Friday, January 29, 2010

Greenlee's Oral Flatulence

Last week, we reported how retiring and disgraced U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Mississippi Jim H. Greenlee retaliated against whistleblower FBI Agent Hal Neilson who was recently indicted for not disclosing a property partnership in which he was a principal.

We raised serious questions including the fact that Greenlee, member of the Rove Republican Racket, was indirectly involved and probably "set the b**ch up."

Following our post, Greenlee and friends began damage control. The Oxford Enterprise reported last Sunday:
Greenlee’s office was never directly involved with the investigation. According to two well-placed sources, Grenelee’s office learned of Neilson’s financial interest in the building and first thought of it as an ethical violation. They referred the case to the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s office, which reviewed the case, decided it was a criminal matter and immediately assigned it to the Baton Rouge office.
This only leads to further questions.   
  1. How did Greenlee's office learn of Neilson's financial interest in the building?
  2. How did Neilson become a secret partner?
  3. Did Greenlee and friends set Neilson up?
  4. Speaking of ethical violations, why didn't  Greenlee's office submit a review of Tom Dawson's book writing deal to the IG's office?
We suspect they had something on one of the other partners involved in the property deal and struck a tit-for-tat deal.

Time that someone write to the IG's office about Dawson, Greenlee, and the secret six-month (book writing?) contract.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nuclear Strike in the Silicon Valley

We have done extensive reporting on prosecutorial misconduct in Santa Clara County, California. Now the situation has taken a serious turn for the worst for embattled Rove Republican Racket member and Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr.

About three weeks ago, we reported about the stunning rebuke an Assistant DA received from Judge Andrea Y. Bryan who lashed out at the "numerous acts of misconduct" including the serious charge of providing "false testimony" during the trial.

Now in retaliation, Carr has pushed the nuclear trigger against Bryan and is boycotting any criminal cases before the judge. The San Jose Mercury News writes:

Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr on Tuesday offered her most vigorous defense to date of her office's boycott of Superior Court Judge Andrea Bryan, even as criticism mounted in the legal community of what some are likening to a retaliatory nuclear strike. In an e-mail to the newspaper, Carr called it "not unheard of" for prosecutors to disqualify a judge from all criminal cases, citing actions by prosecutors in San Diego, Ventura and Mendocino counties, as well as efforts by public defenders to boycott judges in Santa Clara, Napa and San Bernardino counties.

But experts in criminal law and ethics said the blanket boycott that Carr initiated last week is an abusive tactic that can damage the court system. "Most DAs realize it's like the atomic bomb," said Laurie L. Levenson, who teaches criminal law and ethics at Loyola Law School.  "Inappropriate" and "a threat to judicial independence" were the terms used by Gerald F. Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor and former dean.

Carr instructed her staff Friday to stop bringing all criminal cases before Bryan, who recently angered prosecutors by finding that a trial prosecutor in her office committed numerous acts of misconduct, including giving false testimony. Carr, who is running for re-election and facing stiff criticism for the boycott, insisted in an e-mail that her decision was based on a pattern of rulings by Bryan. She declined to elaborate further.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bayou Blunder

Acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan of the Western District of Louisiana, a member of the Rove Republican Racket, is full of embarrassment this week.

The Associated Press reports today:

[Robert] Flanagan recently criticized Landrieu for her vote on the Senate health care bill after securing a Medicaid provision estimated in value at up to $365 million for Louisiana. Conservatives accused her of selling her vote but she insisted no "special deals" were made.  "Do not be fooled into believing Landrieu is helping the state of Louisiana," Flanagan wrote in a Nov. 25 post on the Pelican Institute's Web site. "If the proposed healthcare legislation were to be signed into law, the $300 million allocated to Louisiana will pale in comparison to the long-term debt Louisiana citizens will ultimately shoulder."

His father, Bill, is the acting U.S. Attorney based in Shreveport. He was first assistant under Republican President George W. Bush appointee Donald Washington before Washington stepped down this month. President Barack Obama recently nominated Stephanie A. Finley for the post. Bill Flanagan's office declined to comment.

