Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Oily Alabama operative Rob Riley admits, in a roundabout way, that GOPers used affidavit to blackmail Judge Mark Fuller in the Siegelman case

Paul Benton Weeks
Conservative operatives in Alabama (and beyond) used an affidavit, which revealed the corrupt acts of the federal judge in the Don Siegelman case, to blackmail the judge into doing their bidding -- ensuring that Siegelman and codefendant Richard Scrushy would be wrongfully convicted.

That information about former U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, since forced from the bench in the wake of charges that he beat his wife in an Atlanta hotel room, comes from two sources -- Alabama whistle blower and opposition researcher Jill Simpson, plus the author of the affidavit, retired Missouri attorney Paul Benton Weeks.

The blackmail issue came to the surface following our post earlier this week about the political prosecution Weeks is facing for "securities fraud" in Missouri -- a case that is so dubious it did not, by law, even involve a security, and it was filed some 30 months after the statute of limitations had expired. Under the heading of "adding insult to injury," Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley recently solicited a $50,000 donation (for his U.S. Senate campaign) from Weeks -- even though Hawley is leading the prosecution against Weeks.

Yes sir, wouldn't we all jump at the chance to contribute to the political fraud who is leading a bogus prosecution against us?

Our post apparently riled Simpson and led her to note on Facebook the critical role Weeks played in the Siegelman case, via an affidavit that revealed Judge Mark Fuller never should have been on the case. From Simpson's Facebook post (with mild editing for clarity); as tends to happen, Homewood lawyer and GOP thug Rob Riley appears at the center of any post about Alabama corruption:

As many of you know I think of Paul Weeks as a hero in the Siegelman case. Paul showed up after I testified in D.C. . . . about all Rob Riley had told me about Mark Fuller. At the time Rob shared this information in 2005, I had no idea where he had gotten all of it [and how it was being used against Fuller]. Rob just said, "A friend gave it to me," and it was enough to get Fuller to do exactly what [Rob and his associates] wanted him to do."

In what should be no surprise to anyone, Rob Riley was lying. The information actually came from the Paul Weeks affidavit, which had taken a circuitous route through a major multi-state lawsuit -- winding up with lawyers from the Bradley Arant law firm in Birmingham. (More on that in an upcoming post.) Writes Simpson:

Rob and Bob Riley
Paul Weeks showed up by calling my lawyer at the time, who instructed me not to talk him ( I believe because of Doug Jones connections ), but I did [talk to Paul anyway]  and learned that he had filed an affidavit about Fuller. That was a case against Ray Scott and B.A.S.S., in which Rob and Bob Riley's good buddy, Matt Lembke had been an attorney. Weeks' knowledge of how they were blackmailing Fuller made him a dangerous threat to the Alabama Gang. But we could never get anyone in D.C. to question [Paul], as we were dealing with Rob Riley's buddy, Doug Jones, who was about to make $51 million in a [HealthSouth civil case], with Rob running interference against all of us in D.C.

Simpson notes the blow back Weeks and others have faced for standing up to corruption connected to the Siegelman case:

Each one of us who helped see this story told -- the ones that did not join the Doug Jones bunch -- got either criminally threatened are charged with crazy horseshit, and now it appears to be Weeks they are after. This is a never-ending saga. But all their bullshit is always met with resistance; by this, I mean we show up and out the corruption of this criminal gang. It appears to us that the Alabama Resistance needs to change its name to just Resist. As we now are way beyond Alabama, dealing with their corrupt individuals in other states. As for Paul Weeks, please hold him in your prayers. Can you believe how brazen this Missouri AG is with Paul?

What about our other source, Paul Benton Weeks? He provides insights on Bradley E. Murray, v. Ray W. Scott, the B.A.S.S. case that led to his affidavit -- and shows how his sworn statement about corruption connected to U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller made it into the hands of the right-wing Alabama Gang, which used it (via Bradley Arant lawyer Matt Lembke) to blackmail Fuller and control the Siegelman case.

Scott, by the way, long has been close to George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, which might explain how Scott receives favorable rulings in Southeastern courts (Eleventh Circuit: Alabama, Georgia, Florida), which are assigned to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a Bush appointee. From Paul Weeks:

Scott was founder of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society of America (B.A.S.S.) but then later created a deceptively-similar named entity, "B.A.S.S. Inc." that was then used to divert all of the B.A.S.S. membership dues and magazine advertising revenues from B.A.S.S. to B.A.S.S. Inc. 
Legal experts called it a huge fraud and charitable scam because B.A.S.S. was supposed to be a fishermen's organization dedicated to preserving fishing waters and promoting youth fishing programs. Turns out Ray Scott was looting B.A.S.S. of all of the organization's money using B.A.S.S. Inc. as the siphon. When B.A.S.S. members in Kansas filed suit against Scott to get their organization and magazine back, Scott hired,  among others, Matt Lembke's firm (Bradley Arant). 
So Lembke was one of the very first lawyers to get a copy of my Fuller affidavit when I submitted it in the summer of 2003. Lembke then shared all of the dirt on Fuller with his political allies, the Rileys. They then used that dirt on Fuller to blackmail Fuller to "get" Siegelman.

