Chris bardenphd jjd_swansonsms609.43_20oct2010-23
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Chris bardenphd jjd_swansonsms609.43_20oct2010-23

on

  • 1,210 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,210
Views on SlideShare
1,206
Embed Views
4

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0

2 Embeds 4

http://www.sharonagmn2010.blogspot.com 2
http://sharonagmn2010.blogspot.com 2

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Chris bardenphd jjd_swansonsms609.43_20oct2010-23 Chris bardenphd jjd_swansonsms609.43_20oct2010-23 Document Transcript

  • YouTube - Barden4AG's Channel Page 1 of 2 Browse Upload http://www.youtube.com/user/Barden4AG 10/20/2010
  • YouTube - Barden4AG's Channel Page 2 of 2 Barden4AG Subscriptions (5) Add as Friend | Block User | Send Message Andersonf... RogueOnMi... dansevers... EmmerForG... Profile Name: Chris Barden Subscribers (7) Channel Views: 1,075 Total Upload Views: 627 Joined: July 29, 2010 Last Visit Date: 1 week ago heidiqtmn Sharon4An... datasuppl... ProdigalS... Website: http://www.barden4ag.com/ I am running as the Republican endorsed candidate for Attorney General for the great State of Minnesota. Channel Comments About Me: There are no comments for Raised in Minnesota, I have loved our great state Add Comment through middle school, high school, undergrad and graduate school at the U of M, public service and law practice. Please see my website at www.barden4ag.com to learn much more! Hometown: Edina Minnesota Country: United States Occupation: Doctor and Lawyer Schools: Edina High School - University of Minnesota - Harvard Law School http://www.youtube.com/user/Barden4AG 10/20/2010
  • October 20, 2010 Greetings Fellow Minnesotans, In 2008, we learned that the integrity of Minnesota elections could have an enormous impact on our entire nation. Minnesota’s complicated election of a U.S. Senator was the subject of national attention and concern. With the controversial ACORN group claiming to have registered 43,000 new voters, more than half of the overseas military ballots uncounted, various counties applying different standards for eliminating ballots, reports of felons voting illegally, reports of illegal immigrants being "vouched" in to vote, and other reported irregularities, the election invited investigation. Minnesota received even more national attention as our new Senator cast the decisive (60th) vote for the controversial Federal Health Care Law. With two ACORN endorsed public officials – the Secretary of State and Attorney General -- overseeing Minnesota’s unusual “vouching” election system -- national observers have become increasingly concerned that Minnesota remains a prime target for systemic voter fraud. Due to these concerns, the U.S. Congress recently served notice that a detailed investigation of Minnesota’s 2008 election process – including a review of the role of ACORN and felon voters -- is in process. Such important controversies highlight the role of the Attorney General of Minnesota, the lawyer for the people. The Attorney General’s Office should play an important role in guarding our right to an honest, trustworthy election process. As an independent private citizen and national expert in law, health care, science, and complex reforms, I was asked by many prominent Minnesotans to enter the race for Attorney General in the 2010 election. I agreed to join the race and have focused on several goals including applying essential principles of good government, improving the business climate of our state to facilitate job growth, vigorously protecting consumers, challenging the Federal Health Care Law, and implementing-enforcing Photo ID election reforms. During our campaign, I have methodically studied the current Attorney General’s Office. For 40 continuous years one party has controlled the MN AG’s Office. Historically, such political monopolies have often led to misconduct and corruption in government. A review of the evidence demonstrates that the current AG’s Office is perhaps the most scandal-ridden in the history of our state. As reported by WCCO-TV and numerous witnesses nearly one half of the entire staff of legal professionals of the incumbent Attorney General left the office, many in disgust, others reportedly fired for refusing illegal instructions. At least eight Assistant Attorney Generals have provided sworn testimony documenting corruption and/or misconduct in the AG’s Office. Many others have corroborated these consistent reports. A former Department Head was quoted describing the AG’s Office as a “culture of dishonesty” where the subordinates are routinely asked to “do unethical and even unlawful things.” Another Assistant Attorney General, a former Manager of the Medicaid Fraud Division, has given sworn testimony regarding fraud and deception in the AG’s Office. Finally, Attorney General Swanson has recently admitted her personal role in transferring $249,999 of what should have been taxpayer funds to the notorious ACORN organization apparently in the same year ACORN endorsed her and worked for her election (2006). Despite such multiple, converging indices of misconduct, insufficient attention has been paid to the consistent, documented, multi-source evidence of scandals and turmoil in the troubled MN AG’s Office. To protect our state -- and nation -- from future harm a more complete investigation and reforms are required. Sincerely, Chris Barden, Ph.D., J.D.
  • SUMMARY DRAFT REPORT of October 20, 2010 – Mon 2 PM By R. Chris Barden, Ph.D., J.D. rcbarden@mac.com ; 952-657-5850 QUESTION: Will the current office of Minnesota Attorney General be remembered as the most scandal-ridden in Minnesota history? 1. What are the non-partisan Essential Rules and Principles of Good Government? 2. What was the national impact of Minnesota’s 2008 flawed, ACORN-tainted election system? 3. OFFICE-GATE: Why have dozens of Attorney General Swanson’s legal staff reportedly left the office, many in disgust, with several filing sworn statements documenting unethical and/or illegal activity in the office? Did 68 lawyers (apparently about half the staff) leave the AG’s legal staff, with many quitting in disgust? Why have seven attorneys provided sworn testimony to the Legislative Auditor reporting unethical and illegal misconduct in the AG’s office? Why were no legislative hearings held to investigate these important questions? 4. ACORN-GATE: Why did Attorney General Swanson transfer Minnesota taxpayer dollars to the controversial ACORN organization? Was any of that money used to support her election in 2006? Why hasn’t a forensic audit been done? Why did AG Swanson apparently avoid answering questions on this issue? Why did AG Swanson transfer $249,999 of what should have been taxpayer dollars directly to ACORN? Why was the “slush fund” law set up in the first place? Why was the Capitol One lawsuit settled for only $1 dollar under the “slush fund” limit? Why has AG Swanson refused to testify or give a sworn statement on these questions? Did ACORN later endorse Swanson as part of an illegal payoff scheme? Why were no legislative hearings held to investigate these important questions? 5. AG OFFICE MEDICAID FRAUD ISSUES?: Why did a managing Assistant Attorney General report fraud, deception, and misconduct in the Attorney General’s Office? Why did Paul Civello, J.D., (magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, Univ, of Minnesota), Ph.D. (UCLA) the former Managing Medicaid Fraud Investigations attorney, testify that Swanson “deceived” the federal government. Why did another lawyer reportedly describe office conduct as “fraud”? Why were no legislative hearings held to investigate these important questions? 6. AG OFFICE PRESSURE TO BREAK THE LAW?: Why have so many former Assistant Attorney General staff filed sworn statements complaining of pressure to violate ethics rules and the law? Why did Harvard Law graduate Amy Lawler, J.D. and SEVEN licensed attorneys – members of Swanson’s own legal staff -- reportedly document pressure in the AG’s Office to commit unethical and/or criminal acts including apparently perjury and obstruction of justice? Why were no legislative hearings held to investigate these important questions? 7. “CULTURE OF DISHONESTY”?: Why did a former Department Head reportedly describe AG Swanson’s office as demonstrating a “culture of dishonesty”?: A former Attorney General Department Head also reportedly described pressure in the AG’s office to do "unethical and even unlawful things". Why were no legislative hearings held to investigate these important questions? 8. MISINFORMATION: Has the current AG made repeated efforts to misinform the media and the public? Did AG Swanson falsely claim to the press that the loss of 1/2 of her legal staff was normal office attrition when multiple witnesses document her office losses appear to be unprecedented? Did AG Swanson falsely claim to not be involved in the ACORN settlement payoff when she, in fact, personally signed the settlement document? Has AG Swanson falsely claimed that the Legislative Auditor “cleared her” of all allegations when the Auditor’s investigation was narrowly limited to financial issues – and offered no opinions regarding ethics, criminal, or misconduct allegations? Was Attorney Swanson involved in manipulative efforts to smear whistleblowers in the office -- including a deceptive “report” by T. Mengler? 1