The other men include the now infamous James O'Keefe, the right-wing "journalist" who brought down ACORN, when he posed as a pimp trying to get job training for fictious sex slave business.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kansas Khaos

Last June, we took an inside look at the embarrassing Kansas scandal of Rove Republican Racket member and former Attorney General of Kansas, Phill Kline (pictured), who used his position to criminally target an abortion doctor and was influenced to do so by the mistress of his arch-enemy.

George Tiller, the abortion dctor, had been shot and killed the weekend before our post last June.

Now comes news that Kline used the state's highest law enforcement office to engage in a witchhunt of women who had abortions. Kline and some of his former Deputy Attorney Generals are facing state disiplinary hearings this spring for misconduct.

Why? In brief, using the issue of illegal abortions of underage girls as a front, Kline and company obtained medical records of adult women trying to obtain an abortion.

Kline's former Deputy Attorney General Eric Rucker made headlines late last night after responding to the detailed accusations which are eye-popping. The Topeka Capital-Journal writes:
The state's disciplinary board pointed to complaints Rucker was involved in obtaining state medical files under false pretenses, misleading court officials to retain possession of records, dispatching staff to record license plates of women entering the Wichita office of physician George Tiller and securing records from a motel where some of Tiller's patients stayed. Specifically, Rucker is accused of misleading the Kansas Supreme Court when he said the state attorney general's office wasn't pursuing the identity of any adult women who had obtained medical services at Tiller's clinic. The ethics board indicated there was evidence of an effort to obtain names of adult clients.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Death of a Retiree in Ohio

Embattled Acting U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Indiana, Timothy M. Morrison, should now be held responsible for the death of Willie Pearl Russell.

Morrison has refused to prosecute members of the Rove Republican Racket who allegedly were involved in a Ponzi scheme that swindled millions of dollars from retirees and others in Ohio. Timothy S. Durham, the alleged mastermind of this Ponzi scheme, is one of the highest donors to the Republican Party in Indiana, and Morrison let Durham keep his cash and assets.

A week ago Friday, Morrison let another alleged co-conspirator proceed with an estate sale and keep the proceeds.

Willie Pearl Russell (pictured), a Ohio retiree who invested $125,000 in Fair Finance Co., the alleged Ponzi scheme company operated by Durham, suffered congestive heart failure just days after the raid in November.

The (Wooster, Ohio) Daily Record reported this heart-breaking story yesterday:
Willie Pearl quilted on Mondays for missionaries and loved her flowers. She worked at Yoder Brother Flowers in Barberton for 20 years and was the mother of five children, and grandmother to 11 grandchildren. "She was salt of the earth, is what she was," Don Russell [her son] said. "A fine neighbor, a fine friend."

She was admitted to the hospital two days after Fair Finance's Akron headquarters was raided by the FBI. Doctors said it might be congestive heart failure, Don Russell said. When they asked if she knew why she was in the hospital, Don Russell said his mother told them her money was due. She was due a $100,000 interest payment Dec. 6. She died Dec. 23.

Now, Don Russell, along with his wife, Lori, want answers. They're frustrated with what has happened and the lack of information about the investigation of Fair Finance. Now they've made it their mission to figure out what's going on. "I don't think about anything other than this, 24 hours a day," he said.
Morrison owes Russell's family and the thousands of other investors answers. Morrison dismissed a civil lawsuit in November that let Durham keep his cash and assets.
"I can't believe they are letting them do that," Don Russell said of the dismissal. "That is such a slap in the face."
The slap in the face is also at the legal process for Morrison has a history of protecting Republicans in trouble.

Politics should not let swindlers off the hook no matter how much money they have given to a political party or state governor.

In the name of Mrs. Russell and other retirees who poured their life savings in this scam, our blog will continue reporting and investigating Morrison and his corrupt political friends.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Greenlee's Retaliation

Retiring and disgraced U.S. Attorney Jim H. Greenlee of the Northern District of Mississippi looks like he retaliated against a whistleblower who broke the code of silence on breaches of ethics and acts of professional misconduct by members of the Rove Republican Racket.

