Thursday, December 14, 2017

Missouri lawyer David Shuler, asked for a comment on his son's speeding case, indicates he's keeping secrets that could wind up biting him on the ass

Noah Hayes Shuler
How did David Shuler (my lawyer-brother) respond after shown a draft of our post about his son Noah Hayes Shuler (my nephew, a student and soccer player at William Jewell College) being clocked at up to 88 mph in a 60 zone -- an offense that, if proven, is the equivalent of a Class B misdemeanor, such as a DUI?

David did respond, which surprised me. His words, in places, were peculiar -- and given that he's a lawyer and has stabbed me in the back on at least one obvious occasion (and, I suspect, quite a few more) -- I was not surprised by that. Here, in pertinent part, is David's response:

Roger: As you know, you are free to write what you want but I have not been authorized to talk to you about this matter. I should point out that you do have the alleged facts incorrect. It is my understanding that the alleged speeding occurred on Highway 65, not on Evans Road.

Roger, if you would like to get together to talk as brothers, I would be happy to do that. I can not and will not talk to you about other people's business.

Now, that was interesting, especially the last sentence. So, I responded thusly:


I will make the correction about U.S. 65.

As for anything else . . . (1) You say you are not authorized to talk about the traffic incident; and (2) You "cannot talk about other people's business." What does that mean?

The way I read your email, I don't see that there is much to talk about. If you can give me a reason for us to have a talk of substance, I will give that consideration. But right now, I don't see where any such substance exists.

I've heard nothing more from David. As you can see, I was bumfuzzled by his claim that he "can not and will not talk about other people's business." Since David does not seem inclined to elaborate on what that means, I can only take a whack at it myself.

Who are these "other people" and what is there "business"? David seems to be referring to people in the Springfield legal/business world (perhaps individuals from Alabama, too), and he feels an obligation to keep their secrets. Their "business," I'm guessing, is connected to the unlawful eviction in September 2015 that ended with cops breaking Carol's left arm. If I'm correct about that, David probably is speaking of landlord Trent Cowherd, attorney Craig Lowther (or someone at his firm), and Sheriff Jim Arnott (or someone affiliated with him).

Here are a few questions I wanted to ask David about Noah's traffic case:

* According to court records, Noah was clocked at 88 mph, 28 mph over the speed limit. How does one prepare a defense for that?

* Why didn't Noah pay the fine and be done with it?

* Are you hoping the state trooper doesn't appear for the trial, which would let Noah off the hook?

* Are you planning to claim the trooper was incompetent, corrupt, or both?

* In your communications with Carol and me, you generally have suggested that cops can do no wrong. If they lie about someone making a threatening 911 call, that's fine. If they break into a residence without having lawful grounds to be on the property, that's fine. If they break your sister-in-law's arm so severely that it requires trauma surgery, that's fine -- and it doesn't even merit a, "Gee, Carol, I'm sorry this happened, and I hope you are doing OK" from you. But if they nab your son driving 28 mph over the speed limit, that's not fine -- and the cops must be incompetent or corrupt? Is that how it works in your mind?

David Shuler
As for David's tight-lipped approach, the casual observer might say, "Hey, David is just trying to keep things in confidence -- "in house," "on the down low" -- to maintain the trust of those with whom he interacts." That sounds reasonable on the surface, but it takes on a different tone when you consider certain legal realities.

Consider, for example, Rule 4-8.3 of the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct:


(a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects shall inform the appropriate professional authority.

We've noted the strong likelihood that the actions of cops (and any associates) in unlawfully evicting us and breaking Carol's arm constitute a federal crime under 18 U.S.C. 242 (Deprivation of rights under color of law). Was David actively involved in a conspiracy to commit such a crime? If so, he clearly has problems. Is David simply keeping his lips tight in order to protect members of the legal/business tribe? If so, he still has problems.

That points to 18 U.S.C. 4 (misprision of felony), which holds:

Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Perhaps David is counting on his connections to save him from being held accountable. Perhaps that has happened before, especially in a legal-malpractice case (31107CC3401 -- SCOTT WELLS V DAVID SHULER ETAL) that ended in 2012. Records at show the Wells case started in 2007, rocking along for more than five years, and was set for trial. That means David could have been in serious trouble, especially if he did not have malpractice insurance -- and many small-firm lawyers do not. Shortly before trial, Wells' lawyer withdrew from the case, for reasons that aren't clear from the record. Forced to represent himself in complex malpractice litigation, Wells apparently was not able to pull it off, and the case was dismissed in David's favor.

Maybe David will pull one out at the 11th hour again. But speaking in "brother to brother" form, I'd say he's playing with fire.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Donald Trump develops a "Roy Moore Problem" as outtakes from "The Apprentice" reportedly show him speaking approvingly about sex with underage girls

Donald Trump on "The Apprentice"
Roy Moore went down in yesterday's Alabama special election for the U.S. Senate, largely because of lower-than-expected turnout in his rural strongholds -- and that likely was driven by allegations during the campaign that Moore had, as a 30-ish district attorney, dated teen-aged girls.

Now, another GOP politician might be developing a "Roy Moore Problem." And his name is Donald Trump.

Outtakes from The Apprentice include scenes of Donald Trump speaking approvingly about sex with underage girls, according to a report from a D.C.-based investigative journalist.

Officials at NBC have taken steps to make sure the outtakes remain out of public view, reports Wayne Madsen. From a recent article at The Wayne Madsen Report (WMR):

There are reports from media insiders that Donald Trump made favorable comments about sex with underage girls during several taping sessions of “The Apprentice” reality television show during its 11-season run. These comments are in addition to previously reported remarks by Trump that were racist, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic in nature.

The video outtakes of Trump are said to be secured in a vault at NBC Studios in Universal City, California. However, there are reports that the tapes were moved from NBC Universal to a more secure vault at MGM Studios.

Mark Burnett, producer of The Apprentice and Survivor, reportedly is behind efforts to keep the outtakes under cover. From WMR:

Although NBC broadcast “The Apprentice,” MGM originally claimed ownership of the series and “Apprentice” producer, Mark Burnett, has refused to release the tapes, claiming that they are his intellectual property. Burnett also produced another reality TV show, “Survivor.” In addition, Trump reportedly made lewd comments in the dressing room of the Miss Teen USA pageant, which was, along with the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants, owned by Donald Trump. The tapes from all the pageants were bought, along with the Miss Universe Organization, by WME-IMG, whose co-chief executive officer is Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel, the brother of Chicago’s Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel. Ari Emanuel has refused to release any outtakes or other recorded material from Trump’s appearances in the dressing rooms of all three pageants, including Miss Teen USA, where Trump barged in where girls between the ages of 15 and 17 were dressing and undressing.

According to an entertainment-industry journalist, the Trump scenes have connections to the recent Matt Lauer scandal at NBC. And the journalist describes Trump's comments as worse than revelations about Alabama's Roy Moore:

Many of the contestants and staff for “The Apprentice” and the three pageants under the Miss Universe corporate umbrella were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements. NBC reportedly was reluctant to take initial action against former “Today” co-host Matt Lauer, fired for several cases of sexual harassment of female employees of NBC, because it feared that any focus on sexual impropriety by the network would potentially raise issues with Trump and “The Apprentice.” One prominent journalist who has covered the entertainment industry for several decades recently said that NBC and MGM have no right to withhold the outtakes of Trump’s comments on the set of “The Apprentice,” suggesting there is much more to the Trump story and that it involved covering up Lauer’s indiscretions. The journalist also stated that Trump’s comments on the “Apprentice” outtakes, which include B-roll with audio, are worse than the more recent revelations about Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore’s stalking of underage girls in Alabama while he was a county district attorney in his early 30s.

There is little doubt that Trump has been a predator of underage girls over at least the past thirty years.

The Wayne Madsen Report is a subscription-only Web site, but Legal Schnauzer has received permission to publish portions of its content.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

FBI's release of internal email raises more questions about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' ability to tell the truth regarding his meetings with Russian officials

Jeff Sessions
The FBI has been unable to produce any evidence that corroborates claims from Attorney General Jeff Sessions' staff that the FBI instructed Sessions not to list certain contacts with Russian officials on a security-clearance form, according to a report from a group affiliated with People for the American Way.

