Monday, January 26, 2009

Alice Martin's Last Stand

We have reported on Alice Martin's efforts to stay on as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama under a Barack Obama administration.

Now we have a report that Martin, a Bush appointee, is refusing to give up her post. The Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) writes that Martin intends to force the Obama administration to fire her.

This is not a surprise to regular Alice Martin watchers. Her reign has long been about drama and politics, not rules, protocol, or justice. Apparently, Queen Alice's last act will be to play the martyr for the cause of "justice" under Bush.

WMR provides important background on Martin, particularly her role in the prosecutions of former Alabama Democratic Governor Don Siegelman:

On February 12, 2008, WMR reported: "Perhaps no one in the Siegelman affair is more corrupt than the US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Alice H. Martin. Martin has been accused of providing false evidence against Siegelman in his trial. Former Jefferson County Commissioner Gary White, a Republican, was reportedly prosecuted by Martin for corruption because White would not testify against Siegelman and former Health South chairman Richard Scrushy. Martin tried to compel White to present false evidence against Siegelman in his trial.

WMR also notes Martin's curious methods for choosing the cases she pursues. She went after former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy and others in a corporate financial fraud case under the Sarbanes-Oxley Law. Martin, by the way, failed to secure a conviction against Scrushy in a case where many observers thought evidence against the CEO was overwhelming.

But WMR points out that Martin was not always so interested in pursuing cases of possible financial wrongdoing. In fact, she conveniently ignored a major bankruptcy case that took place right under her nose--literally:

Martin Industries, a manufacturer of grills, gas heaters, and hearths, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama in Decatur, Alabama on December 27, 2002. Martin Industries was eventually bought by a Canadian company, Monessen Hearth Systems Company.

Although Martin Industries had amassed a reported $63 million in debt, Martin and her 44 lawyers and 104 assistants, including those who liaise with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FBI, did not see fit to investigate what caused the massive debt in the firm pursuant to the provision of Sarbox.

Why would Alice Martin not be interested in that bankruptcy case. WMR has the answer:

Perhaps it is because Martin is married to Louis J. Martin II, a vice president of Martin Industries who retired at the age of 48 in 2003 after the firm declared bankruptcy.

How convenient. Martin's husband helps get a company into $63 million worth of do-d0, and the feds don't bother checking into possible financial irregularities.

Wayne Madsen's reporting goes to a point we have raised repeatedly here at Legal Schnauzer: Corruption in the Bush Justice Department is not just about who does get prosecuted; it also is about who does not get prosecuted.

If you are a corrupt Republican judge in Alabama state courts, with ties to loyal Bushies, you can butcher the law without fear. If you are married to a loyal Bushie--in this case, Alice Martin herself--you don't have to worry about anyone checking into your curious financial practices.

If Martin wants the Obama team to fire her, that should be no problem. There almost certainly are plenty of grounds for firing her, beyond the mere fact that she is a Bush appointee.


Anonymous said...

God, that woman. Party at my blog the day her ass is booted.

Robby Scott Hill said...

And I can't take the bar exam because of unpaid debts that piled up after Alabama Lawyer and Bush Family hack Robert Francis Nelson, who made ten times more money than me, laid me off from Florida East Coast Industries to help fund Jeb Bush's re-election fund. What is wrong with this situation Alabama State Bar? Shouldn't you be investigating this as an ethics violation?

Anonymous said...

I think once the AG is confirmed all U.S. Attorneys will be given the axe, including Martin.

Anonymous said...

Chairman John Conyers needs to talk to the Justice Department about offering a plea bargain to Jack Abramoff, R.R., G.N., M.S., and T.R. who used Indian casinos money to fuel Bush's Lieutenant Karl Rove political Hit Program. The scheme involved Bush appointing willing candidates, a major publishing company, money launderings, and tens of millions of Dollars. Some victims still don't have the slightest idea.

Siegelman has been in Rove’s sights for over two decades, because he has not been easy to squash. He is very much like Joseph; God is with him. Watch what I say, Siegelman will be restored to a position greater than he ever had. I'm not going to speculate what God has in mind for those who conspired against him.