Last week, FBI Agent Hal Nielson of Oxford, Mississippi was indicted for failing to disclose a secret partnership with owners of a property rented by the FBI.

North Mississippi Commentor writes:
According to the indictment, Neilson was involved in both the site selection, the lease, and an increase in the lease spaces. The building was constructed by C&G Partnership which later incorporated as C&G Properties, LLC; while its principals are not identified in the indictment other than by initials (JC, DG, and their lawyer BW), a quick look at the Secretary of State’s web page discloses that C&G Properties was incorporated by member managers John Covington and Dino Grisanti, along with their lawyer Brad Walsh. ....There is no suggestion in the indictment that any of the three did anything wrong, and paragraph 21 alleges “NEILSON falsely assured JC, DG, and BW that he had checked with an FBI agent and had received approval to own an interest in the Oxford FBI building.” There is a puzzling lack of allegations about what Neilson actually did to get an interest in the building.
But why was Neilson REALLY indicted? According to Mississippi journalist Patsy Brumfield:
Neilson reportedly sought whistleblower protection from DOJ a few years ago when he questioned the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee for allegedly seeking information on Muslims throughout the region after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and accused the agency of falsifying evidence in some cases and in entrapment and coercion of witnesses.

Neilson also reportedly raised ethics questions about former assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Dawson’s participation in a book about the office’s investigation and prosecution of then-Oxford attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, who was sentenced to prison on two guilty pleas related to judicial bribery indictments. Before the book was released several weeks ago, a DOJ spokesman said Dawson had retired before he worked on it. Tension between Neilson and the U.S. Attorney’s Office first became public when it was mentioned in the book, although reasons for the problems were not given.
We note again that the other partners were not indicted in this property scheme and their names were hidden with initials on the indictment. Although Greenlee was not directly involved in the indictment (he recused himself and had it transferred to Louisiana), we smell his involvement indirectly which eventually led to the indictment.

Serious questions:
  • Did Greenlee violate the Civil Rights of Muslims in his district and walk away from the scene of the crime?
  • Did Greenlee help cut JC, DG and  BW a "sweet deal" like he did the Pied Piper Ed Peters so he could retaliate against Nielson and "set the b***h up?"
  • Was Greenlee, like his embattled Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Dawson, trying to hide the secret six-month (book writing?) contract he dished out to Dawson days after Dawson's retirement last January?
  • Did Greenlee try to silence the fact that he may have knowingly allowed his staff to help Dawson write a book while on the federal payroll clock?
 U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder needs to probe these issues and hold Greenlee and his subordinates accountable.

And if Washington is too timid, then Nielson needs to talk directly to the media.

Envy of the Successful

Many U.S. Attorneys of the Rove-Cheney-Bush-era cannot handle people (particularly Democrats) who just happen to be smarter, more successful, or wealthier than them.

Some of the most high profile criminal prosecutions during the Rove years were against successful individuals ranging from technology gurus to fundraising mavericks to internationally recognized trial attorneys.

But the Rove Republican Racket lost a big fish, a California billionaire who they smeared with false drug accusations.

Forbes Magazine's Global Wealth Editor, Matthew Miller, writes:
Vindication has come for Henry Nicholas. After more than a year of nasty accusations, the Broadcom co-founder is a free man. And he doesn't have to go to trial to clear his name.  This is a shocking turn of events for Nicholas, considering the traction two indictments levied against him in federal court in 2008 got with the media. The indictments, which made him out to be a hooker-loving, drugged-up billionaire who dabbled in securities fraud, essentially cemented his image as a dirty guy--or at least someone who couldn't handle success.

