Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Lawyers for Richard Scrushy said in their closing statements of his civil trial the former HealthSouth Corp. chief executive was torpedoed by dishonest subordinates. Jim Parkman told Jefferson Circuit Judge Allwin Horn shareholders for the company put on witnesses who had already pleaded guilty to the fraud at the Birmingham-based company. "Bill Owens was the architect of the fraud," Parkman said, speaking of the the company's former chief financial officer, who is imprisoned after pleading guilty. "He has lied and lied." Parkman also said two witnesses -- former Scrushy bodyguard Jim Goodreau and former HealthSouth in-house lawyer Bill Horton -- gave testimony in Scrushy's favor. Goodreau, a former Alabama State Trooper, and Horton, a lawyer in good standing, should be believed over the five former CFOs who pleaded guilty and blame Scrushy, he said.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Richard M. Scrushy, former chairman and chief executive of HealthSouth Corp., said he had "no knowledge" of the $2.6 billion fraud that nearly destroyed the rehabilitation company he founded, in his first public testimony on the matter. Mr. Scrushy, who was acquitted of criminal charges related to the HealthSouth accounting scandal in 2005, took the witness stand Wednesday in the trial of a civil action against him by HealthSouth shareholders. The former CEO, who is serving a prison term in an unrelated case, didn't testify publicly during the five-month HealthSouth criminal trial. In Wednesday's testimony, the 56-year-old Mr. Scrushy sought repeatedly to distance himself from the five chief financial officers who served under him at HealthSouth, all of whom pleaded guilty in connection with the fraud. They have testified that Mr. Scrushy was complicit in systematically overstating HealthSouth's earnings in a scheme that spanned about six years. "I certainly had no knowledge of anything they were doing in terms of moving numbers around in the company," Mr. Scrushy testified Wednesday. The former CEO, who wore a dark-gray suit with a burgundy tie, and occasionally donned wire-rimmed glasses to read financial documents, said HealthSouth employed the auditing company that is now Ernst & Young at great expense, to ensure that its books were properly reviewed. He also underscored measures he said he implemented to ensure "moral and ethical" behavior at HealthSouth, such as creating a compliance program in its early days.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
We finally heard the recording of the Nebraska Supreme Court hearing regarding the wrongful seizure of Louis Obad's Las Vegas bound money.
In the hearing, State officials are blaming dual jurisdiction issues on why the Rove Racket's U.S. Attorney's Office in Nebraska had the right to seize Mr. Obad's money.
Remember, Mr. Obad never committed a crime. He simply was driving cross-country to Las Vegas and was pulled over for speeding. The Rove Racket saw over $40,000 and thought they had the right to seize it.
The Nebraska Supreme Court hearing can be heard here.
Monday, May 18, 2009
The internal report concluded that Mr. Rove - along with Monica Goodling, former White House liaison for the Justice Department; former White House official Harriet Miers; and former Sen. Pete V. Domenici, New Mexico Republican - were involved in the "most troubling" firing - that of former New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.
Despite Justice Department assertions that Mr. Iglesias was fired because of his job performance, the report concluded that he was removed because New Mexico Republicans complained to the White House and Justice Department about his handling of voter-fraud and public-corruption cases. Mr. Iglesias said Mr. Domenici pressured him to bring corruption charges against a Democratic state lawmaker before the 2006 election. Mr. Domenici has acknowledged calling Mr. Iglesias but said he did not pressure him to bring an indictment. The internal report concluded that an appointed prosecutor could conduct a more extensive investigation because several officials, including Mr. Rove, refused to cooperate. The report said it could not fully determine the role of the White House in the firings but did conclude that it was involved in at least three of the nine dismissals.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Here's an excerpt:
So, what’s the state of play on U.S. Attorneys now that the Obama administration has passed the 100-day mark? To answer that, we tried to assemble some hard numbers. To wit: How many Clinton-appointed U.S. Attorneys were still on the job at the end of April 2001? And how many Bush-appointed U.S. Attorneys are still in place now? The answer: Around 53 Bush-appointees are still coming to work at the 93 U.S. Attorney offices around the country, by our count. But at this point eight years ago, only 32 Clinton-appointed prosecutors were still on the job, the DOJ says. That’s a difference of 21. The above tally on Bush-appointed U.S. Attorneys is our own, and it differs somewhat from the numbers reported on the Department of Justice’s Web site. The DOJ puts asterisks next to “presidentially appointed” U.S. Attorneys. What the DOJ really appears to mean is “Senate confirmed” U.S. Attorneys. Unlike the DOJ list, we’ve included in our tally some prosecutors who were appointed during the Bush administration but never confirmed by the Senate, amid turbulence over the politicization of the Bush DOJ. Prosecutors in that category
include Jeffrey A. Taylor in the District of Columbia, who withdrew his nomination under opposition from Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC’s non-voting delegate to the House. But Taylor has remained on the job under a U.S. District Court appointment.