The dirt on Mark Fuller did not just land on Matt Lembke's plate. It went much higher up the food chain than that, again with profound consequences for the Don Siegelman case. From Weeks:

Not only did Lembke and the Rileys have the dirt on Fuller via my affidavit, but I originally sent a copy of that Fuller affidavit to the Department of Justice Public Integrity Section (PIN), which then enabled the PIN to lord it over Fuller during the prosecution and trial of Siegelman. Fuller would have definitely felt pressure (not to mention gratitude) for the DOJ not coming after him for what was in my Fuller affidavit.

So it's fair to say that my Fuller affidavit allowed the Rileys and Karl Rove and the DOJ to "own" and control Fuller in the mission to "get" Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

The story does not end there -- far from it. Paul Weeks has many more insights on the blackmailing of federal judge Mark Fuller. We will have that in an upcoming post.

(To be continued)


Anonymous said...

So the Siegelman judge was being blackmailed by the wingers. Why does that not surprise me?

Anonymous said...

Matt Lembke = slimy little bastard

Anonymous said...

Blackmailing a federal judge? That sounds like a crime, and Fuller should be called to testify about it.

Anonymous said...

Rob Riley has loose lips, and those sink ships. Maybe the Good Ship Riley will sink someday, thanks to Rob's loose lips.

Anonymous said...

MSM needs to pick up on this. Big story.

Anonymous said...

@10:28 is right. This hints at all kinds of crimes, especially obstruction of justice. People involved need to go to prison.

Anonymous said...

I always figured Fuller would cheat Siegelman without having to be blackmailed. But I guess a little blackmail helps seal the deal.

Anonymous said...

Siegelman needs to find a way to reopen this case and get his criminal record cleared.

Anonymous said...

Why do you always refer to Rob Riley as "oily."

legalschnauzer said...

@1:44 --

Because it fits him so well.

Anonymous said...

The amateur sportsmen of the Bass Anglers Sportsman's Society of America have allegedly had their amateurism and conservation ethos hijacked by alleged profiteers operating on the down low?

Hep Me!

Where is the shame?

What church they go to?

That's about as bad as getting passed on the lake on they was to conservation and beers at your favorite fishin hole! You paid big bucks for 250HP to hang on the back of your toy and then some peckerwood you never seed before passes you like your prop threw a blade cause he has bought hisself 300HP!

What's next?

Puttin fish to catch later?

Fishin on tv?

Anonymous said...

ESPN bought BASS several years ago, and a group led by Don Logan (of Birmingham) bought it in 2010.

Anonymous said...

ESPN dumped its outdoor programming at about the same time it sold BASS.

Anonymous said...

If you click on the link to Murray v. Scott case, you see Bradley Arant wasn't the only Bham law firm representing defendants. Balch & Bingham, Maynard Cooper Gale, Berkowitz Lefkovits also were involved. Had to be big money at stake in that one. Weeks was taking on the "cream" of "Big Law" in Alabama.

Anonymous said...

So this affidavit and its contents stayed secret and under wraps all these years so that Riley could use it to blackmail Fuller? I am having a hard time believing that. The story in the newspaper outted the effort to get his investigator the bigger pension. Regarding the Doss income and time spent in Colorado (in dereliction of his duties as a DA) I know how detailed and in depth the background check on any nominee for a federal judge spot (from magistrates up to SCOTUS). No way that info doesn’t get discovered during that process. If it was obvious enough for Weeks to discover, then it would have been uncovered by the OGS&I. If it was illegal or unethical, it would have come out during his confirmation process.

I am not defending Fuller. I think he is a piece of shit, mainly because he was/is a wife beater and cheater. I am glad he is off the bench. But I am skeptical of these claims that he was blackmailed or bought and paid for.

legalschnauzer said...

@7:40 --

You might need a little clarification to go with your first sentence. Weeks wrote his affidavit and filed it in court, and with numerous DC agencies, in 2003. That was for the B.A.S.S. case, and one of the opposing attorneys -- one of the first people to get a copy -- was Riley ally Matt Lembke. The Siegelman trial was in 2006, and the Weeks affidavit became publicly known -- mainly because of its revelations about the Siegelman judge -- in 2007.

I wrote my first post about the Weeks affidavit in 2007, so it hasn't been secret for about 11 years.

Anonymous said...

Ok - so how did Riley blackmail Fuller if the information (regarding the RSA issue) with the story about the investigator’s salary spike was known? I mean, surely Fuller was aware of the story and would have toid Riley to fuck off. Honestly, the Weeks affidavit is not all that explosive. It is lengthy, thorough and supported by sources (if one accepts the statements of 2 unidentifiable RSA employee sources). But, it is based upon opinion that Fuller lied before the RSA board. Even if he did so, I am not sure that the evidence of his involvement with Doss implicates more sinister conduct unless he lied about that in his confirmation hearing.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:37 --

Not sure what you are asking, but here are a couple of thoughts:

(1) The story doesn't say Riley personally blackmailed Fuller. I don't believe it's known exactly who did that; it might have been several people. The story does say Rob Riley knew what was going on.

(2) To my knowledge, the salary-spike story was not widely known until the Weeks affidavit hit the press in 2007. That givea you 2003-06 for someone to manipulate Fuller in the Siegelman case. During that time, I don't think Fuller would have been in a position to tell anyone to "eff off." Plus, the salary-spike story was only part of the sleaze involving Fuller.

(3) The two people who really look bad in all of this are Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions. They pushed for Fuller, vouched for him -- as they did with Leura Canary and Alice Martin. Certainly suggests they have horrible judgment on court-related issues.