Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Michigan's Prosecutorial Sex Saga Continues

A right-wing,  Rove Republican, and conservative part of Michigan is still being rattled by the former Holland City Attorney's misconduct.

Last year,  we wrote about Carl Gabrielse (pictured) , the former Holland, Michigan City Attorney who reduced a drunk driving charge of a female defendant in exchange for sex in a courthouse jury room. In April, he was sentenced to six-months in jail for his outrageous and depraved misconduct.

Now, the rape victim is suing the City of Holland and Gabrielse. The Grand Rapid Press reports:

The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, alleges the 31-year-old Gabrielse committed assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It also claims the 23-year-old victim's constitutional rights were violated. Gabrielse, who offered the woman a plea deal in exchange for sex, was sentenced to six months in jail in April for third-degree criminal sexual conduct and misconduct in office.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Alleged Wife-Beating Suspect Goes on the Offense

Jim Cochran, the Chairman of Fair Finance, the Indianapolis company that allegedly duped and mismanaged $200 million from Ohio investors, is now trying to protect his reputation.

His partner and the CEO of Fair Finance, Timothy S. Durham, a big shot Rove Republican donor, has been saved from criminal prosecution by embattled U.S. Attorney Timothy M. Morrison of the Southern District of Indianapolis, another Rove Republican appointed by the Rove Bush Cheney Administration.

Cochran, who made headlines after being arrested for alleged domestic violence against his wife, (mug shot at left) has now gone on the offensive against Fair Finance's bankruptcy trustee.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports:

 Cochran, who’s ensnared in that same criminal investigation, lets it fly in response to allegations by Brian Bash, Fair’s bankruptcy trustee, that he and other insiders duped the investors, a largely blue-collar lot who purchased unsecured notes with interest rates as high as 9.5 percent.

Bash “utterly fails to identify even a single alleged misrepresentation made by Mr. Cochran,” Cochran’s attorneys said in a filing. Bash relies on “vague and conclusory allegations ... apparently adopting an alchemist’s strategy that repeating the word misrepresentation enough times will magically transform these allegations into a fraud claim.”

Bash counters in a court filing that he provided plenty of particulars to beat back Cochran’s motion to dismiss, especially given that the discovery process, which will unearth additional information, hasn’t begun.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Possible Vindication in Alabama?

Breaking News

A respected Democratic political leader and a former health care business owner who were scalped by the Rove Republican Racket are seeking vindication from the political persecution they suffered during the Rove Bush Cheney years. The Birmingham News reports tonight:
Former Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals today to toss out all charges against them, arguing that money Scrushy gave Siegelman's 1999 lottery campaign could not be considered a bribe. The U.S. Supreme Court in June sent the case back to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to review in the wake of a recent order from the high court limiting the use of the "honest services" fraud statute in public corruption cases.
The Supreme Court in a case involving disgraced Enron Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling curtailed prosecutors' use of the honest services fraud statute, saying it can be applied only in cases involving bribes or kickbacks. A jury convicted Scrushy and Siegelman on charges that Scrushy bribed Siegelman for a seat on the state Certificate of Need Review Board with $500,000 in contributions to Siegelman's lottery campaign.
Lawyers for Siegelman and Scrushy wrote in their court filings that there is a significant difference between giving money to someone personally and giving money to an issue advocacy campaign. "Siegelman was not paid anything. The prototypical bribe involves a pay-off," lawyers for Scrushy wrote. "The Eleventh Circuit should dismiss all charges against Governor Siegelman, based on Skilling. That would be the correct legal outcome, based on the law as the Supreme Court has explained it," Siegelman lawyer Sam Heldman said this evening.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Indiana Republicans Refuse to Refund Retirees

Embattled U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Indiana Timothy M. Morrison let his Republican pal, Timothy S. Durham, a once pompous Hoosier multimillionaire, skirt away after mismanaging over $200 million of investors' money, most of it from Ohio retirees.

Over $1 million  of the $54 million Durham loaned himself in the scheme went to Rove Republican campaign coffers in Indiana.

After being called on to refund the money, Republican have weasel-worded themselves out of refunding the money with legal gimmicks and double-speak.

The Associated Press reports:
Asheesh Agarwal, an attorney who represents Daniels' Mitch for [Indiana] Governor campaign committee and his Aiming Higher political action committee, said he stood by a statement last week that the organizations do not intend to refund money already spent. "Based on what we know now, it is not out of the question that some of the money could be returned, but we need to see more than a letter from an attorney," Agarwal said in the statement. "In fact, if a court finds wrongdoing, and these funds were the source, a refund of any remaining dollars would be appropriate."