Right Wing Watch (RWW) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, but the FBI could produce no documents that back up the Sessions staff's claims. In fact, the FBI provided Right Wing Watch with an email from an FBI employee saying that he or she “did not recall” any such conversation with Sessions or his staff. From RWW:

Right Wing Watch asked the FBI for all records relating to instructions the bureau had given Sessions “concerning what contacts with foreign individuals to list on or to omit from his SF-86 or other security clearance form” and, for a point of comparison, made an identical request regarding instructions given to then-Rep. Tom Price, who was nominated to be secretary of Health and Human Services. People For the American Way, represented by People For the American Way Foundation and American Oversight, sued the FBI for release of the documents in September.

Sessions indicated on his SF-86, which he completed in November 2016, that he had not had any contacts with foreign government officials in the previous seven years. A Justice Department spokesman stated in May, after news reports had revealed that Sessions had met multiple times with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak while campaigning for President Trump, that Sessions' staff “consulted with those familiar with the process, as well as the FBI investigator handling the background check, and was instructed not to list meetings with foreign dignitaries and their staff connected with his Senate activities.”

The FBI did not produce much in response to the RWW request, but what it did provide was intriguing:

In a response on Thursday to RWW’s request, the FBI provided a single, internal email dated March 7, 2017 detailing a phone call the previous day from Peggi Hanrahan, an aide to Sessions who had previously worked in his Senate office. Hanrahan, according to the email, had called an FBI employee to inquire “whether or not she previously asked [the employee] if Senator Sessions needed to list foreign contacts on his SF-86 while on official government business when his background investigation was being conducted in December 2016.” The FBI employee told Hanrahan, according to the email, that the FBI employee “did not recall” such a conversation, “but that for the purposes of the SF-86, [Sessions] was not required to list foreign government contacts while on official government business unless he developed personal relationships from such contacts.”

According to an RWW press release, the March 6 call from Hanrahan seeking corroboration for Sessions’ claims came on the same day on which Sessions wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee defending his statement during the confirmation hearing that he had not had contacts with Russian officials during the campaign. (The internal email is embedded at the end of this post.)

The FBI indicated that the single March 2017 email was its final response to RWW’s request for any records related to any instructions given to Sessions regarding his SF-86, and in the accompanying cover letter, the bureau stated that it was not withholding any other documents.

The FBI separately stated that it had no records responsive to RWW’s identical request for instructions to Price.

What is the public to take from this? For one, it seems to raise more doubts about Sessions' ability to tell the truth on his involvement with Russian officials. From RWW:

“This document raises more questions than it answers,” said Elliot Mincberg, senior fellow at People For the American Way. “If the FBI did not tell Sessions in 2016 to omit the conversations with Kislyak from his security clearance form, who did? Does the FBI think that Sessions’ conversations with Kislyak, at which he reportedly discussed campaign-related matters, were ‘official government business’? Did he cross the line into developing ‘personal relationships from such contacts’? Why did Sessions’ staff wait until Sessions was already confirmed to his position and facing criticism for his contradictory answers on these meetings to ask the FBI for this information? Sessions has been unwilling to provide clear answers on the extent and content of his contacts with Russian government officials during the presidential campaign, and this document does nothing to dispel that impression.”

“After getting caught lying to Congress and the FBI, Jeff Sessions asked us to take him at his word that the FBI instructed him to do it,” said Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight. “We now have clear evidence that the FBI has no records that would support Sessions’ claims, and it is long past time for him to simply tell the truth about his Russian contacts.”

With his evasive non-answers and smarmy, smart-alecky, elitist tone, Doug Jones proves he can embarrass Alabama just as much as Roy Moore

Alabamians go to the polls today to elect a U.S. senator, and throughout the campaign, Democrat Doug Jones has been portrayed as the smart one, with the kind of integrity that would never embarrass us. Given that Republican Roy Moore is a theocrat who twice has been booted from public office -- and has been dogged by allegations that, while serving as a 30-ish district attorney, he pursued a taste for the tender flesh of teen-aged girls -- perhaps that is understandable.

Unfortunately, Jones is an accomplished con artist. He has documented ties to Republican thugs Karl Rove, Jeff Sessions, Bill Pryor, and Rob Riley -- four of the most hideously corrupt figures in postmodern American history. While Jones tends to be viewed as the relative newcomer in the 2017 race, he's been around long enough to deserve the title "swamp creature." He served as U.S. attorney under Bill Clinton in the late 1990s, he ran once before for the U.S. Senate (in 2002) and folded up shop early due to lackluster fundraising.

As both a public official and an officer of the court (while serving as a private attorney), Jones has advanced his career by using taxpayer dollars and taxpayer-funded facilities. Does Jones feel a responsibility to answer questions about his actions in those roles? We have two videos that show the answer is no.

In both videos, Jones dodges tough questions and does it with a tone that can only be described as smarmy, snarky, immature, defensive, insulting, and (perhaps worst of all) elitist. This is a guy who now claims he is a man of the middle class, of the people -- of women, gays, people of color, and others who have faced discrimination. I invite you to listen to both videos -- one at the top of this post, one at the bottom -- and see if those are the words and tone of a man who cares one iota about everyday folks.

I submit that Jones' statements in these videos are every bit as embarrassing as anything Roy Moore ever has said. And you will notice that Doug Jones responds to challenging questions with the mindset of a second grader -- he dishes out insults, but he offers no substantive responses on actions that call his integrity into question.

In fact, there is plenty of evidence -- in the Alabama bingo trial; the Paul Bryant/Alabama Reassurance investigation; the Don Siegelman/Richard Scrushy criminal case; the federal HealthSouth civil case; acts of arson and intimidation against Alabama whistle blower Jill Simpson; career assassinations, unlawful incarcerations, and a wrongful foreclosure and eviction against my wife, Carol, and me -- that Jones has tippy-toed to the edge of criminal activity. A real investigation probably would show that Jones has stepped way over that line.

Let's take a closer look at the two videos:

(1) Rob Riley's ties to Medicare fraud, the investigation of Paul Bryant Jr. and Alabama Reassurance, and snarky comments left at Legal Schnauzer from someone at Haskell Slaughter, Jones' old law firm

a. Asked about the irony of Rob Riley working with Jones on the HealthSouth fraud case, while Riley himself faced documented allegations of health-care fraud related to Performance Group LLC, Jones responded:

It's not my place to comment. You can ask any party [in the HealthSouth case] anything. Based on things I've seen that you've written, I don't think it's worth my time to comment.

b. Asked about an investigation of Paul Bryant Jr. and Alabama Reassurance -- which had been planned after convictions against Philadelphia lawyer and entrepreneur Allen W. Stewart -- but was canceled once Jones became U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Alabama . . . well, Jones really got on a role:

Jones: I'm trying to make sure you understand that I have read your stuff, I have seen your conspiracy theories, and I am not going to answer any of your questions because I don't trust what you will write, period.

Legal Schnauzer (LS): I'm taking it down word for word. . . . I'm asking you, who called off the investigation of Paul Bryant?

Jones: I am not going to respond to any of your questions.

LS: You were a public official then, Doug . . . 
Jones: I am not going to respond to any of your questions. . . . I've seen the garbage you write and the way you spin and the way you slant. It's the most disingenuous stuff I've ever seen. . . . It just doesn't matter to me. You're a nothing to me."

Do Jones' non-answers, and his unmistakable agitated tone, indicate he did, in fact, call off the Bryant investigation, which (according to public documents) involved roughly $15 million of insurance fraud? A reasonable person could reach that conclusion. I certainly have reached that conclusion.

c. Asked about snarky comments left at my blog by someone from his law firm, Haskell Slaughter, Jones responded:

LS: Did you write that?

Jones: Of course not.

LS: What is your IP address, Doug?

