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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Black Minister In Alabama Files Lawsuit Over Bogus Warrant On Drug Charges

Kenneth Earl Dukes

A black minister in Alabama has filed a federal lawsuit after a warrant mistakenly was issued for his arrest on drug charges.

Kenneth Earl Dukes lives in Montevallo, which is in Shelby County. That's the county where I live--and the jurisdiction where Mrs. Schnauzer and I have had our lives turned upside down by court-related corruption. I long have suspected that the rampant corruption in Shelby County is driven by deep-seated prejudice in official circles--based on race, religion, and political affiliation.

If you are non-white, non-evangelical, or non-Republican, you can be the target of grotesque discrimination. The Kenneth Earl Dukes case helps drive that point home--and I won't even pretend to be objective in my reporting on this story. I hope Rev. Dukes takes Shelby County's conservative hierarchy to the legal cleaners, perhaps with some pickings left over for me, Mrs. Schnauzer, and quite a few others I know who have been victimized in the "justice" system at Columbiana.

Dukes first sought a public apology after the Shelby County Sheriff's Office wrongly posted his photograph on the "Most Wanted" section of its Web site, saying he was charged with a drug crime. How could this happen to Rev. Dukes? I'm pretty sure I know the answer to that one: He's black, and in the minds of the Shelby County power structure, he fit the profile of a criminal.

That's much the same reason my wife and I were targeted for a massive cheat job in Shelby County Court. We don't have children, we aren't Republicans, we don't wear our religion on our sleeves, and we don't belong to an approved suburban mega-church. In Shelby County, Alabama, that can mean you have no dignity, no worth, and no rights.

Rev. Dukes apparently found that out, and when a sufficient apology was not forthcoming, he decided to sue. From a report at al.com:

A Montevallo minister who had a warrant mistakenly issued for his arrest on a drug charge and his picture posted on the sheriff's office most-wanted list has filed a federal lawsuit against the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Kenneth Earl Dukes, through his attorney, contends his constitutional rights were violated in 2010 when a member of the task force relied upon a confidential informant who picked Dukes' photo out of a lineup, which led to a warrant being issued for his arrest.

The suit contends that no investigation was conducted to confirm information given by the informant.

Why did Shelby County officials feel no need to conduct an investigation to determine whether Rev. Dukes was facing a legitimate criminal charge? Answer: In their white, conservative minds, they already were certain about it. "Hey, the guy's black, how much more proof do you need?"

How close does this hit to home? I addressed that in an earlier post about Kenneth Earl Dukes:

This is just the latest example of the dangers of being black or a Democrat in heavily Republican Shelby County, where I live and where the legal travails described on this blog began. Mrs. Schnauzer and I have a pretty good sense of how Pastor Dukes feels. After all, we had full ownership rights to our house stolen by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, and we still are trying to get them back through the federal courts.

Would Kenneth Earl Dukes have had a bogus arrest warrant issued against him, with his picture plastered on the Shelby County Sheriff's Web site, if he had been a white Republican? Not on your life.

Regular readers know that Mrs. Schnauzer and I had the full ownership rights to our house stolen by Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry. This is the same Sheriff Curry who's had multiple race-based federal lawsuits filed against him and his sleazy department. (More on those lawsuits coming up in future posts.)

We captured the bogus sheriff's sale of our house on video, and we still are fighting to get our property rights back in federal court. I explained in detail on this blog how the sale could not lawfully take place--but it took place anyway. (You can check out videos related to the sale below.)

Why did that happen? Because we stood up to William E. Swatek, a corrupt Shelby County attorney who has a 30-year history of ethical violations with the Alabama State Bar. Swatek also has strong ties to the Alabama Republican Party and former Governor Bob Riley, through his son Dax Swatek, a GOP political consultant and former Riley campaign manager.

That's why our rights meant nothing in Shelby County, much the way Rev. Dukes' rights evaporated because of the color of his skin.

People often refer to places like Shelby County as an "old boys' club." But it does not involve only "boys." White, conservative women of a certain kind can join the club. Lindsey Allison, a local attorney and long-time member of the Shelby County Commission, seems to be a card-carrying member of the boys' club. My guess is that Lindsey Allison is aware of massive amounts of court-related corruption in her domain, and as a lawyer, she has an ethical duty to report it.

Lindsey Allison
Does she follow through on that duty? No, she does not, and I know about that first hand. After the Kenneth Earl Dukes story first broke last March, news reports stated that he had gone to a meeting of the Shelby County Commission to voice concerns about actions of the sheriff's department. That seemed to be a good time to contact Lindsey Allison and see if she was at all concerned about the violations of fundamental civil rights that are all too common in Shelby County. After all, I live in District 7, meaning Lindsey Allison is my representative on the Shelby County Commission.

Specifically, I wanted to know if Allison would take information I had about corruption involving various Shelby County judges and lawyers and report it to the proper tribunal, as she is required to do by the ethics rules of the Alabama State Bar.

That prompted one of the most smug, condescending responses I've ever heard from a public official. Lindsey Allison informed me, in so many words, that she didn't care one iota about corruption that takes place right under her up-turned nose. She claimed she had no duty to report misconduct because she had no first-hand knowledge of any.

That's not what the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct say. Ms. Allison might want to acquaint herself with Rule 8.3, which states:

A lawyer possessing unprivileged knowledge of a violation of Rule 8.4 ["Misconduct"] shall report such knowledge to a tribunal or other authority empowered to investigate or act upon such violation.

