Monday, November 30, 2009

Secret Hearings

While most of us were enjoying Thangsgiving dinner, Nicholas Slatten of Tennessee (pictured, right) is fighting for his freedom. Unfortunately, Slatten is one of five Blackwater security guards who allegedly participated in the Baghdad, Iraq massacre in 2007

This year the Rove Republican Racket had to drop charges against Slatten because of the lack of evidence.

However, in recent secret hearings and a filing two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Justice wants to re-open the case against Slatten.

According to the Associated Press:

The recent secret hearings focused on whether statements some of the guards gave to the State Department after the killings in Baghdad under a grant of immunity tainted the government's subsequent criminal case. U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina has yet to rule. In its court filing Wednesday, Slatten's defense team called the U.S. government's handling of the charges against Slatten "a disturbing case of prosecutorial misconduct, undermining the integrity of the judicial process."

The case against Slatten became untenable, not merely because of a fundamental lack of evidence against him, but also because the trial team repeatedly mischaracterized the testimony of witnesses and excluded evidence that ran in Slatten's favor from the grand jury that indicted him, Slatten's lawyers wrote in asking for a public hearing before the judge. "The collapse of the government's case against Mr. Slatten should be as public as the baseless allegations against him," Slatten's lawyers added. "He should not be required to endure the government's repeated public mischaracterization of the evidence while non-public proceedings tell a very different story."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Buckeye Turkeys

Firstly, we would like to wish our readers a Happy Thanksgiving.

In honor of this holiday, we have a news story about two Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers who were fired recently for being real "turkeys."

From yesterday's Cincinnati  Enquirer:

Drunken behavior off-duty in Clermont County got two Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers fired....Lonnie M. Butler, a trooper for about two years, and Joshua N. Baker, a trooper for about three years, were both terminated after the investigation of an Aug. 5 disturbance at the Cheeseburger In Paradise restaurant on Eastgate North Drive in Clermont's Union Township.

"Trooper Baker took it upon himself to take a pineapple from a restaurant fruit basket and cut it up on the bar, making a mess of the bar and causing several cuts to the plastic bar surface," a report says. Butler grew indignant when his buddy, Baker, was confronted about the mess.

The bar manager asked them to leave. "When the manager threatened to call the police, Butler challenged him to do so, announcing that he and Baker were both the police and that the police would not do anything," the report says.

The men, both 30 years old, left when they realized police were on the way, the report says. When Baker and Butler met with Union Township police who were investigating the bar's report of disorderly conduct and criminal damaging, Butler again grew indignant and used profanity when talking to the Union Township officers, the report says, attracting attention of neighbors around Butler's home.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

California Travesty

In California, a gang of correction officers won an appeal to be reinstated after being fired for an alleged beating scandal.

According to Sunday's Monterey County Herald:
A state appeals board has ordered reinstatement of eight correctional officers who were fired from Salinas Valley State Prison in the wake of revelations about a rogue gang of guards known as the Green Wall.  The state Personnel Board ruled last week there was insufficient evidence to support allegations that the officers stood by or helped beat up an inmate during an unauthorized "extraction" from a caged exercise yard.  A spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said her agency and the state Attorney General's Office will consider appealing the decision.
So who is to blame in this fiasco, this travesty of justice? Foot soldiers of the Rove Republican Racket who ignored requests for an investigation.

According to the local warden, the FBI and his office contacted the U.S. Attorney's Office

Edward Caden, the former warden of Salinas Valley State Prison who initiated the investigation and who later testified regarding the Green Wall, was appalled at the board's decision. He said the case was mismanaged by the CDCR, which assigned at least three different attorneys to handle the case during its pendency. Caden said he and the FBI also tried to get the U.S. Attorney's Office to prosecute the case, to no avail. "This is just an absolute travesty. This sends a clear message" to both honest and dishonest correctional officers, said Caden, now a Sacramento-area attorney. "If you commit a crime under the color of authority and stick together and keep your mouths shut, no one can do anything."
Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Joseph P. Russoniello (pictured)allegedly did nothing and let this travesty occur.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Endgame in Alabama

From 2001 through 2009, the Rove-Bush-Cheney Administration and left-over members of the Rove Republican Racket have successfully targeted leading political operatives across the country for political crimes against the state.

From Pierce O'Donnell in Los Angeles to Jim Tobin in Maine, politicians have been dragged through a deep puddle of vengence with a strong stench of injustice by U.S. Attorneys.

