Saturday, June 28, 2008

Smelling Rats in the Tumey Dismissal

Something is wrong about the recently concluded Robin Tumey case. Tumey ran the Democratic Party of Benton county recently, and has served the party in several capacities over the years.

A company which she and her relatives owned was accused of making unlawful deductions from the paychecks of workers she was using to service a government contract (imagine that, someone well connected to a political party makes money servicing a government contract). Worker's Compensation Insurance is required by law when using workers for a federal job. The accusation was that Tumey's company deducted 10% from the worker's checks, but never used the money to purchase the insurance. Presumably, they pocketed it. I also seem to recall that some if not all of the victimized workers were illegal aliens, but if so that aspect didn't make it to Doug Thompson's article.

At any rate, Thompson spends a great amount of print citing facts which hint that the case was only filed for political reasons. The original U.S. attorney was appointed by the Bush administration under a loophole in the mis-named Patriot Act which allowed the President to make such appointments without Senate approval. There is growing evidence that such federal prosecutors were used for political purposes. If so, I say impeach, and imprison. The only reason I am not all over that side of the story is that it is the side covered in Thompson's article and elsewhere. I am more interested in the other side, how Tumey "beat the rap".

Although the original U.S. Attorney (Bradley Schlozman) was indeed appointed by Bush in a controversial way he could only file the case, he did not prosecute it, and at any rate he has resigned. The man who was in charge of prosecuting it was an assistant U.S. attorney named Richard Monroe- and that man is a Democrat who is running for Congress on the Democratic ticket. It seems like a partisan prosecutor would not hand the case over to the operational control of a fellow who was in the best case unbiased or in the worst case a partisan for the other side. That argues against an unwarranted prosecution and indicates that Schlozman thought he had a solid case against Tumey's company, MSI.

If so, he may have underestimated the degree of "stickin" (ala James Carville's book) that the Democrats do for each other. The lawyer for MSI made a request for discovery for some documents in the Atlanta U.S. Attorney's office. Either the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta dropped the ball and did not provide the records despite the best efforts of Missouri Assistant U.S. Attorney (and now Democratic Congressional Candidate) Richard Monroe to get them, or Monroe himself did not make a serious effort to get the records. That was the biggest favor he could do for Robin Tumey and MSI. Records that should have been provided in 20 days were still not provided in two years. This allowed the lawyers for Tumey's company to move for dismissal because they did not get a "speedy trial".

To me, it seems clear that Monroe dropped the ball, and it is hard to see how it could be an "accident" since it stretched over two years. I am baffled as to why an experienced reporter like Thompson did not pursue this angle in his coverage. Instead, the lawyer for the defense compliments the honesty of the prosecutor whose refusal to turn over evidence allowed her to win a dismissal for her client. It seems Thompson only asked Monroe if his boss (Schlozman) was playing politics when he filed the charges against Tumey's company. Sure, that is one question to ask, but an even more obvious question is was there any political motivation in Monroe's refusal to provide discovery? Was this a case of a Democratic party candidate giving an influential party operative an escape hatch by deliberately muffing the case? Bear in mind this "oversight" allowed the accused to escape trial.

17 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Whoa. The Arktimes website moved this story back to the top. Only thing is, they are spinning it that Tumey got a raw deal because the prosecutor dropped the ball and got the case against her tossed out! HOW DO THEY FIGURE THAT? Are Brantley and company taking crazy pills over there?

1:31 PM, June 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine- the Arktimes spinning for a Democrat!

Imagine- a Democrat employer stealing from her (illegal alien?) workers and leaving them vulnerable to job-related injury.

Something tells me that if Paco broke his leg while building one of Toomey's trusses, he would've been told to walk away in pain, because she no longer had any use for him.

Is there anyone left who doesn't see through the phony compassion of the open-borders crowd? They do their best to create an unskilled underpaid labor class while they enrich themselves at others' peril.

To think this woman was almost elected to the state legislature.

