Judge Agrees To Release Ailing Former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford From Prison

By Kim Chandler / The Associated Press

Former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford arrived at Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham Saturday evening. He is pictured with (RIGHT) Rep. Terri Sewell, who previously advocated for the compassionate release of Mayor Langford in 2015 and 2016 during the Obama Administration. Mayor Langford is suffering from worsening chronic health conditions and meets all of the legal criteria for a reduction in sentence. (AP Photo)
credit: The Tuscaloosa News)
(ABOVE): Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford arrived at the federal building in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on October 29, 2009, to face bribery charges.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford arrived at Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham Saturday evening.

On Friday, December 28, Judge L. Scott Coogler of the Northern District of Alabama issued a ruling reducing the sentence of Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford to time served. He was granted a compassionate release so he may spend time at home with his family.

Miles College President Dr. George French wanted to help Langford’s family during this process, so he sent college-owned SUVs to Lexington, Kentucky to bring the family back. Langford traveled by ambulance while his family was escorted by Birmingham Police.

Dr. French said he felt it was appropriate to provide a service to the family during this time. “It means a lot to me because not only was he the mayor of the city of Fairfield, he was our county commissioner and he was a friend of the college. He actually received the doctorate of humane letters from Miles College. He worked tirelessly in the interest of HBCU’s in general and Miles College in particular.”

Rep. Terri Sewell released a Statement on Commutation of Mayor Langford’s Sentence.
“As I have said before, justice should be fair, but merciful. I am deeply grateful to all those who heeded our renewed call for the immediate compassionate release of Mayor Larry Langford,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “I want to thank the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Jay Town, Senator Doug Jones, our federal partners, and all those who worked side-by-side with our office despite the government shutdown to secure Mayor Langford’s release. The holiday season is a reminder of the importance of family, and the commutation of Mayor Langford’s sentence means that our former Mayor can spend his final days at home in Alabama with loved ones. My prayers are with the whole Langford family as they reunite and provide comfort to Mayor Langford in the days and weeks ahead.”

In 2007, Langford was investigated by the SEC on corruption charges. In 2008, a lawsuit was filed against him for illegally accepting $156,000 in cash and benefits.

On December 1, 2008, Langford, along with investment banker William B. Blount and former state Democratic Chairman Al LaPierre, was arrested by the FBI on a 101-count indictment alleging conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns in connection with a long-running bribery scheme. His public corruption trial ended on October 28, 2009, with convictions on 60 counts, and resulted in his automatic removal from office.

On March 5, 2010, Langford was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a federal judge in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was also fined more than $119,000.

Langford has served more than eight years of a 15-year prison sentence. He will not be in custody of law enforcement.