Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
People who have a stake in the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA)--and that includes just about everyone who lives in our state, plus quite a few who live beyond its borders--should be concerned about reports that Leura Canary is set to take a new job.
Canary, perhaps the most corrupt prosecutor in the history of U.S. Justice Department, will join RSA's legal staff in January. Canary, best known for her role in the political prosecution of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, stepped down as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama in June. She was appointed by President George W. Bush, and inexplicably, served for more than two years in the Barack Obama administration.
Why should RSA stakeholders be alarmed about this news? For one, it comes as Republicans in the Alabama Legislature are pushing bills that would allow them to control boards that govern RSA and its $25 billion nest egg. (Yes, that's billion, with a "b.") For another, RSA chief David Bronner long has been viewed as probably the sharpest financial and political mind in Alabama. Our state ranks near the bottom on many surveys regarding quality-of-life issues--education, health, child welfare, you name it--but RSA is considered one of the strongest, best managed retirement systems in the country.
David Bronner is one smart dude, so why would he be so stupid as to hire Leura Canary? Methinks something foul is going on in Montgomery, Alabama.
As we reported earlier this week, Leura Canary's marriage to Bill Canary, president of the Business Council of Alabama, is on the rocks. If that should lead to a messy divorce, would David Bronner want RSA's reputation caught in the middle of it? Also, Leura Canary reportedly is under federal investigation for her handling of the Siegelman case and other matters. Again, does David Bronner want his name soiled by association with Leura Canary? Finally, a pending federal lawsuit seeks more than 1,000 documents related to Canary's recusal in the Siegelman case. If released, those documents are likely to show that Canary remained involved with the case after having announced her recusal.
David Bronner wants to take the chance of being sullied by all of this? Does David Bronner really want to hire a lawyer with enough baggage to sink the USS Missouri? Does RSA need potentially massive headaches?