By WILL WHATLEY, Alabama Daily News
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – An Alabama grand jury indicted Willie Scott Phillips, Jr. on multiple counts of violations of Alabama’s Ethics Act and separately indicted Onis “Trey” Glenn, III on multiple counts of conspiracy and/or complicity with Willie Scott Phillips, Jr. to violate the Ethics Act.
Glenn is the southeast regional administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Phillips previously served as the Alabama Environment Management Commissioner. Together, they ran Southeast Engineering & Consulting while Phillips worked for the state.
An EPA spokesman didn’t immediately return an email on Glenn’s behalf, and court records aren’t available to show whether Glenn or Phillips have attorneys.
Al.com reported that Glenn and Phillips each maintained their innocence in statements thought lawyers.
The Alabama Ethics Commission helped lead the investigation alongside the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.
“The Alabama Ethics Commission is committed to working with Alabama’s District Attorneys, and all enforcement agencies, whenever needed and asked to do so, to ensure enforcement of Alabama’s Ethics laws on behalf of the citizens of Alabama; and these indictments are evidence of that,” said Alabama Ethics Commission Director Tom Albritton in a statement to Alabama Daily News.
“I want to recognize the hard work from the Jefferson County DA’s office which requested our assistance in this important matter; and from our office, Cynthia Raulston, the Commission’s General Counsel, as well as Special Agents Dustin Lansford, Byron Butler and Chief Special Agent Chris Clark for their hard work and dedication to the enforcement of our ethics laws.”
Glenn previously worked as head of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. He was investigated for ethics violations in the late 2000s and eventually resigned after being cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
Phillips is a former chairman of the Alabama Environmental Management Commission.
After Glenn left the state environmental agency, he formed a lobbying firm with Phillips. Both were involved in opposing a federal Superfund cleanup in Birmingham. A former state lawmaker, Oliver Robinson, has pleaded guilty and two others — Drummond Co. executive David Roberson and attorney Joel Gilbert — were convicted on charges linked to that project.
Glenn and Phillips each testified in the trial of Roberson and Gilbert this summer. Roberson and Gilbert were convicted on charges they bribed Robinson to oppose efforts by the EPA to clean up a Birmingham neighborhood in Robinson’s district.
In Alabama, it is against the law for a lobbyist or a client of a lobbyist, otherwise known as a “principal,” to give a public official a thing of value.
EPA’s Region 4, headquartered in Atlanta, includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.