Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Tales of intrigue from Tommy Gallion: An intrepid attorney, with deep Southern roots, shines a bright light in dark corners of Alabama politics (Part 2)

Shadow Government, Southern Style: A Saga of Political Corruption From D.C. to Dixie (2020), by Thomas T. Gallion III; available from Amazon and Kindle eBooks

Tommy Gallion's Shadow Government  might be the most searing examination of Deep-South political corruption in the postmodern era. It is a work of considerable depth and breadth, deserving of its own review -- which we will endeavor to provide in an upcoming post. It also is "in the moment," filled with essentially breaking stories, largely unknown to the reading public here in the midst of election season,  Gallion set out to become an investigative journalist before settling into a long legal career, with a base in Montgomery, AL. Shadow Government shows that he has the searching eye and inquisitive mind of  a reporter.

Tommy Gallion
 Before delving into our review in a few weeks, we will produce a series of posts that examine some of the breaking news found in Shadow Government's pages. This is the second of those posts: (Part 1 is here)

What was the real motivation behind the political prosecution of former Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman and his codefendant, former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy?

No one, to my knowledge, has been able to pin a definitive answer on this question -- although there are many intriguing theories. Most people, it seems, assume it was a Republican scheme to force Siegelman out of politics because they could not beat him at the ballot box. Gallion, however, takes a different view: He says it was designed more to gain control over Scrushy's considerable financial clout than to limit, or ruin, Siegelman's political clout. In other words, it was more about money than politics. From Shadow Government, Southern Style:

During the summer of 2018, I met with Scrushy to learn what had happened to him. (See note at end of post.) After several meetings, I asked Scrushy if he ever considered that the whole thing had been a ploy by Rob Riley, his brother-in-law [Rob] Campbell, and Doug Jones to set him up  to take over the legal business of HealthSouth that Campbell's firm had been courting for years. I also told that based on the information he had just given me, plus the fact Rob Riley, Doug Jones, and Campbell's firm had sued him, this was their plan from the beginning. I personally put together the puzzle and informed him this whole matter had nothing to do with Siegelman, but was to make money for Campbell, Riley, and Jones and to attempt to void Scrushy's retirement policy with HealthSouth. Scrushy said he had never thought about that being the Campbell firm's plan, but he now thinks that is the case from recent facts the two of us had uncovered. I looked at the documents and saw that Campbell's firm, Rob Riley, and Doug Jones were among the lawyers who repesented the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Scrushy. I asked Scrushy if they found any documents in his barn to use against him. He said there were many documents in that barn, all of which were taken by Campbell's law firm when Judge Horn issued his ruling against Scrushy. Since Scrushy isn't a lawyer, I explained to him that all Riley and Jones wanted to do was look and see what was there so they woul know what documents to take or subpoena. I explained to him that I considered Riley's and Jones's lying to him about why they wanted to go into his barn to be fraud.

(Note: Gallion contacted me on this date -- 7/29/20 -- and noted that the time frame in this passage from his book is incorrect. After double checking his appointment calendar from the period, Gallion determined the Scrushy meetings started in fall, not summer, 2018 The exact date of the initial meeting was 10/28/18.)

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