  • EXHIBITS: Official documents, news accounts, and other reports: 1. Exhibit A – Feb. 13, 2006 – Official Minnesota Settlement Document, Capitol One case (ACORN-gate – Swanson personally signs the document turning over $249,999 taxpayer dollars to ACORN. ACORN reportedly endorses Swanson and gives her an A+ rating. Payola?) 2. Exhibit B – March 7, 2008 - by Journalist Erik Black, Staffers detail climate of stress, politicization in AG’s office, MinnPost. See, http://www.minnpost.com/ericblack/2008/03/07/1104/staffers_detail_climate_of_stress_politicization_in_ags_office 3. Exhibit C – March 14, 2008 - Statement of Former Assistant Attorney General Amy Lawler, J.D. 4. Exhibit D – March 18, 2008 by Journalist Erik Black, More lawyers describe pressure by Swanson to commit what they viewed as unethical conduct. MinnPost See, conducthttp://www.minnpost.com/ericblack/2008/03/18/1192/more_lawyers_describe_pressure_b y_swanson_to_commit_what_they_viewed_as_unethical_conduct 5. Exhibit E – March 18, 2008, Pugsmire, Tim, Suspended lawyer alleges ethical lapses in Swanson’s office, MPR NewsQ 6. Exhibit F - May 12, 2008 Legislative Auditor James Nobles report (ACORN funds review) 7. Exhibit G – May 27, 2008, Mengler, Thomas M., Report “Regarding Allegations of Professional Misconduct Raised by Assistant Attorney General Amy Lawler” 8. Exhibit H = May 28, 2008, by Journalist Eric Black, MinnPost, An explanation for recent agonies in attorney general's office: Mike Hatch's traumatic reign, See, http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/05/28/2009/an_explanation_for_recent_agonies_in_attorn ey_generals_office_mike_hatchs_traumatic_reign 9. Exhibit I – May 29, 2008 by Journalist Eric Black, MinnPost, “They Will Come After You”, http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/05/29/2018/they_will_come_after_you 10. Exhibit J- June 3, 2008 Legislator Auditor James Nobles 2nd report (7 attorneys under oath apparently document corruption including apparently criminal misconduct in the Attorney General’s Office) 11. Exhibit K – Sept. 29, 2008 Statement of Fmr Asst. Attorney General Paul Civello, Ph.D., J.D. (A former Managing attorney alleges corruption and fraud in the Attorney General’s Office) 12. Exhibit L – April 20, 2009 - WCCO iTeam report (Office-gate, Paul Civello interview) See, http://wcco.com/iteam/iteam.ag.accusations.2.989842.html 13. Exhibit M – Oct. 15, 2009 – See, Fitzgibbons, Mark, ACORN, Payola and Color of Law, American Thinker See, http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/acorn_payola_and_color_of_law.html 14. Exhibit N –July 15, 2010 - Letter from U.S. Rep. Issa to Sec. of State Ritchie (Ordering Ritchie to preserve election records for upcoming federal investigations into ACORN influence and felony voting in Minnesota elections) 15. Exhibit O – Jan 2009, Rosengren, John, Power of Attorney, Minnesota Monthly, http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Minnesota-Monthly/January-2009/Power-of- Attorney/index.php?cparticle=1&siarticle=0#artanc 16. Exhibit P – Constitution of Minnesota, Article VIII Impeachment 2
  • QUESTION: Will the current office of Minnesota Attorney General be remembered as the most scandal-ridden in Minnesota history? Oct. 19, 2010 Greetings Fellow Citizens, Today I want to discuss much needed reforms, a positive vision, and a more effective future for the Minnesota Office of Attorney General. 1. MINNESOTA DESERVES CLEAN GOVERNMENT: Non-partisan Essential Rules and Principles of Good Government are necessary to earn and maintain the respect and trust of citizens. Citizens across America and Minnesota have lost trust in government because both State and Federal governments have violated essential rules of good government. These rules include FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY (reducing government debt), LEGISLATIVE INTEGRITY (laws publicly debated before enactment, no legislative kickbacks), and ensuring laws remain within CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITS. Other basic and essential rules of good government include HONESTY, INTEGRITY, and TRANSPARENCY. These hallmarks of clean government should be a non-partisan priority for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. When government officials violate principles of honesty and integrity they can be removed by elections or impeachment. Minnesota law provides, for example, that if an Attorney General is guilty of “corrupt conduct in office or for crimes and misdemeanors”, impeachment can lead to removal from office. 1 2. DID MINNESOTA's 2008 CONTROVERSIAL U.S. SENATE ELECTION BURDEN OUR NATION WITH AN UNPOPULAR FEDERAL HEALTH CARE REFORM LAW? COULD ADDITIONAL NATIONAL DAMAGE BE DONE IN 2012? Minnesota was thrust into the national spotlight during our 2008 Senatorial contest between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. Historians will long debate whether Minnesota’s failure to implement election reforms (e.g., Photo ID) before the 2008 election was a key factor in the enactment of the controversial Federal Health Care Law. With the majority of overseas military ballots not counted, more votes tallied than voters registered, various counties applying disparate standards for eliminating ballots, reports of felons voting illegally2, reports of illegal immigrants 1 MINNESOTA CONSTITUTION ARTICLE VIII IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL FROM OFFICE Section 1. Impeachment powers. The house of representatives has the sole power of impeachment through a concurrence of a majority of all its members. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose, senators shall be upon oath or affirmation to do justice according to law and evidence. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators present. Sec. 2. Officers subject to impeachment; grounds; judgment. The governor, secretary of state, auditor, attorney general and the judges of the supreme court, court of appeals and district courts may be impeached for corrupt conduct in office or for crimes and misdemeanors; but judgment shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit in this state. The party convicted shall also be subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law. [Amended, November 2, 1982; November 3, 1998] 2 See e.g., Barnes, Ed, Felons Voting Illegally May Have Put Franken Over the Top in Minnesota, Study Finds, Ed July 12, 2010, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/12/felons-voting-illegally-franken-minnesota-study-finds/ "Phil Carruthers of the Ramsey County attorney's office … found that the Minnesota Majority "had done a good job in their review." ; See also, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123197800446483619.html 3