But [two weeks ago] federal prosecutors asked judge Cormac J. Carney to dismiss a 4-count indictment that charges Nicholas with drug conspiracy. This request for dismissal came a few weeks after judge Carney threw out charges on 21 counts of options backdating and securities fraud against Nicholas and former Broadcom chief financial officer William Ruehle.
The drug charges were the centerpiece of a well-orchestrated plan to smear Nicholas. As his lawyer's told Miller last fall:
Nicholas and his lawyers were emphatic that the drug indictment, which suggested Nicholas enjoyed plying Broadcom customers with drinks spiked with Ecstasy and built a series of secret rooms underneath his Laguna Hills mansion to party in, was filed only to stir up attention on a weaker options indictment. "The prosecutors have borrowed a page from the plaintiff's attorneys' playbook and have peppered the indictment with inflammatory, untrue and irrelevant allegations," John Potter, Nicholas' lead attorney on the drug case told us in September.
Prosecutorial misconduct and the shenanigans of manipulating the jury pool are not new. And as this blog has noted, from Maine to Alaska, the vindictive nature of many Rove Republican Racket prosecutors has no basis in law, but is based on partisan politics or simple envy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Morrison's Estate Sale

Acting U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Indiana Timothy M. Morrison, a staunch member of the Rove Republican Racket, is letting investor's money go up in smoke.

In December, as investors packed townhall meetings in Ohio (where many investors of the alleged Ponzi scheme were duped), Morrison admitted he had no idea when and if the assets would ever be returned.

Now, another associate of the alleged Ponzi scheme, sold off his assets last Friday in an estate sale and Morrison did nothing. The Indianapolis Star reports:

A key partner in the embattled financial empire of Indianapolis investor Timothy S. Durham sold off furnishings in his Florida vacation home Friday, a day after a congressman urged a federal prosecutor to block the sale. James F. Cochran, who sold the furnishings in an estate sale at his $3.5 million home in Naples, Fla., and Durham own Fair Finance, an Ohio lender the FBI raided Nov. 24. Cochran, part of a group of insiders close to Durham, has never been identified as a target by Morrison, has not been charged with a crime and was not barred from selling his property. U.S. Rep. John Boccieri, D-Ohio, had urged federal authorities to stop the sale by freezing Cochran's assets out of concern that a sale of personal property might deprive Ohio investors of cash to defray possible losses.
So why did Morrison ignore Congressman Boccieri? Why has Morrison ignored the pleas of hundreds of concerned investors? Why has Morrison let Durham and Cochran move, reorganize, and sell their personal assets? Why is Morrison just sitting there scratching his nose as the alleged Ponzi principals laugh at investors?

Because the alleged mastermind of this suspected Ponzi scheme is a high-rolling contributor to Republican causes. 

Morrison's Estate Sale was to satisfy his Republican allies, and Congressman Boccieri ain't a Republican!

Understand, Morrison, a Bush left-over, also appears to have tried to help another Republican donor whose asphalt company was target by protestors. Morrison sloppily issued a subpoena in that case that generated national headlines and forced him to withdraw it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No Federal Probe

The Rove Republican Racket got a huge break yesterday in the Blackwater Massacre Case. Federal Judge Ricardo M. Urbina (pictured) has decided not to push the nuclear button against prosecutorial misconduct.

As we wrote earlier, all criminal charges against the five defendants were dropped right before the New Year because of what Urbina termed "reckless" prosecutorial misconduct.

The Associated Press writes:

A federal judge has opted not to impose a finding of prosecutorial misconduct on Justice Department lawyers for their handling of a case against Blackwater security guards involved in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad. In Federal District Court here last month, Judge Ricardo M. Urbina threw out all charges against the five involved in the shootings, which left 17 Iraqis dead and about 20 wounded.
In that decision, Judge Urbina wrote that in a “reckless violation of the defendants’ constitutional rights,” investigators, prosecutors and government witnesses had inappropriately relied on statements the guards had been compelled to make in debriefings by the State Department shortly after the shootings. The State Department had hired the guards to protect its officials.
But in a ruling on Tuesday, Judge Urbina said he would not take what he called the “extreme” step of prohibiting prosecutors from reviving the case. Had Judge Urbina ruled that prosecutors committed misconduct, it could have set off an internal Justice Department investigation and led to sanctions against the prosecutors.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sacrificing for Dawson

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Mississippi Tom Dawson has done himself in.  The controversial  former prosecutor, who received a secret six-month contract from disgraced U.S. Attorney Jim H. Greenlee a few days after "retiring" last January, co-authored Kings of Tort with right-wing blogger Alan Lange (see post below). Dawson allegedly planned, outlined, and discussed the writing of this book while still serving as a federal prosecutor.

