Alabama State Rep. Jack Williams And Former State GOP Chair Arrested Amid Charges Of Federal Bribery

Brynn AndersonAP Images

Alabama State Rep. Jack Williams along with former Alabama GOP Chairman Marty Connors and owner of Trina Healthcare, G. Ford Gilbert, have been arrested and charged in relation to a “public corruption scheme.” AL.com reported that United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. made the announcement on Monday.

The scheme was reportedly masterminded by Gilbert in 2016. He wanted a bill passed in Alabama that mandated Blue Cross Blue Shield to allow diabetes treatments to be performed at clinics like his own. Gilbert hired Connors and also paid former State House Majority Leader Mickey Hammon to help push the bill through. Hammon, in turn, teamed up with Connors to bring Williams in on the scheme.

Williams chaired the Small Business Committee of the Alabama House of Representatives. However, House Bill 415 never became law in spite of the men’s efforts. Gilbert had sought to change the current requirement that IV insulin treatments could only be administered at hospitals. He also aimed to force Blue Cross to keep deductions and co-payments the same regardless of where the patients chose to receive treatment.

Hammon was reportedly cash-strapped at the time he agreed to work with Gilbert. He has since pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud for taking campaign contributions and using them for his personal benefit. Hammon is serving three months for that crime in an Indiana federal prison. His plea deal opened the door for further investigation, which has led to the most recent charges against Williams, Connors, and Gilbert.

Rep. Jack Williams
Rep. Jack Williams, R-Vestavia, left, talks with Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn during their session at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday, March 20, 2012.Featured image credit: Dave Martin AP Images

Gilbert, who resides and runs his business in California, has been charged with interstate travel in aid of racketeering in addition to wire fraud and healthcare fraud. But each of these three men may serve up to 20 years in federal prison if found guilty of the charges against them.

Williams and Connors were arrested and taken to the U.S. Marshals holding unit in Montgomery, Alabama, on Monday. They were scheduled for a court appearance at 2 p.m. Williams retired from the state Legislature in March 2017 after serving for some 14 years. Before the arrest, Williams was a candidate for the District 5 Jefferson County Commissioner. That election will be held June 5, 2018.