Jones: My IP address? I have no clue. I just sit at a computer and type. I don't give you the time of day, Roger. I don't read your blog anymore. I think I've wasted enough time with you. 
Click (Jones hangs up on me.)

(2) The Alabama bingo trial, and Jones' representation of Ronnie Gilley; Paul Bryant Jr. and Alabama Re investigation; Jones' representation of Don Siegelman, in which he charged $300,000 for a criminal defense that was not performed (Jones bailed out before trial because of his own scheduling conflict) -- and there is no indication that Jones repaid a dime.

a. Asked about his representation of Ronnie Gilley in the Alabama bingo trial -- where Jones bailed out and left Gilley with attorney David Harrison, who has a drug-trafficking conviction on his record -- Jones responded:

Jones: I've made it a policy with everybody, not just with you, that it would not be appropriate for me to comment on Mr. Gilley.

LS: Are you aware that his current lawyer, David Harrison, has a conviction for drug trafficking?

Jones: I don't want to comment at all, one way or another.

LS: But are you aware . . .

Jones: I keep trying to explain, and you ought to understand. There are ethical considerations here. It's no reflection on you and some of the things you've written about me.

b. Asked again about cancellation of the planned investigation of Paul Bryant Jr. and Alabama Re, in the wake of the Allen W. Stewart convictions in Philadelphia, Jones responded:

Jones: I'm not going to comment to you. (Keep in mind, this was while Jones held public office, as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.)

c. Asked about charging Don Siegelman $300,000 for a criminal defense in which he bailed out before trial -- and apparently did not return one dime of the money -- Jones responded:

Jones: I'm not going to comment one way or another on any of those matters.

LS: You're not going to comment with me on any matters

Jones: Correct

LS: I hope you understand that you were U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, and the investigation of Paul Bryant Jr. involved $15 million in insurance fraud, and it was called off. You were a public official, taking tax-payer dollars, and I'm asking you as a citizen: Did you . . .

Jones: I've got other things to do, and I don't need a speech from you.

LS: It's not a speech, I'm asking you a question.

Jones: You're not going to change my mind.

LS: I'm asking you . . .

Jones: And I'm telling you I'm not going to comment.

LS: You were a public official, and I'm asking you as a citizen . . .

Click (Jones hangs up on me a second time.)

Anyone who thinks Doug Jones will act with integrity -- and be a stand-up guy while not embarrassing Alabama -- does not know the real Doug Jones. These videos represent the unvarnished Doug Jones, in all his "glory." Voters would be wise to give these videos a hard listen before going to the polls today.

For Alabamians, the choice today is between a child molester and a crook. That's really no choice at all.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Campaign finance reports for Democrat Doug Jones show quite a few of his boosters are longtime donors to GOP stalwarts like Sessions, Shelby, and Bachus

Doug Jones
Anyone who doubts Alabama Republicans have backed Democrat Doug Jones' run for the U.S. Senate should be able to take it to the bank now. An article over the weekend at Politico shows, in black and white, that long-time GOP donors make up a meaningful portion of Jones' financial support -- and still, polls show he is likely to lose tomorrow to Republican theocrat and child molester Roy Moore.

We've already shown that GOP luminaries such as Karl Rove, Tom Donohue, Rob Riley, and Bill Canary have been backing Jones. But Politico adds to the right-wing equation backing Jones. From the article by Daniel Strauss and Luis Sanchez:

A small group of Alabama Republicans have joined forces with Democrat Doug Jones’ campaign ahead of Tuesday’s special Senate election. But they are having trouble swaying many friends and family members to cross the aisle, too.

Democrat Doug Jones’ campaign finance reports are dotted with longtime donors to Alabama Republicans like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Sen. Richard Shelby and former Rep. Spencer Bachus. Republican attorneys in Birmingham and Mobile who have disliked Moore since he was a judge have banded together to offer support to Jones. The Republicans for Jones include Gina Dearborn, an Alabama lobbyist and former Shelby staffer who has backed Jones on social media and is married to White House deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn.

Roy Moore is a detestable candidate in the eyes of many Alabamians with functioning cerebrums -- and many held that view long before reports that Moore, as an early 30-ish district attorney, had a taste for the flesh of teen-aged girls. But what do you get with Jones? A "Democrat" who likely will be taking marching orders from right-wingers like Sessions, Shelby, Rove, Donohue, and Riley.

Jones' documented ties to Rob Riley should be troubling for anyone with the slightest hint of a moral compass. The two of them worked to help generate $51 million in attorney fees from a HealthSouth lawsuit -- while Jones, at the same time, was "defending" former Gov. Don Siegelman, whose co-defendant was former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. It's hard to imagine a more glaring conflict of interest than that. Plus, Jones charged Siegelman $300,000 for a criminal defense he didn't perform; Jones bailed out before trial, because of his own scheduling conflict, and apparently did not repay a dime of the money he took from Siegelman.

You want to trust this guy with your taxpayer dollars?

On top of that, Jones has aligned himself with Rob Riley, one of the most grossly corrupt political figures in modern Alabama history -- and that is saying something. Noted Alabama whistle blower and oppo researcher Jill Simpson says she is convinced Jones played a role in her home catching fire and in several ugly highway incidents.

On a personal note, I have no doubt Jones was involved, directly or indirectly, in cheating me out of my job at UAB. It's undisputed that Rob Riley was directly involved in my unlawful incarceration in Shelby County, and that means Jones probably was involved -- or at least knows all about it, but has remained silent. For good measure, I have little doubt there is an "Alabama Underground Railroad" driving abuses against my wife, Carol, and me in Missouri -- including an unlawful eviction that led to cops breaking Carol's arm so severely that it required trauma surgery. We would not be surprised to learn (soon, hopefully) that Jones has been one of the conductors on the corrupt train from the Heart of Dixie.

Still, it appears Jones will lose in tomorrow's election. That might make him the first major political candidate to lose to an apparent child molester. That, if it happens, will be quite a distinction to take into history. From Politico:

Yet Moore has remained in the lead in most polls of the special election because of continued support from the vast majority of Republicans, according to surveys from the Washington Post and other outlets. Jones needs votes from at least 1 in 10 Republicans if he is to win, according to Alabama-based Democratic pollster Zac McCrary. But most GOP voters do not believe the allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct against Moore, and many are simply unwilling to cast a vote for a Democrat.

“I think there'll be a fair number of people that will just hold their nose and vote for a Republican candidate in the end,” said Blake Goodsell, an attorney and past Alabama Republican Party donor who gave $1,000 to Jones.

“I've got a lot of friends who are party loyalists, and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but they're also having a really hard time on this one,” said Harlan Winn, an attorney backing Jones who describes himself as a moderate.

Public defender Patty Poe gets in a huff about her stellar legal credentials, but if she's so gifted, why did she turn to a friend for help with law in Carol's case?

Patty Poe, on law-school graduation day
When public defender Patty Poe informed us that her analysis of Carol's "assault" case in Missouri was based largely on the words of an unknown "friend," it was all we could do to keep from guffawing. Here, we thought all along that Poe was Carol's attorney, and it turns out Poe had a "mini Me" pulling her strings the whole time?

That was not the only moment of dark comedy -- one might call it absurdity -- in our communications with Poe.

During our final in-person meeting on Oct. 30, we challenged Poe several times about her assertions that our eviction in Springfield, MO, on Sept. 9, 2015, was lawful.

At one point, we must have struck a nerve because Poe got her back up, and speaking in her most huffy voice, said, "Let's get this straight. I went to law school for three years, I paid $300 to take the bar exam, I passed the bar exam, and I'm licensed to practice law -- and you haven't done any of those things."

As we say down South, "I'll de-clay-ah, aren't we soooo special?"

This is where comedy really enters the picture. Poe's rant about her credentials came less than five minutes after she told us about consulting her friend -- a supposed expert in the area of tenant/landlord law -- about various issues regarding the legality of our eviction.