In the Acknowledgements section of the book, Dawson thanks Karen Rushing, his "former legal assistant who not only lived this saga with the rest of us, but endured many sacrifices in helping this technologically challenged co-author get his contributions in on time."

So was Ms. Rushing working on the federal clock? Did she use federal equipment, email servers, fax machines, telephones to help Mr. Dawson? Did Ms. Rushing pull, summarize, or photocopy any files for Mr. Dawson? What "sacrifices" did Ms. Rushing perform on-duty and as a paid employee of the federal government for Mr. Dawson?

Now, come on Tommy. You are not going to tell us Ms. Rushing did all her sacrifices off-hours, on her cell phone, on her own personal computer and gmail account during the evening re-runs of Desperate Housewives, are you?

Alan Lange's Fall

Alan Lange, the right-wing blogger and Kings of Tort author from Mississippi who foolishly wrote to this blog last year when news reports came out that his co-author, the illustrious Tom Dawson, was planning, outlining and preparing to write the book about active cases while still serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Mississippi, is a hypocrite.

Over the past weekend, the explosive indictment of FBI Agent Hal Neilson in Oxford, Mississippi revealed that internal questions of ethics against Dawson rose up long before their book was published.

Interestingly, in a recent post, Lange berates Charles Evers, brother of assassinated Mississippi civil-rights worker Medgar Evers, for even suggesting that a former local judge be given a full-pardon for lying.

The former judge, Bobby DeLaughter, was recently tossed in jail by the Rove Republican Racket for lying to the FBI but is considered a hero among civil-rights advocates. As a local prosecutor, Delaughter re-opened the civil rights-era case 30 years after the fact and prosecuted the Klansmen that murdered Medgar Evers.

Lange writes:
Evers was quoted as saying, “All he (DeLaughter) did was lie . . . What man can tell me he hasn't lied? You're telling me he should spend 18 months in prison for that?" In fact, Mr. DeLaughter lied about his own involvement in a scheme to improperly influence a proceeding over which he presided. And yes, Mr. Evers, I am telling you that he should spend 18 months in prison for that. As a judge, as a lawyer, and as a smart person, he knew better, which is precisely why he pleaded guilty to the crime.
Lange is a hypocrite.

Lange and Dawson have lied repeatedly about their involvement in a scheme to improperly write, outline, and plan a book while Assistant U.S Attorney Tom Dawson had influence over proceedings he was investigating and eventually wrote about.

The three questions remain unanswered.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Scandal as Disgraced U.S. Attorney Exits

U.S. Attorney Jim H. Greenlee of the Northern District of Mississippi (pictured), a pillar of the Rove Republican Racket, will be retiring according to the Main Justice news website.

In September, we called on this disgraceful character to resign or be fired amid the revelation that after 9/11, Greenlee conducted an investigation of convenience store owners with Islamic-sounding names. There were no links whatsoever to terrorism and no one was ever prosecuted for acts of terrorism.

In other words, this backwards Mississippi prosecutor went after "colored" folks just for the hell of it. To justify his broad investigation, Greenlee busted a few convenience store owners for selling too much Sudafed.

But Greenlee is surrounded by scandal.  Main Justice writes:
Greenlee’s departure has been rumored for months, amid various reports that made his Oxford-based office seem something of a soap opera.

The latest: Mississippi journalist Patsy Brumfield reports that an FBI agent who was indicted last week for failing to disclose a personal financial interest in the FBI building in Oxford had sought whistle blower status a couple of years ago after reporting concerns that Greenlee’s office had improperly targeted area Muslims for investigation after the 9/11 attacks.

The so-called Convenience Store Initiative didn’t find any terrorist links, but prosecutors did end up charging some 60 people with selling excessive amounts of pseudoephedrine, used to make methamphetamine, an illegal drug.

The agent, Hal Neilson, also reportedly raised ethics concerns about a book that a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the district, Tom Dawson, wrote about his prosecution of billionaire Mississippi trial lawyer Richard “Dickie” Scruggs in a judicial bribery scandal, Brumfield wrote.
The limited comments on the conflict, scandal, and retaliation between Neilson and Greenlee are just the tip of the iceberg as this Titanic sinks.