So what is the endgame? In other words, what pieces are left after all this turmoil?

In Alabama, the question has been answered. From the Associated Press:

The Alabama Republican Party has a new campaign video filled with lots of Democrats — the convicted kind. State Republican Party officials unveiled a video Tuesday that they plan to use in campaign ads and online during the campaign for the 2010 legislative elections as they push for GOP majorities in the House and Senate, which Democrats have controlled for more than a century.

The video includes images of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman; former state Reps. Bryant Melton and Sue Schmitz; former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford; former Democratic Party chairman Bill Blount; former Democratic Party executive director Al LaPierre; former state two-year-college chancellor Roy Johnson; and former state Sen. E.B. McClain. All are Democrats, and all have been convicted or pleaded guilty to government corruption charges.

The sound of jail doors closing can be heard in the background of the video, which then shows screens with the words “Alabama Democratic Party leaders. Scandal, corruption, crime.”

Friday, November 20, 2009

Extra Well-Done Grilling in the Silicon Valley

In the posting, we quoted from the San Jose Mercury News that in Santa Clara County, home of the Silicon Valley, only one prosecutor has been held accountable for misconduct, a Mr. Ben Field.

Now comes news that Field is appealing his four-year suspension before the State Bar of  California. Fortunately, the review panel grilled Field's lawyer extra well-done on Wednesday.

The Mercury News writes:
Former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field on Wednesday took his fight to clear his disciplinary record to a State Bar of California appellate panel, but he ran into a tough inquiry from judges who sent strong signals they believe his four-year suspension for misconduct may not be harsh enough.

During an hourlong hearing, Field's lawyer, Allen Ruby, encountered generally hostile questioning from the three-judge appellate review panel, which is considering the former prosecutor's bid to overturn a ruling last summer that suspended his law license for four years "because he abused his prosecutorial power" in a series of cases over a decade.

At least two of the judges, Presiding Judge Joann Remke and Judge Judith Epstein, grilled State Bar prosecutor Donald Steedman on why his office didn't seek to permanently strip Field of his law license, given the argument at trial that he'd repeatedly violated ethical rules and the constitutional rights of defendants in criminal cases.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Important Question from Mississippi

On Sunday night, the Greenwood (Mississippi) Commonwealth newspaper's editorial asked, "Why isn't Peters facing prison, too?"

Ed Peters is the corrupt DA from Mississippi who we affectionately call the "Pied Piper." Pied Piper Peters plays a tune so wonderfully that he worked out a sweet immunity deal with disgraced and embattled U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee of the Northern District of Mississippi. The immunity deal has been sealed tight and the U.S. Department of Justice won't provide details.

The Commonwealth correctly opines:
Why has Ed Peters, who was hired by [Richard] Scruggs and his friends to try to bribe [Judge Bobby] DeLaughter, gotten off so lightly? It was Peters who federal prosecutors say dangled the poisoned fruit -- a lifetime judicial appointment in exchange for a favorable ruling in a multimillion-dollar dispute over legal fees -- in front of DeLaughter. It was Peters who was the go-between, ferrying messages and documents between the judge and the Scruggs team. Yet, the former Hinds County district attorney has been able to skirt prosecution by turning on his onetime protegĂ©. Peters’ only penalty, other than losing his law license, was giving back what was left of the $1 million the Scruggs team had paid him.

“I find it rather odd that the man who got $1 million is out fishing, and Bobby DeLaughter is going to prison,” [DeLaughter's lawyer] said. “At least in Chicago we chase the money.”

So have federal prosecutors in Mississippi, except when it comes to Peters. So far, six plaintiffs’ attorneys, three state judges and a former state auditor have drawn prison time in three judicial bribery cases -- some of them for misdeeds that were a lot less culpable than Peters’.

Why did he get such a sweet deal? That’s a question the feds have yet to answer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Alaska Debacle Continues

The Rove Republican Racket is getting slapped around again.

Earlier this year, the Racket was slapped around for witholding evidence in regards to the case (and eventual conviction) against former Alaska U.S. Senator Ted Stevens. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder voided the convictions and withdrew the charges due to prosecutorial misconduct on April 1.

In June, we reported how the two federal prosecutors who withheld evidence of a star witness in the case were reassigned.

