Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Nation Meets a Whistleblower

Glynn Wilson, of Locust Fork News, has written a splendid piece for The Nation magazine on Rainsville attorney Jill Simpson and her role in bringing the issue of selective prosecution to the public's attention.

In "A Whistleblower's Tale," Wilson notes that Tuesday's U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing probably never would have taken place if Simpson had not signed a sworn affidavit that quoted Republican operatives discussing a plan to "take care of" former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

In addition to the Siegelman case, Congress is looking at cases in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. And U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) on Tuesday introduced evidence regarding the Paul Minor case in Mississippi, which has received considerable attention here at Legal Schnauzer.

It's very likely that none of those cases would have received scrutiny if Simpson had not come forward. And Wilson provides the most comprehensive, and most personal, account of a whistleblower who has taken considerable personal and professional risks.

Since taking steps to shine a light on Republican wrongdoing in the Siegelman matter, Simpson has seen her house burn down, her car forced off the road, and her law business dry up. "Any time you speak truth to power, there are great risks," she says.

Wilson's piece is an excellent read. And while the main focus is on Simpson, the article also says a lot about Rob Riley, son of Alabama Governor Bob Riley and victor over Siegelman in a bitterly fought 2002 election. Rob Riley filed an affidavit to counter Simpson's story and has repeatedly tried to attack her credibility in news accounts.

But what about Riley's credibility? Wilson reports that Riley told a Birmingham News reporter that he had not seen Simpson in years and had never tried cases with her. But Simpson has boxes of records proving they tried many cases together over the years, and she provided some of those records to the House Judiciary Committee.


Susan Fillippeli said...

Wilson's piece if full of holes. Here is one major error.

Bill Pryor was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 9, 2005 by a vote of 53-45. Here is the U.S. Senate record of the vote.

When I pointed this out on Glenn's website he simply removed the post rather than correct his error.

This is just one of many factual errors in Wilson's "The Nation" piece.


legalschnauzer said...

Aside from the information about Pryor, what other holes are there?