- Corruption In The Moonlight

Corruption In The Moonlight (eBook)

When The Department Of Justice Became The Department Of Revenue

de Joel Engel 

idioma: Inglês
Edição ou reimpressão: março de 2018
Disponibilidade Imediata
Ebook para ADE

The problems with Americas criminal-justice system have been covered extensively in newspapers, magazines, and books. But little, if anything, has been written or said about a uniquely odious form of sanctioned corruption: government agencies maliciously suing individuals and companies. The motive is usually cost recovery. For the prosecuting lawyers, lawsuits that bring in money to the treasury (some of which gets kicked back to the prosecuting department) are a fast track to promotion and prestige. But the motive may also be personaljealousy, envy, even a lawyers warped sense of social justice.

More often than we suspect, these suits are perversions of justice. With unlimited budgets and the awesome power of the state behind them, government lawyers are unconstrained by either statute or case law that would compel them under penalty of sanctions or disbarment to drop unjust suits. True, there are established ethical standards to which theyve sworn adherence, but in the real world the lawyers own consciences are all that guide them. Not surprisingly, given their rank atop the hierarchy of law enforcement, the most egregious offenders are in the United States Department of Justice.

Which brings us to our book, tentatively titledCorruption in the Moonlight: How the Department of Justice Became the Department of Revenue.

In 2007, a forest fire broke out on Moonlight Peak in the Plumas National Forest of Californias eastern Sierra Nevada, burning about 65,000 acres. An investigator from the California Department of Forestry (Cal Fire) and one from the United States Forest Service (USFS) conducted a perfunctory investigation and filed a report that blamed Sierra Pacific Industries, a successful forest-service products company, for the fire. The report claimed that SPIs independent logging contractor had started the conflagration by driving a bulldozer over a rock, creating a spark that flew into a pile of brush.

SPI wouldnt know anything about this for two years, until the U.S. Department of Justice and Californias attorney general filed separate but nearly identical suits against SPI. The amount being sought by the U.S. alone was nearly a billion dollars, though the value of the land, had it been disappeared off the earth instead of already undergoing a renaissance, was only about $20 million. In short, this was a civil death-penalty case, so of course the company fought hard with a team of smart, aggressive lawyers.

Week by week, month by month, year by year, SPIs lawyers discovered that the investigators on whose findings the suit was based had falsified evidence to support their predetermination that SPI had been negligent. They had looked only for what they wanted to find and ignored an enormous body of evidence pointing toward, among other things, a young addict with psych issues who very well may have intentionally or accidentally started the fire. While the Assistant United States Attorney and the California Deputy Attorney General could not have known at the beginning that the investigation on which theyd based their suits was fictitious or fabricated, they refused to drop the suit as the discovery process continued and dozens of revelatory findings made clear how dishonest and malicious the investigation had been.

Indeed, they doubled down, even to the point of conspiring with the investigators to devise answers to damning questions and lying (under penalty of perjury) on interrogatories. Shortly before trial, a U.S. district judge newly named to the bench ruled that it didnt matter whether SPI had started the fire; it could still be deemed negligent and held financially responsible. Now, SPIS lawyers could not put the young man who may well have started the fire on the stand, and their scientific evidence proving that the fire (a) had not started where the government claimed it had, and (b) could not have been started in the way the gove...

Corruption In The Moonlight
When The Department Of Justice Became The Department Of Revenue
ISBN: 9781594039829 Ano de edição ou reimpressão: Editor: ENCOUNTER BOOKS Idioma: Inglês Tipo de Produto: eBook Formato: ePUB i Classificação Temática: eBooks  >  eBooks em Inglês  >  Direito  >  Direito Constitucional



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