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The memory of a beloved pet inspires one couple's fight against injustice.

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    Mike Hubbard's mugshot
    Does yesterday's indictment and arrest of House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) mean Alabama soon will lose its place among the 10 most corrupt states in the country?

    Don't bet on it.

    Alabama was the No. 6 most corrupt state in a recent Fortune magazine ranking and probably deserved to be No.1, thanks to our tendency to elect self-serving "leaders" like Hubbard.

    Hubbard is a major public figure, and if he is convicted, it would represent a rare instance of a white, conservative Republican being held accountable for his misdeeds. That hardly has ever happened since Karl Rove arrived on the Alabama political scene in 1994, followed a few years later by Jack Abramoff and millions of dollars in Mississippi gaming cash.

    Rove and Abramoff helped lay the foundation for the Riley Machine, led by former Governor Bob Riley (2002-2010) and driven largely by his children, Birmingham lawyers Rob Riley and Minda Riley Campbell.

    Without the support of Team Riley, Hubbard probably never would have risen to political heights. One publication recently called Hubbard "Riley's second son." Hubbard even named one of his son's "Riley," in honor of the former governor.

    Yesterday's indictment provides details about deals Hubbard tried to make with several members of the Riley Machine--including Bob Riley, Minda Riley Campbell, and political consultant Dax Swatek. According to a report at al.com, most of those approached gave Hubbard what he wanted. From Mike Cason's article:

    According to the indictment, Hubbard solicited favors from some of Alabama's rich and powerful. They include former Alabama Governor Bob Riley, Business Council of Alabama CEO Billy Canary, Hoar Construction CEO Rob Burton, Great Southern Wood CEO Jimmy Rane, former Sterne Agee CEO James Holbrook, lobbyist Minda Riley Campbell, Harbert Management Corp. vice president Will Brooke and political operative Dax Swatek.

    Most gave Hubbard what he wanted, according to the indictment, including major investments into Hubbard's company, Craftmaster Printing.

    That raises this question: Did most of these deals amount to illegal "quid pro quos," where there was an agreement for the giver to receive something in return for his gift? If so, both parties in the deals should be subject to prosecution, as happened in the case of former Democratic governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.

    That probably would be covered by federal bribery law (see 18 U.S. Code 666), but we do not know at this point if the U.S. Department of Justice is involved.

    So far, Hubbard is the only major team member to have his mugshot taken. That means the question now about the Lee County grand jury is this: What's next?

    If Mike Hubbard proves to be the "big fish" that was caught in the net, not much will have been accomplished. The real big fish--members of the Riley family--are still swimming in Alabama's murky political waters.

    That's where the attention of law enforcement needs to turn next.

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    Mike Hubbard mugshot
    Indicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) has said he's done nothing wrong during his time as a public official. In a press conference yesterday, Hubbard said the attorney general's office is trying to make it a crime to own a business while serving in a public capacity.

    Those two comments indicate Hubbard is clueless about the legal challenges he faces--or he intentionally is trying to deceive the public.

    The issue in any criminal case is not whether the accused thinks he has done something wrong; it's whether he has violated the law.

    In Hubbard's defense, white-collar statutes often are written in such a murky fashion that hardly anyone can tell the difference between legal and illegal conduct. I challenge anyone to read 18 U.S. Code 666, which governed much of the Don Siegelman prosecution, and figure out what it means. Documents in that case indicate lawyers on both sides gave up on trying to figure out what the statute means and focused instead on case law.

    How many public officials are going to look up case law to determine if they have stepped into criminal territory? Answer: very few.

    The "I didn't know the law" excuse doesn't work, however, for Hubbard. The indictment primarily cites Code of Alabama 36-25-5(a), and it's language is not hard to decipher:

    Section 36-25-5

    Use of official position or office for personal gain.

    (a) No public official or public employee shall use or cause to be used his or her official position or office to obtain personal gain for himself or herself, or family member of the public employee or family member of the public official, or any business with which the person is associated unless the use and gain are otherwise specifically authorized by law. Personal gain is achieved when the public official, public employee, or a family member thereof receives, obtains, exerts control over, or otherwise converts to personal use the object constituting such personal gain.

    As white-collar statutes go, that is a paragon of clarity--and Hubbard had every reason to know what it says.

    That's what makes the following remark from Hubbard, as reported by the Montgomery Advertiser, so disingenuous:

    The Auburn Republican said he was being targeted for "shaking up the status quo" in state government after winning control of the Legislature in 2010, and angering those "who liked things as they are."

    "Why does the Attorney General's Office think it's a crime to own a business?" Hubbard said during the press conference. "And think it's a crime to do business with anyone you didn't know before you were elected to office?"

    The indictment makes no such claim. In count after count, the indictment says Hubbard used his office for personal gain, via his various business interests. And that, if proven in court, is a violation of the law.

    Hubbard has given every indication that he intends to fight the charges, and he and high-priced lawyer Mark White might figure out a way to coax a not-guilty verdict from an Alabama jury.

    But for now, Hubbard gives the impression of a man who does not understand the charges against him--and who doesn't understand how much trouble he might be in.

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    Rob Riley
    Today marks one year since I was beaten inside my own home, Maced in the face, dragged out of my home, dumped in the backseat of a squad car, and incarcerated in an Alabama jail for five months--all because I write this blog about judicial and political wrongdoing, in a state that ranks No. 6 for corruption, according to a recent survey.

    Ironically, the first anniversary of my arrest comes during the same week that House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn), a prominent member of the Riley Political Machine, was arrested on corruption charges. According to published reports, the Riley Machine could be dismantled when the Lee County criminal probe and its aftermath are completed.

    According to the indictment against Hubbard, former Governor Bob Riley and his daughter, Minda Riley Campbell, are among a number of prominent political and business figures to cut apparently corrupt deals that allowed Hubbard to use his public office for personal gain. Published reports have shown that Rob Riley, the former governor's son, was involved with Hubbard in funneling $100,000 in Poarch Creek Indian gaming money to Citizens for a Better Alabama, a group supposedly opposed to gaming.

    Where's the irony? Rob Riley clearly orchestrated my arrest, and now we know that one of his closest allies, Mike Hubbard, faces 23 counts of criminally abusing the public trust.

    My arrest and incarceration, which analysts from both the left and right have said runs contrary to more than 200 years of First Amendment law, grew from a defamation lawsuit that Rob Riley filed against me. It caused me to be the only journalist in the western hemisphere to be incarcerated in 2013. God only knows how many years it's been since a journalist has been arrested under similar circumstances in the United States. I'm doubtful that it ever has happened before.

    As we showed in a recent post, Riley's lawsuit bore no resemblance to a standard defamation lawsuit, for at least three major reasons:

    Mike Hubbard's mugshot
    * Riley sought both a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction, but a foundational U.S. Supreme Court decision from 1931 says both represent unlawful prior restraints under the First Amendment. A 2012 case from Virginia drives home the same point.

    * Riley did not seek a trial, but U.S. Supreme Court precedent holds defamation only can be found after a full adjudication on the merits. A 2007 California case spells out that principle in considerable detail.

    * Riley did not seek a jury to hear his case, but longstanding law holds that defamation and other First Amendment matters must be heard by a jury. Otherwise, a single judge could impose censorship without a full hearing on the matter.

    If Rob Riley's lawsuit was not about defamation, what was it about? I would suggest it was about intimidation of an online journalist the Riley Machine could not control. In the process, Team Riley engaged in gross civil wrongs and might well have stepped into criminal territory.

    What specifically drove Rob Riley to file his lawsuit, and what was the real motivation behind it?

    We will be addressing those questions, and more, in upcoming posts.

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    Graphic from International
    Business Times
    I am featured, along with international figures Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, in a UK news site's article about freedom of information via the Internet.

    The article, from the UK edition of International Business Times (IBT) is titled "Seven Controversial Figures of Internet Freedom: Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and More." One of the figures under the heading of "More" is yours truly.

    Ironically, the article appears as we marked the first anniversary last Thursday of my unlawful arrest in Shelby County, Alabama, making me the only journalist in the western hemisphere to be incarcerated in 2013. More importantly, the recognition comes as we finally are seeing signs of progress against corruption in Alabama, thanks to an ongoing grand-jury investigation in Lee County.

    House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) was indicted last week on 23 felony counts of using his public office for personal gain. State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) goes on trial today on charges of perjury and making false statements.

    Court documents indicate prosecutors are aiming even higher, targeting the Riley political machine headed by former GOP governor Bob Riley (2002-2010) and two of his children--Birmingham attorneys Rob Riley and Minda Riley Campbell. Hubbard is a long-time Riley ally, and the Hubbard indictment includes counts that involve Bob Riley and Minda Riley Campbell. Published reports have shown that Rob Riley was involved with Hubbard in funneling $100,000 in Poarch Creek Indian gaming money to Citizens for a Better Alabama, a group supposedly opposed to gaming.

    Rob Riley orchestrated my arrest by filing a lawsuit that bore no resemblance to a standard defamation claim. It clearly was designed to have me jailed because I was a Web-based journalist that the family machine could not control. In fact, another member of the Riley machine, State Sen. Bryan Taylor (R-Prattville), has filed what appears to be a dubious defamation lawsuit against another Web-based journalism site, Alabama Political Reporter.

    Julian Assange
    Have defamation lawsuits become Team Riley's weapon of choice in an effort to freeze unwelcome Web-based reporting? The answer appears to be yes, and the international press is paying attention.