Off the Hook in Rhode Island

As we suspected, the political connections of embattled Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan of Rhode Island paid off. Sullivan, a member of the Rove Republican Racket, was busted on Thanksgiving morning for allegedly drunk driving.

Last Monday, the DUI/DWI charges were dropped. Here is the news report from the Providence Journal:

WARWICK, R.I. -- The drunk-driving charge against federal prosecutor Gerard B. Sullivan was dismissed in District Court on Monday morning. In a quick procedure, as the judge called the calendar for the day, Sullivan and his lawyer, Kevin J. Bristow, stood before Judge Frank J. Cenerini as the judge said the state was submitting a request for dismissal.

Cenerini mentioned that after Sullivan was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, Sullivan had admitted in Traffic Tribunal last week that he refused to take a chemical breath test.  "As is the customary disposition in these matters, the DWI -- if there is a refusal submission -- is dismissed," Cenerini said.

In the hallway after the brief proceeding, Sullivan said he was "not at liberty to speak" about the matter. Sullivan, 50, was one of eight people charged by the Warwick police during Thanksgiving weekend with refusing to submit to a chemical breath test for suspected drunken driving. He was the only one of those eight who was not also charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a misdemeanor. He was later charged with driving under the influence after Warwick Police Chief Stephen M. McCartney and The Journal reviewed the arrest reports for all eight drivers.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Florida Fumble

The Rove Republican Racket has stretched the law, used the dishonest "honest services" law, and bent situations to put decent people behind bars, usually Democrats.

An interesting case in Florida that highlights how government prosecutors lie and manipulate the system made the headlines yesterday. Although the victim of prosecutorial misconduct is a convicted cop killer, the point of the story is how many prosecutors arrogantly believe they are above the law.

From the Palm Beach Post:

The Florida Supreme Court today threw out the death sentence of convicted cop killer Paul Beasley Johnson because “the record here is so rife with evidence of previously undisclosed prosecutorial misconduct that we have no choice but to grant relief.”

In October, Gov. Charlie Crist ordered Johnson to be put to death by lethal injection in November.

The high court stayed the execution and heard oral arguments on the case in which Johnson was convicted of going on a drug-induced killing spree in Polk County in 1981. Johnson was convicted of murdering three men, including a Polk County Sheriff’s deputy.

In its ruling today, the court found that prosecutors intentionally got a jailhouse informer to get information from Johnson, take notes and give the notes to investigators. Prosecutors then lied about their role in soliciting the information at Johnson’s trial in 1981.

At a later trial in 1988, a different prosecutor used the same testimony that helped persuade the jury to hand down a 7-5 vote in favor of the death penalty, the court ruled today.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Political Favors in Rhode Island?

Gerard B. Sullivan, the embattled Assistant U.S. Attorney from Rhode Island who was pinched for allegedly drunk-driving on Thanksgiving morning is in the news again. From the smell of it, Sullivan, a loyal member of the Rove Republican Racket, is trying to strike a deal with his political friends in the court system.

Those tight political connections are what caused the controversy to begin with when Sullivan tried to cover-up the DUI. A local police chief had to come out a few days after the incident  and charge Sullivan with a DUI in the name of "fundamental fairness."

Now it looks like games are being played in the prosecution of the prosecutor.

The Providence Journal reported on Wednesday:
Federal prosecutor Gerard B. Sullivan on Tuesday sought dismissal in District Court of a criminal charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Sullivan, an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island, had admitted a day earlier in state traffic court that he failed to take a chemical breath test when arrested early on Thanksgiving morning by the Warwick police.On Tuesday, Judge Frank J. Cenerini said the pre-trial conference has been continued until Monday at the request of both sides.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

UPDATE: Silicon Valley Judge Rips Prosecutor

The San Jose Mercury News story from yesterday was updated this morning with this incredible quote from the judge:

About 14 prosecutors listened Wednesday morning in stunned silence as [Judge Andrea Y.] Bryan — a former prosecutor and San Jose deputy city attorney appointed by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson — took the rare step of rebuking the District Attorney's Office and dismissing the charges. [Deputy District Attorney Troy] Benson did not attend the hearing. "Mr. Benson's numerous acts of misconduct, culminating in his false testimony in this proceeding, strikes at the foundation of our legal system and is so grossly shocking and outrageous that it offends the universal sense of justice to allow prosecution in this matter to proceed,'' Bryan said. "As such, defendant's motion to dismiss on due process grounds is granted.''

