The investigation lasted 10 years, finally closing down in 2008, after the Federal Election Commission fined Rob Riley and his father's campaign $10,000 for making and accepting excess contributions. At the heart of the controversy was Triad Management Services, a Virginia-based consulting firm devoted to keeping the Republican majority in Congress, according to its promotional materials in 1995 and '96. Carolyn Malenick, a former fund-raiser for Oliver North, was president of Triad.
According to a number of press reports, Rob Riley likely avoided criminal charges only because Republican Fred Thompson (R-TN) headed the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and it decided there was insufficient evidence to take the investigation any further.
Who stood up for Rob Riley's "integrity" during this tumultuous time? It was Michael Scanlon, his father's press secretary. That's the same Michael Scanlon who was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison for his role in a public-corruption and fraud scandal involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Michael Scanlon standing up for your integrity? That's a little like having the late John Holmes vouch for your virginity.
According to a 1997 Associated Press story, Michael Scanlon was aghast at the notion that Rob Riley would intentionally circumvent campaign-finance laws. From the AP report:
The son of Rep. Bob Riley, R-Ala., contributed $1,000 to four different political action committees that later donated identical amounts to Riley's campaign, federal disclosure records show.
Robert R. Riley Jr., a Birmingham lawyer, contributed another $1,000 to a fifth PAC that donated $500 to his father's campaign the following day, according to Federal Election Commission records.
``To say that Rob wrote the checks to the PACs and the PACs wrote the checks to the campaign is incorrect,'' said Mike Scanlon, press secretary to the freshman Republican.
Scanlon didn't stop there; he was just getting warmed up. Here is more from AP:
Scanlon said the congressman's son wrote the five PAC contribution checks and mailed them together in late April or early May to Triad Management Services Inc., a Washington-based firm that advises conservative donors who want to contribute to conservative PACs and candidates.
``Whatever transpired between Triad and these PACs, we have absolutely no idea about,'' said Scanlon. ``That's between Triad and the political action committees.''
Scanlon said the younger Riley wanted to help conservative candidates and sent the PAC checks to Triad ``under the assumption that there was a very good possibility that none of the money would come back to Bob Riley's campaign.''
Is Michael Scanlon a trustworthy source on this subject? Well, to answer that question, we highly recommend an article at breitbartunmasked.com titled "How Rob Riley Learned to Launder Political Money."
We also recommend that you view the following scene from Casino Jack, a Hollywood film about the Abramoff scandal. This scene features Kevin Spacey as Abramoff and Barry Pepper as Scanlon: