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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jessica M. Garrison admits that her lawsuit against Legal Schnauzer is based on fraud, raising the specter of possible perjury from her and AG Luther Strange


Jessica Medeiros Garrison
Alabama GOP operative Jessica Medeiros Garrison, in her recent public-relations assault against Legal Schnauzer, unwittingly admitted that her defamation lawsuit against this blog and me is based on a fraud. That raises the possibility that Garrison, and perhaps Attorney General Luther Strange, committed perjury in obtaining a $3.5-million default judgment against me.

Perjury. the offense of willfully telling an untruth in a court proceeding after having taken an oath or affirmation, is a crime. In fact, the kind of perjury that appears to be present with Garrison (and possibly Strange) is a Class C felony in Alabama. Here's how it's described in the Code of Alabama:

A person commits the crime of perjury in the first degree when in any official proceeding he swears falsely and his false statement is material to the proceeding in which it is made.

Should Garrison, and maybe Strange, be referred to Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls for a perjury investigation? Court documents in Jeffco Circuit Court show that Garrison clearly committed perjury. It's less clear exactly what Strange stated under oath, but given his status as our state's chief law-enforcement officer, the matter merits serious investigation.

For now, let's follow the evidence trail, as we know it.

In her article at marieclaire.com, as told to writer Liz Welch, Garrison says she was able to handle my reports here about her affair with Strange, in part because she has a "pretty thick skin." (Never mind that the article reveals her to have an extremely thin skin.) Garrison then lays this on her readers:

The final straw was when Shuler wrote a follow-up post claiming my then five-year-old son was actually Luther's illegitimate child. I could handle the professional stuff—I have pretty thick skin—but this crossed a line. . . .
I decided I had nothing more to lose—so I rolled up my sleeves and fought back.

In other words, Garrison didn't decide to sue me until I wrote a follow-up post about the parentage of her son. One could reasonable state that her lawsuit was based almost entirely on that follow-up post about Luther Strange being the father of her Garrison's child.

For Garrison, there is a slight problem with all of that--I never wrote such a follow-up post. In fact, I never reported--at any time or any place--that Luther Strange was the father of her child. I invite readers who are interested to go to the search box at the top of this blog, key in "Jessica Medeiros Garrison and Luther Strange" (which should call up everything I've written about them), and see if there is any reporting about the parentage of Garrison's son. I can tell you the answer in advance: It's no.

In his order awarding Garrison a $3.5-million default judgment, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Don Blankenship indicates Garrison testified falsely on this issue. Were her statements "material," as required by Alabama law? Well she has admitted they were the basis of her lawsuit, and Blankenship's order suggests they were the determining factor in the $3.5-million award. It's hard to get more "material" than that.

Here is a key section from Blankenship's order, which was issued on April 13, 2015, even though the court record shows I never was served with notice of an earlier default-judgment hearing: (Failure to notify the opposing party of a default-judgment hearing, under Alabama law, makes any judgment void.)

The Court first heard testimony from the Plaintiff. She testified that the Defendant [me] had written, in a blog dubbed Legal Schnauzer, several misleading and inappropriate comments concerning her and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. The comments suggested that the Plaintiff received preferential treatment from the Attorney General because the two were engaged in an ongoing extramarital affair; and that the Attorney General was the father of the Plaintiff's minor son.

Garrison's claim that I had reported that Strange was the father of her son was made in court, presumably under oath--and it is glaringly and indisputably material and false. That probably equals perjury. It certainly merits a criminal investigation.

Blankenship's order is less clear about Strange's testimony. But transcripts should be available that would shine more light on the AG's statements under oath. (A copy of the full Blankenship order is embedded at the end of this post.)

Do the people of Alabama have an interest in whether Jessica Garrison and Luther Strange committed perjury? Well, Strange's office is leading a long-running investigation of House Speaker Mike Hubbard, and its dubious raids have led to the closure of the VictoryLand casinio in Macon County. Strange's office has spent millions of taxpayer dollars on these investigations--and others; his honesty, or lack thereof, matters.

Garrison served as Strange's campaign manager in 2010, and according to some reports, also helped in his 2014 re-election. She helped get him elected, so her honesty matters, too.

The evidence is clear that Jessica Garrison lied under oath. We would say the odds are better than 50-50 that Luther Strange did the same thing. The public should demand a formal and objective inquiry.

For now, let's consider Garrison's reaction when she learned that she had "won" her lawsuit, where the opposing party was kept almost totally in the dark, not even notified of key hearings. This is from her account to marieclaire.com, which apparently the fashion magazine accepted without asking a single question of Garrison:

One day a month later, I was running late for a meeting with a close colleague when my lawyer called with the news: Not only had I won my case, but the judge had awarded me $3.5 million in damages. I ran into my meeting literally shouting, "I won! I won!" I was elated—not about the money, but about the fact that I'd seen justice done.

Here's what she should have said in her meeting: "I won because I lied! I won because I lied! I lied under oath and got away with it! Isn't it great to be a Republican and an insider and a member of the elite? We can lie under oath and Win! Yeeeeeee . . . .!

I suppose that might have reduced some of the elation in her meeting and raised questions about whether justice really was done--and we certainly would not have wanted that.




20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling young Jess is going to regret writing her little BS piece for Marie Claire.

Robby Scott Hill said...