2:27 PM, June 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems you conveniently missed something here. You attribute that Monore dropped the ball - did you miss this?

"Richard Monroe of Springfield, Mo., was the assistant U.S. attorney handling the Managed Subcontractors case until his retirement in February. He is now a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. Monroe declined to discuss the particulars in the case and the cause for the delay in turning over documents, but he did comment when asked if partisan politics were involved.

"No, actually," Monroe said. An attorney in the case tried to make that argument, but he was "definitely barking up the wrong tree," he said.

"There are other cases you might want to look up regarding that, but not that one," he said.

Asked to name other cases, Monroe declined.

So by your reasoning Monroe is a good guy and he simply dropped the ball and this was a righteous indictment - yet he clearly admits that there WERE political procecutions - if you looked close enough.

So Monroe, now running for Congress as a Democrat knew and knows about some poor slups who suffered prosecution for political reasons in the office he served - and he ain't talking?

I think Thompson's point was that in June of '06 Monroe presented evidence to bring down these indictments to a Grand Jury - the question is - where is that evidence and why the hell didn't this case get prosecuted. Logic says, they didn't have it...

Try and read a little closer - Monroe is not a good guy - wonder if Leahy would be interested in these other "political prosecutions".

2:29 PM, June 29, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

That is yet another layer to this story. Why won't Monroe talk if he knows of political prosecutions? But to me the main story here is not a political prosecution but the reverse- a political sabotaging of a prosecution.

Until four months ago, Monroe was tasked with satisfying the discovery- a process he had the better part of two years to complete and appears to be just a matter of a few hours work if Atlanta cooperated with him. Why did he jeapordize the case by dragging his feet, and why is no one in the professional media covering that aspect of the story?

Now I can't agree that logic says that there is no evidence of a crime. The evidence to convict could well have been there, but MSI argued that there was other evidence they needed to mount a defense that the prosecution had. Monroe did not claim that the records didn't exist, he just failed to get them, thus allowing the defense to conveniently argue that their right to a "speedy trial" had been violated.

MSI has not been "proven innocent", they just got off on a technicality- under very suspect circumstances. I'd like to see that evidence too, and talk to some grand jury members. I say it looks like Monroe drug his feet on this the whole way, allowing the guilty (who serve the same party he is in) to escape.

3:35 PM, June 29, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

If we had a DA who let things like this happen, they would be run out of office. Suspects get their cases thrown out of court because the prosecution ignores discovery? It is incompetence at best, but when you discover that the prosecutor and the suspect are cogs in the same political machine, it looks like something more sinister.


Apparently not sinister enough to interest our professional media though. It is all "Get Bush" with them. Hey, I think he needs to be gotten too, but the rot is not restricted to one side.

3:39 PM, June 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea if you are an attorney, but it is the prosecutions responsiblity to produce ALL the evidence which they have within 20 days to the defense. The defense has the right to see all the evidence, not piece meal at the convenience of the prosecution. Seems to me that MSI insisted upon seeing all the "evidence" which the goverment had. They either refused or didn't have it.

In order to mount a sucessful defense the defendents have a constitutional right to see everything - it has nothing to do with what MSI needed for a defense it is required by law. There's not a defense attorney in this country who doesn't draft his defense on discovery.

By the governments own admission, they had "evidence", but it was tied up in Atlanta.

MSI was not proven innocent - it is the prosecutions responsiblity to prove MSI guilty. In my country for now, it's innocent before proven guilty.

As for Monroe, he was a very successful and effective Asst USA - he served under both R and D administrations with honor. The very idea that Monroe was "political" is laughable which is clearly demonstrated by the cases he's tried in the last 20 years.

Lastly, when Schlozman went back to Washington in early '07, the new USA for that district would have immediatley reviewed every case with his staff and pushed them to clear them. It is clear to me that the case had some real problems, otherwise it would have been prosecuted early last year.

The bad actor in this whole scenerio is Schlozman. He's been referred to a Grand Jury himself for charges of perjury. I suspect that Monroe was handed this "dog" in '06 by Scholzman, and as dogs go in the legal system, he did the best he could.