    IBT is based in New York City's Financial District and has 10 national editions, in seven languages. Launched in 2005, it is ranked by Alexa as the fourth most visited site among business newspapers.

    The piece on internet freedom includes an article by India-based reporter Jerin Mathew, plus an infographic spotlighting each of the seven featured individuals (see link below). Writes Mathew:

    The internet is currently a crucial medium of communication. It is being used by people to express their ideas to an audience spread across the globe.

    However, certain authoritarian states have introduced measures to filter, monitor and manipulate the internet, as they fear the power of new technologies. Activists have successfully used the medium to advocate political, social and economic reform and mobilise people for the cause.

    Certain people have come out to question governments' interference in the cyber world and their snooping on the online activities of people. Some people say they are heroes of democracy, while some others label them as enemies of state security.

    7 Controversial Figures of Internet Freedom: International Business Times 

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    Jessica Garrison and Luther Strange
    Could the divorce file of Republican operative Jessica Medeiros Garrison contain information that might be pertinent to the ongoing grand-jury investigation in Lee County? That question has particular resonance as the first trial from the Lee County probe unfolds this week.

    Based on at least one published report, the answer to the Garrison question seems to be yes--and that's because of an alleged "secret" involving the attorney general's office, which is conducting the Lee County probe.

    Why then has the Garrison file remained sealed, even now that the divorce file of U.S. Judge Mark Fuller has been ordered unsealed in the wake of charges that he beat his wife in an Atlanta hotel room? The recent ruling on the Fuller matter indicates there are no lawful grounds for the Garrison file to remain outside of public view. That is especially the case with the possibility that the file contains information connected to the State House criminal investigation involving Speaker Mike Hubbard and other members of the GOP.

    The trial of State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) is going on this week in Opelika. It is the first trial to grow from the Lee County investigation, and Moore faces charges of lying to the grand jury and making false statements to prosecutors.

    How could the Garrison divorce case have ties to a criminal matter? An August 18 article by Bill Britt at Alabama Political Reporter (APR) shines light on that question.

    Britt reports that Kevin Turner, chief deputy to Attorney General Luther Strange, has tried to derail the Lee County investigation by having Special Prosecutor Matt Hart removed from the case. Turner filed what Britt describes as a "bogus" personal complaint in order to have Hart fired or removed from the white-collar crime division. The actions in Britt's report, if proven, come close to the definition of obstruction of justice (in federal law enforcement) or obstructing governmental services (at the state level).

    What would cause Kevin Turner to be so bold, desperate, and perhaps stupid? Britt suggests it's because Turner holds a "secret" over his boss' head. From the Britt article:

    Inside the Attorney General’s Office, the effort to sabotage the Grand Jury, by eliminating Hart, is thought to be the work of Strange’s closest ally, Turner.

    The seemly unbreakable bond between Strange and Turner is rumored to be based on more scandalous motives, and not mere loyalty. As Strange’s driver and body man during the 2010 campaign for AG, there is speculation that Turner holds a dirty secret over his boss' head. Whatever the reason may be for Strange’s particular loyalty to Turner, there are more than a few questions raised by Turner’s recent actions against Hart.

    Where does Jessica Medeiros Garrison fit into this picture? She managed Luther Strange's 2010 campaign, which would have more or less made her Kevin Turner's supervisor at the time. Any "dirty secret" that Kevin Turner has on Luther Strange, probably would be known to Garrison.

    What's the nature of this secret? Is it personal, professional, political, financial--a combination of all the above? We don't know, but Garrison's divorce case ended in October 2009, and a related child-custody case went into 2011--all in the general time frame of the 2010 campaign for attorney general.

    Could the sealed Garrison divorce file include information about the secret? It certainly could, and if so, that means it's relevant to the Lee County investigation--and Kevin Turner's actions that appear to be unethical (at best) and maybe criminal (at worst).

    While citizens await news of more possible arrests in the Lee County case,  they should demand that Jessica Medeiros Garrison's divorce file be unsealed.

    One member of the AG's staff, Sonny Reagan, already faces disciplinary action for allegedly leaking grand-jury information. Perhaps Kevin Turner's actions merit disciplinary action, as well.

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    Before you searching always remember to change your IP adress to not be followed!
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    The most trusted organization in broadcast journalism produced a report last night on Mark Fuller, the Alabama federal judge who was charged in August with beating his wife in an Atlanta hotel room. CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley relied in part on nontraditional news sources in preparing the Fuller story.

    How do we know? Legal Schnauzer was one of those sources. It's a classic example of how news gathering has changed, with the online press taking on more and more of a trusted role. It also is an example of a story that probably never would have reached the attention of CBS News, without aggressive reporting from nontraditional sources in the early stages.

    The CBS piece, dated October 28, 2014, is titled "Ala. judge's spousal abuse case has some seeking his resignation."

    Bianca Brosh, an assistant producer for CBS News, contacted me on October 14, and I posted that day on my Facebook page that a story about the Fuller case was in the works at the network. Brosh specifically asked about using a photography of Fuller, taken by Phil Fleming of Montgomery, Alabama, that had run on my blog.

    Blog statistics for Legal Schnauzer showed several visits from CBS Evening News to research our posts on the Fuller story. I'm guessing the network also checked out the reporting of Alabama attorney Donald Watkins, who has produced a number of important stories on his Facebook page about the Fuller case.

    From the CBS story, written by Vicente Arenas:

    Outrage over domestic violence reached a new high after revelations involving NFL players. Now, public condemnation is expanding with a call for justice involving a federal judge.

    Mark Fuller of Alabama may have his criminal record cleared, despite evidence on a disturbing tape. . . .

    The caller is the wife of Mark Fuller, a prominent federal judge who has presided over some of Alabama's biggest cases.

    Prosecutors filed a misdemeanor battery charge against Fuller. But the case did not come to national attention until the video surfaced of NFL star Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee, later wife, Janay in a casino hotel elevator.

    Now Fuller has been relieved of all his pending cases, and there are calls for his resignation.

    As we noted in a recent post, the nontraditional press has done most of the heavy lifting on the Fuller story. But it's gratifying to see CBS News step into the fray, adding its substantial clout to a story that now is national and international in scope.

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    Barry Moore
    Confusion about one word, "knowingly," might have caused an Alabama jury yesterday to acquit State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) on all four counts against him.

    Moore faced two counts of perjury and two counts of providing false statements, in the first trial to grow from a Lee County grand-jury investigation of State House corruption. That Moore was charged with two distinct crimes, and the relevant statutes treat the "knowingly" element in radically different ways, probably created enough confusion to give Moore not-guilty verdicts on all four counts.

    In retrospect, prosecutors probably would have been better off to charge Moore only with perjury. That's because the second charge, providing false statements to any matter under investigation, probably caused the confusion that let Moore go free.

    If jurors were confused, they were not alone. Some members of the press also appeared to be confused. Consider this from an al.com report on Wednesday about the trial:

    Moore testified today that he did not willingly or knowingly tell the grand jury anything that was untrue, a required element for the charges.

    We can find only one problem with that sentence--it isn't true; in fact, it's a flatly inaccurate statement of the law.

    All reporter Mike Cason had to do was check the indictment to get an accurate read on the law. Apparently he didn't do that. The indictment correctly states that "knowingly" was an element of the charge under Counts One and Three (providing false statements), but it was not an element under Counts Two and Four (perjury).

    A quick look at the relevant statutes shows a difference in the crimes. This is from the key portion of Code of Alabama 36-15-62.1:

    Section 36-15-62.1

    Providing false statements relating to any matter under investigation; penalties.

    (a) Any person who knowingly commits any of the following in any matter under investigation by the Attorney General, or a prosecutor or investigator of his or her office, upon conviction shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

    You can see that the word "knowingly" plays a prominent role in describing the offense. Now. let's take a look at the key section of Code of 13A-10-101:

    Section 13A-10-101

    Perjury in the first degree.

    (a) A person commits the crime of perjury in the first degree when in any official proceeding he swears falsely and his false statement is material to the proceeding in which it is made.

    (b) Perjury in the first degree is a Class C felony.

    You can see that the word "knowingly," contrary to what al.com reported, is not an element of perjury. The offense is straightforward--you make a materially false statement in an official proceeding, and you have committed perjury. It doesn't matter whether the statement was knowingly
    made or not.

    That's important because Moore admitted on the stand that he gave at least one answer that was false related to a phone call with Josh Pipken, who wound up being Moore's primary opponent. From the al.com report:

    Prosecutors say the recordings show that Moore was not truthful with the grand jury. Defense attorneys disputed that.

    Moore acknowledged during his testimony today that one answer he gave during his testimony was wrong, but said it was because he didn't fully remember the phone call with Pipkin from seven months earlier.

    Moore then proceeded to tell the jury that he did not willingly or knowingly tell the grand jury anything that was untrue. His reference to the grand jury means he was referring specifically to the perjury counts; the providing false statements counts involve statements made to investigators for the attorney general's office.

    In other words, Moore told jurors that he did not knowingly commit perjury. But "knowingly" is not an element of the offense; it only applies to the false statements counts. And Moore's own words show he did make a materially false statement in an official proceeding.

    What does it all mean? Moore probably presented a valid defense to the false statements charges, and the not-guilty verdicts on those might be proper. But based on our review of the relevant law and press reports on this week's trial, Moore offered no legitimate defense to the perjury charges. In fact, he appears he admitted to committing perjury in at least one instance.