Now a related case is making headlines. From today's Alaska Dispatch:

Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys faced off in federal court Tuesday in an attempt to win the mind of the judge who will decide whether the corruption convictions against Pete Kott should be thrown out. The former Alaska representative, convicted of bribery, extortion and conspiracy in September 2007, was freed from prison in June pending a review of withheld evidence that his lawyer claims seriously discredits Bill Allen, the feds' star witness.

Specifically, the newly discovered evidence counters Allen's own statements that the transactions were bribes to keep Kott as a well-greased political ally, [Kott's lawyer]claims. The government had documents and interviews that showed Allen at times had made statements that Kott didn't extort the oilman, but that Allen gave Kott money out of friendship and as a bonus for the flooring work.There is also the matter of whether Allen had motivation to cooperate with the government out of fear that his alleged sexual indiscretions with prostitutes and minors -- which resulted in police investigations but no charges against Allen -- might come to light. McCloud argues these allegations were strong motivators for Allen to cooperate with the government, and Kott's defense team should have been allowed to question Allen about them at trial.
Looks like the Rove Racket took a heavy gamble on Allen and is losing on all bets held. Bill Allen was sentenced last month to three years in federal prison for bribery.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Goodbye Mary Beth!

Today, another queen of the Rove Republican Racket leaves office, U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Pennsylvania, Mary Beth Buchanan.

She enjoyed political witch hunting and will always be remembered for jailing Tommy Chong of "Cheech and Chong" fame for selling bongs...excuse us, water pipes. By jailing him for nine months, her reputation went "Up in Smoke."

Main Justice reminds us of how political she was:
[Regarding the] unsuccessful prosecution of former Allegheny County medical examiner Cyril Wecht. Her office dismissed all charges against the Democratic defendant after a federal judge threw out evidence that he ruled was improperly obtained. Wecht’s supporters accused Buchanan of targeting him because of his politics. Former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh asked Attorney General Eric Holder to discipline Buchanan for “vindictively” suggesting at a news conference that Wecht was guilty....
Good-bye and good riddance!

Monday, November 16, 2009

What was Indiana's U.S. Attorney Morrison After?

On Saturday, we posted a story about the erupting controversy surrounding U.S. Attorney Timothy M. Morrison of the Southern District of Indiana. In January, this left-over from the Rove Republican Racket issued a subpoena to an independent news site,, and demanded a list and identifying information of all the individuals who had visited the website on June 25, 2008.

On top of that, Morrison demanded that the website remain silent on the matter --a gag order. The subpoena, which was illegally issued, was eventually withdrawn.

What is still not known is what Morrison and his staff were looking for in their fishing expedition that violated U.S. Department of Justice rules. CBS News writes:

Still unclear is what criminal investigation U.S. Attorney Morrison was pursuing. Last Friday, a spokeswoman initially promised a response, but Morrison sent e-mail on Monday evening saying: "We have no comment." The Justice Department in Washington, D.C. also declined to respond.
We decided to do a search of that specific date and we have found two possible issues related to that date on the website: a New York rights organization blasting the Anti-Defamation League or an item we think would be in Morrison's backyard, the protesting and blocking of the construction of Interstate 69 near Evansville, Indiana.

A link sent us to another independent  news website that discusses this event which occured (you can guess it) on Wednesday, June 25, 2008:
Protesters arrived at Gohmann Asphalt’s construction yard in Haubstadt, IN at 10 AM Wednesday morning. While one individual stopped a truck leaving the site, others deflated the tires, immobilizing the vehicle. Four individuals locked themselves to the undercarriage beneath the truck, and yet another climbed on top and locked his neck to a bar that was fixed to the trailer. Within minutes a long line of trucks stretched down the road, some trying to enter the facility and several trying to exit. As the lines grew longer, supporters arrived and began chanting, holding banners, and supporting those locked on with water and food.
We believe that Morrison either was targeting those protesters involved, looking for the persons who posted the photo dated June 25, 2008 (right), or targeting the asphalt company.

Gohmann Asphalt and Construction has a shady and spotted past.

Interestingly, John R. Gohmann, CEO and Vice-Chairman of the asphalt firm, gave over $10,000 in campaign contributions to Rove Republicans during the 2008 calendar year according to the website Is there a link?

