Prosecutor: Birmingham mayor took $235K in bribes

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Prosecutors said that Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford took tens of thousands in cash and expensive gifts from a politically connected investment banker who made millions in county bond business in return. But Langford's attorney told the federal court jury in opening statements that the banker, Bill Blount, schemed to "entrap and manipulate" Langford.

Defense attorney Michael Rasmussen said the case is about "a stab in the back and a deal with the devil." Langford is accused of accepting $235,000 in cash and gifts from Blount while serving as president of the Jefferson County Commission.

Blount, a former Alabama Democratic Party chairman, has pleaded guilty in the case and awaits sentencing. Testimony in the trial continues Wednesday morning.

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