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    Barry Moore
    Conventional wisdom in the legal world holds that a criminal defendant should almost never take the stand. The logic seems to be that by testifying in his own defense, the defendant allows prosecutors to pose potentially damaging questions that otherwise would go unasked.

    State Rep Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) defied that logic and was found not guilty in the first trial arising from a Lee County grand jury investigation related to the activities at the Alabama State House.

    Based on press reports, Moore was not a particularly effective witness. In fact, one account suggests he more or less confessed to at least one instance of perjury. But we suspect his decision to stand up and speak on his own behalf played a role in the non-guilty verdicts, on two counts of perjury and two counts of providing false statements.

    A source who was present for the trial says the Moore defense team's  strategy apparently consisted of creating as much confusion as possible, perhaps to draw attention from taped phone conversations that seemed to show Moore was less than truthful before the grand jury about threats issued by House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

    From our source:

    My mother used to always tell me that I argue just to argue, and that is exactly what happened in this case. Moore’s legal team had no legal standing to argue on, so they resorted to arguing irrelevant facts that came across to me as absurd and laughable. The defense created such a foggy haze of ludicrous assertions that at times I forgot what Barry Moore was on trial for. This tactic clearly worked.

    You can never overlook the element of race in an Alabama proceeding, so I asked our source about the racial makeup of the jury. He said it was seven whites and five blacks--two black males, five white males, two white females, three black females. Both alternates were white females.

    Based on that, it doesn't seem race played much of a factor. (It would be interesting to know the identify of the foreman; I'm convinced that person almost always carried huge weight in a jury trial.)

    A scatter-shot defense that left observers scratching their heads apparently carried the day. And I suspect Barry Moore helped himself by taking the stand. My guess is that, to many jurors, nothing screams "Guilty" like a defendant who won't speak for himself. That might not hold true if the defendant is a street thug with a long list of prior arrests and convictions. But in a white-collar case, where the defendant is likely to be fairly well spoken and the law often is murky, I think it makes sense for the defendant to put himself out there for questioning.

    I see no reason for the Moore verdict to have any impact on future proceedings that grow from the Lee County investigation. But the case did provide us with a memorable quote. In one tape recording, political opponent Josh Pipken is heard telling Moore "most business leaders think you're a snake and stupid as well."

    How's that for laying the cards on the table?

    We don't know if Moore is stupid or not. But he was wise enough to take the stand in his own defense. And we suspect he owes his freedom, at least in part, to that decision.

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    Ted Rollins
    Ted Rollins, the CEO who brutally beat his stepson and likely committed perjury in a grossly unjust Alabama divorce case, was forced out yesterday as head of Campus Crest Communities. The decision apparently was based on the company's slumping financial performance.

    Charlotte-based Campus Crest builds student-housing developments near universities around the country. According to the firm's Web site, it has 81 properties in 27 states--and that includes five projects under The Grove brand that are in operation or planned for Alabama (at South Alabama, Troy, Jacksonville State, Auburn, and Alabama).

    As of August 2013, Wall Street investors had showered roughly $800 million on the company, and that figure probably tops $1 billion by now.

    Ted Rollins belongs to one of the South's wealthiest families. His cousins, Gary and Randall Rollins, are Atlanta billionaires and direct Rollins Inc., the umbrella company for Orkin Pest Control and other profitable enterprises. The Atlanta side of the Rollins family, and their public squabbles over trust funds and divorces, was recently spotlighted in an article by reporter Clare O'Connor at Forbes magazine.

    Wall Street was well aware of the messiness in Rollins personal life. Paula Poskon, an analyst with Robert W. Baird and Company, learned in October 2012 that Rollins had been convicted in 1995 for assaulting his stepson in Franklin County, North Carolina. She also learned that Rollins had been the target of a social-services investigation, based on a citizen complaint, for possible sexual abuse of the same stepson.

    Poskon's reaction to this news? "Oh, my God, I was not aware of any of that. . . . It certainly sounds like I need to do a lot more digging."

    Did Poskon do more digging? Apparently not. A few months later, she tried to strong arm me into retracting her statements about Ted Rollins.

    Wall Street did not get alarmed, it seems, until Campus Crest Communities took a financial nosedive under Ted Rollins' leadership.

    One account yesterday, from streetinsider.com, said Rollins "resigned." Another article, from seekingalpha.com, said Rollins had "been terminated, effective immediately." It also said "the stock price soared" as the news got out.

    The company stock (with NYSE symbol CCG) had not been soaring lately. From Street Insider:

    Campus Crest Communities (NYSE: CCG) reported Q3 FFO of $0.15, $0.01 worse than the analyst estimate of $0.16. Revenue for the quarter came in at $28.3 million versus the consensus estimate of $27.83 million.

    The company also announced additional changes in senior management, as well as its intent to acquire Copper Beech assets, discontinue its construction and development business, reduce joint venture exposure and sell non-core assets as part of the Company’s release of financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2014.

    Effective immediately, Ted W. Rollins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, has resigned and will no longer be actively involved with the Company. The Independent Directors of the Board of Directors of the Company have elected Richard Kahlbaugh, lead independent director, as Executive Chairman and Interim CEO. It is intended that Mr. Kahlbaugh will guide the Company through the completion of its strategic repositioning.

    What about that "strategic repositioning"? Here is what it entails:

    * Discontinuing all construction and development to simplify the business model and focus on organic growth;

    * Identifying cost savings at the property and corporate level to enhance profitability;

    * Reducing joint venture exposure through select asset dispositions to reduce indebtedness and increase liquidity;

    * Exploring strategic options for our projects in Montreal, to include capital solutions to reduce exposure, concurrent with ongoing efforts to drive occupancy; and

    * Marketing development pipeline assets for sale to increase liquidity and simplify balance sheet.

    It sounds like Rollins' company was about as messy as his personal life--and that is pretty messy. We first became aware of Ted Rollins via Rollins v. Rollins, his divorce from second wife, Sherry Carroll Rollins, a Birmingham resident. The case was heard in Shelby County, Alabama, before Circuit Judge D. Al Crowson, even though clear law shows jurisdiction already had been established in South Carolina, and the case could not be heard anywhere else.

    Crowson essentially stole a case that belonged to another state and proceeded to grant Ted Rollins such a favorable judgment that it left Sherry Rollins and the couple's two daughters on food stamps over large portions of the past six years. I've called Rollins v. Rollinsthe worst courtroom cheat job I've encountered in seven years of writing about Alabama legal issues.

    Why might Ted Rollins receive favorable treatment in Alabama. His corporate law firm, Bradley Arant, is based in Birmingham.

    Wall Street knew Ted Rollins had a criminal conviction that involved the physical abuse of a child, but analysts and investors remained mostly silent about that. An Alabama judge unlawfully took a divorce case and issued a grossly one-sided judgment--and appellate courts upheld it with an "affirmed, no opinion" ruling. The legal community has been mute about that.

    What does that say about the values of Wall Street? What does that say about the values of our "justice system"?

    While we ponder those questions, here are documents from Ted Rollins assault conviction in North Carolina:

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    Adrian Peterson
    Ted Rollins stepped down as CEO of Campus Crest Communities one day before National Football League star Adrian Peterson entered a plea agreement in a criminal case.

    That's ironic because Peterson, a running back for the Minnesota Vikings and one of the NFL's most acclaimed players, faced charges that he disciplined his 4-year-old son with a switch (a tree branch with the leaves removed) in May. Peterson was charged with felony child abuse, which carries a possible punishment of two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

    Peterson has been on paid leave from the Vikings, and his no-contest plea means he will not spend time behind bars. But the NFL has rejected a request for Peterson's immediate reinstatement.

    Where is the irony in all of this? Rollins brutally beat his 16-year-old stepson in 1995, but records indicate he never was threatened with a felony or jail time. Rollins was convicted of simple assault. His punishment? He was fined $100, charged $65 for court costs, and $250 in restitution to Franklin Regional Medical Center in North Carolina.

    Why the hospital charge? The boy, who is Sherry Carroll Rollins' biological child from a previous marriage, was injured so badly that he required a trip via ambulance to the emergency room. Here is how Sherry Rollins described her son's injuries in an on-camera interview with Legal Schnauzer. Ms. Rollins now lives in Birmingham, Alabama:

    I couldn't tell what his injuries were exactly. He was stumbling as he walked toward the house. His face was all blood . . . as if he had no eyes, completely covered. There was no way of seeing his eyes. How he walked, I don't know. He stumbled into the house as the ambulance was coming.

    Ms. Rollins said her son had a broken nose and numerous abrasions and lacerations. She also said paramedics administered oxygen during transport to the hospital, a sign that blood loss was to the point that the boy was in danger of going into shock.

    In short, injuries in the Rollins beating were life threatening. What about in the Adrian Peterson case? Here is how one news report described them:

    CBS Houston, citing law enforcement sources and police reports, said Peterson beat his 4-year-old son with a tree branch in Spring, Tex., in May, causing cuts and bruises in several areas of the boy’s body, including his back, ankles and legs. Peterson told the police that the punishment was a “whooping” administered after the boy pushed another of Peterson’s children.

    By most accounts, Adrian Peterson engaged in corporal punishment that, under the law, went too far. According to an eye witness account from Sherry Rollins (see video below), Ted Rollins beat her son so severely that it could have resulted in death.

