Just how close are the political ties between U.S. Attorney Alice Martin and Alabama Governor Bob Riley?
It is well known that Riley's campaign manager in 2006 was Montgomery-based political "consultant" Dax Swatek.
Guess who served as Alice Martin's campaign manager in 2000 when she ran for a seat on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals? None other than Dax Swatek.
Regular readers of Legal Schnauzer will recognize that last name. That's because Dax Swatek's father, Pelham, Alabama, attorney William E. Swatek, is the ethically challenged barrister who sued me on behalf of my criminally inclined neighbor, Mike McGarity.
So you have Alice Martin in the Northern District of Alabama and Bob Riley in Montgomery and your humble blogger in Shelby County--all tied together by the unholy duo of Bill and Dax Swatek.
And we can make that an unholy trinity by adding GOP operative Bill Canary to the mix. Dax Swatek is a longtime associate of Mr. Canary, who has become famed for his "my girls will take care of Don Siegelman" quote, courtesy of Republican whistleblower Jill Simpson. One of Bill Canary's girls, of course was Alice Martin; the other was his wife, Leura Canary, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama.
So you can see how the Swateks wind their way through both the Siegelman and Legal Schnauzer cases--kind of like a two-headed snake.
In fact, the Swateks are like snakes in a number of ways--although I hate to give snakes a bad name by comparing them to this pair. We will show that Bill Swatek has a record of unethical behavior in the legal profession that dates back almost 30 years. This includes a suspension of his license for acts of "dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation" and a criminal prosecution for perjury.
And what about Dax Swatek? Well, he appears to be an apple who didn't fall far from the tree. Scott Horton, of Harper's, has reported on Dax Swatek's connections to disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
And Dax Swatek's slippery ways came to light when he served as Alice Martin's campaign manager. (By the way, Martin lost that race to Sue Bell Cobb, now chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.)
What happened in that 2000 race? The Martin campaign produced a circular that said Martin "has been a conservative law and order judge with 19 years experience." An official with a judicial-campaign oversight group said the circular was misleading. ("Judicial Panel Says Circular Misleading," Birmingham News, October 31, 2000.)
"Ms. Martin, a Florence lawyer, said in an interview that she has 19 years of legal experience, including eight years as a prosecutor, five years as a criminal defense attorney, and six years as a judge," the story says.
The circular, though, clearly gives the impression that Martin has 19 years experience as a judge. "We really think it's misleading," said Montgomery attorney Maury Smith, co-chairman of the Alabama Judicial Campaign Oversight Committee. "That's misleading. We think it's improper. We will notify her of that."
What did Dax Swatek have to say about the matter. He said he had no intention of asking the Republican Party to correct the circular "because I do not consider it misleading."
He probably doesn't consider his father a disreputable attorney, either, even though Bill Swatek has a disciplinary file at the Alabama State Bar that is about a foot thick.
So now we know that Alice Martin's problems with the truth go back several years. And we also know that her connections to the family that has caused me all kinds of legal headaches go back several years.
No wonder Ms. Martin doesn't want to look into the federal crimes that have been committed by Bill Swatek and his judicial cronies at the Shelby County Courthouse.