Republican [Indiana] Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who received $11,000 in donations from Durham, said his campaign treasurer created a segregated account for the money. "The reason I did this was to balance my respect for our legal system's presumption of innocence with concerns from my role protecting consumers that there may be future actions that might possibly involve restitution to investors," Zoeller said in an e-mail. "I did receive a letter from the bankruptcy trustee but intend to continue to hold these funds until the U.S. Attorney's Office completes their investigation," Zoeller said.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FBI Agent Threatens FBI Agent

Our blog has repeatedly questioned the trustworthiness of some FBI agents, many of whom worked with the Rove Republican Racket to persecute political opponents.

The Associated Press reports from Dallas tonight a bizarre case showing how messed up J. Edgar Hoover's former bureau truly is:

The FBI says it has arrested one of its own Dallas agents and charged him with threatening a federal law enforcement officer. An FBI statement issued Wednesday says Special Agent Carlos Ortiz Jr. was arrested Wednesday at the bureau's office in Dallas. He faces a charge of threatening to assault or murder a federal law enforcement office on account of the performance of official duty. Robert Casey, the head of the Dallas FBI office, says Ortiz was fired after a personnel inquiry. The former agent is scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court in Dallas on Thursday. The FBI declined to discuss Ortiz's work history or the arrest. No attorney information was available from online federal court records, and a U.S. Attorney's spokeswoman in Dallas said she was unaware of the case and declined to comment.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Until Birotte Splits Us Up!

The Obama-appointed U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, Andre Birotte, Jr. loves headlines, especially headlines boasting about the awful work he and his crew are doing in Southern California.

In June, Birotte's office applauded the continued persecution of Pierce O'Donnell, a prominent Los Angeles Democrat targeted by the Rove Republican Racket, over some irregular campaign contributions made to John Edwards' failed presidential bid in 2004.

Earlier this year, Birotte looked like a complete buffoon when he tried to escalate the profile of a sushi restaurant that served endanged whale and boost his ever-growing ego. He was harpooned.

Now comes the most ridiculous news story yet! The Associated Press reports this afternoon:

A Mexican-born actress and her musician husband lied about their marriage to immigration officials so she could stay in the U.S., a federal prosecutor told prospective jurors Tuesday. In his opening statement, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney James Left showed a picture of Fernanda Romero  [pictured] and Kent Ross on their wedding day but said the appearance was deceptive. "There was a real ceremony but nothing else about it is real," Left said. "It was a sham marriage."

Romero, a singer, actress and model who has attained moderate fame in her homeland, and Ross, a musician and manager of a pizza delivery business, have each pleaded not guilty to charges of marriage fraud and making false statements. If convicted, they could each face a maximum prison sentence of five years. The couple sat next to each other wearing black suits and wedding rings on their left forefingers.
 And politicians are worried about Arizona? Shame on Andre! Shame on him!

Monday, August 23, 2010

"Immense Relief" in Kansas

The backlash against the Rove Republican Racket persecution of political opponents and its use of the broad Honest Services crime statute has come  now come to fruition.

In Kansas last Friday, just hours after Barry Grissom (pictured) a new, Obama appointed U.S. Attorney took office, the case against two men who have endured two-trials, a third one in the works, saw a seven-year nightmare come to an end. As readers recall, the dishonest "Honest Services" crime was severely narrowed by the U.S. Supreme Court this past June.

The Associated Press reports:
A federal judge Friday dismissed all charges against two former Westar Energy executives who were accused of looting the Kansas utility, granting a request by prosecutors that came just hours after the state's new U.S. attorney was sworn in. Former Westar chief executive David Wittig and his top strategy officer, Douglas Lake, were charged with conspiring to inflate their compensation from the Topeka-based company and taking steps to hide their actions. A third trial date for the men, who were forced out of Westar in late 2002, was pending. Their first trial ended in a hung jury and a conviction in their second was overturned.

"I credit the Justice Department for recognizing how flawed this case was," said Patrick McInerney, an attorney for Lake. McInerney said a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling narrowing the scope of the "honest services" law — which made it a crime to "deprive another of the intangible right to honest services" — crippled the government's case against Wittig and Lake. The high court's ruling in the case against former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling found that theft of honest services is only relevant in cases involving bribes and kickbacks.

Lake, 60, of New Canaan, Conn., and his family have been living with the charges for more than seven years. "It was an immense relief," McInerney said of his client's reaction upon learning of the motion to dismiss. "It vindicates him and what he has said since the very beginning of this that he is innocent. He committed no crime and at long last it has been recognized."