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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Alabama Corruption Fighter is Corrupt Himself

David Estes recently became the face of the fight against public corruption in Alabama. And that is rich with irony because Estes himself, based on public reports, has corruption oozing from every pore.

That's what happens when Bush-appointed prosecutors are in charge of the federal "justice" apparatus in your state. And two-plus months into the Barack Obama administration, Bushies still rule on the justice front in Alabama.

God only knows how much longer that is going to be the case. We certainly understand that Team Obama arrived with onerous chores on its plate. But the federal justice system is in crisis, in Alabama and elsewhere, and we would respectfully suggest that someone dismiss Bush prosecutors like Alice Martin and Leura Canary pronto.

Martin and Canary are going about their corrupt business as if we had held no election in November. Perhaps someone from Team Obama needs to clue them in--if for no other reason than to ensure people like David Estes can do no more damage.

Who is David Estes? He is an assistant U.S. attorney working for Martin in the Northern District of Alabama. He recently was quoted in the local press as saying the investigation into Alabama two-year colleges, which has focused almost entirely on Democrats, remains in high gear.

Evidence suggests that the two-year system indeed has problems and needs to be cleaned up. But charges of "double dipping" and the like surely cross party lines, though you would never know it from Alice Martin's investigation. And an individual like David Estes has no business looking into someone else's alleged corruption.

That's because Estes himself is nauseatingly corrupt. We know that thanks to the superb reporting of Lynda Edwards, who wrote "The Curious Case of Alex Latifi" a few months back for the ABA Journal.

Latifi is a Huntsville defense contractor whose business was ruined by a bogus federal investigation. Alice Martin and David Estes led the investigation of Latifi and his company, Axion Corp.

Latifi's defense lawyers quote Estes as saying, "We don't care if Latifi is innocent. Our goal is to put him out of business."

That quote should send a chill down the spine of every citizen. And it did send a chill down the spines of Birmingham lawyers Henry Frohsin and James Barger. They filed an ethics complaint with the U.S. Justice Department against Martin and Estes.

Is anyone in the Justice Department taking steps to punish Martin and Estes for their thuggish behavior? Apparently not. Estes now is being touted as the point man for the investigation of Alabama two-year colleges.

This is the same guy who said he didn't care about the facts and the law in a criminal investigation. He just wanted to ruin a man's business, a man who happened to be of Iranian descent and a supporter of the Democratic Party.

Is anyone in the Obama administration paying attention to what is going on in Alabama?

As a devoted basketball player, Obama should be familiar with the phrase that hoopsters around the globe holler when their ball rolls off toward guys on another court:

"Little help?"

That's what we need down in Dixie. And probably in quite a few other states, based on the new documentary, The Political Prosecutions of Karl Rove.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, This is a message for Roger Shuler, who has done so much hard work covering the Alex Latifi case. He was kind enough to showcase a story I wrote for the ABA Journal about Mr. Latifi, US Attorney Alice Martin, and defense attorney Henry Frohsin. I wanted to let Roger know that my story, The Curious Case of Alex Latifi, was named one of 3 honorable mentions in the Barlett & Steele Awards along with the Wall Street Journal and Seattle Times. Barlett and Steele are heroes of mine. I am hoping this might prompt other news organizations to delve into the Latifi case since some major developments have occurred in court just last week.