What's the latest evidence? The News chose to do a piece for Sunday's paper about a local headhunting firm and how it is coping with the economic downturn.
That's a perfectly legitimate story idea. But guess which firm the News just happened to pick. It focused on Wheless Associates Executive Search, the company that recently hired Alice Martin.
The interview, with chairman and CEO Mike Wheless, apparently is not available online. But you can rest assured that the News managed to sneak in a question about our gal Alice. Here it is:
Q. How did you get together with Alice Martin and what role will she play at the firm?
A. I was honored to meet Alice through a mutual acquaintance. After several discussions with Alice about the executive search industry, I extended the invitation and she accepted.
I believe Alice was impressed with the outstanding individuals she met in our firm, the caliber of our clientele, and more importantly, the logic of our business model.
Now let's imagine that Wheless was doing an interview with Legal Schnauzer, not The Birmingham News. How might that interview have gone?
Q. Alice Martin is under investigation by multiple government agencies for alleged misconduct during her time as U.S. attorney. Did you take that into consideration before hiring her?
A. Alice is under investigation? She didn't say anything about that during our discussions.
Q. Specifically, attorneys for Huntsville defense contractor Alex Latifi have alleged that Martin and others under her supervision committed criminal acts during a federal investigation of Latifi's company, Axion. Did you take that into consideration before hiring her?
A. Alice . . . criminal acts?
Q. In fact, one of Martin's subordinates, as reported in the ABA Journal, told defense attorneys in the Axion case: "We don't care if Latifi is innocent. Our goal is to put him out of business." Alice Martin apparently sanctioned that kind of behavior. Is that the kind of person who should fit well as an "executive recruiter"?
A. One of Alice's subordinates said what?
Q. Scott Horton, legal-affairs contributor at Harper's magazine and a law professor at Columbia University, has called Martin the most corrupt and crooked public official in the country? Is that the kind of person you want associated with your firm?
A. Alice . . . corrupt . . . crooked?
Q. Did you know that on my blog, Legal Schnauzer, we've presented conclusive evidence that Martin committed a crime, obstruction of justice, while acting as U.S. attorney and covering up unlawful acts by judges and lawyers in Shelby County, Alabama?
A. I think I need a drink . . .
Q. Oh, don't go. We're just getting warmed up. Did you know that conclusive evidence showed that Alice Martin lied under oath in an employment case brought by former assistant U.S. attorney Deirdra Brown-Fleming?
A. Ahhh . . . Ummm . . .
Q. Did you ever wonder why, with all of her contacts and experience in the legal profession, Alice Martin apparently could not get a job in that field to save her life? Could it be because her reputation is dismal? Could it be because it's widely known that Alice Martin was both incompetent and corrupt during her reign as U.S. attorney?
A. You know, I enjoyed my interview with The Birmingham News much more than I'm enjoying this one.
Q. How is it going to look for your firm if it is shown that your prized new employee committed criminal acts?
A. If you will excuse me . . . I definitely need a drink. And I'm not talking about water.