Her friend, by the way, had no name, no affiliations, no location, no gender, no address, no cell phone number, maybe not even a law degree. But this veritable ghost was making decisions about Carol's case. Plus, he or she apparently was allowed to hear details about Carol's case, even though we had the impression Carol might be protected by this little item called "attorney-client confidentiality."

Sensing that Poe already was bent out of shape, and she perhaps knew she had stepped in it big-time, I decided not to let these words pass my lips. But here is what went through my mind: "If your legal education is so great, and your ability to pass the bar is so impressive, why did you need to consult a mystery friend to understand the incomprehensible vagaries of Missouri tenant-landlord law?

"Did they not have a course on legal research at the University of Missouri School of Law? Did you take such a course and skip it -- or sleep through it? Hell, I've conducted legal research to help write what has been ranked among the top 50 law blogs in North America -- and I've yet to have anyone prove my legal research to be inaccurate. I just went to the lowly Missouri J-School, but I can conduct legal research, and you have to rely on a friend to do it?"

As you can see, I was carrying on a bit of a rant in my mind. But here's where legitimate anger rose to a boil. Poe had admitted up front that the legality of the eviction was critical -- if it was unlawful, any evidence gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment would be suppressed. And that would gut an already weak case for the state. Plus, Poe said right up top that she spent her time on criminal cases and knew almost nothing about tenant/landlord law.

"Fine," we said, "We'll be glad to help with research. We've lived tenant/landlord law for the past two years, so we know a thing or two about it." Poe seemed to think that was reasonable, and in that spirit, Carol sent her a series of five emails, focusing on issues related to the case -- including legality of the eviction.

Carol's research was on point, supported by citations to law, and concisely stated. Was Poe grateful to have a client who was engaged in the process -- and intelligent and committed enough to help shred the prosecution's case? No, all she did was bitch about it -- claiming (falsely) that this was wrong and that was wrong. Not once did she use a correct citation to law to show anything in Carol's analysis was faulty.

Poe did, however, have this friend -- the one with no name, address, credentials, etc. -- and we were supposed to believe anything this ghostly person said.

Perhaps you can understand why I have zero respect for Patty Poe, and Carol feels the same way. Poe might as well take a class on legal ethics and learn to tell the truth, because she is a piss-poor liar.

Here's the kicker: Poe did not just (falsely) claim that the eviction was lawful. She said, over and over, that it didn't matter whether it was lawful or not.

Now, that is a serious crock of elephant feces, and we will turn to it next.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Alabama listserv, which might become the target of an IRS audit, was the venue for Senate candidate Doug Jones to attack my reporting on his ties to Rob Riley

Doug Jones
U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones used an Alabama listserv, which might soon become the subject of an IRS audit, to trash my reporting about Rob Riley's curious role in a HealthSouth lawsuit that generated roughly $51 million in attorney fees -- with Jones (a Democrat) and Riley (a Republican) happily partaking in the windfall.

Jones' harsh words about my reporting have a disturbing parallel to the cheat job I experienced at UAB, costing me my job of some 20 years. Retired attorney Jill Simpson, who blew the whistle on a Republican scheme to prosecute former Democratic governor Don Siegelman for political reasons, has stated in recent Facebook posts that she believes Jones was connected to blow back against her -- which included a mysterious fire at her home and multiple alarming highway incidents.

Simpson is calling for an IRS audit of a Huntsville-based listserv, run by Pam Miles, that reportedly raised millions of dollars to help with Siegelman's legal expenses, but now is supporting Jones in various ways -- including, it appears, raising money for his U.S. Senate campaign against Roy Moore. In short, Simpson and I have been two of Siegelman's most outspoken supporters, and yet evidence strongly suggests Jones has been involved in abuses targeting both of us -- or, at the very least, he knows who did direct the abuses -- and has been silent about it. And yet, Jones in his Senate campaign touts his "integrity." My question: what integrity?

The record is clear that Jones has benefited from his association with Rob Riley. In fact, it appears Jones' run against Roy Moore in a Dec. 12 special election got off the ground financially because of the HealthSouth-lawsuit funds. Jones ran for Senate once before, in 2002, but quickly folded his tent for lack of fund-raising support. That was more than four years before the HealthSouth case settled for $445 million, with Jones serving as co-liaison counsel. Who was the other liaison counsel, joining Jones as the chief local lawyers for plaintiffs? Why, it was Rob Riley.

Jumping in bed with Rob Riley is a way for Jones to show his "integrity"?

Legal Schnauzer published two primary articles about the curious nature of Rob Riley's ties to the HealthSouth case. The first -- "Did Rob Riley cash in on Siegelman prosecution (March 8, 2008) -- was based largely on original reporting by Sam Stein, of Huffington Post. Stein noted that Riley entered the litigation late, had virtually no experience with complex securities cases, and likely was brought in for his ties to the Don Siegelman-Richard Scrushy criminal matter. Stein concluded that Riley had engaged in what amounted to "legal insider training."

The second Legal Schnauzer story -- "Does Rob Riley engage in fraud as he 'fights fraud" (March 31, 2009) -- noted that Riley was a curious choice to fight health-care fraud, given that his own company (Performance Group LLC) was the subject of a qui tam lawsuit that alleged it had engaged in fraud related to physical-therapy services.

Jones' critique of my reporting, which ran on Miles' listserv, makes it clear he primarily was miffed about my first report on his alliance with Rob Riley -- the one dated March 8, 2008. Ironically, the post was published almost exactly three months before I was cheated out of my job at UAB -- and a tape-recorded conversation with a UAB HR administrator named Anita Bonasera makes it clear I lost my job because of my reporting on the Siegelman case, and not because of anything I had done wrong at work.

In other words, the record indicates Doug Jones is far more loyal to Rob Riley, a Rove Republican, than he is to Don Siegelman. After all, Riley helped generate the cash that now is fueling Jones' run for the Senate -- but Jones knows that is likely to turn off the black voters he desperately needs to defeat Roy Moore. Hence, Jones has held a grudge against me for almost 10 years, and likely has joined with the Riley Machine to heap all kinds of abuse on my wife, Carol, and me -- or to at least stay silent about that abuse. Integrity?

Rob and Bob Riley
Before we run Jones' full, unedited critique of my reporting, let's raise a few points (which will be highlighted below):

* Jones acknowledges he was involved with the HealthSouth civil case before becoming Siegelman's criminal-defense lawyer in 2003 -- where the former governor's co-defendant was former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. We've called Jones "The King of Conflicts," and he has earned that title.

* Jones tosses around words like "innuendo" and "speculation" below, but he never points to anything in my posts that is inaccurate;

* Jones makes much of back-room legal wrangling, which my posts don't even address;

* Jones admits Riley entered the HealthSouth litigation late and had almost no experience in such securities cases:

* Jones' own words show he mainly is miffed about my March 2008 post, the one that came curiously close to the cheat job I experienced at UAB;

* Jones admits he knows nothing about alleged fraud against Rob Riley's company, Performance Group LLC. Furthermore, Jones gives the distinct impression that he really doesn't give a damn.

This guy is absolutely full of something -- but it isn't integrity.

Here is Jones' complete, unedited response, as posted on Pam Miles' listserv:

I try to limit my responses to most of the posts on Pam's distribution list, but when someone writes to something that they obviously know nothing about and hit hits close to home, then I am compelled to respond. Such is the case with Roger's post below. I have been involved as liaison counsel in the HealthSouth securities fraud case since the beginning of the case in August of 2002, even before the FBI raid that occurred in March of 2003. As such I have been privy to facts and not just innuendo and speculation. So let me try and clear the air on this once and for all:

To begin with I should explain that in any securities fraud case there are usually a number of complaints that are filed and both the plaintiffs and their lawyers seek appointment as "leads" from the court. The lead plaintiffs are usually large institutional investors with huge losses from the drop in the stock price. The law also states that there is a presumption that the investor or combination of investors with the largest loss should be appointed as the lead plaintiff to maintain the class action on behalf of all investors. The lead counsel is the law firm that brings that lead plaintiff to the table. Lead counsel will often have a local or liaison to assist in the case. Liaison counsel can and usually does do a good bit of work on the case, which is a all done on a contingency basis. To imply, however, that liaison counsel is some how a "lead" counsel is very misleading.

It is true that Rob Riley was not involved in the early stages of the litigation. His entry into the case, however, was more fortuitous than sinister. Until 2005, my former law firm and I were the sole liaison counsel in the case. The Coughlin Stoia firm from San Diego and the Lowey Danenberg firm from NYC were designated by the Court as the lead counsel and their clients were the lead plaintiffs. However, as the litigation progressed a conflict of interest developed for the institutional investor plaintiffs and they moved to withdraw from the case. At that time the Court opened up the lead plaintiff and lead counsel appointments again. A number of new institutional investors and their lawyers applied for the lead plaintiff and lead counsel positions, including the New Mexico Retirement Systems who had sought Rob Riley as their local counsel. The Court heard arguments from all plaintiffs and their lawyers seeking lead status. During the appointment process the primary lawyers for the New Mexico Retirement Systems, the Labaton Sucharow firm, and the Coughlin Stoia firm struck a deal whereby they would jointly put forth their respective clients as co-lead plaintiffs and the two firms as co-lead counsel. As part of the deal, Rob Riley (for the Labaton firm) and I (for the Coughlin firm) were named as co-liaison counsel. The appointment of Rob riley was solely the result of these negotiations by the lead counsel and had absolutley nothing to do with Siegelman, Scrushy or Judge Fuller. I tried to explain all of this to Mr. Stein of the Huffington Post. Anyone that was involved involved in the appointment of lead and liaison counsel will simply laugh at the suggestion that Rob Riley's entry into the case was somehow connected to Siegleman or the result of "legal-political insider trading." We both had to go through the appointment process with the court.

It is true that Riley had very little experience in securities fraud cases at time that he was selected by the Labaton firm as their local counsel. However, B'ham did not have many plaintiffs counsel that were experienced in this type litigation and all of those were already involved in the case and thus had conflicts. Moreover, while experience is helpful it is not a prerequisite for local counsel. All facets of the litigation are controlled by the lead counsel, which in the HealthSouth case was 2 of the best in the country. I will candidly say, however, that Rob Riley and his firm have provided assistance in all phases of the HealthSouth litigation and have done an outstanding job. It is a more than a stretch, however, to suggest that Rob Riley "engineered" the 445M dollar settlement paid by Healthsouth and their insurers.

I have no knowledge of whether or not Rob Riley has an interest in any health care related firm, but the fact is that the HealthSouth debacle was of Healthsouth's own making, not the plaintiff lawyers who brought the case for stockholders who lost literally billions of dollars, and certainly not Rob Riley. The settlement against HealthSouth was presented to the court for approval by lead counsel, not me or Rob Riley. The settlement against EY will be presented by lead counsel, not me or Rob Riley.

Rob Riley and I have many, many political differences, but the HealthSouth case and our duties to our clients and the stockholder class is not one of them. The bottom line here is before anyone decides to jump to absurd conclusions based on what appears to be purely political motivations they should check out facts from those involved and try and actually learn at least something about the legal proceedings they are writing about.

What "absurd conclusions" did I reach? What "purely political motivations" did I have? What "facts" did I (or Sam Stein, for that matter) get wrong? Jones doesn't say.

We do know that Jones charged Siegelman $300,000 for a criminal defense that he never really performed. After all, Jones developed a scheduling conflict and dropped out of the case before trial, apparently keeping hundreds of the thousands of dollars.

This much is for damned sure: Doug Jones defended Rob Riley (for free) in a way he never defended Don Siegelman (at an extremely high cost).

But Jones is pitching "integrity" to voters?

My nephew, Noah Hayes Shuler, gets nailed for driving 88 mph in a 60 zone, but his father (my brother-lawyer David Shuler) is rushing to his defense in Missouri

Noah Hayes Shuler
Another of my nephews is in trouble with the law here in the Heartland. This time, it's Noah Hayes Shuler, the oldest son of my brother-lawyer (David Shuler) and his wife (Gina Hayes Shuler).

According to public records, a Missouri state trooper clocked Noah driving up to 88 mph in a 60 mph zone on May 22, 2017. Noah is charged with Exceeding Posted Speed Limit (Exceeded By 20 - 25 mph) {Misdemeanor B RSMo: 304.010}.

The statute includes the following language:

11. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a class C misdemeanor, unless such person was exceeding the posted speed limit by twenty miles per hour or more then it is a class B misdemeanor.

Class B misdemeanors in Missouri include driving while intoxicated and first-degree trespassing, and they carry a possible punishment of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Noah is an 18-year-old freshman at William Jewell College, a liberal-arts school, in Liberty, MO, where he plays on the soccer team. He graduated in 2017 from Greenwood Laboratory School, a private school associated with Missouri State University in Springfield.

Noah's encounter with the law happened at 1:43 a.m., as he was driving at a high rate of speed on U.S. 65, north of Evans Road, which leads into the Millwood golf-course community, where his family lives in a house appraised at $631,300. The residence is part of $1.162 million in real estate that David and Gina Shuler own in Greene County.

Here is Trooper E. Mueller's description of the incident, from a traffic ticket. (See 1731-TR01863 - ST V NOAH HAYES SHULER at

Exceeded posted speed limit (exceeded by 20-25 miles per hour). FR radar same, pass test at 0147 hours. OBSV as vehicle passed patrol car and then rapidly increased speed, to as fast as 88 just S/O Battlefield and into 55 MPH zone. Patrol cruise set at 60 MPH. "I was supposed to be home at 0130."

Driving 85, with posted speed limit of 60

US-65 SB N/O Evans Rd.

Noah's excuse to the trooper apparently was that he was supposed to be home by 1:30 a.m., and he was running about 15 minutes late. Hmmm . . .

David Shuler
In his freshman soccer season at William Jewell, Noah played in one match, for four minutes. The team had a 3-14 record under Coach Garrett Jahn. (Yes, Noah's name is misspelled as "Schuler" on the team roster. I've been dealing with that my whole life, and I guess he will be, too. In the digital age, you'd think someone could manage to make that easy correction.)

The traffic incident occurred in May, but the case docket shows it did not become a court case until Sept. 28. The docket shows that Noah entered a plea of not guilty, and his father entered an appearance on his behalf on Nov. 3.

An arraignment is set for 9 a.m. on Dec. 19.

We sought comment from David Shuler, and he responded with some pretty interesting words.

(To be continued)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Whistle blower Jill Simpson plans to seek IRS audit of Alabama listserv that once helped Don Siegelman, but now is used to assist Democratic con man Doug Jones

Pam Miles
A major figure in the Don Siegelman case plans to seek an IRS audit of a north Alabama listserv to determine if it improperly has been used to raise funds for U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones.

Jill Simpson, who blew the whistle on a Republican scheme to prosecute Siegelman, said in a recent Facebook post that she is concerned the left-leaning listserv is being used to help raise campaign funds for Jones, in his Senate bid against Roy Moore. Pam Miles, of Huntsville, runs the listserv, and Simpson said it raised significant funds to help with Siegelman's legal expenses. Any efforts to now help Jones would be ironic, Simpson says, because Jones used his ties to Rob Riley and other Republicans to help ensure Siegelman and co-defendant Richard Scrushy would be convicted -- and it would not be overturned on appeal.

Simpson apparently is struggling to wrap her head around the notion that any person, or organization, could support Don Siegelman and then support Doug Jones, who reportedly left knife wounds between the former governor's shoulder blades. I share Simpson's astonishment, and like her, I have suffered mightily for being on the front lines of defending Siegelman; Simpson experienced a mysterious house fire and multiple highway mishaps, while my wife and I were cheated out of our jobs, I was unlawfully thrown in jail due to a bogus lawsuit brought by Rob Riley, and we had our house stolen from under us via a wrongful foreclosure.

Clearly, Simpson believes Jones was directly or indirectly involved in the abuses directed at her -- and Carol and I share that belief regarding our experiences; in fact, we would not be surprised to learn Jones was involved in the unlawful eviction in Missouri that led to Carol's left arm being shattered so severely that it required trauma surgery.

What word might accurately describe Simpson's emotions toward the Huntsville listserv at the moment? "Enraged" probably would be a good one. That also might summarize my feelings. From Simpson's Facebook post on the subject:

I have decided to speak out about Pam Miles using the Siegelman list server to send out messages in support of Doug Jones.

It is just freaking unbelievable she would use that to reach out to folks when Doug running his mouth to Republicans such as Rob Riley -- who did a case with Doug that benefited them in having Don and his codefendant Richard Scrushy go to prison is amazing to me.

Ms. Miles solicited tons of money over the years, and I heard at times it was several million dollars for the Siegelman matter. But to my knowledge, I never personally received one dime of that money, and I think that account should be audited by the IRS,  as the folks donating deserve to know exactly where that money went.

My story of coming forward was used to help solicit funds without my consent, but over the last couple of years asking Miles about it, I have never been able to get a straight answer. 
When I was viciously attacked in 2015, my husband and I asked for any help we could get, but Ms Miles said there was nothing to help me with at all, not one penny, which seemed odd. We asked, "Well, could you help us get a lawyer friend of Don's to help? I am being attacked, and she said no. My husband and I asked about fund raising on the listserv, and Miles replied that can only be used for Don. 
But then early this year we learned that was a lie and that she was working for Doug Jones and using that same listserv, as I started getting listserv notices for Doug Jones,  promoting him and asking for money -- that sort of fund-raiser stuff.

I can feel Simpson's pain. It is undisputed that I lost my job of 20 years at UAB because of reporting on my blog -- on my own time and resources -- about the Siegelman case. I caught a UAB HR administrator named Anita Bonasera admitting that to me in a tape-recorded phone conversation. Carol and I lost our home to a Riley/Jones/Republican wrongful foreclosure in July 2014, and ever since then, we've been on the verge of homelessness. If we've received any help from the Pam Miles listserv, it's been minimal, at best. That has not bothered me in the past because I figured the listserv generated limited funds. But if Simpson is correct that it has drawn in millions, and some of it is going to Doug Jones -- the guy who helped put Siegelman in prison and almost certainly is tied to abuses directed at Jill Simpson and Carol and me -- I am all for an IRS audit. Writes Simpson:

I don't know what happened to all the money she collected over the years, but I know early on it was a lot. But I never got any, and I really want to know if any of that money collected is being used to help Doug Jones, since Miles used my story without my permission to collect money, as I have never felt that was right. 
So I have decided the account needs to be audited, as I want to make sure no money was ever used to help Jones from my story. I want to make it real clear that I believe Jones running his mouth when I came forward early in the Siegelman case caused my house to get blown up on one end and my car to get run off the road. Also, I believe Jones shortly afterwards sent Rob Riley to Scrushy's home office to examine records and get a look around, to see if I was at the office, as Scrushy told me how strange Rob acted that day.

Looking back, my showing up sent a potential monkey wrench in Doug and Rob's plans to pillage $51 million from HealthSouth by putting Scrushy in prison -- and they did it with a story Doug and Rob cooked pretty well on Don and Scrushy for the Republicans. What a hoot. 
But one thing is for damn sure: I don't want Doug getting benefit of a listserv my story helped build nationally. I contacted some folks who know Don several weeks ago and asked why that listserv was allowed to be used by Pam, if owned by Don, for Doug Jones' benefit. And I was told Don was disappointed in her working for Doug, but disappointed is not enough; I want it stopped, and it hasn't been. Now I have decided I want the listserv audited from the day that Ms Miles started using my story of coming forward. After all, I have never seen one penny of that money and deserve to know who got it and how it was spent.

I think she is trash for using any listserv that told any of my story, for the benefit of Doug Jones -- knowing what in all likelihood happened to me was from him yapping to Rob Riley.  I heard from a young man recently who has helped see the Jones story told all along as well, and he had been put off The Free Siegelman Web site for talking about Doug -- and I think Siegelman owes him and us explanations as well or whether this is Ms Miles' actions. I have decided to ask the IRS to audit all the money-solicitation  accounts that occurred from the web server list site -- since it is being used to boost Doug Jones, after using my story to collect funds without my permission.

As for Don Siegelman, he needs to think long and hard of whether he is on the side of people who defended him or on Doug Jones' side. This not 'a both and' situation 'it is an either or.' If Don stands with Doug, which it looks like due to this listserv deal being used, then he needs to fess up, as I am done with ever helping them again. After all, I risked my life and lost everything to stand up for what was right, and he should do the same thing as he has known for a very long time I believe Doug yapping caused harm to me and him. 
If these are strictly Ms Miles' actions, then he needs to release a press release saying she used it without his permission. Either way, I expect a full accounting, and if necessary, I have no fear of calling in the IRS.

In a moment of dark comedy, public defender Patty Poe informs us that constitutional issues in Carol's case will be decided on the word of a ghostly "friend"

Patty Poe, on law-school graduation day
One of the "benefits" of having your own lawyer repeatedly lie to you is that it can create moments of dark comedy. Consider our experience with Patty Poe, the public defender who supposedly was representing Carol in a pending "assault" case over the past six months.

Carol is charged with "assaulting" a law enforcement officer by pushing him as he burst into our rented duplex apartment in Springfield, Missouri, for an eviction on Sept. 9, 2015. The charge is nutty, of course, because the "victim" -- Officer Jeremy Lynn -- admits in a written statement that he caused physical contact with Carol, not the other way around. And under the statute in question, RSMo 565.083, that is the central element to the offense.

In our early interactions with her, even Poe seemed to acknowledge there are big issues here -- ones that go straight to the U.S. Constitution. "Did Carol push Jeremy Lynn, or did Jeremy Lynn grab Carol?" is an important question. But it pales in importance to this question: "Did Jeremy Lynn and his fellow officers that day have lawful grounds to be on our property, much less to be breaking into our residence?"

If they did not, any evidence they gather is a violation of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable and unlawful searches and seizures, and it must be suppressed or excluded. In criminal law, it's called the "exclusionary rule," and we've written about it many times -- especially in the context of dubious traffic stops. But the same rule that protects you in your automobile also protects you in your home. That doctrine was made clear more than 55 years ago in a U.S. Supreme Court case styled Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961),

A Motion to Suppress the prosecution's evidence probably was the No. 1 task that needed to be addressed in Carol's case. If granted, such a motion would exclude all of the government's evidence -- and there isn't much, just the weak tea in its Probable Cause Statement. Without that evidence, however, the government's case is wholly barren, and the case must be dropped. It is, after all, hard to prosecute a case with no evidence.

So when Poe first joined Carol's case in late May, she brought up the issue of the eviction's legality -- and noted, as a public defender who deals in criminal cases, she is far from an expert on tenant/landlord law. We said, "Fine, we're not experts either, but we have had reason to study tenant/landlord law because of all we've been through -- and we'd be happy to try to help."

In that spirit, knowing that Poe works in an understaffed, overworked office, Carol sent her five e-mails in early August, outlining research on a number of issues related to the case. Poe acknowledged receipt of the emails and said she would go over the material and get back to us. The information on eviction law was primarily in Email No. 2, dated Aug. 8, 2017. (The emails, and Poe's responses to them, are embedded at the end of this post.

Poe's response came about 2 1/2 weeks later, in an email dated Aug. 27. Rather than show the slightest hint of appreciation for having a client who was able and willing to help, Poe's response had a snarky, "you put me out" tone. Worse, she hit us with one lie after another, showing she had made no genuine effort to understand the law she had admitted a few weeks earlier was critical to Carol's case. A key point to remember: A Motion to Suppress, if granted, wipes out what little evidence the government has in Carol's case -- and the prosecution is over, finito.

