Born in Florida, White earned his Bachelor's in marketing from Florida State University. Since moving to Jefferson County he has operated restaurants in Homewood, Tarrant and Hoover. He was elected to the Homewood City Council in 1980 and served three years before moving on to the Alabama House of Representatives, where he served from 1983 to 1990.
After leaving the legislature, White was elected to a seat on the Jefferson County Commission, which he served as president from 1998 to 2002. In his last term he forged a working relationship with commissioner Larry Langford, supporting him for Commission President.
On the Commission White led efforts to privatize county services as a money-saving venture. He claims that $6 million has been saved annually by leasing county-owned landfills to private operators. He also led the way toward restructuring the council into three-person committees, instituting a Citizen's Advisory Committee, and supported the establishment of a County Manager position to take over day to day administrative tasks. In 2006 he ran for a fifth term, but was defeated by Jim Carns.
On November 2, 2007 White was arrested on federal bribery charges stemming from his involvement in the Jefferson County sewer construction scandal during 2005 and 2006. Two of his fellow commissioners, Chris McNair and Jeff Germany, had already been convicted. White was found guilty of nine counts of conspiracy and bribery on January 10, 2008. He petitioned successfully for a new trial, arguing that the Montgomery venue was improper, but Judge U. W. Clemon's order for a new trial was overturned, and the original conviction upheld, by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. While awaiting trial, White took a job as manager of the Pell City Golden Rule Bar-B-Q.
In July 2010 Judge Scott Coogler sentenced white to serve 10 years in prison, pay $22,000 in restitution and forfeit another $22,000 to the United States. He is serving his sentence at the minimum security Federal Prison Camp at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.
|Alabama House of Representatives District 33
|Jefferson County Commission District 5
|President of the Jefferson County Commission
- Walton, Val (November 2, 2007) "Former Jeffco Commissioner Gary White indicted on federal charges." The Birmingham News
- Chandler, Kim (January 10, 2008) "Jury finds white guilty of all charges" [sic] The Birmingham News
- Archibald, John (April 20, 2008) "Golden Rule gives food for thought." The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent (July 29, 2010) "Former Jefferson County Commissioner Gary White sentenced to 10 years in prison." The Birmingham News
- Beahm, Anna (December 29, 2018) "After Langford, White remains the last in prison for Jefferson County sewer scandal." The Birmingham News