Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bill Swatek: A Portrait of Alabama Sleaze in the Age of Rove

I, of all people, should not be surprised by any corrupt act committed by Alabama attorney William E. Swatek. But I must confess that even I was somewhat taken aback by Swatek's most recent gambit.

Bill Swatek is the greaseball lawyer who filed a bogus lawsuit against me some seven years ago, leading to all kinds of legal headaches and to the blog you are now reading.

Swatek has an almost 30-year history of unethical activities in the "practice" of law (much more on that coming up soon). But he is not just any corrupt lawyer. No, Bill Swatek practices a special kind of corruption--the kind that is covered by what former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman calls an "umbrella of protection" from the Bush Justice Department.

Why is Bill Swatek special? Because he has family ties that run right up to the doorstep of the Bush White House--and certainly to the inner workings of the Bush DOJ.

Those ties come courtesy of Swatek's son, Dax Swatek, a GOP "consultant" based in Montgomery, Alabama. Dax Swatek has served as campaign consultant for Governor Bob Riley (2006) and U.S. Attorney Alice Martin (2000) (when she ran for a seat on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals--and lost). But perhaps more importantly, Dax Swatek once worked for, and remains a close associate of, Alabama GOP operative Bill Canary.

That's the same Bill Canary who, thanks to Republican whistleblower Jill Simpson, was reported to have said on a conference phone call that "his girls" (Alice Martin and fellow U.S. attorney Leura Canary, Bill's wife) would "take care of" Don Siegelman. That's the same Bill Canary who, according to Simpson, already had the deal worked out with "Karl." That would be Karl Rove, who worked with Canary in the 1990s to turn Alabama state courts into a Republican playground. Rove, in fact, made his national reputation in Alabama before going on to become "Bush's Brain."

So the family tree of sleaze goes like this--Bill Swatek>Dax Swatek>Bill Canary>Karl Rove>George W. Bush.

And all along, you thought the case at the heart of this blog was about some Alabama goober (me) who didn't like the way he was treated in court. In reality, this is one Alabama goober who has come face to face with Justice-Department corruption in the Age of Rove. And I want to make sure Legal Schnauzer followers can read all about it.

So, what is Swatek's most recent gambit? It dates back to the "auction" of our house (actually, my portion of the house, which is co-owned by Mrs. Schnauzer). We reported on that auction, live and in color, and you can check out all the action here.

The normal byproduct of a legitimate sheriff's sale is a document called a sheriff's deed. But as we've reported earlier, nothing about this "sheriff's sale" was legitimate. How was it illegitimate? Let me count the ways:

* The underlying judgment was unlawful and reached via unconstitutional means

* The writ of execution, which precipitated the sheriff's sale, did not include a written notice of my right to claim exemptions (as is required by law).

* Public records indicate that Swatek never bothered to file a certificate of judgment in probate court, so there was no judgment lien on our property. No one's rights to my share of my property can attach without a judgment lien. And no legitimate sheriff's sale can take place without a judgment lien.

* I filed a notarized claim of exemption, which by law, put a stay on the sheriff's sale. That stay, by law, was in place until the opposing party filed a contest. In this case, the opposing party (Swatek and his criminally inclined client, Mike McGarity) never filed a contest.

* With no contest being filed, my claim of exemption must be upheld as uncontroverted--and the sheriff's sale is off, permanently.

In other words, by law, my share of my house remains totally mine. But the real law does not apply to Bill Swatek in Shelby County, Alabama. And that's evidently why he felt free to seek a sheriff's deed on my property. And that's evidently why Sheriff Chris Curry felt free to sign it, under oath--violating no telling how many laws, both criminally and civilly.

At this point, I should rephrase the statement in the opening paragraph. I'm never taken aback by anything Bill Swatek might do. I know his history too well (more on that coming very soon--I promise). But I guess I was mildly surprised that Chris Curry would so blatantly violate the law--almost certainly committing honest-services wire and mail fraud in the process. Curry is, after all, the sheriff, and you might expect him to have at least a modicum of respect for the law.

But hey, this is Shelby County, Alabama, where up is down, down is up, left is right (actually, everything is right, way right).

If you would like to check out Bill Swatek's little sheriff's deed, indicating that he owns a portion of my home, you can see it here. Just click on "view image" to see the actual deed.

I want to put this example of Republican corruption in perspective, but it seems that words alone simply do not do justice to Bill Swatek's brand of sleaze. So we are going to return to the videotape.

Please join me on this video blog (vlog) as we illustrate just what Bill Swatek is all about.

(To be continued . . . )


Anonymous said...

Bill's a great lawyer. I think Alice Martin is more crooked than anyone, but making the connection between her and Bill is a stretch. Just because you have a negative personal history with him, does not mean that he is a bad lawyer. He certainly is doing nothing illegal. He's doing his job, and has done it well.

legalschnauzer said...

If Bill's such a great lawyer, why does he have a 30-year history of ethical problems with the Alabama State Bar, including a suspension of his license. Why was he tried for perjury. As for the ties to Alice Martin, Swatek's son, Dax, was her campaign manager. And Bill Swatek most certainly has engaged in criminal activity, and I've documented it on this blog. You can check out just one example here, live and in color: