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A Portrait of Alabama Sleaze in the Age of Rove

By       Message Roger Shuler     Permalink
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A Portrait of Alabama Sleaze in the Age of Rove
Would it be possible for a corrupt attorney, one with family connections to Karl Rove and the Bush White House, to essentially steal an individual's rights to his own property?
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That sounds impossible, you might think.
But hey, this is Republican-dominated Alabama in the Age of Rove. And this is the state where Karl Rove made his national name by turning state courts into a GOP playground before going on to become "Bush's Brain."
In the corrupt environment that Rove has wrought, the seemingly impossible can happen. And in fact, it has happened.
The Alabama blog Legal Schnauzer will show you how an attorney named William E. Swatek used the "umbrella of protection" he enjoys from the Bush Justice Department to actually steal a citizen's rights to his own home.
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And get this? This most recent act of thievery is nothing new for Mr. Swatek. He has an almost 30-year history of unethical behavior in the legal profession. Legal Schnauzer will soon be telling you all about that, too.
Long after George W. Bush has left the White House, historians might decide that Dubya's greatest "legacy" is this: He provided shelter for all sorts of unsavory characters to run amok in our justice system. These bad actors range from the prosecutors and judge who ramrodded the Don Siegelman case in Alabama, the prosecutors and judge who ramrodded the Paul Minor case in Mississippi, to the prosecutors who took weak cases and went after Georgia Thompson in Wisconsin and Dr. Cyril Wecht in Pennsylvania.
But Dubya's "legacy" does not end with corrupt prosecutors targeting public officials--as happened in all of the cases noted above. No, it also includes rogue attorneys like Bill Swatek, getting away with actually stealing property rights from regular citizens.
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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)

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