    Ted Rollins
    Adrian Peterson faced a possible two years in prison and a $10,000 fine, on a felony child-abuse charge. Ted Rollins was charged with misdemeanor assault and received a $100 fine.

    On top of that, Ted Rollins' career seemed to flourish in the aftermath. He became CEO of a public company that received more than $1 billion in Wall Street investor support. And it's not like Wall Street didn't know about the ugliness in Ted Rollins' background. A prominent analyst named Paula Poskon was told in fall 2012 about Ted Rollins' criminal history and initially reacted by stating, "Oh, my God!"

    Did she take any significant action? Apparently not. She eventually tried to strong arm me into deleting her comments. She even threatened to lie about what she had said in a tape-recorded phone conversation.

    Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson's career status remains uncertain.

    Why the radically different treatment for Adrian Peterson and Ted Rollins? Peterson is black and grew up under difficult circumstances in rural Texas. Ted Rollins is white and grew up in one of America's wealthiest families, the folks behind Orkin Pest Control, Dover Downs Gaming and Entertainment, and Rollins Jamaica resorts, among other enterprises.

    Are these two cases a sign that "equal protection under the law," as stated in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, doesn't mean much these days?


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    Bob Riley 
    Bob Riley, who spent much of his final two years as Alabama governor launching a crusade against non-Indian gambling, once sought a job for his son with VictoryLand casino owner Milton McGregor.

    McGregor declined to hire Rob Riley, a Homewood attorney, and now believes that played a major role in Bob Riley's decision to instigate raids against VictoryLand, claiming the casino's electronic-bingo machines were illegal--even though voters approved a constitutional amendment approving e-bingo at the facility, and the machines had operated lawfully for five years before Gov. Riley took action in 2008.

    That is one of many fascinating insights from last week's Montgomery Advertiser article titled "Gambling in Alabama: A high-stakes game of political intrigue." The article, reported and written by Josh Moon, probably is the most comprehensive look ever at a subject that has sullied Alabama's political landscape for decades.

    Bob Riley denies seeking a job for his son during the meeting with McGregor. But the former governor comes across as uncomfortable and defensive when confronted with the story--and the overall tone of Moon's reporting leaves the impression that McGregor's version likely is the one much closer to the truth.

    Moon's reporting goes well beyond Alabama, touching on national figures such as Republican felons Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, who both have documented ties to Bob Riley and his political campaigns. In my view, Moon's piece is must reading about corruption that eats at our democracy, and the article deserves strong consideration for some of the biggest prizes in journalism.

    It gets off to a compelling start with a vivid description of a meeting between McGregor and Bob Riley:

    In September 2008, Milton McGregor, the bombastic owner of VictoryLand, the state's largest casino, was summoned to the governor's office for a lunch.

    Gov. Bob Riley's purpose for that meeting wasn't clear, but the request to meet wasn't particularly unusual. While McGregor and Riley weren't exactly close pals, the two were friendly enough at the time and various meetings had occurred between the two over the years. . . .

    As he entered the governor's office that September afternoon, McGregor noticed that two small Chick-fil-A boxes had already been set out on the governor's long conference table. He asked if Riley was on a diet, but McGregor said he knew the small lunch was a sign that this meeting would be less about food and more about whatever it was Riley wanted to discuss.

    "(Riley) wanted me to hire his son, Rob," McGregor said. "He didn't make any bones about it. He said to me, 'I know you're doing well. I've seen your numbers. I think any business doing that well during a Riley administration should benefit the Riley family in some way.'"

    McGregor said he responded by asking Riley if the governor was implying that VictoryLand's success was a result of Riley's policies. Riley said no, but McGregor said that didn't quell the demands that Rob Riley, an attorney, receive a job working for McGregor.

    "It wasn't a request, it was a demand," McGregor said.
    Milton McGregor

    That set the tone for what proved to be an unpleasant get together:
    After McGregor declined more than once, he said Riley told him that he had seen the McGregors' personal tax returns, even cited income numbers that McGregor said were "pretty doggone accurate."

    In a matter of minutes, the two men were in a heated argument, their voices so loud that eventually Riley's secretary popped open the door and asked if everything was OK. She was waved away and the argument continued for more than an hour, with Riley's later appointments, including a group of county commissioners, stacking up in the waiting area outside his office.

    In McGregor's mind, the whole ugly scene was the catalyst for many of his subsequent troubles — the raids, the court rulings, the arrest and unsuccessful prosecution of him on federal charges and the slow crumbling of his business.

    While McGregor remembers the lunch menu and  word-for-word dialogue, Riley's memory seems cloudy. He claims the meeting had nothing to do with Rob Riley's employment prospects, but he doesn't remember much about what it might have been about. He says the door to his office would have been open, with at least two people listening to every word, but he apparently did not supply those people's names.

    Riley doesn't remember a heated exchange, or a secretary checking in to see if things were OK.

    "It simply didn't happen," Bob Riley said. "Why on earth would I ask Milton McGregor to hire Rob? That makes no sense."

    Moon proceeds to show why it would have made perfect sense, mainly because of the Riley family's long-time ties to gambling. Plus, Rob Riley already had done business with Milton McGregor.

    (To be continued)

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    Rob Riley
    Prominent Alabama Republican Rob Riley claimed in a 2013 interview that he is "morally opposed" to gambling. But a major investigative article in last week's Montgomery Advertiser shows that Rob Riley has longstanding ties to the gaming industry,

    Bob Riley, former governor and Rob Riley's father, denies that he sought a job for his son with VictoryLand casino owner Milton McGregor. Riley, who spent most of his final two years as governor crusading against non-Indian gaming facilities in the state, claims the allegation makes no sense.

    But reporter Josh Moon, in perhaps the strongest piece of mainstream Alabama journalism during the 2000s, shows that the story absolutely makes sense--in part, because Rob Riley has worked with McGregor before, in a deal that turned out badly for the casino owner and other investors. Also, the younger Riley's interest in gaming apparently dates at least to connections he made while a student at the University of Alabama.

    More recently, an October 2012 article shows Rob Riley still has a tendency to fondle gambling funds and then make dubious statements when questioned about it.

    Rob Riley was involved in the funneling of $100,000 to an Alabama anti-gambling organization, through the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC). The $100,000, it turns out, was Indian gambling money--from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Here is how we reported it at the time:

    Prominent Alabama Republicans this week said they did not know that funds used to fight non-Indian gaming in the state came from Indian gambling sources. A check of public records shows the Republicans almost certainly were lying.

    A $100,000 check that went to an Alabama anti-gambling organization in 2010 originated with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and was funneled through the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), according to a report in the Montgomery Advertiser. The same article showed that Indian gambling money, via the RSLC, played a prominent role in the Republican takeover of the Alabama Legislature in 2010.

    Three key Republicans connected to the story--Homewood attorney Rob Riley, conservative lawyer and activist A. Eric Johnston, and House Speaker Mike Hubbard--said they had no idea the RSLC took money from gambling sources. But a simple check of public documents on the Web shows the GOP trio either was lying or was stunningly out of touch.

    The Alabama denials are even more hard to swallow in light of recent reports that two Las Vegas casino moguls--Steve Wynn, of Wynn Resorts, and Sherman Adelson, of the Las Vegas Sands, gave more than $625,000 to the RSLC in recent months. Another report shows that Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, of Las Vegas, has given $165,299 to the RSLC.

    Investigators in the Alabama State House criminal probe, which has snared Mike Hubbard in a 23-count indictment, reportedly are interested in the RSLC episode. It helped show the public that Rob Riley does business with the RSLC--and the RSLC does big business with the gaming industry. Here is more from our earlier report:

    We are supposed to believe that Riley, Johnston, and Hubbard were utterly in the dark about RSLC's ties to gaming? It's not a new development, by the way.

    Records at campaignmoney.com show that RSLC received $15,000 from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians in 2003, followed by a $25,000 donation in 2005. Jack Abramoff, a former GOP lobbyist and now confessed felon, represented the Choctaws at the time. In 2006, the RSLC received $100,000 from Harrah's Casino Hotels.

    Mike Hubbard
    We learned about this after a Web search lasting about five minutes. But Riley, Johnston, and Hubbard are not capable of learning about RSLC's ties to gaming that go back roughly 10 years? These guys can't afford Internet service?

    The RSLC was founded in 2002, and we know it took gaming money in 2003. That means RSLC's roots have been fertilized with gambling cash pretty much from the outset. But GOP insiders in Alabama don't know that?

    I interviewed Rob Riley in January 2013, not long after the RSLC story had broken. Here is a portion of that interview:

    LS: You claimed in the newspaper the other day you don't know anything about gambling funds going to the RSLC and wound up in Alabama. Are you serious? They took gambling money from 2003, dating to the Mississippi Choctaws?

    RR: No, no, I did not know that.

    LS: Why do you not support gambling in Alabama? Is it on a moral basis?

    RR: Yes.

    So, there you have it--Rob Riley is morally opposed to gambling. How then, do we explain his habit of, time and again, being connected to the gaming industry.

    Is Riley a hypocrite of Biblical proportions, a man who is incapable of examining his own contradictory actions and statements? Is Riley simply the sort of fabricator who would make Jim Carrey's character in Liar, Liar blush?

    We will ponder those questions further as we take a closer look at Josh Moon's reporting on the Riley family's unmistakable footprints in a gambling world that they supposedly abhor.