Why all of you should have sat down with some younger, experienced attorneys with expertise & settled the matter instead of running to the old political hacks who got their money from connections. The fallout from all of this will still be affecting all of you & the State Bar long after Baxley & Dillard have retired.

legalschnauzer said...

Just for the record, Rob, I didn't run to any attorneys. Seeing as how I was in jail when my answer was due, it would have been hard for me to do that. Garrison is the one who ran to old political hack attorneys.

I have other legal issues, where I would welcome the help of a young attorney with expertise and honesty, but my inquiries so far have fallen on deaf ears. I believe word has gone out from the State Bar that my claims against the Riley Gang and Shelby County are not supposed to be touched.

Do all Alabama attorneys allow the State Bar to lead them around by the nose? That's the way it looks to me.

Anonymous said...

If Jessica lied under oath about your reporting of the "Luther as baby daddy issue," why should anyone believe her claims that the affair didn't happen?

Anonymous said...

You deleted the content for dates relevant to her remark, or at least, has placed a robot.txt on it. Removing it from the wayback machine archive.

Anonymous said...

Not an accusation here, just curious...

The article says (and I think I've read in other places) that you were ordered to stay in jail until certain stories were removed (which, reportedly, they were by your wife). Could one of the removed stories be about this claim on the baby? That would remove it from the blog and, of course, not "searchable". Again, no accusation, just a seemingly missing piece to the picture you have painted.

Truthseeker said...

Sounds like your blog post about Jessica and Strange opened up a Pandora's box of confessions from Jessica, things she has been dealing with quietly for a long time? I'll bet she was relieved to let the secret finally come out.

Truthseeker said...

LS you should contact MarieClaire and get your side of the story published.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the Caveman lawyer was busy sharpening his flint instead of showing up for the hearing and proving that claim. Maybe next time Roger.

From parts unknown said...

With all due respect, I have to tell you, I am still grinning about referring Strange and Garrison to Brandon Falls, or as I refer to him , "Weasel"

From parts unknown said...

Brandon "Weasel" Falls would never make political enemies of these two.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it have been nice to have shown up to the trial? Then you could have heard the testimony firsthand, rather than looking back at it. How is your attempt to get a post-default-judgement trial going?

legalschnauzer said...

I don't know what you are talking about @12:20. Perhaps you can provide a link so we have an example. I haven't deleted anything regarding the dates of Garrison's comment, so it's hard to understand the point you are trying to make.

legalschnauzer said...

You are mixing up two cases, @12:41. My incarceration was due to a "defamation" claim brought by Rob Riley. The "Baby Daddy" stuff is part of a separate case, a lawsuit brought by Jessica Garrison. There probably are behind-the-scenes ties between the two cases, but from from a legal sense, they are separate matters.

legalschnauzer said...

I agree that "Weasel" Falls is unlikely to even look into a perjury claim against Garrison and Strange, much less prosecute. But the perjury regarding Garrison is absolutely clear, and it took place in Jefferson County, which is Falls' jurisdiction. It's a classic example of one set of laws for some of us, and another set for right-wing insiders.

legalschnauzer said...

There was no trial, @10:33. I would suggest you work on your facts. There was a default-judgment hearing, and the record shows I never was notified of it. By law, that means the default-judgment is void. That can't be seriously disputed by anyone who actually takes even a cursory look at the court record.

Anonymous said...

If anyone is a weasel, it is clearly you -- a little weaselly coward. Here's what you wrote:

"Strange's 2006 Payments to Former Campaign Aide Coincided With Pregnancy And Birth of Her Son."

"Stange's payments to Jessica Medeiros Garrison coincide with her pregancy and the birth of her child in early 2007."

The payments "must have been personal in nature" and involve "possible personal motivations."

"Were the 2006 payments to Jessica Medeiros Garrison and her company personal in nature? Well, she was pregnant at the time the payments were made -- and she gave birth to [her son] on March 27, 2007."

So, you published a bunch of innuendo and figure pointing, capped off with a loaded question, and now you're hiding behind a load of rhetorical bullshit. I think the characterizations by Garrison were fair and your perjury referral's going nowhere because it's baseless.

Anonymous said...

Roger, if you had shown up, like you were supposed to, there would have been a trial.

You didn't answer my question, how is your attempt to get a post-default-judgement trial going?

legalschnauzer said...

Don't know how many times I have to say this for you, @7:37, but there never was a trial scheduled. There could not be a trial scheduled because there had been no discovery. I had received no notice of a deposition, and Strange and Garrison never sat for a deposition, responded to interrogatories, or turned over any documents. So there was nothing even close to a trial, and you apparently are too ignorant of legal procedure to understand that. All you have to do is check the court record, which is publicly available, and you will see there never was a trial scheduled. You also can check the record to answer any other questions you might have.

legalschnauzer said...

You call me a coward, @1:38, but you don't have the courage to sign your name? What a laugh. Can you point out anything about the statements you cite that are untrue? No, you can't. Can you point out anywhere in there where I state that Luther Strange is the father of Jessica Garrison's child? No, you can't.

Those issues--of Luther making payments to Garrison for possibly personal reasons--were relevant because Luther was bringing criminal charges against Lowell Barron for payments that were allegedly of an almost identical nature. Perhaps you remember the Barron case, which wound up going nowhere. Those issues are connected to Strange's performance of his public office, and that's why I raised them. If you bothered to keep up with the news, you would know that.