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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Did Don Siegelman Have The Full, Absolute Loyalty Of His Former Chief Defense Counsel, Doug Jones?


Doug Jones
The rules that govern the conduct of attorneys in Alabama make this concise statement: "Loyalty is an essential element in the lawyer's relationship to a client."

Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman returned to federal prison last September 11 for his conviction on "crimes" that do not exist under the law, in a prosecution that was brought almost one full year after the statute of limitations on the central charge had expired. How could a high-priced defense team fail to get an acquittal under such outrageous circumstances?


One answer might be that Siegelman's ever-evolving defense team included one or more members who had conflicts that did not serve the former governor well. Our inquiry has focused especially on G. Douglas Jones, a former U.S. attorney in the Clinton administration who was, until recently, a member of the Birmingham firm Haskell Slaughter. Earlier this month, Jones joined with former White Arnold & Dowd lawyer Greg Hawley to announce the formation of Jones & Hawley PC.


Jones also was a central character in the federal Alabama bingo trial, serving as defense counsel for former Country Crossing founder Ronnie Gilley. Ironically, Jones stepped down as Gilley's lawyer prior to trial, much as he did with Siegelman. Gilley went on to plead guilty and testify against VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor and other defendants. Through a trial and re-trial, federal prosecutors achieved zero verdicts.


As for the Siegelman matter, Jones was chief defense counsel at a critical time in the investigation, when the government seemed uncertain whether it even had a case. We already have shown that Jones threw prosecutors a lifeline by encouraging Siegelman to sign a tolling agreement that extended the five-year statute of limitations.

Perhaps of more interest than Jones' actions is his mindset. To get at that issue, we will examine his statements and actions toward three individuals--a former Alabama attorney general and current federal judge, a fellow lawyer with strong political connections, and a veteran journalist.


Did Don Siegelman have Doug Jones' undivided loyalty? Let's take a look. (We will conclude with a video at the end of this post.)



* Doug Jones gives Bill Pryor "thumbs up"--As one of Don Siegelman's chief defense lawyers, Jones might be expected to have serious issues with former Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor. After all, Pryor launched a state investigation of Siegelman before the new governor's fanny had hardly warmed his chair--and that state probe turned into a federal prosecution that ended with Siegelman in prison on convictions that are not supported by fact or law. Pryor also sealed ballots from the 2002 gubernatorial election when votes for Siegelman mysteriously disappeared overnight in heavily conservative Baldwin County, giving the "victory" to Republican Bob Riley. Pryor's actions ensured there would be no recount--and no revelations about an almost certain case of election theft.


Doug Jones must think Bill Pryor is a dubious guy, right? Heck, no. The Bush administration rewarded Pryor for his skulduggery on the Siegelman case with an appointment to the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals--even though Pryor had zero judicial experience. Pryor's nomination was so controversial, and liberal groups were so strongly opposed to him, that Bush was forced to make a recess appointment.


But Doug Jones thinks Bill Pryor is a swell guy, based on Jones' testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in October 2007. (See document beneath the video at the end of this post.)


From Jones' own words, we see that he had ample grounds to suspect Bill Pryor was an unethical guy, a partisan hack. On page 3 of his testimony, Jones said he first learned of a criminal investigation against Siegelman in spring 1999, while Jones was serving as U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Alabama. Jones states that lawyers from the Alabama attorney general's office met with his assistants to look at a possible state/federal investigation. During the course of that meeting, the lawyers from the AG's office said they "hoped" the probe would reach the highest levels of the Siegelman administration.


Jones rightly decided that was a bad sign and refused to join the investigation. And he makes it clear that these unethical lawyers worked for . . . Bill Pryor. So why do we then find in Jones' testimony that he finds Pryor to be a "trusted colleague and friend" and was "proud" to support his nomination to the Eleventh Circuit?


Jones receives clear evidence that assistants working for Pryor are corrupt, but he proceeds to declare that Pryor himself is an honorable guy, deserving of a lifetime position on the federal bench? Jones says this in Congressional testimony, even after it was clear that Pryor had played a central role in launching a political prosecution against Jones' one-time client? Was Doug Jones standing up for Don Siegelman or kissing Bill Pryor's judicial fanny?



* Doug Jones gives Rob Riley "thumbs up"--As one of Don Siegelman's chief defense lawyers, Jones might be expected to have serious issues with Homewood lawyer Rob Riley. After all, Riley is the son of Siegelman's chief political rival, a rival who benefited from almost certain election theft in 2002. And Rob Riley had his sticky fingers in the middle of his father's ethically challenged administration every step of the way.