Morrison, who violated DOJ rules for unknown reasons, should be held accountable and forced to answer the question publicly about what he was after this past January.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Improper Search and Silence in Indiana

The Rove Republican Racket has left a trail of misconduct and now comes published reports that the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Indiana attempted to obtain detailed information about the readers of an independent news website in Indiana this past January and directed the company that operates the site to keep silent.

These actions clearly violate DOJ policy, privacy issues, and first amendment rights.

From an article published yesterday on the Fox News Site:

Kristina Clair, systems administrator for, said she was shocked when she received a subpoena from U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis in January demanding the IP address of every person who visited the site on June 25, 2008. She said she was also instructed "not to disclose the existence of this request unless authorized by the Assistant U.S. Attorney." Clair said she was astonished by the demand. "It's a purely aggregate site, it only pulls data from other Indymedia feeds," she told "There's no information fed to the site directly." When she contacted the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a legal advocacy group for digital freedom, she was told the subpoena was riddled with problems.

"Not only was this request a plain violation of federal privacy law -- which would require the government to at least get a court order based on a factual showing to get that kind of data; not only did it violate Department of Justice regulations that require subpoenas to media organizations to be vetted by the attorney general; not only did it threaten the First Amendment right to read anonymously of all of Indymedia's users, it also violated Ms. Clair's First Amendment rights by ordering her not to disclose the subpoena's existence," EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston told
According to Fox News, the subpoena was later withdrawn.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Walking Away Unscathed in California

In Santa Clara County, California, home of the Silicon Valley, prosecutorial misconduct has cost the county a whopping $5 million in settlements since 2005, according to a guest opinion column in the San Jose Mercury News this past Wednesday.

The cost has been enormous and the Mercury News column noted some examples:
Last month, the county authorized paying $750,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Donna Auguste, whose Colorado home was illegally searched by police six years ago. Earlier this year, the county forked over $1 million to settle a lawsuit alleging, in part, prosecutorial misconduct brought by Jeffrey Rodriguez, who was wrongfully convicted and released after five years in prison. Two years ago, the county settled a similar suit brought by Rick Walker, who served 12 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Santa Clara County paid $1.3 million in taxpayer dollars on top of $1.45 million paid by the county's insurance carrier.
But what is more disturbing is the following:
Remarkably, not a single prosecutor [in Santa Clara County] faced discipline in these prosecutions, with the exception of Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field. Field, who orchestrated the illegal search in the Auguste case and whose multiple prosecutorial misdeeds have been exposed by the Mercury News, has been ordered to surrender his law license for four years.
The authors go on to note that the problem is not limited to just Santa Clara County, but throughout the Golden State:
Perhaps most significant is the immeasurable cost and risk to society of having the real perpetrators still out there. Prosecutors rarely suffer personal consequences for engaging in misconduct. They have absolute immunity for their official conduct as advocates, and when acting as investigators, they can be held liable for their misconduct only if it violates the law. A recent study by the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice examined California appellate court rulings and found that during the ten year period ending in 2007, prosecutors committed misconduct in 444 cases, yet only two were disciplined. Thirty of them committed misconduct more than once. Two of them did it three times. Virtually all of these prosecutors walked away unscathed.
Across the nation, the Rove Republican Racket engaged in prosecutorial misconduct through the 93 U.S. Attorney offices to target political enemies or prominent Democrats. The cost has been enormous and the toll on these innocent political victims cannot be measured. What is angering to us is these prosecutors have "absolute immunity," know it, and most likely will get away with it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Three Questions for Tom Dawson

Members of the Rove Republican Racket have screwed up in possibly one of the worst cases of prosecutorial misconduct. And now they don't know what to do as the hole gets bigger and bigger.

One of them is former Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Dawson who, according to the Main Justice website, was discussing writing the book in the summer of 2008 when he was still a federal prosecutor with the other co-author, a right-wing Republican blogger, Alan Lange.

The political irony is that the book is about prominent Democrats and trial lawyers who were prosecuted by Dawson.

Many believe this was a serious breach of ethics and blatant prosecutorial misconduct especially since Dawson was actively involved in pending investigations related to the original cases and appeared to have a bias in favor of Republicans.

Last week, we posted two posts. One was about Dawson's two contracts: the book contract and a secret employment contract Dawson obtained from the U.S. Attorney just days after he had retired. The other was an expose about how Dawson had been a protege of Kenneth Starr during the Whitewater Investigation of President Bill Clinton.

Then, to our surprise, Alan Lange, the Republican right-wing blogger who has written the book with  Dawson, contacted us by email. 