  • being "vouched" in to vote, and other irregularities, some feel the election was, in the words of one local legal expert “an obvious, embarrassing violation of the Constitution." 3 Looking to the future, it is troubling that Minnesota's unusual and easily manipulated "vouching law" – permitting 15 people with no identification of any kind to vote if "vouched for" by one registered voter -- is still in effect. In addition, the same controversial ACORN-endorsed officials, Attorney General Swanson and Secretary of State Ritchie, could be overseeing the 2012 election process. Attention will increasingly focus on Minnesota as the 2012 Presidential election approaches. U.S. Congressional investigations of Minnesota voter fraud in 2008 appear in process due to national concerns about harm from Minnesota’s unreformed, “vouching” election system. On July 15, 2010, U.S. Rep. Darryl Issa, (R-CA), Ranking Member (and possible future Chair) of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee On Government Oversight and Reform, requested Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and other officials “retain indefinitely” all records from the 2008 November election. (See, Congressional Letter, Exhibit N 4). Rep. Issa’s letter states, “The likelihood that voter fraud perpetrated by convicted felons could have influenced the outcome of the 2008 Minnesota Senate race justifies further investigation into these matters.” The Attorney General is the one state officer with the responsibility to protect the essential legal rights of all Minnesotans – including the right to a secure, reliable election. Consistent and repeated reports of scandals, misconduct, and turmoil in the Minnesota Office of Attorney General have added to the growing local and national concerns about the integrity of Minnesota’s election system. 4. OFFICEGATE – Multiple news stories and witness statements report unethical misconduct, office mismanagement, mass turnover, scandal, and turmoil in Attorney General Swanson’s legal staff: 4A. The WCCO-TV iTeam reported about half of the Attorney General legal team has left the Office: In a televised report, the WCCO Investigation Team documented several major scandals in Attorney General Swanson's Office. They reported in 2008 “since Swanson took office two years ago, 68 staff attorneys have left their jobs. That's about half of the total number of attorneys”… (See, WCCO report, April 20, 2009, Exhibit L, http://wcco.com/iteam/iteam.ag.accusations.2.989842.html ). 4B. Assistant Attorney General Amy Lawler, (J.D., Harvard Law School) reported a “staggering turnover rate” and staff lawyers being “afraid to speak up”: The information reported by WCCO is quite consistent with other sources including former Assistant Attorney General and Harvard Law School graduate Amy Lawler, J.D., who reported, “I understand that at least 52 attorneys have left the office over the course of the last year, in an office staffed by approximately 126 attorneys. This is a staggering turnover rate… Many have wanted to speak up, but have been afraid to do so…” (See, Lawler report of March 14, 2008 at Exhibit C). 3 See, Paulsen, Michael S. The Minnesota Recount Was Unconstitutional, Wall Street Journal , JANUARY 15, 2009 " the Minnesota recount is a legal train wreck...an obvious, embarrassing violation of the Constitution." 4 The author of the letter to Mark Ritchie, Rep. Issa, Ranking Minority Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has been instrumental in exposing ACORN nation-wide voter fraud . In July of 2009, he released an 88-page report detailing a host of ACORN abuses. See, http://republicans.oversight.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=883%3Awere-minnesota- felons-registered-to-vote-by-acorn&catid=22&Itemid=5 4
  • 4C. Journalist Eric Black wrote several detailed articles documenting unethical misconduct, turmoil, and gross mismanagement in the Attorney General’s office: 4C1. (See, Black, E. “Traumatic reign”, MinnPost, at Exhibit H, http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/05/28/2009/an_explanation_for_recent_agonies_i n_attorney_generals_office_mike_hatchs_traumatic_reign )… “Attorneys and other subordinates describe working for Hatch and Swanson as hellish, featuring verbal abuse and pressure to do things they believed were unethical... that conclusion is based on dozens of interviews with present and former officials of the office… the more than 30 sources interviewed for this story asked for anonymity because they fear retaliation. … a long-standing attorney, still in the office, said that, under both Hatch and Swanson, “it’s a cult-like atmosphere. They demand blind obedience. Nobody’s criticism is tolerated.” … [IN CONTRAST] Former Attorney General Warren Spannaus is the last AG to take over from a member of the other party and he recalls allowing everyone to stay, asking only that the incumbent deputies step down to assistant AG positions so he could appoint his own deputies. Several attorneys who were in the office under Hatch’s predecessor, Hubert H. “Skip” Humphrey III, say they don’t recall any purges when Humphrey took over, or during his long tenure… “the quality of the office has just dropped drastically, “ Its become just a horrible place to work.. This is not an office that you can anymore work at with much self- respect.” From the viewpoint of the Minnesota public, he said, “The story is the continued plunging of competence and experience levels in the Office. Can you really run a law firm if the median experience is under four or five years?” … 4C2. (See, Black, E., MinnPost “They’ll come after you”, at Exhibit I, http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/05/29/2018/they_will_come_after_you ) … This article is a description of angry legal staff a climate of fear and intimidation in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office under Hatch and Swanson…. a former Department head in the AG’s office… “I just felt that these people are unethical and I don’t want to work with them anymore.” … he said he told the Legislative Auditor, under oath, that the ultimate issue was: “This not about Lori Swanson’ management style. These things are all about a deeper problem… First they’ve developed a culture of dishonesty. By “they” I mean Swanson and Hatch. Number two, they fairly routinely ask subordinates to do unethical and even unlawful things… they tell them to do these things without any regard for the impact on the attorney or the state. Finally every decision appears to be made based on political considerations.” 4C3. (See, Black, E., “Staffers detail climate of stress”, MinnPost, Exhibit B, http://www.minnpost.com/ericblack/2008/03/07/1104/staffers_detail_climate_of_stress_politicization_in_ags_o ffice ). “The office of Attorney General Lori Swanson is riven by fear, politicization, low morale, intimidation tactics and constant turnover…the present and recently departed attorneys said the stress, turnover, and fear are impeding the functioning of the office. They said the office has lost a lot of institutional memory over the departures. Newly hired attorneys miss the guidance of veteran lawyers… Jody Wahl, 54 worked as an investigator in the office for 24 years under three attorneys general. … There’s a lot of pressure to 5
  • manipulate the evidence to support what Lori Swanson wants done,” Wahl said. “The office of attorney general has such tremendous authority. When it sues somebody, it can ruin their life, ruin their business. It shouldn’t be taken lightly. It should be done after a thorough investigation. And that isn’t done anymore. Shouldn’t we cross the T’s and dot the I’s before we call a press conference and sue someone?” 4D. Former Assistant Attorney General Susan Damon, J.D. reportedly described the office management practices as dishonest, unethical, and not in the public’s best interest. “Attorney Damon reported joining the office in 1991 and served as assistant attorney general in the health-licensing division until last June… Damon says she quit because she could no longer tolerate administrative practices she describes as “dishonest, unethical, and not in the public’s best interest.” See, Rosengren, John, Power of Attorney, Minnesota Monthly, Jan. 2009, Exhibit O, http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Minnesota-Monthly/January-2009/Power-of- Attorney/index.php?cparticle=1&siarticle=0#artanc 4E. The Legislative Auditor, James Nobles, concluded that [the AG Office turmoil and troubles] were not about the union as there are much bigger issues [regarding turmoil in the staff] here. “The office was so unstable that shortly after Swanson was elected, some of her staff met to discuss forming a union… to provide more job security—something that would prevent attorneys from being fired without “cause.”… Even many not associated with the union effort agree that workplace morale has sunk to a new low in the last year… It’s really not about the union,” says Jim Nobles, the state’s legislative auditor. “There are much bigger issues here.” See, Rosengren, John, Power of Attorney, Minnesota Monthly, Jan. 2009, Exhibit O, http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Minnesota-Monthly/January-2009/Power-of- Attorney/index.php?cparticle=1&siarticle=0#artanc 4F. State representative Steve Simon reported accounts from multiple attorneys in the Office that the AG’s office was offering unsound advice to clients, inserting unsubstantiated information in affidavits, and finding defendants to justify filing certain lawsuits, among other things. Simon told the 12- person Legislative Auditing committee that he had heard complaints from attorneys working under Hatch and Swanson that they had felt pressured to act unethically. The charges included offering unsound advice to clients, inserting unsubstantiated information in affidavits, and finding defendants to justify filing certain lawsuits, among other things. The commission directed Nobles to conduct a “preliminary assessment” to determine whether the allegations warranted a broader investigation. ... Nobles issued his report in June. He stated that his office had interviewed seven people associated with the attorney general’s office and found that the events related to the allegations had indeed occurred and that individuals “felt pressured to act inappropriately.”See, Rosengren, John, Power of Attorney, Minnesota Monthly, Jan. 2009, Exhibit O, http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Minnesota-Monthly/January-2009/Power-of- Attorney/index.php?cparticle=1&siarticle=0#artanc 4G. Damages to the state from the extraordinary loss of legal professionals in the AG’s office: “The greatest cost of the turnover under Swanson isn’t bruised egos or hurt feelings; it’s the diminished quality of legal representation the attorney general’s office is able to provide. “Whether it be public utilities or human services or health, you’ve got a very specific body of law that governs that area, so you really want people 6
  • who are experts in those areas of law,” says David Schultz, a professor who teaches law and business classes at Hamline University in St. Paul. “As attorney general, you want to recruit people who will stay in your office and who, over a number of years, will develop expertise in different areas of law, so that the state can write regulations, write procedures, perform services, and do its job.” The loss of key staff affects, among other things, the office’s ability to pursue important lawsuits. In 2003, Hatch sued GlaxoSmithKline, alleging the company was conspiring with other drug manufacturers to boycott Canadian pharmacies exporting low-cost prescription drugs to the United States. The case was set for discovery, then trial, but the three lawyers who had handled the case from the onset left within months of Swanson taking office. Two more attorneys added to the case also left. In November 2007, Swanson settled the case for nothing, not even asking for compensation to cover the office’s costs and attorney fees, which were substantial after four years of litigation. “They dumped the case because there were no lawyers left who could handle it,” says Paul Civello, (J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, Univ, of Minnesota, and Ph.D. from UCLA) a former manager of the Medicaid-fraud division who was initially assigned to the case and who departed the office in frustration in 2007. “Needless to say, Swanson did not hold a press conference to announce this settlement…. It will take years for new hires to replace the lost institutional memory, specialized skills, and accumulated wisdom of the departing attorneys, says Civello. “Those who have left include some of the best, brightest, most dedicated attorneys the attorney general’s office had. They are irreplaceable,” he says. “No law firm that has suffered the loss of so many talented, experienced lawyers in so short a time could claim to be well-managed and functioning.”” See, Rosengren, John, Power of Attorney, Minnesota Monthly, Jan. 2009. Exhibit O, http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Minnesota-Monthly/January-2009/Power-of- Attorney/index.php?cparticle=1&siarticle=0#artanc 4D. Dr. Chris Barden’s personal conversations with several former Assistant Attorneys General in travels throughout Minnesota: During campaign trips throughout the state, folks came up to me, identified themselves as former AG legal staff and reported experiences in that office. Many reported positive experiences working under former Attorneys General Warren Spannaus and Skip Humphrey. The former Assistant Attorneys General noted that under the Spannaus and Humphrey administrations legal staffing was very stable over many years and attorneys worked together effectively. They recalled nobody reporting being forced to file false affidavits during the Spannaus or Humphrey administrations. They recalled nobody reporting the Attorney General’s office was defrauding the federal government. They recalled nobody reporting fearing to speak out during the Spannaus or Humphrey administrations. Uniformly, they reported a “tragic decline” of the office into the current state of “a political pressure cooker, with mismanagement, corruption, and illegal activities”. Virtually all of these former attorneys reported being lifelong Democrats. They also reported they knew staff attorneys who quit or were fired -- for refusing to engage in misconduct or criminal acts -- including fabricating (changing facts in) affidavits. 4E. Have requests for relevant records been illegally refused?: Several sources report that formal requests for the names of all of the attorneys who have worked at the Attorney General’s Office over the past years have been refused. Why didn’t the media obtain these lists and follow-up on the story of turmoil and decay in the Office? 5. ACORN-GATE: In the settlement of the Capitol One lawsuit in 2006, documents prove Swanson signed over $249,999 (of what should have been) taxpayer dollars directly to the 7
  • notorious group ACORN in what appears to be a political payback “slush fund” payment. Apparently ACORN, later that year, endorsed Swanson or election. How much, if any, of the public funds given to ACORN were used to support Swanson’s election campaign? 5A. Letter from Legislator Auditor to Lori Swanson, Attorney General, May 12, 2008 (Exhibit D) : “The Legislative Auditor has received allegations concerning the consent judgment (settlement) filed by Attorney General Mike Hatch against Capitol One. The judgement was signed by you, as Solicitor General, … on Feb. 13, 2006, (See also original document at Exhibit A). It provided for distribution of money… to the Minnesota Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, ACORN ($249,999). … “. 5B. WHAT AUDITING WAS DONE, IF ANY, TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC FROM ACORN’s COMMON, UNETHICAL POLITICAL ACTIVITY? : “What monitoring or other mechanisms did the Attorney General’s Office employ to ensure that ACORN [spent the money appropriately]” See, Letter from the Legislative Auditor, May 12, 2008, Exhibit F). 5C. MONEY TIED TO POLITICAL ADVOCACY? : “It is alleged that the distribution of money to Minnesota ACORN was connected to ACORN’s endorsement of Mike Hatch for Governor on March 8, 2006 [note the settlement was Feb. 13, 2006 – just enough time for the check to clear?] Please address the allegation and explain the basis for the distribution of $249,999 to ACORN, a political advocacy organization. See, Letter from the Legislative Auditor, May 12, 2008, Exhibit F) [Note that Swanson was also apparently later endorsed by ACORN and received an “A+” rating from ACORN, an organization which has apparently been called a “criminal enterprise” by a U.S. Congressional research group]. 5D. WHY DID MINNESOTA HAVE A “SLUSH FUND” LAW THAT PERMITTED PAYMENTS TO POLITICAL CRONIES SUCH AS ACORN? WHY WAS THE SLUSH FUND CLOSED IN 2009?: Why did Minnesota have a “slush fund” law that permitted the Attorney General to dispense Iwhat should have been taxpayer funds] if the case settled for less than $750,000 (See, Minn Stat. 16A.151, subd. 1(b) and 1(e). The Capitol One settlement for $749,999 maximized the “slush fund” amount. Why? Why was the money given to a notorious group like ACORN? Why did the legislature fail to hold hearings on ACORN-gate? Why did the legislature apparently close the “slush fund” in 2009? 5E. WHY HAS ATTORNEY GENERAL SWANSON REFUSED INTERVIEWS AND GIVEN NO STATEMENTS UNDER OATH ON THESE ISSUES?: “The Legislative Audit Commission conducted a meeting on June 30, 2008, where Noble presented his findings. MinnPost.com reported that Lori Swanson declined an invitation to appear at the hearing. Hatch didn't show, either, and told the reporter he's "not talking to [the reporter]." Why didn’t the legislature hold hearings on this apparently outrageous abuse of the political and legal system? Why haven’t Hatch and Swanson had to answer questions under oath? 6. MEDICAID DIVISION FRAUD IN THE AG’s OFFICE?: Why did Swanson’s own Medicaid Fraud Investigation Managing Attorney report that AG Swanson “deceived” the federal government? 8
  • 6A Statement of Former Assistant Attorney General Paul Civello, (J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, Univ, of Minnesota, and Ph.D. from UCLA) Attorney Civello, who is widely reported to be one of the most intelligent, ethical, and best educated lawyers in the office, testified under oath discussing a “wide range of unethical and unlawful practices [he] witnessed during [his] tenure as an Assistant Attorney General at the Minnesota Attorney’s Office”. Attorney Civello reports being appointed by the Attorney General to serve as the Manager of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. We note that Attorney Civello was hired by the Attorney General, supervised by the Attorney General and promoted by the Attorney General. He clearly was a considered a fine lawyer indeed – until he reported gross misconduct, negligence, mismanagement, and apparently criminal fraud in the office. Attorney Civello reported a “deliberate attempt [by Hatch and Swanson] to deceive the federal oversight authority in order to misuse Medicaid Fraud Control Unit funds [for other purposes]. He also reported the misuse of MFCU funds by then-Solicitor General Swanson in the service of her campaign for Attorney General. Civello quoted a memo from Attorney Deborah Peterson that documented yet another example of “fraud” in the AG’s office – falsely hiring attorneys and mis-reporting them as investigators to fraudulently claim compliance with federal rules then pressuring legal staff to go along with the misconduct. These themes of fraud, misconduct, and unethical pressure to comply recur in many of these attorney reports. (See, Exhibit K, Affidavit of Paul Civello, September 29, 2008; See also, Exhibit L, WCCO iTeam report, 2008, "The problem I found in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit was an attempt to deceive the Office of Inspector General (about the make up of the unit)," said Civello.” Apparently Paul Civello currently works at the prestigious law firm of Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand in Minneapolis. We should note that these statements appear to document exactly the kind of "corrupt conduct" that may constitute an impeachable offense under Article VIII of the Minnesota Constitution. [NOTE: Mr.Civello’s statements show AG Swanson to be either A) a potential criminal (if Civello is right) or B) a recklessly poor manager who put an unreliable person in a management role (if Civello is wrong or stating falsehoods). Either way, AG Swanson appears incompetent or worse. Given the multiple corroborating statements documenting the kind of misconduct reported by Attorney Civello, his statements appear quite credible. ] 7. MULTIPLE, CONSISTENT REPORTS OF PRESSURE TO COMMIT APPARENTLY CRIMINAL ACTS?: Sworn statements from SEVEN Assistant Attorneys General of Minnesota document serious misconduct and/or criminal activity in the AG’s office. 7A. SEVEN SWORN STATEMENTS OF ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERALS OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Official Minnesota documents show that seven former or current Assistant Attorneys General of the State of Minnesota have given sworn statements under oath to the Legislative Auditor. These statements appear consistently support statements that a number of the attorneys quitting jobs at the Attorney General’s Office did so as they refused to follow orders and pressure to perform unethical and/or illegal acts including apparently inserting false, unsubstantiated, or questionable facts into affidavits. (See, Legislative Auditor report of June 3, 2008, Exhibit J) Consistent, more detailed reports have been offered by some of the brightest and best-educated attorneys in the AG’s Office (See, attached Lawler Exhibit C and Civello, Exh. K reports). These sworn statements and detailed reports from licensed attorneys -- attorneys who were hired and supervised within the Office of the Attorney General -- appear to document exactly the kind of "corrupt conduct" in the Office of 9
  • Attorney General that may constitute an impeachable offense under Article VIII of the Minnesota Constitution. 7B Corroborating Statement from Former Assistant Attorney General Amy Lawler, J.D. , a former student body president at Wellesley College and a graduate of the Harvard Law School, was reportedly one of the most intelligent, ethically sensitive, and best educated attorneys in the entire Attorney General’s Office. Her report appears quite consistent with the reports of Paul Civello, Ph.D., J.D. and other attorneys as documented in sworn statements to the Office of the Legislative Auditor. She reports that “I understand that at least 52 attorneys have left the office over the course of the last year, in an office staffed by approximately 126 attorneys. This is a staggering turnover rate… Many have wanted to speak up, but have been afraid to do so…. My colleagues have left in droves, and the public suffers from the loss of these skilled and committed attorneys… [Lawler] reported an attorney being instructed to add apparently false information to an affidavit (i.e., obstruction of justice?) The attorney refused and later resigned… [Lawler] reported an attorney being ordered to violate a special master’s order… [Lawler] reported an attorney refusing an illegal order to issue a civil investigative demand against a company when the attorney did not have reasonable cause to believe the company had violated the law. The attorney refused then resigned. [Lawler] reported “an instance in which a supervisor inserted information into affidavits that was actually false (obstruction of justice?) ; the assistant attorney general removed these (false) statements, and was then subjected to retaliation. These reports of unethical and criminal misconduct appear validated and supported by the investigation by the Office of the Legislative Auditor. I understand that Amy Lawler currently works as an attorney at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. (See, Lawler Report of March 14, 2008 at Exhibit C ). Lawler cites her conversations with lawyers in the Office as they document experiences in the Attorney General's office under Lori Swanson. Complaints include: -- "being hired with the explicit instruction that the position required loyalty to Attorney General Swanson, and that those advocating for the union were not being loyal," [Note the unethical contamination of legal work with political influence in the office] -- "being ordered to violate a special master's order," [Note this appears to be aiding and abetting a contempt of court, cf. Minnesota Statutes 588.20 and 609.05. Such acts are indictable and, if condoned by Attorney General Swanson, impeachable “corrupt conduct”. See, Article VIII, Section 2, Minnesota Constitution] -- "being instructed by a supervisor to add statements to a consumer's affidavit that the attorney had reason to believe the consumer did not actually say," [Note this is aiding and abetting perjury, Cf. Minnesota Statutes 609.05 and 10
