Roberson and Joel Gilbert, a powerhouse lawyer with Balch & Bingham, had fought off environmental rules before. But for this campaign they needed a public face, someone with credibility both with the state government in Montgomery and the black communities in north Birmingham.

Someone who could persuade the people living on contaminated land to protest not the pollution, but the cleanup.

By early 2014, they had chosen Oliver L. Robinson Jr. (D), an African American state legislator and former University of Alabama at Birmingham basketball star. Read the entire story.