Doug Jones must want to keep his distance from a sketchy guy like Rob Riley, right? Heck, no. They worked together on a massive federal lawsuit against individuals and entities connected to HealthSouth Corporation. They even acted together as "co-liaison counsel" and helped themselves to the proceeds from a case that generated more than $50 million in attorney fees.


In fact, Jones is so tight with Riley that he takes great exception to anyone who shines light on Junior's seedy activities--like health-care fraud, the very charge that Jones and Riley were quick to help throw at others in the HealthSouth case.


In late March 2009, I wrote a post titled "Does Rob Riley Engage in Fraud As He 'Fights' Fraud?" noting that Riley and his physical-therapy company were defendants in a federal whistleblower lawsuit that alleged Medicare fraud.


Does Doug Jones appreciate efforts to expose fraud and corruption? Not when they involve his legal compadre, Rob Riley. Jones attacked me and my reporting in a comment he posted to a well-known progressive listserv based in Huntsville, Alabama. He described me as a person who "wrote on something they obviously know nothing about" and hinted that my work was based on "innuendo and speculation," that I had come to "absurd conclusions."


I wrote about Jones' attack in a post titled "Striking a Nerve with a Key Figure in the Don Siegelman Case." I later tried to interview Jones via telephone on a number of issues. (See video below.)


When I asked for his response to the fact that Rob Riley is alleged in a federal lawsuit to be involved with Medicare fraud, Jones said, "Based on the things I've seen that you've written, I don't think it's worth my time to comment."


Did Jones cite any specifics regarding inaccurate reporting on my part? No. Does he seem to be extremely sensitive about real journalism being applied to Rob Riley? Yes.



Doug Jones gives Legal Schnauzer "thumbs down"--As one of Don Siegelman's chief defense lawyers, Jones might be expected to be a fan of this blog. After all, few journalists in the country have done more to show that Siegelman was the victim of a political prosecution, a corrupt federal judge, and a tainted jury.


Doug Jones must dig Legal Schnauzer, right? Not exactly. I asked Jones about a decision by the U.S. Justice Department in the late 1990s to call off an investigation of Alabama Reassurance, a company owned by Tuscaloosa businessman and University of Alabama trustee Paul Bryant Jr. Alabama Re already had been implicated in a federal prosecution that resulted in a 15-year prison sentence for a Pennsylvania lawyer/entrepreneur named Allen W. Stewart. Investigators had been given the go-ahead by Jones' predecessor to proceed with an investigation in Alabama against Bryant's company. But when Jones took office, someone called off the Alabama Re investigation.


When asked about the case, Jones said he had been precluded from participating in the Stewart case because of a previous attorney/client relationship--and that presumably means he had done legal work for Bryant. Asked specifically if he, as U.S. attorney, called off the subsequent investigation of Paul Bryant Jr.'s company, Jones responded with a stream of insults. And he never answered the question. Here is part of that exchange:



Jones: I'm trying to make sure you understand that I have read your stuff, I have seen your conspiracy theories, and I am not going to answer any of your questions because I don't trust what you will write, period. 
LS: I'm taking it down word for word. . . . I'm asking you, who called off the investigation of Paul Bryant? 
Jones: I am not going to respond to any of your questions . .  
LS: You were a public official then, Doug . . . 
Jones: I am not going to respond to any of your questions. . . . I've seen the garbage you write and the way you spin and the way you slant. It's the most disingenuous stuff I've ever seen. . . . It just doesn't matter to me. You're a nothing to me."

Is Doug Jones a smug, pompous ass? More importantly, does he have solid loyalty to Don Siegelman, his former client who now sits in a federal prison for "crimes" that do not exist under the law? Or is Jones more interested in cozying up to the corrupt likes of Bill Pryor, Rob Riley, and Paul Bryant Jr.?


As for the Alabama bingo trial, evidence strongly suggests that Jones was watching out for Rob Riley's interests all the way--probably because the Riley family long has been at odds with VictoryLand's Milton McGregor. We addressed that issue in an April 2011 post titled "Who Beneifts From Ronnie Gilley's Guilty Plea in Alabama Bingo Case?" From that post:


Jones, in theory, is a Democrat, while Riley has extensive ties to Bush-Republican henchmen. But the two became compadres on the HealthSouth lawsuit, which yielded substantial sums of cash for both of them. So isn't it curious that Ronnie Gilley, whose prime defense lawyer has been Doug Jones, would plead guilty in a move that seems to help the Riley clan? 
How does it help the Rileys? Well, Gilley now appears set to testify against the other bingo defendants, including VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor. And it seems clear now that McGregor has been the feds' main target all along. . . . 
Does it benefit the Rileys to see Milton McGregor wind up in federal prison? Yes. Did Doug Jones help his buddy, Rob Riley, by pushing Ronnie Gilley to plead guilty and agree to testify against McGregor? Our sources say the answer is yes.


