Prosecutors accused of sexual blackmail
By By Bob Martin, The Alabama Scene
Sexual blackmail can now be added to the list of the misconduct charges made against federal prosecutors in the Don Siegelman case. In a filing in support of Siegelman’s request for a new trial, Alabama businessman, Stan Pate of Tuscaloosa, describes how federal prosecutors and investigators threatened to disclose innuendo about the sexuality of a key witness, former Siegelman aide Nick Bailey.
In an affidavit Pate states that Bailey told him prosecutors hinted about disclosing a rumored improper liaison between him and the former governor to secure his cooperation. No evidence of these questions or of Bailey’s answers appeared in reports prepared by the U. S. Attorney’s office in Montgomery and turned over in discovery. “If true, this could possibly mean the prosecution violated the law by suppressing exculpatory evidence and by engaging in unethical and possibly illegal conduct in pursuit of their claims,” according to Columbia law professor and Harper’s columnist Scott Horton, a native of Lawrence County, who has closely followed the Siegelman case.
Pate said in his affidavit that Bailey, who now works for him, was told by prosecutors that the government was working to prevent the publicizing of an alleged sexual relationship between him and Siegelman. “Nick also told me that one of the agents working the Siegelman/Scrushy prosecution asked him whether he had ever taken illegal drugs with Governor Siegelman or had a sexual relationship with him,” Pate said. He added that the “comments had a dramatic effect on Nick, and, in my observation, added significantly to the pressure he felt to go along with whatever the prosecutors wanted him to say.”
Pate’s affidavit is included as an exhibit in motions for a new trial recently filed by Siegelman and Scrushy.
The Siegelman/Scrushy motions for a new trial also include a report from Investigative Group International (IGI), which is headed by former Watergate prosecutor Terry Lenzner. IGI says it was hired in April by “counsel for the defense.”
An affidavit from IGI Vice Chairman David Richardson focuses heavily on Bailey and contradictions between his current statements and his trial testimony. In the affidavit, Richardson states: “Mr. Bailey told us that he did not believe Governor Siegelman had been bribed by Mr. Scrushy; that he did not believe the governor had made a commitment to Mr. Scrushy to appoint him to the CON Board in return for his contribution to the Alabama Educational Lottery Fund; and that he did not believe that Governor Siegelman worried even for an instant that he ever would have to repay out of his own pocket the loan he had personally guaranteed—which was allegedly the personal benefit that the governor got as a result of Mr. Scrushy’s contributions to the Educational Lottery Fund.”
Unless Siegelman can get judicial relief in the very near future, he will face re-sentencing by U. S. District Judge Mark Fuller in Montgomery, the same judge who previously sentenced him to just over seven years.
Prosecutors are requesting Fuller to impose a 20-year sentence even though two of the seven counts on which Siegelman was convicted were overturned by a federal appeals court in Atlanta.
Drugs and a death threat in the State House
And if all the gyrations in the Siegelman case aren’t enough to whet your appetite, check out the State House drug drop. Rumors have been circulating for months in the “Cradle of Conspiracy” that a fired legislative worker had been peddling pot to folks in the legislative halls. The worker was nabbed dropping off a back pack with about $2,000 worth of marijuana in an empty fifth floor office.
Now, several years later the employee is in jail on an unrelated charge of illegal trafficking of crack cocaine. Two months ago when state Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, went to the microphone to tell his fellow House of Representative members that a former employee might be out to kill him, some simply thought it was just one of Holmes’ exaggerations.
Bob Martin is editor and publisher of The Montgomery Independent. E-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org