Let's return to the play-by-play account of my e-mail encounter with Alice Martin, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and the first federal prosecutor to go after former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman.
In the most recent post in our "Malice of Alice" series, we showed how Martin had sent my allegations of wrongdoing by Republican judges in Alabama state courts (and an attorney with family ties to Karl Rove) to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
We followed that with a summary of the ground we've covered in our series that shows the slippery ways in which Alice Martin conducts her prosecutorial duties.
Now let's return to my one-on-one e-mail encounter with Alice Martin. Ms. Martin has just informed me that she has sent my allegations to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and followed up with a brief explanation as to why she sent my information to said agency.
My guess is that Ms. Martin hit the send key on her computer and thought, "Surely to God this will get rid of this pest."
If that was her thought, she was wrong about that--as we are about to see. Martin's explanation only raised the curiosity for which we schnauzers are known. So I responded with this e-mail:
From: Roger Shuler
To: Alice Martin
Date: July 27, 2007
Here is what I don't understand. My letter to you, I think, makes it clear that this is a case about fraud and white-collar crime. It's only mail fraud because the U.S. mails were repeatedly used in furtherance of a fraudulent scheme. The main crime is fraud, by white-collar professionals, with the mail being a secondary component.
As I noted in my two letters to you, this involves violation of 18 U.S. Code 1346, honest services mail fraud. In checking the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Web site, it does not appear that they are even authorized to investigate 1346 violations. Here is a link to their jurisdiction page:
Under mail fraud, the service states that it primarily investigates various forms of consumer fraud, especially as it pertains to the elderly. My case has nothing to do with consumer fraud, and I'm not elderly (at least not yet).
The case I described in my letter is similar in many respects to the case for which former Governor Don Siegelman recently was tried and convicted in Montgomery. About 20 of the 30-some counts against Mr.Siegelman involved honest services mail fraud. Did the U.S. Postal Inspection Service lead that investigation? If so, I certainly was not aware of it.
An important point: Honest services mail fraud is only one of several possible crimes here. An investigation probably would uncover evidence of bribery, conspiracy, wire fraud, RICO violations, and who knows what else. I find it hard to believe that the U.S. Postal Inspection Service would be capable of handling such an investigation.
I ask that this case be handled by the proper investigative body. I don't see how that can be anyone other than the FBI's white-collar crime unit.
(To be continued . . . )