So, we had this strange notion that Poe would take Carol's research on this matter seriously. But here is the introduction to Poe's response:

Good Evening Roger and Carol:

I've spend a good part of my Sunday researching some of your points as well as preparing the Motion to Compel. I will send you a copy of that motion once it's complete. I've broken up my responses based on your 5 emails. If you have any further questions or wish to set up an appointment please let me know, although I'll be on vacation Wednesday through Wednesday. As always, Carol, if you disagree with how I am representing you in this matter you may always proceed pro se or hire private counsel.

Notice in the first sentence that Poe almost seems to be expecting us to write a note of apology for causing her to actually do some work on a Sunday. Then, in the last sentence, she invites Carol to boot her ass off the case if Carol is dissatisfied with her "representation." That was the first of about a dozen times Poe resorted to that tactic in the final 2-3 months she was on the case. Her commitment to justice during that time was profoundly touching.

Carol refused to bite at that bait, even when Poe used it 3-4 more times during our final in-person meeting with her on Oct. 30. But here is where the dark comedy enters the picture.

Poe made it clear in her email that she saw nothing wrong with the eviction -- that everything about it was lawful and downright hunky dory. So we challenged her on that in our in-person meeting -- in fact, we flat out told her she was wrong; after all, she had admitted she knew virtually nothing about tenant/landlord law.

But get this! When confronted with the rubbish she had spewed on perhaps the single most important issue in Carol's case, Poe said the following (and I'm not joking): "Well, I have a friend who knows a lot about tenant/landlord law, and my friend says the eviction was lawful."

Well, there you go -- that's what students learn at the University of Missouri School of Law. If they don't know something about a certain topic, they call a friend they consider to be an expert -- whether the "friend" really is an expert or not. Then, they transmit that information to the client, seemingly never thinking that, "You know, discussing this case with someone else might violate attorney-client privilege -- just a little bit." And then there is this: "Since I'm not going to disclose the identity of my friend to the client, she's not going to have a clue about this person who is having a major impact on her case."

In essence, the client's defense strategy is being formed by some unknown third party -- and the friend might not even be a lawyer. Even worse, the friend might be a lawyer who has a vested interest in the outcome of the case, who has a conflict the size of Yellowstone National Park. The friend might be feeding a steaming load of buffalo turds to Patty Poe, but Carol is supposed to accept that, without any concern.

Well, Carol and I both had huge concerns. And it was in that moment, we both knew -- FOR SURE -- Patty Poe was trying to screw Carol. Still, during that meeting, Carol refused to let Poe off the case. In followup emails, Carol again raised the suppression issue, and that's when Poe broke, came up with the Notice of Jail Waiver from prosecutor Nicholas Jain, and bailed out of the case.

That's not the only moment of dark comedy in the song-and-dance routine Patty Poe put us through. There is at least one other, not to mention specifics about how wrong she was on the critical issue of eviction law.

We will address those subjects in an upcoming post.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Luther Strange declares himself a corruption fighter as rising billboards and rampant investigations show the soon-to-be-former senator is a corruption creator

U.S. Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) is the political equivalent of a canker sore. Just when you think you are rid of him, he pops back up -- usually in a painful and annoying way. With a special election just one week away -- Roy Moore or Doug Jones will be elected to Jeff Sessions' old seat, which Strange has been keeping warm on an interim basis -- "Big Lutha's" days as a political force appear to be numbered.

But darned, if he didn't crawl out from under his rock the other day with a guest column at, containing a headline that seemed right out of The Onion. The title of Lutha's screed: "The importance of taking on corruption."

Readers all over Alabama must have spit up when they read that. The Strange column came as VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor has erected billboards around the state that shout "Exposed!," followed by photos of Strange, former governor Bob Riley, and former U.S. Attorney Leura Canary. Reports Josh Moon, of Alabama Political Reporter (APR):

The billboards, McGregor said on Monday, were a reminder to the people of the state about the corruption he feels was exposed by the documentary “Atticus v. Architect: The Political Assassination of Don Siegelman.”

“I think that film peeled back the layers of corruption in this state and exposed these people for the crooks they are,” McGregor said. “They have gone unpunished and been allowed to stay in power far too long. I hope to, at the very least, let every person in this state know what they did.”

McGregor has received an up-close view of Strange/Riley/Canary corruption. Writes Moon:

The film also details the attempted prosecution of McGregor, which the VictoryLand owner has long maintained was motivated by politics and lacking evidence of criminal activity on his part. A federal jury agreed, acquitting him and his co-defendants of all charges.

But the trial was not McGregor’s only run-in with Riley and Strange. After operating a legal electronic bingo casino operation in Macon County for more than five years — a business that was inspected and deemed legal by then-state Attorney General Troy King — Riley decided the business was illegal and formed a task force to shut it and other casinos down. McGregor’s casino was raided numerous times — both by Riley’s task force and by Strange’s office — and to add insult to injury, machines confiscated from VictoryLand were allowed to be transferred — with VictoryLand stickers still attached — to the casino floor at the Poarch Creek Indians’ Wind Creek Casino.

Strange's corruption-fighting column came roughly six weeks after APR reported there are so many complaints against Strange the Alabama Ethics Commission can't keep up with them all:

A formal complaint was filed by Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill last spring regarding transfers of campaign funds that Strange made between his various campaign accounts. The issues were similar to the charges filed against former Gov. Robert Bentley, leading to his conviction and resignation.

The Ethics Commission was expected to take up the matter by late summer but it still hasn’t found its way onto an agenda. There was plenty of speculation about the cause – with most guessing the Commission was bending to political pressure, since Strange was facing a Republican primary in a special election this fall. That speculation grew when the Ethics Commission mysteriously delayed its July meeting until a day after the primary.

But multiple sources familiar with the Ethics Commission’s investigation say it was additional allegations that led to the long delay. Those allegations run the gamut, including that Strange violated ethics laws by accepting the appointment to the U.S. Senate from Bentley, that he broke multiple campaign finance laws and that he used his office for personal gain in several instances.

The allegations also have tied Strange to the ongoing bribery scandal surrounding the north Birmingham superfund site. However, U.S. Attorney Jay Town, earlier this month, stated that no elected officials other than Oliver Robinson were being investigated in that matter.

For those keeping score, let's count the Strange-related scandals mentioned in the above passage:

(1) Improper shifting of funds from one campaign account to another;

(2) Accepting a U.S. Senate appointment from former "Luv Guv" Robert Bentley, who was the subject of an investigation by Strange's attorney general's office;

(3) Violations of multiple campaign-finance law;

(4) Using his office for personal gain;

(5) Connections to the North Birmingham Superfund scandal.

On top of that, Strange and his former campaign manager/mistress Jessica Medeiros Garrison are defendants in two pending federal lawsuits that my wife Carol and I have filed -- "The Jail Case," regarding my unlawful arrest and incarceration in Shelby County; and "The House Case," regarding the theft of our Birmingham home of 25 years, via a wrongful foreclosure.

Luther Strange and Jessica Garrison
Legitimate discovery in those cases likely will reveal astonishing corruption involving Strange and his associates.

Speaking of Strange, Garrison, and the use of public office for personal gain, we can't forget a story with this unforgettable headline: "How Did Jessica Garrison Have A Mt. Brook House in 2011, When Foreclosure, Public Auction Didn't Come Until 2012?" From the story:

Court documents show that a Republican political operative with close ties to Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange was set to live in a Mountain Brook home in 2011, even though the property in question was not sold at public auction until summer 2012. . . .

Did Garrison's ties to GOP heavyweights help her obtain a home in Birmingham's most exclusive suburb when the house apparently was not even on the market yet? Did powerful figures pull strings to help keep Jessica Garrison quiet about certain party secrets, and in the process, commit mortgage fraud, foreclosure fraud or other wrongdoing . . . ?

[A court document in her child-custody case] establishes that Jessica Garrison had the Crestline home lined up on July 26, 2011, but that is at odds with a Foreclosure Deed on the property that is dated July 20, 2012. . . .

How did Jessica Garrison know she had a house in 2011 when it wasn't sold at foreclosure until 2012? We don't know--but we do know that Ms. Garrison isn't anxious to answer questions about it.