  • 609.48. Such criminal misconduct is clearly both indictable and impeachable] 5 -- "being ordered to issue a civil investigative demand against a company, when the attorney did not have reasonable cause to believe the company had violated the law," [which is aiding and abetting criminal misconduct, contrary to Sections 609.05 and 609.43 of Minnesota Statutes This misconduct is both indictable and impeachable]; 6 -- "being asked by a supervisor to a post in the Minnesota Lawyer blog, during the work day from office computers, lauding Swanson's administration," [unethical misuse of state employees for political purposes] -- "being order to tell consumers that they were being invited to meet with the attorney general, being being directed not to tell the consumers that the event was also a press confereence," [unethical deceit contrary to Rule 8.4 of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct. ] -- "being told to give an agency client advice that would not have been in the client's best interest and was not legally sound," which is probably not a crime or misdemeanor, but is unethical deceit, contrary to Rule 8.4 of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct, and, if condoned by Swanson, impeachable corrupt conduct, contrary to Article VIII, Section 2 of the Minnesota Constitution; and -- "an instance in which a supervisor inserted information into affidavits that was actually false," [Note this appears to be an attempted perjury (See, Sections 609.17 and 609.48 of Minnesota Statutes), acts which appears indictable, and, if condoned by Attorney General Swanson, would appear to be 5 MN STAT. 609.48 PERJURY. Subdivision 1. Acts constituting. Whoever makes a false material statement not believing it to be true in any of the following cases is guilty of perjury and may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 4: (1) in or for an action, hearing or proceeding of any kind in which the statement is required or authorized by law to be made under oath or affirmation; (2) in any writing which is required or authorized by law to be under oath or affirmation; (3) in any writing made according to section 358.115; or (4) in any other case in which the penalties for perjury are imposed by law and no specific sentence is otherwise provided. 6 MN STAT. 609.43 MISCONDUCT OF PUBLIC OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE. A public officer or employee who does any of the following, for which no other sentence is specifically provided by law, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both: (1) intentionally fails or refuses to perform a known mandatory, nondiscretionary, ministerial duty of the office or employment within the time or in the manner required by law; or (2) in the capacity of such officer or employee, does an act knowing it is in excess of lawful authority or knowing it is forbidden by law to be done in that capacity; or (3) under pretense or color of official authority intentionally and unlawfully injures another in the other's person, property, or rights; or (4) in the capacity of such officer or employee, makes a return, certificate, official report, or other like document having knowledge it is false in any material respect 11
  • impeachable corrupt conduct, contrary to Article VIII, Section 2 of the Minnesota Constitution] 7 It is essential to note that – in sharp contract to the truncated, largely irrelevant “report” of Dean Mengler -- who somehow seemed to miss all of the obviously corroborative testimony available -- Lawler’s reports were corroborated and supported by the sworn statements of SEVEN attorneys taken in the investigation of the Legislative Auditor (See, Legislative Auditor’s report of June 3, 2008, at Exhibit J ; Report of Amy Lawler, J.D. at Exhibit C). 7C. Corroborating Statement of Former Assistant Attorney General Martin Carlson, J.D, a lawyer who, according to a WCCO iTeam report, worked in the Attorney General's Consumer Enforcement Office. Attorney Carlson described -- for a WCCO TV iTeam report -- an atmosphere of intimidation, where he says all employees were asked to work for the headlines. He also responded to Swanson’s attacks on Civello, "It's a typical vicious attack that I've become accustomed to seeing from Lori Swanson and Mike Hatch," according to Martin Carlson, another Assistant Attorney General who worked in the Consumer Enforcement Office. Carlson describes an atmosphere of intimidation, where he says all employees were asked to work for the headlines. "The adage was: Once the publicity's over, the case is over." See, WCCO iTeam , Exhibit. L ). 7D. Corroborating evidence from Dr. R. Chris Barden’s conversations: In addition, I have talked to lawyers across the state who reported working in the AG's office under AGs Spannus, or Humphrey, or Hatch, or Swanson and they reported that the current office is dysfunctional, ineffective, “dirty”, and “broken”. Most disturbing, several of the lawyers I spoke to reported being instructed to fabricate affidavits to provide the basis for a lawsuit to gain publicity for the Office of Attorney General -- if true these could be criminal acts. Many of the lawyers mentioned intimidation, threats, and pressure to obey. Many feared retaliation and were afraid to go public with their experiences. These conversations appear to report the kind of "corrupt conduct" that may constitute an impeachable offense under Article VIII of the Minnesota Constitution. 8. A CULTURE OF DISHONESTY: Consistent reports of a "culture of dishonesty"; subordinates they “routinely ask subordinates to do unethical and even unlawful things "; "every decision based on political considerations" 8A. A former Assistant Attorney General of the State of Minnesota who reportedly served as a Department Head has been quoted as reporting "I just felt that these people are unethical and I don't want to work for them anymore." “He said he told the legislative auditor, under oath, that the ultimate issue was: "This is not about Lori Swanson's management style. These things are all about a deeper problem. ... First, Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 8.4 Misconduct “It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to: (a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another; (b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects; (c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; (d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice; (e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law…” 12
  • they've developed a culture of dishonesty. By 'they,' I mean Swanson and Hatch. Number two, they fairly routinely ask subordinates to do unethical and even unlawful things. Number three, they tell them to do these things without any regard for the impact on the attorney or the state. Finally, every decision appears to be made based on political considerations." [See, Exhibit I, Black, E., MinnPost “They’ll come after you”, http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/05/29/2018/they_will_come_after_you) If Attorney General Swanson "developed a culture of dishonesty" or "routinely asked subordinates to do unethical and even unlawful things", or "made legal decisions based on political considerations" would be exactly the kind of "corrupt conduct" that should constitute an impeachable offense under Article VIII of the Minnesota Constitution.8 8B. POLITCIAL CONSIDERATIONS: Staffers noticed that Swanson seemed particularly keen on securing favorable media coverage for her initiatives, and she continued Hatch’s practice of staging press conferences to showcase lawsuits. (Such promotion had not been common under his predecessors, Hubert “Skip” Humphrey III and Warren Spannaus.) Attorneys working on such cases say that once media attention wanes, however, so does Swanson’s. The lawsuits are often quietly dropped or settled. There’s a running joke among assistant attorneys general that once the press conference is over so is the case. “It’s clearly about political gain and press coverage for her— everything else is irrelevant,” says a former assistant attorney general who left shortly after Swanson took office but asked to speak anonymously for fear of retaliation. “You’d work up a case, then they’d tell you to drop it after the press coverage was over. You had talked to the victims, found a claim, but you couldn’t help them. The sole concern was getting favorable press coverage.” See, Exhibit O, Rosengren, John, Power of Attorney, Minnesota Monthly, Jan. 2009. http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Minnesota- Monthly/January-2009/Power-of-Attorney/index.php?cparticle=1&siarticle=0#artanc 8C. Note that these statements are quite consistent with the other indices of corruption and misconduct in the Attorney General’s Office cited above. 9. FALSE STATEMENTS TO DECEIVE THE PUBLIC?: The available evidence indicates that the Attorney General has apparently systematically disseminated false information in an apparent attempt to manipulate the media and deceive the public regarding her involvement in a series of scandals. 9A. OFFICE-GATE SCANDAL DECEPTION: 9A1. WCCO: SWANSON APPARENTLY FALSELY CLAIMED THAT LOSING HALF OF HER LEGAL STAFF WAS NORMAL ATTRITION: The WCCO iTeam report on office chaos and mass turnover in the legal staff led to this response from Attorney General Swanson, “Swanson's office said that's comparable to past attorneys general”. (See, WCCO iTeam report, Exhibit L ) Multiple sources of information indicate that Swanson’s response –- a apparent violation of MRPC 8.04 -- was false, deceptive, and designed to manipulate the media and public. For example, the detailed investigation of Eric Black, published in MinnPost.com on May 28, 2008, includes these statements, “Former Attorney General Warren Spannaus … rejects the idea that new AGs get rid of a lot of people. He is the last AG to take 13
