A federal grand jury Monday heard testimony from former Jefferson County officials in connection with the county’s bond transactions, according to the Birmingham News.
Mary Buckelew, who was a county commissioner from 1991 until 2006, and Steve Sayler, who was the county’s finance director from 1989 to 2007, appeared before the grand jury, the newspaper said in a report Tuesday.
Buckelew retired from public life following the end of her term in 2006. Sayler now is finance director for the city of Birmingham, the largest city in Jefferson County. Sayler was appointed to the city post by Mayor Larry Langford.
Langford stepped down from the County Commission and successfully ran for mayor, a post he assumed Nov. 13, 2007. He is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission along with several others in an alleged pay-to-play plot while Langford served as president of the Jefferson County Commission when numerous bond transactions and swaps were done.
The bond dealings largely involve the county’s sewer system, which has been in crisis mode since February because most of the $3.2 billion of debt is in variable- and auction-rate securities covered by out-of-synch swaps. For more than six months, the county has been trying to negotiate restructuring of the debt and possible termination of the swaps.