Lange wrote:
 "I'd like to visit with you about your latest post. You have some completely erroneous information on your post that I'd like to help you clean up."
What a generous blogger!

When we asked, what was exactly erroneous with our two posts, Lange replied:
You stated in your posts that Tom (a) had a contract to work on a book while still a DOJ employee and (b) actually did do work on the book while still a DOJ employee. Both are absolutely false. I'd ask that you to correct that immediately in all posts on your site and cease printing maliciously inaccurate information.
Lange went on to quote three different parts of our posts and claimed our allegations were untrue or our time frame was way off. The three quotes were interestingly all about Tom Dawson.

We replied with three follow-up questions:

Our intent is never to maliciously or intentionally post information that is wrong. To make sure we are understanding one another before we make any editorial changes, we have three follow-up questions based on your email:

[1.] So what you are saying is that you and Dawson didn't discuss the possibility of writing a book last year at the Ole Miss football game, correct?

[2.] When did you and Dawson begin discussing the possibility of writing a book and what date did you both agree to proceed with the project?

[3.] In addition, are you saying unequivocally that Dawson never planned, outlined, or wrote any part of the book while serving as an AUSA or paid consultant for the USA?
What was Lange's reply?

"I don't answer questions from people I don't know."

Wait a minute? Didn't Lange contact us? So, we replied:
You certainly answered our emails before. Now that we wanted to [understand] the whole truth, you don't answer questions. We do not know you either.
So what is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us God?

Tom Dawson has an ethical and moral responsibility to the U.S. Department of Justice and citizens of the Northern District of Mississippi to answer those three questions. Dawson and company should be prepared for the most intrusive investigation of prosecutorial misconduct in recent times.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Weiner Conspiracy

The case against Dr. Roger Weiner (pictured) was formally dismissed by Federal District Judge Neal Biggers on Monday.

It was a dismal failure for embattled and disgraced U.S. Attorney of Northern Mississippi Jim Greenlee, a pillar in the Rove Republican Racket, who at one point dropped the ball on this same case 27 times.

Greenlee has been in the news lately for offering a secret employment contract to Ken Starr's protege and targeting convenience store owners based on their "Islamic sounding names."

In this debacle, Weiner had been charged with interstate prostitution charges where no interstate or federal crime occurred.  He was prosecuted under the infamous Mann Act which historically has been used for political or racially inspired prosecutions. Besides being a cardiologist, Weiner serves as a County Supervisor in Coahoma County, Mississippi.

And now the federal judge in the Weiner case lays out a stunning conspiracy in his dismissal order:
The court is aware from arguments and briefs submitted to the court that Dr. Weiner has acted as a strong advocate for quality healthcare in Clarksdale and the surrounding area. As part of this advocacy, Dr. Weiner has been an outspoken critic of the health care organization which manages the local hospital there – a publicly-held company which Dr. Weiner holds responsible for various deficiencies in the provision of healthcare at the hospital. As a result of his criticism, Dr. Weiner is apparently not in good favor with that company as evidenced by statements such as that made by an agent of the company, a former hospital administrator in Clarksdale, who defense counsel advise allegedly stated prior to Dr. Weiner’s arrest that the corporation was “going to get Dr. Weiner out of there even if it had to do it in handcuffs” (or words to that effect). An e-mail from this same administrator reveals his reaction to the arrest of Dr. Weiner. When advised that Dr. Weiner’s office computer was searched, that the search revealed that Dr. Weiner communicated with persons he thought were women visiting the SugarDaddyForMe website, and that information was taken which, inter alia, led to the indictment herein, the administrator responded in an e-mail, “Alright!!!!!!” The court is also advised that another official in this management company with whom Dr. Weiner has had numerous conflicts is a retired veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The court is further advised that receives thousands of hits a day; yet, according to the information from defense counsel herein, the government has prosecuted not one other individual besides Dr. Weiner for an alleged Mann Act violation accomplished via this website.
We hope Weiner and his legal team file for Hyde Act sanctions and get all defense fees refunded by the federal government. In addition, they should request internal investigations at the FBI and Greenlee's office by approaching the Office of Professional Responsibilty at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Read the full dismissal order here from the North Mississippi Commentor website.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Crashing End in Michigan

Carl Gabrielse (pictured) was the ideal Rove Republican Racket prosecutor who one day could have been a U.S. Attorney. He was a deputy city prosecutor in Holland, Michigan--the conservative, Republican, and western side of the Great Lakes State.