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Stunning Rebuke" in the Silicon Valley

Breaking News: In November, we wrote about prosecutorial misconduct in the Silicon Valley, California and how one prosecutor was grilled for his misconduct.

The consequences of this misconduct has now led to one man being sent free after four years in jail. The San Jose Mercury News just posted this story in the last hour:

In a stunning rebuke to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, a county judge on Wednesday ordered a man who had been sentenced to 38 years to life freed on the grounds the trial prosecutor in the child molestation case committed "numerous acts of misconduct,'' including giving false testimony.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge Andrea Y. Bryan means Augustin Uribe, 66, will be released within several days after spending four years behind bars for a crime that even the alleged victim says he did not commit.

The decision casts a shadow over the career of Deputy District Attorney Troy Benson and further tarnishes the reputation of the District Attorney's Office, which has come under fire in recent years for alleged prosecutorial misconduct.

Uribe's conviction on charges he sexually assaulted a young relative was overturned by an appellate court in 2008, after a finding that the District Attorney's Office had improperly withheld a videotape of the purported victim's physical exam, which was turned over only after Uribe had been sentenced. A defense expert then reviewed the videotape and said it contradicted the prosecution witnesses' testimony that the child had been assaulted.

Prosecutors have since acknowledged the existence of about 3,300 of those videotapes dating back to 1991 that were never provided to trial attorneys, as required by law.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Iowa Immunity Case Evaporates

The case against two Iowa prosecutors who engaged in prosecutorial misconduct and faced a civil lawsuit by two innocent men who were framed and wrongly jailed for 25 years has ended.

The U.S. Supreme Court, which heard arguments in the case early last November, agreed to dismiss the case yesterday after Pottawattamie County representatives and the plaintiffs settled the case for $12 million.

The case had enormous implications against prosecutors who held they had personal immunity from misconduct done before the criminal case was tried. It appeared by the line of questioning by members of the U.S. Supreme Court last November, prosecutors would have most likely lost that shield of immunity for misconduct done before a criminal trial began.

The $12 million ended the case, but the misconduct in question (framing innocent victims) can sadly still continue.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Reckless Prosecutorial Misconduct

In November, we told you about the distrurbing secret hearings the U.S. Department of Justice was having in regards to the Blackwater Massacre.

Back near Thanksgiving, issues surrounded the prosecutorial misconduct and re-prosecution of Nicholas Slatten, one of the five security guards accused of participating in the Iraqi massacre back in 2007. What caused even a bigger legal fuss was members of the Rove Republican Racket had conducted secret hearings on the topic of a new trial against Slatten.

Now, on New Year's Eve, the U.S. District Judge involved in the criminal cases threw out all charges against all five defendants because of reckless prosecutorial misconduct.

The Associated Press reports today:

Prosecutors who mishandled the investigation into a deadly 2007 Blackwater Worldwide shooting face a possible misconduct citation from a judge who says they withheld evidence and violated the guards' constitutional rights.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina admonished the Justice Department last week for its "reckless" handling of the investigation into a shooting that left 17 Iraqis dead. He threw out manslaughter and weapons charges against five security guards and, in a footnote, said he was also considering whether the repeated government missteps amounted to misconduct.

Such a ruling would be an embarrassing cap to a politically sensitive investigation and a black eye to a department that is still dealing with the fallout from last year's botched corruption case against former Sen. Ted Stevens. In that case, a judge wiped away the senator's conviction and appointed a lawyer to investigate prosecutors for withholding evidence from defense attorneys.

Friday, January 1, 2010