  • over from a member of the other party, and he recalls allowing everyone to stay… Several attorneys who were in the office under Hatch's predecessor, Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III, say they don't recall any purges when Humphrey took over, or during his long tenure.." In my interviews across the state, I met many attorneys who reported working in the AG’s office and they uniformly reported that turnover was quite low in the Spannaus and also Humphrey eras and is now recklessly high in the Swanson era. 9A2. MINNESOTA MONTHLY: AGAIN SWANSON APPARENTLY FALSELY CLAIMED LOSING HALF THE STAFF WAS NORMAL ATTRITION: “Attorney Damon is one of approximately 60 lawyers who have left the attorney general’s office since Swanson took charge. (The office employs more than 150 attorneys, including a management team of Swanson, a solicitor general, and four to five deputies.)The numbers have attracted notice at the capitol and elsewhere, but Swanson says such turnover is simply a changing-of-the guard, typical of any political transition. See, Exhibit O Rosengren, John, Power of Attorney, Minnesota Monthly, Jan. 2009. http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Minnesota-Monthly/January-2009/Power-of- Attorney/index.php?cparticle=1&siarticle=0#artanc 9B. ACORNGATE SCANDAL DECEPTION: Contrary to her public statements of non-involvement in this issue, Attorney General Swanson personally signed the "slush fund payment of $249,999 to the notorious organization ACORN (See, Exhibit A. Despite her very personal involvement in the payment, Swanson apparently misled Mpls. Star Tribune reporter Pat Doyle into believing she was not involved in the matter. [See, http://www.startribune.com/politics/79138497.html?page=2&c=y. Doyle, P. Continued: Hot Dish, December 12, 2009 "[Jack] Graham, who seeks GOP endorsement, says Attorney General Lori Swanson, a DFLer, has abused her power. He cited a settlement signed by Swanson that gave proceeds to a nonprofit whose political wing contributed to the campaign of her DFL predecessor, Mike Hatch. Swanson's office noted the settlement occurred while Hatch was attorney general.] Note the apparent manipulative deception in blaming the ACORN payment on Hatch when, in fact, Swanson herself signed the actual settlement document. Swanson has also apparently refused – for years -- to answer questions about her actual involvement in the ACORN “slush fund” payment. 9C. MISREPRESENTING THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR’s REPORT: Attorney General Swanson has repeatedly claimed that the Legislative Auditor “cleared” her of any wrongdoing. Such statements appear to be a deceptive attempt to manipulate the news media and the public. In contrast, Legislative Auditor Nobles June 3, 2008 report clearly delineates issues regarding loss of funds (cleared) and ethics/misconduct allegations (very definitely not cleared). Nobles stated, “the allegations [of unethical misconduct] presented by Representative Simon are not the kinds of issues the Legislative Auditor addresses through an investigation. “ See, Exhibit J- June 3, 2008 Legislator Auditor James Nobles 2nd report (7 attorneys under oath document corruption including potentially criminal misconduct in the Attorney General’s Office). Her false statements about being “cleared” by the Auditor appear to have manipulated the media into publishing false information. For example, in a Star Tribune 14
  • article, Pat Doyle reported, "Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles said Tuesday there is no reason to conduct an in-depth investigation of allegations about the office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson because a preliminary probe did not disclose unethical conduct." See, http://www.startribune.com/politics/state/19511174.html, Doyle, Pat , No reason for further probe of AG's office, legislative auditor says, Mpls Star Tribune, June 4, 2008 [Note the odd failure to distinguish financial issues from ethical issues.] Note this media report is clearly misleading because Auditor Noble's report did in fact document -- via seven sworn statements from Asst. Attorneys General of the State of Minnesota -- serious unethical misconduct in the Office including pressure to commit apparently unethical and/or criminal acts. Mr Nobles’ investigation was only closed because no money was lost. Lost money is all Mr. Nobles, the Legislative auditor, is able to investigate. Money losses are all his office has the expertise or competence to investigate. Nonetheless his report clearly and carefully documented very significant evidence of unethical misconduct in the Office of Attorney General. KEY POINT: The public was misled into believing the Legislative Auditor’s report “cleared” the AG of ethics charges when A) the Auditor could not do this (he is incompetent to render such opinions) and B) did not do this (he expressly stated he does not investigate such issues). This misinformation has harmed our state. 9D DID DEAN THOMAS MENGLER CONDUCT A MANIPULATED INVESTIGATION AND PRODUCE AN INCOMPLETE AND MISLEADING REPORT? : The most critical and important component of Dean Thomas Mengler’s report regarding Amy Lawler’s whistleblowing activities states… “ my investigation has been limited in scope. I was not charged to investigate, and I offer no opinion on, more sweeping allegations about the Office.. [dealing with] the management and ethical character and integrity of the Office”… KEY POINT: In other words, it appears that Swanson hired an Ethics expert and then explicitly barred him from offering ethics opinions about Swanson’s office. Was this an admission that her office could pass an ethics exam? This apparent manipulation of evidence appears consistent with the quotes by many former attorneys. See, Exhibit G, May 27, 2008, Mengler, Thomas M., Report “Regarding Allegations of Professional Misconduct Raised by Assistant Attorney General Amy Lawler”. In contrast to this extraordinary restriction on Dean Mengler’s report (he was not allowed to evaluate Swanson’s office) – a restriction that renders his report essentially worthless – the media was apparently manipulated into reporting a very different story. See, http://www.startribune.com/politics/state/19511174.html, Doyle, Pat No reason for further probe of AG's office, legislative auditor says, Mpls Star Tribune, June 4, 2008 "Last week, in another report, University of St. Thomas Law School dean Thomas Mengler said he found "no evidence of any unprofessional conduct" by Swanson or her staff in the filing of two lawsuits that he checked. His report said other charges by Lawler were based on hearsay and could not be corroborated." Note this media report appears incomplete and misleading as – in direct contrast to Dean Mengler’s truncated work -- Attorney Amy Lawler’s reports of unethical misconduct were, in fact, very well corroborated via seven sworn statements from multiple Assistant Attorneys General witnesses to the Legislative Auditor documenting office pressure to commit unethical and even criminal acts. Mengler's "report" 15
