Alabama Coal Executive and Lawyer Are Guilty of Bribing Politician Over Pollution Cleanup

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A coal company executive and a lawyer have been convicted in federal court of bribing an Alabama lawmaker to oppose Environmental Protection Agency plans that could have made the company help pay to clean up a polluted Superfund site.

David L. Roberson, 67, a vice president at the Drummond Company, based in Birmingham, and Joel I. Gilbert, 46, a lawyer who worked for the coal company, were convicted late on Friday by a jury in District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, the Justice Department said on Monday.

The men were found guilty of bribing a former state representative, Oliver L. Robinson Jr., to oppose plans by the E.P.A. to place a polluted site in north Birmingham on a priority list, which could have made Drummond liable for tens of millions of dollars in cleanup costs and fines, the Justice Department said.

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