He sits on the board of the Good Samaritan Ministries which coordinates community services and ministry training among Christian churches. He is married with three children and is a youthful 30-years of age.

On Friday, his life fell apart.

He was fired for allegedly throwing in an extra condition for reducing a drunk driving charge to impaired driving.  A plea deal allegation that shook Holland. Disgraced, Gabrielse was even removed as a guest speaker for the Holland Christian Schools Career Day events later this month.

From yesterday's The Grand Rapids Press:
A deputy city attorney, who is being investigated for reducing a woman's drunken driving offense in exchange for sex inside a jury room, has been fired, City Attorney Andrew Mulder said. Carl Gabrielse, 30, was terminated Friday from the Holland law firm, Cunningham Dalman, a day after it was notified of a probe by Holland police and Ottawa County sheriff's detectives into the alleged misconduct. Gabrielse, who could not be reached for comment, has not been arrested or charged with a crime. A source close to the investigation told The Press that Gabrielse met with the woman defendant at a pre-trial conference and that she had sex with him as part of a plea deal.
And today, his friends and neighbors chimed in:
Those who know deputy Holland City Attorney Carl Gabrielse call allegations against him of sexual and professional misconduct unbelievable. "We were all shocked," said Ottawa County defense attorney Donald Hann. "We cannot believe it, because he seemed to be such an intelligent person." Hann ran into Gabrielse frequently in Holland District Court as part of their duties. "This is a good way to have your career come to a crashing end," Hann said. Gabrielse, 30, was terminated from his job Friday at the Cunningham Dalman, P.C., law firm after allegations surfaced he offered to reduce a 21-year-old Zeeland woman's drunken-driving offense in exchange for sex.
 Read  yesterday's full article here  and today's full article here

Monday, November 9, 2009

Deliberate Prosecutorial Misconduct in Northern California

Greg Reyes, former CEO of Silicon Valley's Brocade, was targeted and convicted by members of the Rove Republican Racket in 2007 for stock-option backdating.

Reyes (pictured) appealed the ten count verdict due to prosecutorial misconduct. This summer the appeals court threw out the convictions due to deliberate prosecutorial misconduct.

Then the federal government tried to get the court to strike the word "deliberate."

What happened next? From last week's Legal Pad of Cal Law:

Federal prosecutors just got their second punch in the gut over the Greg Reyes backdating case: the Ninth Circuit has explicitly refused to back away from a finding that the government committed deliberate misconduct during trial.

Reyes’ securities fraud convictions had been the Northern District [of California]’s highest-profile success in the war against stock-option backdating, because Reyes had been CEO of [Silicon] Valley darling Brocade. But over the summer an appellate panel threw out those verdicts, finding that AUSAs Tim Crudo and Adam Reeves misled the jury by stating that Brocade finance department didn’t know anything about backdating at the company. In fact, it did.

In the aftermath of that opinion, the government didn’t ask that the court reinstate the convictions. Rather, it just asked that it eliminate any judgment that Reeves and Crudo acted deliberately. This is a big deal in Justice Department-land: a deliberate misconduct finding triggers an investigation from DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which falls somewhere between root canal and colonoscopy on a federal prosecutor’s list of preferred procedures.

[On Friday] the court issued an amended order, but it only made a factual change; it didn’t strike the word deliberate. A U.S. attorney spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email, nor did Crudo, who has since returned to a Latham & Watkins partnership.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Going to Jail in Alabama?

Former Democratic State Representative of Alabama Sue Schmitz (pictured) was targeted by the Rove Republican Racket in 2008. In our previous posting about Schmitz, we told you how former U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin tried her twice for a bogus crime.

Schmitz worked for a not-for-profit and since her position was funded by federal dollars, Martin, the Queen of the Rove Republican Racket, took the opportunity to scrutinize Schmitz's work and throw her behind bars.

Her crime? Not sitting behind a desk, using a computer, or working a full 40 hours a week. Smells like that dishonest "honest services" crime!

No one would really give a damn if Schmitz were non-political and if the position had been funded by private donations.

Last month, a federal judge ordered Schmitz to prison on December 4. She was sentenced to two years in the big house. Now Schmitz is appealing that decision as she also appeals the entire case.

