Testifying at the end of the day, Sayler answered the questions slowly and deliberately. Sayler's testimony contradict's claims by Langford that he and other commissioners had no idea whether some of the derivative transactions, known as bond swaps, were good or bad for the county. Langford has said under oath that he depended on Sayler and financial advisor Norm Davis to tell him if the deals were good or bad.
Langford is on trial on corruption charges related to those transactions. Prosecutors say that Langford took bribes from investment banker Bill Blount and lobbyist Al LaPierre to direct $7 million of that business to Blount's firm, Blount-Parrish & Co.
While Sayler testified, Langford appeared sullen and even angry. Langford stared at Sayler during the testimony, but afterward Langford would not look at Sayler.
Sayler currently serves as finance director for the City of Birmingham, a job Langford appointed him to after being elected mayor.
The court recessed until Wednesday morning before Sayler's direct examination was complete.
There is reason to believe Sayler's testimony is just beginning. While finance director at Jefferson County, Sayler accompanied Langford and other commissioners on trips to New York to meet with Wall Street investment bankers. On those trips, Langford and at least one other commissioner spent most of their time shopping. Emails between Blount, Sayler and JP Morgan banker Charles LeCroy indicate that Sayler has some direct knowledge of what transpired on these trips.
His testimony will resume Wednesday morning.
Earlier in the day, the court heard testimony from two Birmingham clothiers about Langford's spending habits and debts at their stores.
Richard Pizitz Jr. recounted to the court how Langford had rung up a store debt of more than $45,000 at his family's store, Gus Mayer. At one point, the store had to sue Langford to make him pay his debt. That debt was paid shortly after Langford took out a $50,000 loan from Colonial Bank.
Despite having taken Langford to court, the store continued to let Langford have an account there. The current balanced owed to the store is more than $10,000, and the account is currently on hold, Pizitz said.
Despite the debt, Langford had been in the store to purchase several suits within the last two months, Pizitz said. According to his testimony, suits at the store typically cost more than $1,000. Langford paid with cash, he said.
During the testimony, Langford tugged on his lawyer's coat sleeve and whispered in his ear. The defense then asked Pizitz if the suits had been on sale for $399. Pizitz said that would surprise him if true.
About two months ago, a federal magistrate declared Langford indigent and unable to pay for his own defense. Currently, taxpayers are paying for Langford's defense.
Another clothier, Remon Danforah, testified that Langford first came to his store with investment Blount and LaPierre. LaPierre told Danforah that he and Blount would pay for Langford's purchases there.
According to Danforah, Langford bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothes at his store.
Defense attorneys argued that Danforah was double-billing Blount and LaPierre for purchases Langford had already paid for, but Danforah denied the allegation.
According to prosecution witnesses, Blount and LaPierre also helped Langford with other debts.
Karen Cope-Hughes, a former credit officer at Colonial Bank, testified that she had a romantic relationship with Blount between 2000 and 2005. During that time, Blount asked her to approve a $50,000 loan to Langford. When that loan went unpaid, LaPierre took out a loan at the same bank and paid Langford's debt.
Blount asked Cope's help a second time, trying to get Langford a $75,000 loan, but that request was denied after bank officials were reluctant to take the risk.
Court resumes Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.