    (To be continued)

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    Rob Riley
    Prominent Alabama Republican Rob Riley claims to be "morally opposed" to gambling, but he has documented and longstanding ties to the gaming industry.

    Former Governor Rob Riley, Rob's father, has called electronic-bingo machines a "cancer," ignoring his own son's connections to gambling.

    The state's largest newspapers have tended to overlook the Rileys' gross hypocrisy on the subject. But that finally has changed with a major  investigative article by reporter Josh Moon in the Montgomery Advertiser.

    Moon shows that both Rileys have unmistakable ties to gambling, and when questioned on the subject, tend to provide answers that don't quite add up.

    We have unmasked the Rileys for years here at Legal Schnauzer, as have other nontraditional news sites, and their gambling ties first came to our attention because of a story involving a Birmingham businessman named William Cobb "Chip" Hazelrig.

    In 2002, Hazelrig gave $10,000 to Bob Riley's campaign for governor. Riley returned the donation when news broke that Hazelrig was a stockholder in Paragon Gaming, which we described as "a Las Vegas-based outfit that was formed in 2000 to help Indian tribes develop casino gambling on their reservations."

    The Riley family probably hoped the story would end there, but it did not. Paragon Gaming's parent company, it turned out, was called Crimsonica and was based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The head of Crimsonica was a University of Alabama grad named Robert Sigler, and one of his close college chums was Rob Riley.

    Chip Hazelrig
    Sigler and Rob Riley, however, weren't just buddies. They also were business partners. Here is how we described the business relationship in an earlier post:

    Crimsonica . . . (is) run by a UA grad named Robert Sigler. Evidently Sigler's devotion to UA is so great that he named his company after the university's mascot, the Crimson Tide.

    We noted earlier that Chip Hazelrig was one of the four founders of Paragon Gaming. But the principal founder was Robert Sigler. And who was a Crimsonica attorney and board member? Why, none other than Rob Riley.

    The Decatur Daily unearthed that little nugget from checking the Crimsonica Web site. Interestingly, the Web site has since become password protected, and Rob Riley's name has been removed from Crimsonica documents filed with the Alabama Secretary of State's Office.

    He was a registered agent of Crimsonica until May 5, 2005.

    Rob Riley told the Decatur Daily that he was not involved with "people in the gambling industry." But public records tell a different story.

    We went on to describe Robert Sigler's international plans for his company:

    And Robert Sigler has big ambitions when it comes to gambling. An article dated February 19, 2005, says Sigler was head of Global Trust Partners, an outfit that was trying to initiate a national lottery in Russia.

    That activity was going on while Rob Riley was affiliated with Sigler's company--and while Bob Riley was residing in the governor's mansion.

    So the Rileys fight a lottery in Alabama, the one Don Siegelman supported, but they have connections to a lottery in Russia? Hmmm.

    As you can see, the mainstream press was not totally asleep on the Rob Riley/gambling story. The Decatur Daily picked up on his duplicity, but we can find no record of the state's major daily's addressing it.

    That changed when Josh Moon decided to look into the matter for the Montgomery Advertiser. And Moon unmasks Rob Riley in a major way.

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    Rob Riley
    Rob Riley, the son of former "anti-gambling" Alabama Governor Bob Riley, has ties to national (Las Vegas) and international (Russia) gambling that go back a decade or more. The state's largest newspapers largely have ignored Rob Riley's hypocrisy on the issue. But that changed with a recent investigative piece by Josh Moon at the Montgomery Advertiser.

    Rob Riley even initiated a business deal with VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor, whose business was targeted for raids by Bob Riley in the final two years of his governorship (2008-10).

    Does the Rileys' two-facedness on gambling know any boundaries? Based on Moon's reporting, the answer seems to be no.

    The Decatur Dailyexposed Rob Riley's ties to gambling in 2005, but the issue seemingly has been off limits for the state's metropolitan dailies. Josh Moon's article changes that, and it exposes the Riley family's duplicity for a widespread audience.

    Rob Riley's interest in gambling seems to flow from his friendship with Robert Sigler, which started when both were students at the University of Alabama. Sigler went on to head Tuscaloosa-based parent company Crimsonica and Paragon Gaming, a Las Vegas company that started in 2000 to help Indian tribes develop casino gambling on reservations.

    Public records show that Rob Riley was an attorney, board member, and registered agent for Crimsonica until at least May 2005. All of this from the son of a governor who once called electronic-bingo machines a "cancer" in Alabama.

    Exactly what path did Rob Riley take into the world of gambling? Josh Moon spells it out, starting with Milton McGregor's claim that Bob Riley once sought a job for his son with VictoryLand:

    In a way, McGregor says he was already doing business with Rob Riley. One afternoon in 2004, Rob Riley and his University of Alabama college roommate had shown up at McGregor's office unannounced to meet with the casino boss about possible investment opportunities.

    Rob Riley's roommate, a former Wall Street worker named Robert Sigler, was the founder of a number of investment and finance companies, most notably Crimsonica and Global Trust Partners. McGregor said Sigler and Rob Riley pitched a number of investment opportunities. Rob Riley acknowledged going to McGregor's office, but said he went only because Sigler asked for an introduction and he was helping a friend.

    Rob Riley was listed as the attorney and a board member for Crimsonica.

    The most potentially lucrative business deal entered into by the group was a plan to set up a nationwide lottery in Russia — a plan that would ultimately go awry for many reasons, including the fact the Russian mafia didn't care for the idea.

    The word "trust" in Global Trust Partners apparently was not meant to be taken literally. As for Rob Riley, he adopted his usual habit of resorting to fuzzy logic in an effort to explain away his proximity to gambling:

    Rob Riley said he had no interest in (the Russian lottery) deal and warned Sigler that it wouldn't work. Ultimately, when the deal did fall apart, the investors — including McGregor, Sigler and Montgomery doctor David Thrasher — lost a substantial sum of money. There has been speculation through the years that Rob Riley also lost money, but he insists he had no involvement in the lottery deal, although he admits to losing money on some of Sigler's other ventures.

    Let's see if we understand this. Rob Riley knew the Russian lottery plan wouldn't work, and he had no financial involvement with it, but he helped line up other investors anyway? Does that make sense to you?

    Robert Sigler
    Here is a more important question: If Rob Riley knew the plan wouldn't work, but still sought money for it from others, did he engage in a form of investment fraud?

    The Russian-lottery deal remains a murky subject, but we've written about it several times. A post titled "International gambling operations have roots in Alabama" addressed a lawsuit by an investor named Bipinchandra Shah, who sought an unpaid $5.8-million court judgment for a defaulted loan. Shah, won the judgment in 2008 from the London Court of International Arbitration against a global investment partnership and a Russian bank. Here is how we described the Shah case, based on an article from The Distressed Debt Report (DBR):

    Shah loaned RLI Partners of Gibraltar and affiliate Investment Lottery of Moscow a $3 million short-term bridge facility in 2005. The loan was to have been replaced by a $60 million facility from Alabama-based Global Trust Partners to jointly pursue the All Russian Electronic Lottery System project. Global Trust wasn't named as a party in the lawsuit. RLI and Investment Lottery had obtained an exclusive license from the Russian government in 2004 to develop the lottery, according to court documents. The Mobile Register reported in 2005 that Global Trust had intended to ultimately raise $300 million for the project, which involved the installation of 50,000 electronic terminals throughout Russia. After becoming fully operational within a few years, it was to have been the largest lottery system in the world, according to the report.

    What went wrong with the deal? A complete answer to that question is hard to determine, but here is how we described it, again with assistance from DBR:

    Global Trust bailed out of the financing, however, causing RLI and Investment Lottery to default on the bridge loan. A person close to the situation said that Global Trust ultimately found the project too risky and considered the business plan presented by RLI and Investment Lottery to be inadequate. The person said that Global Trust's investors lost millions of dollars of their own on the project. They are trying to recoup their losses through the Alabama state securities commission and lawyers in Russia.

    Failures to obtain financing caused RLI to disband a company it created in Gibraltar and Moscow specifically to develop a Russian lottery.

    RLI and Investment Lottery's license with the Russian government has since expired, according to people familiar with the situation.

    For now, let's return to a Rob Riley quote from my interview with him in early 2013:

    LS: You claimed in the newspaper the other day you don't know anything about gambling funds going to the RSLC and wound up in Alabama. Are you serious? They took gambling money from 2003, dating to the Mississippi Choctaws?

    RR: No, no, I did not know that.

    LS: Why do you not support gambling in Alabama? Is it on a moral basis?

    RR: Yes.

    Does Rob Riley sound like someone who really is morally opposed to gambling? Our answer to that is no. When Rob Riley gets involved with gambling operations, does he know what he's doing? The answer to that seems to be no, as well.

    (To be continued)

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    Bryan Taylor
    An opinion from a young staff attorney for former Alabama Governor Bob Riley set the foundation for raids over the past six years at non-Indian electronic-bingo casinos in Alabama.

    The young attorney's name was Bryan Taylor, and he went on to become a state senator from Prattville. Did Taylor have any expertise on gaming or the constitutional issues that surround it? The answer appears to be no. Was Taylor's analysis on target? Quite a few knowledgeable individuals apparently do not think so.