We believe this is one of the worst examples of political persecutions by the Rove-Bush machine and hope she prevails.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Only God can Save the Innocent

Although we have seen examples of prosecutorial misconduct by the Rove Republican Racket based on political vengence and opportunism, one experienced law enforcement officer writes that much of the cases surrounding prosecutorial misconduct arise out of shoddy investigations and unreliable eyewitnesses.

Sunil Dutta (pictured) is a lieutenant in the Los Angeles Police Department. He also holds a PhD and entered the police force after working as a scientist and researcher.

In an opinion piece for the Christian Science Monitor, Dutta writes:

Major harm could result from our reliance on two very fallible tools: eyewitnesses and shoddy forensic science.  Consider a recent example: On Feb. 17, 2004, Texas executed Cameron Todd Willingham for the arson deaths of his three daughters. In September, an investigative article in The New Yorker revealed that Mr. Willingham was innocent. It sparked a series of investigations that found he was the victim of shoddy crime scene investigation and outdated theories.
In 2006, when the Rove-Bush-Cheney administration fired nine U.S. Attorneys, the political masters struck the drums: go after Democratic fundraisers, Democratic boosters, Democratic political operatives, and Democratic governors.

Although Dutta writes of police departments, his observations can be applied to U.S. Attorney offices during the Rove years:

Aside from the fallibility of eyewitnesses, our political model of control over the police can lead to inadvertent mistakes. Municipal police departments dance to the tune of their political masters who thrive on the constant drumbeat of "tough on crime" rhetoric. The only evidence that police can measure to tout our tough-on-crime rhetoric is increasing the number of arrests and reducing crime rates.

This pressure to be productive, the lack of personnel and time, and the desire to wrap up an incident, combined with the unreliability of eyewitnesses, increases the odds that an innocent person may be arrested, or worse, convicted. Add to this our system that rates prosecutorial performance on conviction rates and we are on a slippery slope. And when corrupt prosecutors who present false evidence, even in death penalty cases, such as the now disbarred Arizona prosecutor Kenneth Peasley, enter the mix, only God can save the innocent.
It is obvious that the political pressure to be "tough on corruption" by the Rove-Bush Administration led many U.S. Attorney offices to target innocent Democrats and to expand the use of the dishonest "honest services" statute.

Read the full column here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Iowa Immunity

A horrific example of prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa has now become a major legal debate before the U.S. Supreme Court.

From California to Wisconsin to Puerto Rico, the Rove Republican Racket's legion of U.S. Attorneys engaged regularly in prosecutorial misconduct to put political opponents in jail or falsely charge them with bogus crimes.

Yesterday, the nation's highest court heard the arguments on whether or not prosecutors who engaged in prosecutorial misconduct should be immune to lawsuits by their victims.

The Associated Press writes:

[U.S. Supreme Court justices] seemed frustrated at the thought that prosecutors could knowingly send an innocent person to prison — and then escape any repercussion by claiming that they were doing their job. The case in front of the high court involves two former Pottawattamie County, Iowa, prosecutors, Attorney Dave Richter and his assistant Joseph Hrvol. They are being sued by Curtis W. McGhee Jr., and Terry Harrington, who were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1978 for the death of retired police officer John Schweer. The men were released from prison after 25 years.

Evidence showed the prosecutors had failed to share evidence that pointed to another man, Charles Gates, as a possible suspect in Schweer's slaying. They later on denied that Gates was even a suspect, even though witnesses placed him near the scene of the crime and his name appeared in several police reports. He also was administered and failed a polygraph test and the prosecutors themselves even consulted an astrologer about their suspicions of Gates.

McGhee and Harrington filed lawsuits against the former prosecutors, saying as prosecutors Richter and Hrvol had them arrested without probable cause, coerced and coached witnesses, fabricated evidence against them and concealed evidence that could have cleared them. Richter and Hrvol argued, however, that they were immune from lawsuits because they were acting within the scope of their job. Federal courts, however, said the immunity did not extend to their work before the trial began and rejected their motions to dismiss the lawsuits.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Secret Contract for Ken Starr's Protege

On Monday, we wrote how a former Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Dawson from Mississippi discussed writing a book with a right-wing, Republican blogger in the summer of 2008 while still serving as a federal prosecutor, according to the website Main Justice

The book, not surprisingly, is about the prosecution and jailing of prominent Democratic boosters and trial lawyers. Dawson also obtained a secret six-month contract from embattled U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee a few days after retiring in January of this year.

