Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another Message for Artur Davis

Rep. Davis:
I enjoyed writing to you so much yesterday that I decided to write again today. Want to do all I can to help a fellow Alabamian cast some much-needed sunlight on our diseased justice system.

I know you currently are focused on the federal justice department. But I am concerned about our entire justice system, including state courts. The two problems are intertwined, and I have personal experience with both.

My problem began with corrupt Republican judges in Alabama state courts, starting at the district level and working up to the Alabama Supreme Court. At the time my case was heard, our appellate courts were filled completely with Republicans (on the civil side). Like the case of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, my case is saturated with partisan politics.

At the heart of the corruption I've experienced is a Pelham, AL attorney named Bill Swatek, who filed a fraudulent malicious prosecution lawsuit against me. The suit stems from a property-related matter with Mr. Swatek's client, who has an extensive criminal record. For good measure, Mr. Swatek himself has a lengthy record of ethical problems with the Alabama State Bar, including a suspension of his license for acts of "dishonesty, fraud, misrepresentation, and deceit."

Despite Mr. Swatek's sleazy history, Republican judges at multiple levels have made unlawful rulings in his favor. That has caused a case that, by law had to be dismissed (summary judgement) in six to eight months time, to drag on for five-plus years. This cost me, and Alabama taxpayers, thousands of dollars. The case even involved a two-day trial when, by law, it could not go to trial. And Republicans claim to be careful with tax dollars?

Why did all of this happen? Well, Mr. Swatek's son is Dax Swatek, a fundraiser and consultant for a number of Alabama GOP politicians, including Gov. Bob Riley.

I know you had kind words for Gov. Riley at your recent talk in Birmingham, and I certainly respect your opinion. But please count me among the many Alabama Democrats who have grave concerns about the Riley administration, particularly in the area of ethics.

Just today, Scott Horton of Harper's posted about questionable activities under Gov. Riley's watch, even taking a look at Riley's election in 2002 under suspicious circumstances. Horton also has posted about the ties many Riley associates have had to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. These associates include Dax Swatek.

What does all of this have to do with your role in Congress? Well, I have overwhelming evidence that judges and at least one attorney in my case have violated federal law, 18 U.S. Code 1346 (honest services mail fraud). I have submitted detailed information about this wrongdoing to Alice Martin, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. As you know, Ms. Martin led the first effort to prosecute former Governor Siegelman, and the Siegelman case is at the heart of the House Judiciary Committee's investigation into selective prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Has Ms. Martin taken any steps to look into wrongdoing by Alabama Republicans? Not that I'm aware of. In fact, I have evidence that she has taken affirmative steps to sweep my case under the rug, and I will be posting about that soon.

I hope you and your colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee will keep in mind that selective prosecution can come in two varieties: cases where someone is prosecuted for political reasons and cases where someone is not prosecuted for political reasons. Either way, the cause of justice is not served, and my case is a classic example of the latter.

As someone who has personal and painful experience with our broken justice system, both at the state and federal levels, I wholeheartedly support your efforts to investigate wrongdoing in the DOJ.

Best regards,

Legal Schnauzer

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