Mayor accused of taking bribes

October 18, 2009 7:38:17 AM PDT
The mayor of Alabama's largest city is facing a federal bribery trial that could drive him from office and send him to prison if he's convicted. Prosecutors say Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford took clothing, a Rolex watch and other bribes totaling some $235,000 while serving on the Jefferson County Commission. In exchange, they say Langford steered $7.1 million in county bond business to a political crony's investment firm.

Langford's trial begins Monday in Tuscaloosa.

Langford says everything that changed hands were gifts between friends. He also claims his prosecution is part of a Republican scheme to target Democrats in Alabama.

Two co-defendants who pleaded guilty are expected to testify against Langford.

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