The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama is under intense pressure to get ahead of the curve and focus more on public corruption.
Headed by Jay E. Town, the office has been slammed, and slammed hard in recent weeks, for neglecting public corruption, a chronic problem in the State of Alabama.
- Heavier public corruption workload coming: Our sources at DOJ say come next month or March expect federal indictments of public corruption against one or more of the corrupt Alabama sheriffs who pocketed surplus prisoner food money. Some of these pocketed funds had been commingled with federal funds.
- Questionable agreements: Pre-trial diversion agreements signed-off by the U.S. Attorney in the Middle District of Alabama in Montgomery with corrupt elected officials including former Alabama State Representative Jack Williams appear to violate DOJ policy, according to a column by Pulitzer-prize winning columnist John Archibald. Expect scrutiny from internal oversight at DOJ, or the House Judiciary Committee, that will demand prison time for public corruption, regardless of their political affiliation or cooperation. Town needs to avoid what his counter-part has foolishly done down in Montgomery.
- Flamboyant February Theatrics: Charismatic attorney Donald Watkins and his son go to trial in Birmingham next month for alleged financial fraud. We are told heavy resources and most of the energy in the Office of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District are focused on these criminal cases alone in which Watkins will represent himself. This focus may have led to waffling on public corruption by Town and company.
- Public Corruption Unit Needs: Although at least 5 federal agents are assigned to the public corruption unit in Birmngham, only one Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Northern District has been specifically assigned full-time to that area. The seasoned FBI agent who testified in the successful criminal case against Balch-made millionaire Joel I. Gilbert was given a significant promotion and has left Birmingham. A beefing-up of public corruption prosecutors througout Alabama could be in the works.
- Newsome Conspiracy Case: With an alleged abuse under the color of authority, investigators need to confirm if the abuse was an administrative violation or criminal act. (Did the law enforcement official receive something of value in return or not?) With a federal civil RICO case in the works, Newsome’s legal team will most likely provoke further scrutiny of the embattled law firm, public corruption, and the secretive and unconstitutional Star Chamber.
Our insiders say Town appears to want to preserve his political value in Washington, D.C. and has woken up to smell the coffee. The times they are a changin’.