When push comes to shove, does Doug Jones tend to come down on the side of Rob Riley and his corrupt GOP associates? A mountain of evidence suggests the answer is yes.

Here is another question: Does Doug Jones have any trouble sleeping at night over his failure to protect the interests of a former governor who is paying a heavy price for a "crime" he did not commit? I invite you to listen to the video below and come to your own conclusions.

(Note: This is the first of three attempts I've made to interview Jones on a variety of topics. In the first two, he was so smug and snippy that we essentially had no interview. He simply refused to answer questions about matters connected to his role as a former public official or as an officer of publicly funded courts. In the third conversation, Jones actually answered a number of questions in a fairly courteous manner. Why the change in his tone? Perhaps it's because of his recent shift to a new law firm, where he is trying to drum up business. Whatever the reason, you will be hearing the original Doug Jones, and the revised version, in a series of upcoming posts.) 









Doug Jones Testimony

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

A most revealing report on Mr. Jones. Should be required reading for anyone who still clings to the notion that our "justice system" has anything to do with actual justice.

Anonymous said...

Doug Jones' comments praising Bill Pryor make me want to hurl.

Coyote Lane said...

You conspiracy theorist LS, how dare you take the truth and make accountable the 'lawyers' of Wall Street and that means the Federal Reserve System.

This has been fulfilling the duty of filthy dirty criminal USA since before you were born, LS.

Stop acting intelligent, you've been seen for what you write and you are exposing Alabama into the cosmic enema reality.

Doug Jones is one that the NSA has every fantasy he has ever imagined and blackmail him with the future minority report.

Yes we have to believe in conspiracies Dougie J boy, or we don't get to have any real fun in America, the titanic hit an iceberg and it's goin down.

But, YOU DJ start up new law firm for the Fed to conspire in stealing more of Americans' wealth.

Dougie J boy doesn't have a clue about our money digital or he would be suing the Fed for what has happened to his future retirement, and then there is the fact that Don is in prison and his so called lawyer is not only free, but indeed climbing even higher on the Fed's crime wave.

Does what he is told and that is to destroy the US Constitution which is of course according to the Fed, trouble to do- BUT the job has gotten well done in the past and with the Dougie J boys, as Leonard Cohn said - he saw the future and it is murder.

Sane Alabamians should all migrate out of the state and see what happens to the conspiracies.

Anonymous said...

Legal Schnauzer, you go on again and step on tiger, tail, nose smacking, and careful is the word of choice.

"... Michael Hastings, the fearless journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal, has died in a car accident in Los Angeles, Rolling Stone has learned. He was 33.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/michael-hastings-rolling-stone-contributor-dead-at-33/5339688

CONSPIRACY? I don't think so.

You are taking the Alabama RICO tap root 'lawyer rot' and this exposure IS America's real serious problem, way worse than the General McCrystal.

Anonymous said...

David Cromwell Johnson was Siegelman's original defense lawyer. If he doesn't die unexpectedly in early 2003, to be replaced by Doug Jones, Don Siegelman never would have been convicted and is a free man today. You can take that to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Doug Jones supposed to be a "liberal Democrat"? He doesn't sound like one. He sounds like Rob Riley's bed buddy.

legalschnauzer said...

Speaking of David Cromwell Johnson, here is URL to an article about his death. Ironically, Doug Jones is quoted:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1891&dat=20030103&id=Ms4wAAAAIBAJ&sjid=E90FAAAAIBAJ&pg=1118,216838

Coyote Lane said...

Thanks for the article LS, David Cromwell Johnson dead at 60, and there was no reason for him to die other than he was a serious advocate for rights promised from the US Constitution.

It's the agenda. Getting rid of the US Constitution and the STUPID so called "lawyers" DOUG JONES and others, think that they get to be the fascists that don't get disposed of, upon the job of treason as fait accompli.

MORONS are in charge of our language and law is considered a higher form of this communication skill and so we know the truth about our inability to be an educated population.

Grade school got rid of civics and liberal dim wit Sandra Day O'Connor sells software to bring civics into the schools. Moron.

America is definitely not what we got sold as the brand.

Again, though, LS, have to agree with the real truth, too, you be very careful because great journalists are always the true future and the evil wants none of this courage to create power in the visionaries of 'privacy rights', like Lawyer David Cromwell Johnson. Think of Mrs. Schnauzer, too .. dead heros are on purpose, careful.

Anonymous said...

I just listened to the video with this post and was amazed that Doug Jones comes across as such an ass. I encourage readers to push the play button on the video. Hearing this guy's voice . . . well, you don't really begin to understand what he's all about until you hear the audio. He's evasive, insulting, unprincipled . . . geez, the list goes on.