Yep, I tried to interview Ms. Garrison about her curious home acquisition, but she wanted none of that. Two days after the interview request, however, I received a letter from her lawyer, Bill Baxley, threatening a lawsuit. Two weeks after my post on the subject, Shelby County cop/thugs broke into our house, kidnapped me (no warrant), and threw me in jail for five months.

In fact, I wrote a followup post (dated Oct. 22, 2013) on the cushy nature of the Garrison house deal and was arrested the very next day.

Gee, that doesn't sound the least bit dirty, does it? But hey, Luther Strange is one fine corruption fighter . . . Cough! Hack! Snort!

Roy Moore supporters scuttled Bill Pryor's chances for SCOTUS seat, but new report doesn't tell full story about Pryor's ties to and gay porn

Bill Pryor No. 1
Roy Moore supporters helped stick a fork in Bill Pryor's chances for a U.S. Supreme Court seat earlier this year by arguing Pryor too often sided with gay interests, according to a report at a conservative news/propaganda site. A prominent Alabama whistle blower and opposition researcher suggests the site, Yellowhammer News (YH), isn't telling the whole story.

Quin Hilyer, author of the YH article, takes Democrat Doug Jones to task for a recent ad hinting that Moore, while chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, went easy on child sexual abusers because -- as reported in a string of investigative articles connected to the Moore v. Jones U.S. Senate special election (set for Dec. 12) -- Moore himself is a child sexual abuser.

Hilyer decries Jones' attack on Roy Moore, just as he finds Moore's earlier attack on Bill Pryor to be unseemly. But Hilyer does not complete the circle with the Pryor story and essentially sets up a false equivalency. Siegelman-case whistle blower Jill Simpson, in a post at her Facebook page, is more than happy to complete the circle that allegedly torpedoed Pryor's SCOTUS hopes.

In so doing, she raises the likelihood that -- regardless of what Roy Moore supporters might have done -- the genesis of the Pryor implosion rests with our reporting at Legal Schnauzer on the judge's ties to 1990's gay pornography. In fact, Simpson adds some fascinating history about the Pryor gay-porn photos, which are connected to a couple of Montgomery lawyers -- one on the right and one on the left.

Bill Pryor No. 2
As a right-wing "think tank" type, Hilyer assiduously eschews any reference to Pryor's nude photos that appeared at (Hilyer also fails to reference Pryor's exceptionally close relationship with Trump AG Jeff Sessions, which involved the "evil elf" making frequent late-night visits -- caught on surveillance -- to Pryor's Montgomery apartment.) Here is how Hilyer explains his distaste for the Doug Jones ads about Roy Moore:

Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones’ latest ad highlights three Alabama Supreme Court cases in which then-Chief Justice Moore “sided” with defendants accused of sexual crimes involving minors. The obvious implication is that Moore sympathizes with such sexual abusers because he is one.

Hilyer then decries the hatchet job Moore supporters supposedly executed on Pryor, when Donald Trump was considering the Alabamian for a seat on the nation's highest court:

Moore’s associates bizarrely accused Pryor of being “a strong ally of the homosexual lobby” merely because Pryor’s decisions (or dissents) in three cases happened to reach “results” favored by homosexual parties to the case. I joined some conservative legal luminaries in explaining how viciously unfair the accusation was, because in all three cases Pryor’s legal reasoning was plain for all to see, and it hewed closely to the actual facts at hand and the specific procedural issues involved.

Hilyer posits that Moore associates attacked Pryor on "intellectual" and "legal reasoning" grounds. But look what Hilyer conveniently left out. In the Jones-Moore scenario, Hilyer claimed "the obvious implication is that Moore sympathizes with such sexual abusers because he is one." The implication in the Moore-Pryor scenario would be of a parallel nature: That Pryor sympathizes with gay interests because he is gay. More specifically, as our Legal Schnauzer reporting has shown, Pryor is ardently homophobic in his public statements while being a married, closeted gay in his private life.

Bill Pryor No. 3
Quin Hilyer might not want to complete the circle on the Bill Pryor story, but Jill Simpson is more than happy to do it. She is quick to say that she was not aware Roy Moore supporters had anything to do with Pryor finishing a distant third, with Neil Gorsuch of Colorado taking top honors, in the SCOTUS sweepstakes -- although she gives Team Moore props if they were able to pull that off.

Simpson, however, does not seem to buy the notion that the Moore crowd attacked Pryor only on a "legal debate" basis. She suggests any such attack almost certainly included an emphasis on Pryor's ties to gay porn -- he sympathizes with gays because he is a closeted gay -- and that comes back to our reporting. We have published four nude photographs of Pryor that were taken during his college days at Northeast Louisiana in the 1980s and found their way to as the digital era exploded in the 1990s, shortly after Pryor became Alabama attorney general.

Here is Simpson's take on Hilyer's article and the information he leaves out:

I had no idea it was Roy Moore's group who destroyed Pryor's chance of getting on the Supreme Court,  but cheers to Roy on that one. We progressives also fought against Pryor getting on the bench, for political prosecution matters against Don Siegelman and other progressives. Pryor might claim to be a terrific good Catholic, who believes in religious freedom, but I recently saw the clip of him basically asking Roy to denounce God, and Roy refusing, which cost him his bench seat. That is not a good Catholic to put on the Supreme Court. After watching, I realized Pryor is more creepy than I thought.

Simpson also reveals the Pryor gay-porn photos have revolved for years around two Montgomery attorneys -- Tommy Gallion (a conservative) and Priscilla Duncan (a liberal):

I find it amusing that Roy Moore's bunch was unhappy with Pryor since he is so gay friendly in cases to the LBGTQ community. Years ago, trying to show what a hypocrite Pryor was -- talking all his religious-right BS -- a bunch of his Bad Puppy pictures fell in my lap as Priscilla [Duncan], my lawyer at that time, had a stash that included the magazine her husband had obtained to help back Pryor off Siegelman.

Bill Pryor No. 4
Then I got to see Tommy Gallion's set after I introduced Priscilla to [investigative journalist] Wayne Madsen, and some [of the photos] appeared [at Madsen's site]. Poor Gallion thought he owned the one set, only to be surprised that Priscilla had a pretty good collection as well.
Priscilla and Gallion both were pretty good oppo folks for their respective parties, and I got caught in the middle, as I at times, was represented by both before my testimony in DC.
Simpson then gives Gallion credit for having the better collection of Pryor porn:

I must admit Gallion's collection was far better than Prscilla's collection, and the drum major outfit -- with the cape and Pryor naked -- is something I will never forget seeing in my entire life. 
So hats off to Roy if he knocked out Pryor from going on the Supreme Court bench. After seeing the photos that I believe are Pryor naked in the drum major cape, I have often wondered what he wears under his 11th Circuit robe -- and does he on occasion surprise folks with what is lurking under it, like he did with his drum major cape in the picture I saw? 
I know it is naughty to ponder, but once you see the Gallion collection, you never forget that cape outfit. Roy Mooe did a public service if he got Pryor off the Supreme Court because Pryor is 100 percent eaten up by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which favors the 1 percent of richest Americans. They harm all of us when they own court members and, the chamber is where Pryor's loyalty lies.

Bottom line: Roy Moore's supporters might have caused Bill Pryor's SCOTUS dreams to fly off the tracks, but they almost certainly could not have done it without a major boost from our reporting at Legal Schnauzer.

This scenario, by the way, is worth considering: What if Moore representatives went to, say, Jeff Sessions earlier this year and said, in so many words: "We are about to blow the rails off the underground gay train you and Pryor have been riding for years -- unless you make sure his SCOTUS nomination gets derailed?" And what if Sessions, Pryor, and Bob and Rob Riley now are firing back by supporting Doug Jones and helping to unearth tales of Moore's taste for the tender flesh of teen-aged girls?

That would fit. As we've reported here, with assistance from Jill Simpson, Jones is firmly ensconced in the GOP Sessions/Pryor/Riley camp. And this would be exactly the kind of bare-knuckles, back-street brawling that has caused Alabama to become perhaps the country's No. 1 political sewer.