    Based on some of his most recent legal handiwork, Taylor's abilities as a lawyer might be described as questionable, at best. We are referring to a defamation lawsuit Taylor recently filed against the Alabama Political Reporter (APR) Web site and its editors, Bill and Susan Britt. We already have shown that Taylor, as a public official, has almost no chance to win such a case, under the law. That he filed it anyway means the Britts might have a valid counterclaim for abuse of process--and they also might have grounds to seek costs under the Alabama Litigation Accountability Act.

    Why would Riley spend millions of taxpayer dollars to attack facilities--in many instances, they had operated legally under constitutional amendments for roughly five years--based on Bryan Taylor's word? Was Bob Riley a rotten steward of public funds?

    Those are just a few of the troubling questions raised by Josh Moon's recent investigative article for the Montgomery Advertiser. Here is how Moon describes Taylor's role in Bob Riley's crusade against bingo at non-Indian facilities:

    Riley said a visit from state Sen. Charles Bishop, who complained about fly-by-night bingo parlors opening in Walker County, prompted him to assign a young staff attorney, Bryan Taylor, to look into the legality of it all. 
    Taylor returned a few days later with a message that Riley said surprised him: "(Taylor) says, 'they're all illegal — all of them.'"

    Taylor explained that a 2006 Alabama Supreme Court ruling, which prevented electronic bingo games to be played in Birmingham, included a broad definition of the term "slot machines" that was first presented by former Justice Sue Bell Cobb in 1997. That definition essentially states that when a constitutional amendment fails to define the term "bingo," then it means the "ordinary game of bingo."

    Did Taylor have it right? Not necessarily, according to Moon:

    Many believe it was a bit of a stretch, since the ruling in that 1997 case also made it clear that an amendment and its intentions could alter the definition of bingo. But Taylor said the basis of the argument was formed: "The court was saying that it was less about form and more about substance. If it looks like a slot machine and acts like a slot machine, it's a slot machine."

    It's not clear exactly to which 2006 case Taylor is referring. Our research indicates the most likely case is styled Barber v. Jefferson County Racing Association, 960 So. 2d 599 (Ala. Sup. Ct., 2006). We can find no information in that ruling that would support what Taylor allegedly told Riley--that all bingo facilities in the state are illegal. If there is another 2006 opinion that supports Taylor's analysis, we haven't found it yet.

    Was Bryan Taylor the only lawyer who came to the conclusion that e-bingo was illegal throughout the state? Nope. A major Birmingham law firm also came to that conclusion--not long after it had proclaimed e-bingo machines at one of the state's best-known casinos, VictoryLand, were . . . legal.

    We're not making this up. One minute lawyers connected to Bob Riley find e-bingo machines are legal; the next minute, they find them illegal.

    A rational human being could be confused, but we know this much for sure:

    * According to published reports, Bob Riley funneled some $10 million to Bradley Arant, where the former governor's son-in-law, Rob Campbell, is a lawyer. That was just during the final two years of the Riley administration, when the governor hired the firm to help lead his anti-bingo crusade. Perhaps that had an influence on the firm's decision to switch its verdict from "legal" to "illegal" on e-bingo machines in Alabama?

    Michael Scanlon
    * The Mississippi Choctaws, Riley's documented benefactors, were experiencing a major business downturn just as Riley launched his crusade against non-Indian gaming facilities in Alabama. The Choctaws were laying off employees and cutting back casino operations to three days a week. Was that because the success of VictoryLand and other facilities were keeping Alabama customers at home? GOP felon Jack Abramoff admitted in his book that the Choctaws spent some $20 million to help fight Don Siegelman's planned lottery and get Riley elected in 2002. Did Riley return the favor in 2008 by suddenly deciding that Alabama facilities were illegal, throwing his Choctaw friends a lifeline while they were in financial distress?

    What's really going on? Is this controversy, which began to heavily percolate in 2008, really about legal issues or something else? In Bryan Taylor's defense, was he only doing what his boss told him to do--concoct an analysis that found e-bingo illegal, regardless of what the law or facts showed? Does the controversy exist only because Bob Riley and his associates have been bought and sold for Indian gaming interests--with the help of GOP felons Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon? Does the fact that Scanlon once worked for Riley tell us all we need to know about the former govenor's real motives?

    (To be continued)

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    Ted Rollins
    Campus Crest Communities, which ousted CEO Ted Rollins on November 4, is selling land on which it had planned to build student-housing complexes. One piece of land is near the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

    The Web site seekingalpha.com reported that the decision was part of the company's plan to get out of the construction/development business.

    Rollins has been the subject of numerous posts here at Legal Schnauzer, mainly because of his central role in a grossly unlawful divorce case in Shelby County, Alabama, against his second wife, Sherry Carroll Rollins, who now lives with the couple's two daughters in Birmingham. Also, Rollins' corporate law firm has been Bradley Arant, of Birmingham, and he has been a major figure in Alabama business circles--with properties under The Grove banner at four of the state's public universities (South Alabama, Troy, Jacksonville State, and Auburn).

    A fifth Campus Crest location, at the University of Alabama, was planned. Mayor Walt Maddox and the Tuscaloosa City Council approved the project in September 2013, but now it apparently has been scratched.

    Before the Tuscaloosa vote, I notified Maddox and members of the city council about Rollins history of child abuse, apparent perjury, and refusal to pay court-ordered child support. Did anyone amid the Tuscaloosa leadership show concern? Not that we are aware of, and here is what we reported at the time:

    Almost all of the information about Ted Rollins' unsavory history is a matter of public record. But can Maddox and members of the Tuscaloosa City Council be expected to comb through court records every time a developer seeks approval for a construction project?

    Well, in this case, they didn't have to. That's because I did the work for them.

    On the morning that the city council was to vote on a rezoning request connected to The Grove project, I sent an e-mail to Maddox and then council member Lee Garrison. (In the August 27 municipal elections, Garrison was elected chair of the Tuscaloosa City School Board and officially gave up his council seat.)

    I identified myself as a journalist who had reported extensively on an Alabama divorce case involving Ted Rollins. I cited just some of the ugly facts in the CEO's background and provided links to articles and public documents. I asked Maddox and Garrison if they supported such a corporate executive entering the Tuscaloosa business environment, and if so, why.
    University of Alabama
     My query has drawn no response from either Maddox or Garrison. But I do know my e-mail reached its destination. A source tells Legal Schnauzer that Maddox mentioned the e-mail in a pre-council meeting that day and said he would distribute the information to council members.

    Did the revelations have any impact? Did Tuscaloosa city leaders take the documented ugliness in Ted Rollins' background seriously? The answer appears to be no, considering that the rezoning request was unanimously approved that night--and the full Campus Crest project was approved at a subsequent council meeting.

    You can check out all of the details at a post titled "Mayor Walt Maddox and the Tuscaloosa City Council welcome CEO Ted Rollins and his heavy baggage."

    For now, Campus Crest Communities' future seems very much in doubt--and the board of directors has shown Ted Rollins the exits. This is from a company press release, dated November 20, 2014:

    As a result of the Company's decision to discontinue its construction and development business, the Company is disposing of undeveloped land parcels held in the following student housing markets:

    Allendale, Michigan (Grand Valley State University)

    Bellingham, Washington (Western Washington University)

    Boca Raton, Florida (Florida Atlantic University)

    Charlotte, North Carolina (UNC-Charlotte)

    Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (Central Michigan University)

    Sacramento, California (Cal-State Sacramento)

    San Angelo, Texas (Angelo State University)

    Tempe, Arizona (Arizona State University)

    Tuscaloosa, Alabama (University of Alabama)

    Here is the description for the property in Tuscaloosa:

    Tuscaloosa, Alabama

    12.8+/- acre property located at Jack Warner Parkway and McFarland Boulevard Fully-permitted and fully-entitled for a 228-unit/ 628-bed development 0.1 miles from University of Alabama, along the Black Warrior River, and adjacent to other purpose-built student-housing

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    Paul Bryant Jr.
    (Photo by Glenn Baeske/The
    Huntsville Times/Landov--for
    Bloomberg Markets)
    No one should be surprised that UAB's football program was dismantled last week--or that it was done in a deceitful fashion. After all, Paul Bryant Jr., president of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees, almost certainly was involved--and Bryant has documented ties to a multimillion-dollar financial fraud.

    In fact, Bloomberg Markets magazine shined a national and international light on Bryant's chicanery earlier this year in an article titled "Alabama football dominance powered by Bear Bryant son's fortune."Bloomberg went on to show that part of that fortune was built via insurance fraud. A lot of it was built from hiding dog-track profits from the IRS.

    UAB President Ray Watts supposedly pulled the trigger on UAB football, but he already has been caught in multiple lies about his actions.

    Example A: Al.com quoted Watts as saying, "Killing football was not what we set out to do." But columnist John Archibald uncovered documents that indicated someone planned to kill the football program for quite some time;

    Example B: Columnist Kevin Scarbinsky discovered evidence that Watts decided to kill football before a consulting firm's study on the subject had been completed;

    Example C: Watts said he asked major donors to help with fundraising for the program. But two long-time financial supporters, Don Hire and Jimmy Filler, told ESPN they never were asked to give.

    Watts once enjoyed a sterling reputation as a world-class neurologist, researcher, clinician, and academic leader. He now is seen by many as the university president who stabbed his own students, supporters, and community in the back--and the decision to kill football is likely to become his albatross, according to one media outlet. UAB nursing students have issued a vote of no confidence in Watts, and the Jefferson County Commission has asked him to reinstate the football program.

