We wrote in a recent post about the Bush Justice Department's tendency to cover up certain financial crimes, and noted the subject hits close to home here at Legal Schnauzer.
Our post focused on a Virginia case involving General Reinsurance, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. The Justice Department spent about $2 million to investigate the case and uncovered powerful evidence of massive insurance fraud. But the Bush DOJ shuffled its personnel deck and imported a couple of Texans who shut down the investigation.
All of this, we noted, has roundabout links to my unlawful termination after 19 years of employment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). How could that be? Well, follow me for a moment.
Not all financial scofflaws get off. In fact, a case of wide-ranging insurance fraud several years ago in Pennsylvania resulted in a high-profile conviction.
But the case was not limited to Pennsylvania. It spawned several trails of criminality, and one of those led to Alabama and a company owned by a man who now holds an oversight position with the University of Alabama System--of which UAB is a part.
The Alabama company clearly was implicated in the Pennsylvania case. But for reasons that remain unclear, federal authorities did not pursue the Alabama arm of the case.
The man who was connected to serious financial hanky panky is not some mid-level administrator in the University of Alabama System. He holds a position of significant authority over the three-campus system, and his name resonates throughout the state. It has been well documented in the press that, when he wants to, he can exert considerable control over UAB.
So what do we have? We have a powerful Alabama businessman who somehow managed to escape a Pennsylvania-based briar patch several years ago. It's likely this businessman owes a serious debt of gratitude to the U.S. Justice Department for letting him and his company off the hook. And now this businessman is in a position of authority over UAB--in fact, some might call him the most powerful figure in the University of Alabama System.
Would the Justice Department, when faced with a UAB employee who was writing uncomfortable truths about the administration of "justice" in Alabama, turn to this gentleman for relief?
Would this gentleman, owing the feds a huge favor, react by taking steps to ensure that the UAB employee was fired? Did UAB officials, under pressure from the powerful figure, trump up bogus claims that the employee was blogging on university time?
I'm still gathering information on this story, so I will hold off on more details for now. But will this entire story be laid out for Legal Schnauzer readers?
To quote Sarah Palin, "You're darn tootin.'"