Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why Did the U.S. Department of Justice Have a Conniption Fit About my Reference to this News Article?

On Friday January 15, 2010 I was interviewed at my residence by two investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice about a law enforcement matter. The investigators were concerned, or so they claimed, that I had titled a blog post: "Judge xxxxxxx: This Case Has Been Screaming for Attention for Years."

The investigators claimed they were alarmed by my act of quoting a federal official who had used the word "screaming."  But that's what she said!

The text of the blog post was a letter I had written and sent to the Washington Field Office of the FBI dated May 14, 1994 -- 16 years earlier -- about an issue of public corruption.

The letter to the FBI enclosed a news item from The Washington Post published on Saturday May 14, 1994 titled: Kelly's Human Rights Chief to Quit.

The article reads in whole:

Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly's director of human rights and minority business, Margie A. Utley, plans to resign for personal reasons, City Administrator Robert L. Mallett confirmed yesterday.

Utley had been rumored to be on the way out since February, when she was charged with violating the federal Hatch Act through fund-raising activities on behalf of Kelly, who apparently will seek reelection this year.  Utley denied the charge, and Kelly said she expected her Cabinet member to be exonerated.  

The Hatch Act forbids federal and D.C. employees to engage in partisan campaigning and fundraising at work.  The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which enforces the act, also charged another Cabinet official with a violation and sent four other city employees letters warning them to refrain from inappropriate political activity in the future.

Utley has not submitted a written resignation, but she has told the mayor that she intends to leave, Mallett said.  The time of her departure has not been determined, he said.

Stephen Jumper, the mayor's deputy chief of staff, will be named to replace Utley, Mallett said.

Margie Utley was eventually found guilty of violating the Hatch Act.  She was disbarred (in the District of Columbia and the state of Georgia) in 1997 for misappropriating estate funds.  It was Margie Utley who, as Director of the D.C. Department of Human Rights, found that there was no probable cause to believe that my job termination in October 1991 by the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld was unlawful under the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977.  Vernon Jordan serves as senior counsel to Akin Gump, and as of 1994 was a member of the firm's three-member executive committee.  Following Mayor Kelly's election in November 1990, Vernon Jordan served as Mayor Kelly's transition team chairman -- responsible for recommending persons to cabinet level positions in the newly-elected Kelly Administration.

When the Justice Department has specious concerns about the publication of facts regarding public corruption, isn't that a red flag?

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

Vernon Jordan is a personal friend of U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.

AG Holder was in office at the time of the USMS interview of me on 1/15/10.