Monday, May 11, 2009
If the 5th circuit reverses Paul Minor's conviction, this will end the Racket's persecution of high-ranking politicians for political purposes.
A U.S. House Judiciary Committee has since cited the case as a possible example of selective prosecution, and a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit recently heard arguments in the case, spending much of its time questioning prosecutors about federal jurisdiction. In a rare move, the judges have posed more questions since, sending lawyers a letter with their follow-up queries. "We're encouraged by their thoughtful questions that would require reversal in Paul Minor's case," said one of his attorneys, Hiram Eastland Jr. of Greenwood. The judges asked how a bribery charge could constitute a federal crime if it didn't involve "any business, transaction, or series of transactions of such organization, government or agency involving any thing of value of $5,000 or more" as required by statute. Judges even asked if they decided to dismiss all four bribery counts, what should be done about the remaining convictions on conspiracy, racketeering and honest services fraud.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Prosecutorial misconduct. The Rove Racket failed again.
The Washington Post writes today, "The defense accused the government of failing to turn over evidence that would have undermined the credibility of a key prosecution witness. At issue were e-mails between the witness and members of the prosecution team. In court papers, the Justice Department called its lapse 'inexcusable.'"
Of course the U.S. Attorneys Office in Montana had no comment after losing their case.
(See our post below for more background).
Thursday, May 7, 2009
The WR Grace trial is a beauty. The Rove Racket went after this company for environmental crimes in regards to an asbestos mine owned by WR Grace in Libby, Montana. The mine closed in 1990.
Although environmental pollution is a horrible thing, what is worse is the prosecutorial misconduct in this trial by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kris McLean (the man on the far right of the photo, copyright Associated Press).
McLean intentionally withheld email evidence from the defense. The email evidence was an exchange with the government's supposedly star witness. Sounds similar to the prosecutorial misconduct in the Ted Stevens case.
The AP writes this morning:
McLean opened with an apology for earlier failing to give defense lawyers copies of e-mails relevant in the defense of Robert Bettachi, one of the former executives. "That was my mistake," McLean said. "My mistake caused an interruption in this trial." U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy had told jurors not to consider the testimony of Robert Locke, a key prosecution witness involved in the e-mail communications, when considering the charges against Bettachi. The judge told jurors Wednesday to regard Locke's testimony cautiously when weighing the cases of other defendants. Molloy has broadly criticized the prosecution, at one point telling federal attorneys they did not understand the evidence they were presenting. Last week he dismissed charges against two former executives, shrinking the number still on trial to three, but he refused to end the trial on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct. Motions to acquit remain pending, and Molloy said Wednesday that he would not rule on them before the jury returns verdicts.
Can you believe the judge told the Rove Racket they didn't understand their OWN evidence?
With a botched trial and prosecutorial misconduct, Molloy should contact U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's office as soon as the case concludes.
Read more about the WR grace case here and here.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Attorney General Holder must immediately reverse the government's position and ask the court to vacate the convictions of (former Alabama) Gov. Siegelman, and failing all else, President Obama must pardon Gov.
Siegelman to stop a gross miscarriage of justice. Not only that, Congress must, as a first priority, finally enforce the subpoenas that Karl Rove has been thumbing his nose at for over a year, and he must be compelled to testify about his role in politically motivated persecution of Gov. Don Siegelman.