Who is behind the effort by authorities in Shelby County, Alabama, to unlawfully seize my house, which is jointly owned by my wife and me?
The central Shelby County figures in my legal case are Pelham attorney William E. Swatek (who has an almost 30-year record of unethical activities in the legal profession) and corrupt circuit judges J. Michael Joiner and G. Dan Reeves.
Evidence, however, suggests that efforts by "jack booted thugs" to steal my house are being driven by figures beyond Shelby County. Evidence also suggests that this effort has nothing to do with a desire to take our house or our cars--or otherwise satisfy an alleged "judgment" in the amount of $1,525. This clearly is about the blog you are now reading.
Let's look at what the evidence tells us:
* I started this blog in June 2007, and my first reference, by name, to corrupt Republican judges in Shelby County came on July 9, 2007. You can read the post here. The posts makes references to several potentially sensitive topics among local GOPers--corrupt Pelham lawyer William E. Swatek and his ties to GOP judges; connections that Swatek and Joiner have to Briarwood Presbyterian Church and said church's curious connections to my legal case; and efforts from the outset by The Birmingham News to cover up the story, probably because Briarwood is the home church of longtime News publisher Victor Hanson II. It's quite clear that Joiner, Swatek, and the News have been aware of my blog for some time. But I'm not sure they even knew about it in summer 2007. Even if they did, I'm not sure it bothered them all that much. Joiner, for example, probably didn't like being called a criminal. But I've seen no evidence that he's all that upset about it. One, he knows he's a criminal, so I'm not breaking any news to him. And he knows the local legal and media establishment will protect him, so I'm not sure he, or Swatek, are terribly concerned about Legal Schnauzer.
* What about Alabama Governor Bob Riley? We've thrown daggers his way, almost from the outset of Legal Schnauzer. My first reference to Riley and his connections to my case--through his campaign manager Dax Swatek, who is William E. Swatek's son--came on June 12, 2007. You can read that post here. We've gone on to call Riley's ethics into question on numerous occasions, and we've noted that it appears Alabama's GOP-controlled state courts are protecting Bill Swatek because his son has worked for Riley. I have reason to believe that Riley and his inner circle are aware of Legal Schnauzer and probably are none too pleased with it. But are they behind threats to steal my house? The evidence suggests, to me, that they probably are not--or at least, I don't think they are the primary force.
So who is behind it? Let's follow the evidence trail a little further.
What if we follow the timeline between what was being written on this blog and when threats to seize my property began? Will that tell us who is behind the "jack booted thugs" who have been making our lives quite unpleasant?
I think it will:
* In late July of 2007, I had a most interesting e-mail exchange with Alice Martin, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. This came after I had sent her two lengthy "snail-mail" letters outlining criminal wrongdoing I had witnessed by multiple judges and at least one attorney in her district. Martin did not respond to my second letter, so after several months of waiting, I took a wild stab at e-mailing her. I didn't know what her e-mail address was, and to my knowledge, it isn't published anywhere on the Web. But I apparently guessed right because she responded. I identified myself by name and made reference to my letters and asked for an update about actions that had been taken regarding the information I had sent. As you will see shortly, Martin was quite evasive in answering my questions, and she clearly was not pleased that I wasn't readily accepting her responses.
* You also will notice that I did not inform her that I had a blog about my legal experiences. At the time, I didn't think the fact that I wrote a blog was relevant; I simply wanted to see that something was going to be done about the crimes I had witnessed. When I conducted some research based on what Martin had told me, I realized she was trying to blow me off. Worse than that, she was practicing selective prosecution, covering up clear crimes because the perpetrators were members in good standing of the Republican "home team." That's when I decided I had a story the public needed to know about. The question was: When to write about it?
* One of the goals for this blog has been to show that the wrongdoing I've experienced in Alabama state courts has connections to larger, national issues involving our U.S. Justice Department. So through fall 2007, Legal Schnauzer focused largely on honest-services mail fraud and how that issued weaved its way through three cases--the Don Siegelman prosecution in Alabama, the Paul Minor prosecution in Mississippi, and my own case in Alabama state courts. My research indicated that defendants in the Siegelman and Minor cases, all Democrats, were in federal prison for honest-services mail fraud that they did not commit. Meanwhile, judges and at least one attorney, all Republicans, clearly had committed honest-services mail fraud in my case. And they were not even being investigated.
* The failure of the Justice Department to investigate my case is a classic example of selective prosecution, the topic of an ongoing Congressional inquiry. And that is where Alice Martin enters the picture on our blog. It's also where my wife and I start receiving threats to unlawfully seize our property.
* Alice Martin was not the only character to enter the picture at about the time my wife and I started receiving threats regarding our property. The Paul Minor case in Mississippi also became a major topic on Legal Schnauzer. My first reference to the Minor case came on August 2, 2007, in a post titled "Another Republican Witch Hunt." You can read the post here, and to my knowledge, it is the first post on the Web about the Minor case and its connections to the Siegelman prosecution. The Minor case received national attention when Scott Horton, of Harper's, first wrote about it on Sept. 18, 2007, and I had a series of posts on Sept. 19, 2007. My posts on the Minor case from September 2007 can be read here.
* Why is September 2007 important? Follow on me on this timeline:
August 2, 2007--I first write about the Paul Minor case in Mississippi.
August 22, 2007--I first write about my e-mail exchange with Alice Martin.
September 18, 2007--Scott Horton, of Harper's, first writes about the Minor case.
September 19, 2007--I write a series of posts about the Minor case.
September 21, 2007--My wife and I receive a writ of execution, listing our house and two cars as property to be seized to satisfy a "judgment" against me in the amount of $1,525. The writ is not served as required by Alabama law.
November 12, 2007--I make a second, more detailed, reference to my e-mail exchange with Alice Martin.
November 20, 2007--I write the 25th installment in the "Mississippi Churning" series about the Minor case.
December 20, 2007--Shelby County deputy Bubba Caldwell (or Caldell, I'm not sure which) leaves a message on my wife's cell phone, saying that he is about to come and get one of our cars.
February 8, 2008--My wife and I receive a notice of levy, saying Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry will sell our house to satisfy an alleged "judgment" of $1,525. Like the earlier writ of execution, the notice of levy is not served as required by Alabama law.
February 29, 2008--My wife and I receive notice from Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry that our house will be auctioned off on the courthouse steps at noon on April 7, 2008. Like almost everything else we receive from county authorities, this is not done lawfully.
Do you see a pattern here? I sure do. Not long after I started writing about an e-mail exchange I had with Alice Martin, one that shows her pattern of selective prosecution, I started receiving threats about my property being seized. And those threats increase when I started writing in a detailed way about the Paul Minor case in Mississippi.
Any connections between Alice Martin, Mississippi, and my legal woes? We'll examine that question next.