  • claiming “no corroboration” was released just days before the Legislative Auditor’s much more detailed work and thus became irrelevant and misleading the moment the Legislative Auditor produced seven corroborating statements under oath for Attorney Amy Lawler's reports of misconduct. Dean Mengler’s failure to come forward and renounce his erroneous report after it was clear he was in error is frankly troubling. 9E. Were local correspondents manipulated into producing erroneous news articles? See, MIKE KASZUBA, May 28: Cleared by a review, AG fires accuser, Star Tribune, June 3, 2008 "Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson fired a staff attorney Tuesday after an investigation ordered by Swanson said that the attorney's charges of unprofessional conduct in the filing of two lawsuits were unfounded." Was the misleading, incomplete report from Dean Mengler commissioned by Swanson because the Attorney General's Office knew that Mr. Nobles, the legislative auditor, was interviewing attorneys and would soon acquire sworn testimony from multiple witnesses (7) under oath corroborating Assistant Attorney General Amy Lawler's detailed allegations of misconduct. "Swanson dismissed Amy Lawler after the results of the investigation by Thomas Mengler, dean of the University of St. Thomas Law School, were released. ... The report said other charges by Lawler were based on hearsay and could not be corroborated.” In fact and in stark contrast, the Legislator Auditor found seven lawyer witnesses who corroborated Lawler's accusations under oath. Note this Star Tribune article was apparently printed the SAME DAY the Legislative Auditor sent out his report documenting multiple corroborative witnesses. Was this timed to manipulate the story and "Mengler said Swanson did not ask him to address broader concerns raised by Lawler on office morale and attempts by staff attorneys in the attorney general's office to form a union, efforts in which Lawler participated. Mengler wrote he was NOT to review the "management and ethical character and integrity of the Office". 9 The most important allegations were the very ones Swanson prevented Dean Mengler from investigating. Thus Mengler, the expert on ethics, was explicitly blocked by Swanson from analyzing evidence of unethical and criminal conduct in Swanson’s office. This extraordinary limitation on Mengler’s report – which appears to be a confession of misconduct in that office -- was somehow not highlighted by the local media. It appears on this record that Swanson knew her office was a dysfunctional and unethical working environment so she hired an ethics expert to smear the whistleblower then instructed her hired ethics expert NOT to review her troubled office. “Mengler's 19-page report comes as the legislative auditor is conducting a separate probe into the attorney general's office. Lawler's charges had heightened controversy facing Swanson, who assumed office last year and has drawn criticism over her management style. Lawler did not return phone messages Tuesday. Swanson released a statement saying that news coverage of Lawler's allegations earlier this year "ignored the fact that with only 90 days experience in the office, the attorney was in a questionable position to judge the procedures utilized by the office." 16
  • Note the quote from a prepared press release from Swanson's office was printed without an actual interview of Swanson in person. Apparently not one tough question was asked. None of the conflicting facts were examined. Nobody noticed the SEVEN attorney sworn statements corroborating Lawler’s allegations. Clearly, the public was not informed of the key facts. “Unflattering picture. Lawler, who began working in Swanson's office late last year, had created an unflattering profile of the office by voicing concern that, although the two lawsuits against the mortgage foreclosure consultants had merit, they might have been part of an effort to gain publicity for Swanson on consumer-protection cases. Lawler also alleged that, in other instances, supervisors pressured attorneys to falsify information in a consumer's affidavit, pushed a staff attorney to take action against a company without reasonable cause and tried to get an attorney to provide unsound legal advice to a state agency.” …“But Mengler's report said that Lawler had firsthand knowledge only of the episode involving the lawsuits and that she said she learned of the others by "listening to other current and former office attorneys telling stories over drinks at bars." [Note in light of the Legislative Auditor’s report, Mengler’s report appears misleading or worse.] Note that the Legislative Auditor was able to obtain SEVEN sworn statements corroborating Amy Lawler’s observations of the AG’s Office. Why couldn’t Dean Mengler? Note that the local media apparently never followed up with an article correcting the misleading information in this article. That is, readers were apparently not informed that Lawler's allegations – including apparently impeachable offenses, were –in stark contrast to Dean Mengler’s – sharply limited and incomplete report -- very well documented and corroborated by multiple witnesses and under oath during the investigation by Legislative Auditor Nobles (See, June 3, 2008 report at Exhibit J ). “ Questions for the incumbent Attorney General of Minnesota: 1) Why are you apparently the only Attorney General in the history of the State of Minnesota to have so many sworn statements of allegations of gross misconduct against you and your Office -- even allegations of criminal conduct – by lawyers from your own staff? 2) Why are you apparently the only Attorney General in the history of the State of Minnesota to have nearly half of your legal staff quit and leave the office or be fired during your time in office as Attorney General? Why have you refused to disclose the names of lawyers who have worked in and left your Office? 3) Why did you sign the transfer of $249,999 Minnesota taxpayer dollars to the notorious group ACORN? What steps, if any, did you take to ensure that those funds were not illegally used to support your political campaign? Why are you apparently the only Attorney General in the history of the State of Minnesota to sign over taxpayer funds to an organization called “a criminal enterprise” by Congressional investigators? When will the forensic audit of this transaction be started and completed? 4) When will you answer questions – under oath – regarding these very serious matters? 17
  • YouTube - Barden4AG's Channel#p/a/f/0/gd_j1UnRD1g Page 1 of 2 Browse Upload http://www.youtube.com/user/Barden4AG 10/20/2010
  • YouTube - Barden4AG's Channel#p/a/f/0/gd_j1UnRD1g Page 2 of 2 Barden4AG Subscriptions (5) Add as Friend | Block User | Send Message Andersonf... RogueOnMi... dansevers... EmmerForG... Profile Name: Chris Barden Subscribers (7) Channel Views: 1,075 Total Upload Views: 627 Joined: July 29, 2010 Last Visit Date: 1 week ago heidiqtmn Sharon4An... datasuppl... ProdigalS... Website: http://www.barden4ag.com/ I am running as the Republican endorsed candidate for Attorney General for the great State of Minnesota. Channel Comments About Me: There are no comments for Raised in Minnesota, I have loved our great state Add Comment through middle school, high school, undergrad and graduate school at the U of M, public service and law practice. Please see my website at www.barden4ag.com to learn much more! Hometown: Edina Minnesota Country: United States Occupation: Doctor and Lawyer Schools: Edina High School - University of Minnesota - Harvard Law School http://www.youtube.com/user/Barden4AG 10/20/2010
  • Page 1 of 1 October 20, 2010 RE: FINAL VERSION Barden investigative report and cover letter on AG Office misconduct -- update of Oct. 20, 2010 Greetings all, The press conference is completed. We'll see if they publish our investigation results or continue to suppress the story. I am attaching the most recent version of my cover letter and report on Swanson misconduct. The video will be on our YouTube link tomorrow. The docs and video will go out to FOX NEWS, WSJ, Tea Parties throughout MN, and multiple bloggers tomorrow. The cover letter links MN corruption, ACORN, the 2008 election and Congressman Issa's upcoming federal investigation of our troubled state election system. Thank you Chris Barden Wednesday, October 20, 2010 AOL: Sharon4Anderson