. Everybody who was anybody got Fine Geddie money.
Larry Langford got it, and so did the Senate Democrats. Bob Riley got it, and so did the Republican Party.
In other words, follow the money.
Great work, John — you are performing real service to this community. Keep it up!