Lots of news on the justice front in Alabama today:
Case against Bessemer judge dismissed
A 56-count indictment against Bessemer Circuit Judge Dan King has been dismissed because it was not presented in open court as required by state law and the guidelines set out in the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure. Alabama Attorney General Troy King said he plans to continue pursuing the charges. Dan King evidently incurred the wrath of the AG by ruling in favor of gaming interests in a high-profile case. King's staff went through Bessemer Circuit Judge Teresa Petelos to get the indictment, and she testified in a hearing last week. This case is particularly interesting because all involved are Republicans. Wonder if Dan King has thought about changing parties. Also wonder why Troy King thought he could go through Petelos to get an indictment in the case, seemingly without following proper procedure.
Appeals court on Fuller's case again
A federal appeals court has told U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller to act on former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy's request to be freed from prison while he appeals his bribery conviction. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Fuller should write an explanation of this earlier decision to deny an appeal bond. This is the second time we've been down this path in recent days. Fuller had to be ordered to write an explanation on a similar motion filed by former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Fuller refused to release Siegelman, so Scrushy's chances appear to be dim. Any chance Fuller actually will do his job at some point without being forced to do it by an appeals court?
Hoover High School stays in spotlight
The grade-changing/football scandal at Hoover High School, famous through MTV's Two A Days, remains a hot topic. The Hoover City Council president is calling on the school board to take quick action on recommendations to punish or clear employees named in an investigation of improprieties. Meanwhile, on the sports page, attorney Russ Campbell is doing a pretty darn good job of defending the reputation of head coach Rush Propst. Early news reports hammered Propst after the Hoover report was released on Saturday. But Campbell makes a strong case for the notion that Propst is being inaccurately portrayed and says the coach wants to keep his job at Hoover.