4:18 PM, June 29, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I have no idea if you are an attorney,

PLEASE don't float the rumor I am an attorney. It would really get my mother upset. I told her I was a piano player at a whore house. Budda-bing!

Look, everything you said in the first two paragraphs is common knowledge and was pretty much covered in the article. The defense attorney did not do anything improper, nor the judge. The two whose actions are suspect here are Scholzman and Monroe. Scholzman is getting the attention necessary to maintain honest government. Monroe isn't.

I agree with "innocent until proven guilty" IN A COURT OF LAW. This is the court of public opinion, which has no power to lock people up, but also has more leeway to ask questions when circumstances look suspect- and they do look suspect.

As for Monroe, he was a very successful and effective Asst USA - he served under both R and D administrations with honor. The very idea that Monroe was "political" is laughable which is clearly demonstrated by the cases he's tried in the last 20 years.

He is running for Congress as a Democrat. How can you possibly say that the idea he is political is "laughable". He says he knows about some political prosecutions, but declines to name them. How can you possibly say he is not political? Your level of trust in the "honor" of our recent crop of Presidents is very touching.

the new USA for that district would have immediatley reviewed every case with his staff and pushed them to clear them. It is clear to me that the case had some real problems, otherwise it would have been prosecuted early last year.

What????? He didn't "push to clear" this case. The guy who replace Monroe (Eagan) tried to argue that it was the defense holding things up so that the case could continue.

I suspect that Monroe was handed this "dog" in '06 by Scholzman, and as dogs go in the legal system, he did the best he could.

That is fantasy. Not moving on discovery for two years is "the best he could"? Either Atlanta was incompetent or in the tank or Monroe was. If the documents did not exist, they could just say so- but that would put them up for perjury if they did. So they just sit on it until the defense can get a dismissal.

5:48 PM, June 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You imply that in June of '06 - 2 years ago, Monroe was out to stall a case of a fellow Democrat so he could run for Congress in 08? Not plausible.

"That is fantasy. Not moving on discovery for two years is "the best he could"? Either Atlanta was incompetent or in the tank or Monroe was. If the documents did not exist, they could just say so- but that would put them up for perjury if they did. So they just sit on it until the defense can get a dismissal."

With all due respect, what country you been living in.

You make my argument...the speedy trial clock keep ticking and ran out almost eight months ago. It appears the judge continued to give the goverment the opportunity to get the discovery to the defense. By letting the clock run out it was the cleanest way for the government to bow out on this.

Doesn't happen often, but it does happen. You are right, Schlozman and Monroe are the players here. However, Schlozman is the one under investigation by the DOJ for politicizing the DOJ and most likely will face a grand jury himself. As for Monroe, the very fact that he knows that there were "other" political hits brought down by the office in which he worked makes him unfit for the office in which he wishes to hold.

6:16 PM, June 29, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Well, in your last paragraph I sense we have a lot of agreement. I am glad for that.

6:20 PM, June 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems that you are making alot of assumptions concerning Mr. Monroe. After researching this case it appears your are not reveealing any facts but many presuppositions. Stop your republican spin. Why don't you tell us about Roy Blunt's friends indicted. Or Blunt trying to sneak some pork through on the Patriot Act? Monroe was long out into retirement when many of your allegations were to have happened. It is a shame to try and smear a public servant because you haven't did your homework.

5:12 PM, July 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Monroe is one of the most honorable men that I knew in the Prosecuting Attorneys office. Even though we didn't always see things the same way, I know that he would never execute his duties any other way than honorable.

5:16 PM, July 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Monroe is the most Honorable man that I know.

5:16 PM, July 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is the best thing for our 7th congressional district that Richard Monroe for congress. He is a great man for the job.

5:17 PM, July 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spammer for Monroe: Next time, when trying to leave the impression that multiple people are posting anonymously, make sure you space your comments more than 1 minute apart.

9:20 PM, July 06, 2008  
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