John Caylor, who has reported extensively on corruption in south Alabama and northwest Florida, says U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller acted corruptly in the Siegelman case and should be the subject of an investigation by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
Caylor and Fuller grew up together in Enterprise, Alabama, which Caylor says became a destination point for organized-crime figures after nearby Phenix City was cleaned up in the 1950s. Caylor says Fuller has ties to the Dixie Mafia, a loosely knit outfit with connections to cocaine smuggling from South America.
"Mark Fuller is dirty," Caylor says. "I personally know he is dirty. Moreover, I know the whole damn bunch associated with him."
How does Caylor know? It's partly because of his own family ties to the Dixie Mafia. Caylor's father was police chief in Enterprise, a welcoming figure for mobsters looking for a new home after being kicked out of Phenix City. Fuller's father was a state district attorney in Enterprise.
Fuller, Caylor says, has held a longstanding grudge against Siegelman and railroaded the former governor as part of a sweeping effort by the George W. Bush administration to prosecute prominent Democrats. Caylor once lived near Karl Rove in north Florida, and says the former White House strategist directed the scheme to target Siegelman and others.
Caylor's mother was fatally beaten several years ago, and Caylor says Florida officials had her killed in retaliation for his investigative work, which is featured at his Web site, insider-magazine.com.
Some of Caylor's work, at first glance, seems "out there." But a number of sources whose opinions I greatly respect, both inside and outside of Alabama, tell me that Caylor is not a nut job--and his reporting focuses on issues that are real and serious.
Here is how Caylor describes his background:
I'm an Alabama-raised investigative reporter reared in Enterprise, which is located near the Gulf and became Alabama's center for the Dixie Mafia of organized crime. Mobsters moved to my hometown after Phenix City to the east forced them out following a particularly notorious assassination in 1954.
My jobs have included work as a private investigator and undercover federal drug investigator. In the course of such work or the social conversations growing out of it, I've met former CIA Director and future President George H.W. Bush, retired Cuban Mafia leader Santo Trafficante and Iran-Contra leader Oliver North.
One of my first jobs was as a photographer for Cliff Wentworth, an attorney and friend of my father's who would go on to become a notorious cocaine smuggler working directly with Colombia's most notorious kingpins, Pablo Escobar and Carlos Lehder, to distribute a billion dollars of cocaine throughout the Southeast.
Wentworth was later convicted and given a slap on the wrist: Six years, suspended after six months served in a country-club type minimum security facility. That illustrates the kind of federal judges we see in my neck of the woods who coddle their friends in such matters without any real scrutiny from Congress, the Justice Department or the media
When Caylor sought records about his mother's death, under Florida's Sunshine Law, he was arrested and convicted for disorderly conduct. Now free on bond, Caylor calls himself a "fugitive for justice" and is living in an undisclosed location.
Caylor's allegations about Fuller come in a lengthy article that was originally posted by investigative journalist Wayne Madsen at his subscription Web site. Madsen granted Legal Schnauzer permission to use the Caylor article.
What should be the focus of an investigation into Fuller and the Siegelman case? Caylor writes:
* One focus should be on Judge Fuller's long-running help for what Justice Department Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson described in 2005 to Rove's office as the "loyal Bushies." They included federal prosecutors nationwide who were framing Siegelman and other Democrats to remove them from office.
* Another focus must be on Fuller's already documented fraud, seeking $300,000 from Alabama's taxpayers in a scheme involving Doss Aviation, Inc., the former drug-smuggling company that Fuller controls as its largest stockholder.
* I am among the many who will step forward to testify on these matters. But first, the Judiciary Committee must take the lead to holding public hearings calling these criminals to testify public alongside whistleblowers. Do-nothings in the Justice Department will never start this on their own because too many secrets will come out.
Caylor's report includes revelations on a number of justice-related topics, and we will discuss it further in future posts. Part I of the Caylor article can be read in its entirety below:
John Caylor Article on Judge Mark Fuller