    One local journalist, al.com's Kyle Whitmire, said Watts "looks like a stooge of his absentee masters in Tuscaloosa." Whitmire actually was being kind in calling Watts a stooge. "Shill" and "whore" are words that also would apply.

    Regardless of the language involved, Whitmire nailed it. And Watts' most likely master is Paul Bryant Jr.

    What do we know about the son of UA's late Hall of Fame coach, Paul "Bear" Bryant? Here at Legal Schnauzer, we've written a series of posts that show one of Bryant's companies, Alabama Reassurance, was inextricably linked to a $15-million fraud scheme that netted a 15-year federal prison sentence for a Philadelphia lawyer/entrepreneur named Allen  W. Stewart.

    Here is how we described the ties of Bryant and his company to the Stewart scandal:

    It's not as if serious doubt exists about Bryant's connections to fraud. . . . A ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania . . . upholds Allen W. Stewart's convictions--and proves Alabama Re's role in the case. And we quote from a pertinent section of that ruling, encompassed in footnote 11:

    11. The relevant portions of the charge read as follows: Counts 24 through 32 charge a wire fraud scheme to deceive state insurance regulators involving reinsurance. The superseding indictment alleges that in late 1992 or early 1993 the defendant devised a scheme to deceive state regulators and others regarding the true and complete reinsurance arrangements involving Summit National Life Insurance Company, its subsidiary Fidelity General Life Insurance Company, and the Alabama Reassurance Company in order to inflate their financial statements.

    Bloomberg Markets picked up on our reporting in fall 2013, and reporter Anthony Effinger consulted me multiple times while conducing research for his article, which appeared in the January 2014 print issue. (See article at end of this post.)

    My last communication with Effinger was on October 12, 2013. Eleven days later, I was arrested related to a defamation lawsuit filed by Republican political figure Rob Riley. Shelby County deputies entered my home, without showing a warrant or stating they had a warrant, and beat me up and maced me in the face, dragging me off to a jail, where I stayed for five months--becoming the only journalist in the western hemisphere to be arrested in 2013.

    Bob Riley, Rob Riley's father, once sat on the UA Board of Trustees in his ex oficio capacity as Alabama governor, sharing power space with Bryant Jr. We have shown that Rob Riley's lawsuit bore no resemblance to a normal defamation complaint. Riley asked for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, both of which are unlawful prior restraints under First Amendment law that dates to the earlier days of our republic. Riley did not ask for a trial, although longstanding law holds that free speech issues in defamation cases are so fundamental to our democracy that such cases must be heard at trial and not via a bench proceeding. Riley also did not ask for his case to be heard by a jury, although longstanding law holds that defamation cases must be heard by a jury; to hold otherwise would allow a single judge to engage in unconstitutional censorship.

    Finally, Riley asked that the case be sealed so that neither the public nor the press would know anything about it. Word quickly got out, however, that a journalist had essentially been kidnapped--and widespread coverage followed, even in The New York Times.

    Clearly, Rob Riley's lawsuit was not really about defamation--it was about intimidation, and it was designed from the outset to have me arrested on bogus contempt-of-court charges. That points to ulterior motives, and given the timeline, a reasonable person might ask: Was I arrested, in part, because of my role in helping Bloomberg Markets with its investigative piece on Paul Bryant Jr.?

    That question certainly has crossed my mind on multiple occasions over the past year or so. Is Paul Bryant Jr. the kind of person who would resort to such thuggery? Bloomberg Markets provides considerable insight into what drives "Bear Junior," and we will take a look at that in an upcoming post.

    Meanwhile, al.com's John Archibald directly asked Ray Watts if he was hired to be UAB president as part of a deal that involved a promise to kill the university's football program. Watts used some rather unpresidential language to deny it. From the Archibald article:

    It is the deception that stings. It is the way Watts and his office deflected questions, avoided students and the public and misled those around him that hurts. The only answer he gave with any fire this week was a fervent "BS" when I asked if he had been hired by the Board of Trustees to shut down the football program.

    "That's BS."

    But even that came across as BS. Because Watts leaves a string of gaping skeptics everywhere he goes.

    (To be continued)

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    Robert Bryant, after his beating by Alabama sheriff's deputies
    (Photo by Madison County Sheriff's Department, from al.com)
    The nation's attention has been focused on two cases of apparent police misconduct--the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City.

    As horrifying as those cases are, the most troubling case of dysfunctional law enforcement might be unfolding near Huntsville, Alabama. It shines new light on my own ugly encounter with Alabama deputies, in Shelby County (south of Birmingham), in October 2013.

    At the heart of the Huntsville story is a handyman named Robert Bryant, who lives just across the state border in Tennessee. He was stalked by Madison County sheriff's deputies, pulled over in an apparently bogus traffic stop, and brutally beaten by the side of a road while in handcuffs, his teeth knocked out. It all apparently was in retaliation for a barroom scuffle that Bryant had engaged in with an off-duty deputy named Justin Watson.

    Then the story turns really dark.

    Jason Klonowski had essentially become Bryant's public voice; the two had become friends after Klonowski hired Bryant to do work on his farm. Klonowski, convinced that deputies had mistreated his friend, found lawyers for Bryant and helped pay his legal bills. He paid for signs and T-shirts to show support for Bryant and raise questions about the sheriff's department. He stated at a public event on September 28, 2013, that he would not stop until at least two deputies, Watson and Jake Church, were in prison.

    A little more than a month later, Klonowski was found dead. He had been placed in a chair next to his barn, wearing a cap. But when the cap was removed, investigators saw he had been executed, with three gunshot wounds to the back of his head.

    The FBI is investigating possible criminal civil-rights violations by multiple deputies, and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation is looking into the murder of Jason Klonowski, which remains unsolved.

    Reporter Challen Stephens lays it out in a compelling seven-part series, which ran all of last week at al.com. My experience has been that the mainstream press in Alabama usually doesn't take a close look at cases of possible police misconduct. But Stephens shines a bright light on the case of Robert Bryant and Jason Klonowski, and the series is likely to be a candidate for major journalism awards.

    Bryant filed a lawsuit, and the county quickly paid $625,000 to settle the matter earlier this year. No depositions were taken in the case before the county's insurer agreed to make the payment.

    Murder victim Jason Klonowski
    Justice, however, hardly has been reached, Stephens reports. Sheriff Blake Dorning, who was in charge at the time of the beating and murder, recently was re-elected to a fourth term, without opposition in the GOP primary. Watson was found to be "deceitful" in his testimony at an inquiry about the Bryant beating, but he received only a two-week suspension. The department has said it will wait on the results of the FBI investigation and any possible indictments from the U.S. Department of Justice before determining if other deputies will be disciplined.

    Hank Sherrod, an attorney for Bryant, had this to say about the the sheriff's department stance of waiting to see what happens with federal authorities:

    "That's essentially saying I have a policy of no discipline," said Hank Sherrod, Bryant's attorney, observing that federal indictments against local police are rare.

    Last August, Sherrod wrote this statement in response to sheriff's department inaction:

    "This is an outrageous policy and explains how the deputies who beat Robert Bryant thought they could get away with it. It is sad indeed that only an investigation by federal law enforcement officials gives Robert Bryant hope that these deputies will be held accountable for their crimes. Until that hoped-for day, these deputies patrol Madison County, hold all the powers of any law enforcement officer, and know they have the full support of the sheriff."

    Where does all of this stand? In the final installment of his series on Sunday, Stephens reports:

    On Nov. 4, 2014, Dorning won re-election for a fourth term. He was uncontested in the GOP primary. The Klonowski case remains unsolved, largely left to the charge of a single state investigator who has repeatedly interviewed Klonowski's few friends and associates, but not the deputies who Klonowski had promised to see imprisoned.

    To this day, nearly all involved continue to work as deputies and enforce the law in Madison County.

    In other words, no one really has been held accountable--and the same applies in my case. I was arrested on October 23, 2013, because of an unlawful preliminary injunction in a defamation lawsuit brought by Birmingham attorney Rob Riley, the son of former Governor Bob Riley. I stayed in jail for five months on a charge of contempt of court, in a civil matter, becoming the only journalist in the western hemisphere to be incarcerated in 2013.

    Do I have an idea how Robert Bryant might feel about his experience? Yes, I do. A deputy named Mike DeHart conducted a bogus traffic stop on my wife and me, falsely claiming I had run through a stop sign--when his clear aim was to serve me with court papers in the Riley lawsuit. It's hard to imagine a more blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Less than a month after that, Deputy Chris Blevins entered our garage, which is essentially a basement underneath our house, and proceeded to beat me up. He knocked me to a concrete floor three times and maced me in the face --all without showing a warrant or even saying he had a warrant. In fact, video of the incident shows Blevins did not tell me he was there for an arrest until I had already been sprayed with mace.

    I was charged with resisting arrest--even though Blevins own incident report states I did nothing but raise my arms in front of my face, to ward off his attack. At the trial on that charge, prosecutor Tonya Willingham was ordered to turn over any warrants, and she told Judge Ron Jackson that she didn't have any. Blevins also admitted that the incident constituted a traffic stop--I was coming home and trying to pull our car into the garage--and he had no probable cause to stop me for a traffic violation.

    Based on courtroom evidence, my arrest and five-month jail stay represent a butchery of due process.

    Evidence also strongly suggests that both DeHart and Blevins testified falsely in official proceedings about what they did to my wife and me.