Anonymous said...

Key words from Doug Jones to LS:

"I don't trust what you will write."

Translation: You are going to write the truth, and I can't control you like the reporters at al.com, so I'm not going to comment.

Sharon said...

@7:36--

Your comments make me wonder about the nature of David Cromwell Johnson's death.

Anonymous said...

The US is broke and Russia is the world's largest oil producer with a growing economy. Russia is not backing down and they have China to back them up. Who will back the US? Tiny Britain? Americans are turning gay and Russian men are looking more like the Klitschko brothers. The US is the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah while Christianity triumphs in Russia. No ACLU in Russia suing Christians to be sure. The largest country in the world shows only contempt at the US Bomb & Missile Diplomacy.

The western media will warp the truth as usual. They will not show the entire video of Putin and Obama fearing that Americans will see things as they are and wise up. No mention of Christianity under attack in the Middle East and North Africa. Loud music and commanding voices will tell American citizens what to think and who to hate as they become mesmerized by their idiot boxes. Little is mentioned of Christians or priests murdered in Syria or the Christian Bishops that were kidnapped. Again the western cry is here reiterated, "What difference does it make! Assad must go!" Amerikan Demonocracy foaming at the mouth rabid with hate.

Standing firmly against these maniacs is Putin with Christian Russia solidly behind him. There has been finger pointing between the West and Russia but the political rhetoric is ignored by President Vladimir Putin as he calmly directs stability in the Middle East. Obama said, "By working together we... also help lead the world to a better place." We know your record Obama and it stinks of death. The only leading going on is Vladimir leading you by the nose. Putin made sure there will be a follow up to this meeting in Geneva. Lest O'bomber forgets.

Xavier Lerma

http://english.pravda.ru/russia/politics/18-06-2013/124864-putin_obama-0/

Anonymous said...

I hear the folks at Haskell Slaughter threw a party when Doug Jones bolted.

Anonymous said...

From listening to your attempted interview, there is no doubt in my mind that Jones let Paul Bryant Jr. off the hook on a case that probably would have landed the whole Greene Group crowd in federal prison.

TLR said...

I would say Mr. Jones could use a public-relations course . . . stat! He comes off horribly in this interview.

Anonymous said...

From reading the article and watching the video, it seems if you hire Doug Jones to defend you in a criminal case, you might as well start picking out your prison clothes.

Has the guy ever gotten anyone acquitted? I know he represented Chris McNair, and he's probably going to die in prison.

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh when you raised the smart-alecky comment that came from Haskell Slaughter and asked Jones to give you his IP address--and he hangs up! I would say there is a real good chance he wrote the comment.

Anonymous said...

I think Doug Jones has a man crush on Rob Riley--and I'm not joking about that. Something sounds a little off kilter about that alliance.

Aubie said...

I wonder what kind of legal work Doug Jones did for Paul Bryant Jr. Maybe he helped set up a slush fund to pay Bama football players.

I assume Jonesy is a Bama law-school grad?


War Eagle!

legalschnauzer said...

Aubie:

I've never figured out exactly what sort of legal work Jones did for PBJ, but there are definite ties there.

Jones did his undergrad work at UAB and went to law school at Cumberland (Samford).

Anonymous said...

Love the video. This is unvarnished Doug Jones, minus all the civil-rights BS he likes to spew from the church-bombing case. He's a world-class con man, and unfortunately, he conned Don Siegelman, Ronnie Gilley, Cris McNair and quite a few other folks.

Anonymous said...

Doug Jones=opportunist

Anonymous said...

USA is a cesspool. We've been taken too far in 'the' experiment.

That is what has been said globally and Doug Jones as only one example.

Tragically, there are millions of "Roaches In Robes", to prove the cesspool reality.

Appointed for life, the federal judges who are complete iron fist stamps for Wall Street fraud and these criminals allow the worst of thugs, and anti-social, sociopaths, psychopaths to bring in the 'money'. Taken on the label 'lawyer'. Sell it and charge the American public to buy the fraud, and or incarceration, torture, death. What a life.

How many real judges are in the USA? Has there been an actual survey of judges in the USA who are real lawyers of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights'?

Dress up as though they belong to a profession. What profession?

Evil

Anonymous said...

Will never figure out what the Clinton administration saw in Doug Jones. The guy would have to improve a whole lot to reach the level of unimpressive. He has a classic case of "short man's syndrome." And he certainly does not make up for his lack of physical stature with any sort of powerful intellect.

Anonymous said...

Clintons saw in Doug Jones what the mirror America wanted, clearly.

Clintons are now also seen in the clear mirror for what they are.

'American Presidents,' all do exactly as told by the big mirror as do all the trickle chosen:

Wall Street Evil.