The knowledge does not have to be first-hand; it has to be unprivileged. That clearly is what the rule says.

I told Ms. Allison that I could provide her with reams of information about misconduct by Shelby County judges, specifically G. Dan Reeves and former presiding judge J. Michael Joiner (now on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals; he got promoted for being a corrupt, cross-eyed pig.) I told Ms. Allison that this information was contained in public documents and was indisputable.

Her reply? It wasn't her duty, and she wasn't interested. When I asked Ms. Allison if she was familiar with Bill Swatek and his reputation, she pretty much hung up on me.

That kind of attitude says a lot about why Rev. Dukes, in essence, was unlawfully "profiled" in Shelby County. You might call his crime "living while black."

Meanwhile, people like Lindsey Allison make a cozy living, largely from ensuring that Shelby County's massive loads of dirty laundry never get aired.

Kenneth Earl Dukes and his attorney, Martin Weinberg, seem intent on shining some much needed light on this corrupt little world. The cockroaches undoubtedly will be scurrying for cover.

Want an up-close look at how corruption is practiced in Shelby County, the kind that Lindsey Allison likes to ignore? Check out these videos of our house being stolen, in broad daylight. The first addresses the facts and law of the case. The second shows the actual sheriff's sale.

This is the environment in which Rev. Kenneth Earl Dukes had his reputation trashed, simply because he has black skin.





15 comments:

jeffrey spruill said...

I don't think it was accident at all.

Just the latest example of "might makes right" in the ongoing process of reducing the importance & quality of somebody.

Redeye said...

Power of the Privileged.

Privilege of the Powerful.

God bless America.

Sigh

James Greek said...

Your county commissioner looks like a boy! Hell if I was a lawyer in the bham area I would take it to the state bar in a heart beat.

Laser said...

Hang in there Roger.


Know that there are many of us who appreciate your temerity and tenacity in the fights against manifest injustice.

Noble modern day Knights such as yourself never get just compensation for your work and your good heart.

Don't not yield - we are with you!

Anonymous said...

I miss Robby's comments? Has the family silenced him or has he been abducted?

legalschnauzer said...

I don't think he's been abducted. I always enjoy his comments, too. He might just be busy.

Max Shelby said...

Lindsey Allison - a family law attorney with zero ability to practice zoning law - was hired by White Rock Quarries as additional counsel.

I didn't realize that great big holes in the ground needed family law represenatives. Did you?

FBI found it laughable and suspicious.

One can only hope the noose is tightening on the mass corruption, in so many areas that is Shelby County, and its corrupt commission, fully enabled by the Shelby County Republican Party.

legalschnauzer said...

Lindsey Allison is so far up the rear ends of ShelbyCo judges she must need windshield wipers to see. Could this representation be a conflict with her role on county commission?

Is the FBI looking into the quarry situation? I have zero confidence in the Obama DOJ and Joyce White Vance. Maybe they will pull their heads out of their butts in an election year. (Sorry for all of the anal references--something about ShelbyCo officialdom makes me think in crude terms.)

Robby Scott Hill said...

Everybody Conservative, Evangelical & White knows the Black Barbershops and Black Churches are just fronts for drugs. In reality, they are the cash centers of the Black Community & some of that money winds up in the hands of Black Democrats like Barack Obama & Terri Sewell. Uppity White Folks can't have that shit. So they throw a drug trafficking indictment on a Brother "just to show him love."

Max Shelby said...

You wouldn't be surprised if the county determined "nothing to see move along" would you?

Damn straight it's a conflict of interest! And done solely because she was head of the commission at the time. Smell a Stephen Bradley yet? Maybe a Balch & Bingham Rob Fowler?

Shortly after, the commission met on a holiday morning (flag) and chose Corley Ellis as their new head.

You know him right? Cousin of Governor Bentley, the new head of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Federal money pipeline for road building. How do you build a road? With influence (Leo Vecellio (owns WRQ) NTRBA head) and materials from quarries.

Handy for Northern Beltline building too. May as well rip off all the US taxpayers while they're at it.

Wake the hell up FBI & DOJ!

Robby Scott Hill said...

I prepare income taxes in the neighborhood in Alabama City & I want to thank the Supreme Being for Kenneth Earl Dukes, all the Black Churches & Barbershops. They put food on my table & enable me to keep my computer & Internet connection going so I can post REVOLUTIONARY comments up in this blog. Reverend Dukes, the Supreme Being knows your works & He will send His Servant to deliver you from Evil. At the Great Judgment, He will move back through Time to destroy your enemies.

legalschnauzer said...

Is Corley Ellis related to Butch Ellis, who has been around 100 years in Columbiana?

Butch is like Bettye Fine Collins without the boobs. He won't go away!

Max Shelby said...

Affirmative. BE is an idiot, law degree must be from a bubblegum machine.

Love your commentary today RSH.

Robby Scott Hill said...

@Anonymous & Max Shelby - I'm still around. I'll be very busy with my income tax practice until Tuesday, April 17th. Monday the 16th is Emancipation Day, the 150th anniversary of the slaves who were held in Washington D.C. being freed by America's Greatest Lawyer, Abraham Lincoln.

David said...

Two things:

-What do call 200 Alabama Lawyers on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico? - A good start.

-Opticarectitus- a malady that occurs when ones optic nerve becomed jioned to the rectal nerve which produces a shiity outlook on life - No known cure.