    So yes, I think I know how Robert Bryant feels. And the murder of Jason Kronkowski is starting to make me feel lucky that I'm alive.

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    Paul Bryant Jr.
    (Photo by Glenn Baeske/The
    Huntsville Times/Landov--for
    Bloomberg Markets)
    Did Paul Bryant Jr. start Alabama Reassurance to help provide death benefits to policyholders who had lost loved ones? Not exactly.

    An investigative article at Bloomberg Markets, from its January 2014 edition, shows that Alabama Re was designed mostly to hide taxable profits from Bryant's dog-track operations. (The Web version of the story is at the link above; the print version can be viewed at the end of this post.)

    Did Alabama Re conduct business in an honorable fashion? Not exactly.

    Bloomberg Markets showed that the company had reached an agreement to help underwrite policies for a firm owned by a Philadelphia entrepreneur named Allen W. Stewart. The document limited Alabama Re's liability at a certain figure and stated that there were no other agreements between the parties. But on or about the same day, records show, the two reached a side agreement that reduced Alabama Re's liability even more. A federal jury would later find this constituted fraud, and it was cited in nine counts that helped send Stewart to prison for 15 years.

    Can Paul Bryant Jr. and his fellow members of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees be believed when they say they had nothing to do with last week's decision to kill the UAB football program--that it was campus president Ray Watts who pulled the trigger all on his own? We don't know what words would accurately describe all members of the UA Board--we hope a few of them might actually be "trustworthy"--but the Bloomberg Markets article leaves the distinct impression that "greedy,""cheap," and "dishonest" could apply to Bryant.

    With that in mind, it seems safe to say that Bryant played a significant role in killing UAB football. And we aren't the only ones who apparently think so. Kyle Whitmire, a columnist for al.com, said Watts "looks like a stooge from his absentee masters in Tuscaloosa." That almost certainly was a reference to Bryant.

    Should the public expect Bryant to conduct his trustee affairs in an honorable fashion when he clearly has not done that in the business world? We suggest the answer is no.

    How dishonest can Bryant be? Bloomberg Markets shows that Alabama Reassurance was an insurance company pretty much in name only. Its primary purpose was to serve as a tax dodge. Here is what  reporters Anthony Effinger and John Helyar wrote about a Mississippi Department of Insurance examination of Alabama Re in the 1990s:

    “They were propping up broke companies for a fee,” says Tom Gober, who was examiner-in-charge at the Mississippi Insurance Department in the early 1990s. “Companies knew they could call on Alabama Re because Alabama Re had to offset dog track profits.”

    Bryant’s enterprises are all units of a holding company called Greene Group Inc., which Gober says allows the firm to consolidate its tax liabilities and offset profits from other enterprises with insurance write-offs.

    Alabama Re intentionally worked with troubled insurers in a way that deceived the public--and the markets:

    The company made a business out of propping up troubled insurers with reinsurance that appeared to reduce liability, says W.O. Myrick, a retired Alabama state insurance examiner. The contracts carried little, if any, risk to Alabama Re, he says. One client, Inter-American Insurance Co. of Illinois, went into liquidation in 1991, according to Cook County court documents.

    “Historically, Alabama Re has entered into contracts to assume liabilities from problem insurers to help them appear to be in better financial condition than they actually are,” Myrick says in a telephone interview.

    That's how Alabama Re came to be involved with Allen W. Stewart's Fidelity General Life Insurance Co.--and that's what helped lead to a multi-state federal investigation that involved prosecutors and forensic-accounting experts from Alabama:

    The owner of one imperiled insurer, Philadelphia lawyer Allen W. Stewart, was convicted by a Philadelphia jury in 1997 on 135 counts of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

    Nine of those counts concerned a reinsurance agreement with Alabama Re. In 1991, Stewart’s Fidelity General Life Insurance Co., facing insolvency, paid Alabama Re $412,500 to take on $15 million of its liabilities, according to the indictment. Regulators in California and Arizona rejected the agreement, saying it didn’t really shift the liability. Fidelity and Alabama Re then signed a new agreement in March 1993, which included a clause saying there were no other “understandings” between the parties.

    Yet on or around that same day, a side agreement was signed with Fidelity’s parent company, Summit National Life Insurance Co., the indictment says, limiting Alabama Re’s possible losses to $481,250, guaranteeing that Alabama Re would suffer little or no loss.

    Translation: Alabama Re wanted to take Fidelity's money, but it didn't want to take on much of its liabilities. Alabama Re sidestepped the purpose of the entire agreement, leaving numerous beneficiaries with life-insurance policies that were pretty much worthless.

    Also, the public should remember these words from the Stewart case--racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering. Paul Bryant Jr.'s company was deeply connected to all of that; the public record shows that's how Paul Bryant Jr. does business.

    And the public is supposed to believe he was not involved in the decision to kill UAB football?

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    Doug Jones
    UAB supporters might have Birmingham lawyer Doug Jones to "thank" for the demise last week of the Blazer football program. Multiple news outlets, both traditional and Web-based, are reporting that University of Alabama board president Paul Bryant Jr. likely is responsible for the decision to kill Blazer football.

    Our research indicates Bryant probably never would have become a UA trustee if Jones had not taken steps to protect him from a likely federal indictment in the late 1990s.

    Jones, a University of Alabama graduate who reportedly has done legal work for Bryant, now is a principal in the downtown Birmingham law firm Jones Hawley. Before that, Jones was with Haskell Slaughter, but that firm dissolved earlier this year. In the late 1990s, Jones served as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama during the Clinton administration.

    For Paul Bryant Jr., it apparently proved to be a good time to have a buddy in a high place.

    Prosecutors and forensic accountants from Alabama went to Pennsylvania and helped obtain guilty verdicts on 135 counts of racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering against a Philadelphia lawyer/entrepreneur named Allen W. Stewart, who wound up with a 15-year federal prison sentence.

    Why were Alabamians on the prosecution team? Because the fraud had roots with one of Bryant's companies, Alabama Reassurance. And our sources say that prosecutors were promised that, if they obtained convictions in Philadelphia, they could come back to Alabama and zero in on Bryant's firm. Here is how we reported it in an earlier post:

    Bryant and his company, Alabama Reassurance, came through the episode virtually unscathed. Sources tell Legal Schnauzer that a full-bore investigation of Alabama Re was to commence once the Stewart conviction was secured. In fact, Caryl Privett--then U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and now a Jefferson County Circuit judge--reportedly had promised investigators that they could go after Alabama Re once the Stewart trial was over.

    By then, however, Privett was out of office, and someone in the U.S. Department of Justice called off the Alabama Re investigation. One can only wonder if Bryant's company has forsaken the fraudulent business practices that were revealed in the Stewart trial. One can also wonder who cut Bryant and his company a break--and why.

    Jones told us in a telephone interview that he recused himself from the Stewart case because of an attorney-client conflict. That former client apparently was Bryant.

    By the time, the Stewart case had ended with across-the-board convictions, Jones had replaced Privett as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama--and suddenly, the promise to go after Bryant's company was rescinded, and the investigation called off. Our sources say Doug Jones, as head of the Northern District, almost had to be the one to call the dogs off Alabama Re.

    If Jones recused himself from the Stewart case, wasn't he also required to stay out of the Alabama Re investigation?

    I've asked Jones directly, in two separate phone interviews, if he called off the Alabama Re investigation. He refused to answer the questions both times, responding mainly with insults and what might be called "elitist Southern condescension."

    Here is an excerpt from the first time I tried to get the truth out of Jones:

    Jones: I'm trying to make sure you understand that I have read your stuff, I have seen your conspiracy theories, and I am not going to answer any of your questions because I don't trust what you will write, period.

    LS: I'm taking it down word for word. . . . I'm asking you, who called off the investigation of Paul Bryant?

    Jones: I am not going to respond to any of your questions . .

    LS: You were a public official then, Doug . . .

    Jones: I am not going to respond to any of your questions. . . . I've seen the garbage you write and the way you spin and the way you slant. It's the most disingenuous stuff I've ever seen. . . . It just doesn't matter to me. You're a nothing to me."

    You can hear the full conversation at the first video below. The second video includes a similar exchange, with me asking Jones directly about cancellation of the Bryant investigation--and Jones ducking and dodging and responding with insults.

    I will allow UAB supporters to make up their own minds about Doug Jones' role in keeping federal investigators away from his buddy, Paul Bryant Jr. Since Jones won't answer questions from me, maybe he will answer questions from Blazer fans. His contact info at Jones Hawley is (205) 490-2290 and djones@joneshawley.com.

    Would Bryant ever have been able to become a university trustee if he had been indicted on federal fraud, racketeering, and money laundering charges? It seems doubtful. And given that one jury already had reached guilty verdicts on related charges, it seems likely that Bryant would have had a hard time avoiding a prison term. He probably would have had pressing concerns to keep him from targeting UAB football.

    In the videos below, Doug Jones vocabulary seems to include little more than insults directed at me, which is odd, given that I've repeatedly stood up for one of his former clients, Don Siegelman. But my impression is that Jones pretty much loses his cool because he can't handle being asked tough questions about a sensitive subject, Paul Bryant Jr.:

    Warnning: Do NOT Get Caught While Searching!!
    Your IP : - Country : - City:
    Your ISP TRACKS Your Online Activity! Hide your IP ADDRESS with a VPN!
    Before you searching always remember to change your IP adress to not be followed!

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