So who is Tom Dawson?

We found this flattering introduction from a CNN transcript dated February 5, 1998:

"Let me introduce Tom Dawson, who will be representing the United States as first chair in the trial. Mr. Dawson is a career prosecutor. He's an assistant United States attorney from Oxford, Mississippi, for the District of Mississippi, has tried many cases -- a variety of trials over many years. He has also served in the Justice Department in the criminal division, is one of the Department of Justice's most experienced senior career prosecutors. "

And who was introducing him? None other than the illustrious Kenneth Starr, then the Independent Counsel of the Whitewater and Lewinsky scandals. 

In 1998, Dawson was one of the lead trial attorneys in the Whitewater controversy.  Dawson was part of the legal team that targeted and failed to prosecute the President of the United States Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton in relationship to an obscure land deal.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cracker Jacks in South Carolina

In South Carolina, three men indicted and accused of ripping off 7,000 investors of $82 million had their day in court.

According to The State:

We wonder if U.S. Attorney William Walter Wilkins II (pictured) of the Rove Republican Racket will have an appropriate response to the obviously absurd.
On Monday, the three men, on their own, filed an answer to the indictment that said the government's case is fraudulent because they are not citizens of the country. Instead, they are ancestors of people who lived in what's now the United State before the European colonists arrived.The men also said since they have not damaged the plaintiff in the case, the United States of America, federal prosecutors have "failed in their duties" to protect the constitution. They also accuse the U.S. attorney's office in South Carolina of 83 "unlawful actions," including racketeering, armed assault, theft of public funds, treason and failing to prevent apartheid and genocide. The actions are punishable with fines from $250,000 to $2 million each, they wrote. "We Declare the vicious lies, fraudulent accusations, and unlawful assertions made by the invading parties on Ancestral lands to be without any merit," they wrote.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Two Contracts in Mississippi

Disgraced U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee of the Northern District of Mississippi, who ethnically targeted "Islamic-name sounding" convenience store owners and fumbled the ball 27 times in a high profile criminal prostitution case, has won the ultimate prize: political stupidity.

According to Main Justice, in January, Greenlee signed off on rewarding former Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Dawson with a six-month, secret contract only days after he retired.

Some months beforehand, as early as the summer of 2008, while attending an Ole Miss football game, Dawson also met with Republican blogger Alan Lange of Y'All Politics, according to a local Oxford, Mississippi newspaper. (These are the two authors we told you about last week who are cashing in and seeing green.)

According to Main Justice, at some point in the summer of 2008, Dawson, who was still an Assistant U.S. Attorney, discussed the book project with Lange. Then, at some undisclosed point in time, the two agreed to write a book and later signed a book contract.

What are they going to write about? The prosecution of Democratic Mississippi fund-raiser Paul Minor and those Mississippi Democratic trial lawyers and others involved in the Scruggs bribery cases.

And who was the lead prosecutor in those cases? Tom Dawson. Who appeared to be planning, outlining, and thinking about writing a book while still serving as an AUSA and/or USA consultant? Tom Dawson.

Main Justice writes:

The circumstances of Dawson’s employment with the Northern District of Mississippi office were unusual, raising questions about whether he may have skirted Justice Department ethics rules when he began discussing the book project with Lange last summer. Dawson officially retired on Jan. 2, after nearly 36 years as a prosecutor. But he returned to the office on Jan. 15 under contract, working part time behind the scenes on ongoing Scruggs-related investigations until early June.

“It wouldn’t be any conflict necessarily because it was only about two days a week,” [Dawson] said. “But just to remove any criticism of that, I decided to cease the contract.” According to the Justice Department, Dawson was a part-time consultant from Jan. 15 to June 7. His contract originally was to run through the end of June. Justice Department ethics rules advise employees wishing to undertake writing projects to be “cautious to avoid any conflict of interest with their position and to ensure that no interference with the performance of their official duties occurs.”
Looks like Dawson's conscience finally got to him!

Greenlee and his friends in the Rove Republican Racket have been attacked and criticized (including by this blog) for turning the U.S. Department of Justice into the political arm of the Republican Party and now there is proof in the pudding.

We hope Greenlee's irregular and secret contract to a moonlighting writer/active prosecutor--who was joined at the hip to a right-wing blogger a year ago--ignites renewed Congressional scrutiny and catches the ear of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.