Dana Jill Simpson
Life long Alabama Republican, ex-campaign worker for Bob Riley
and modern-day Joan of Arc - a rare true believer in truth, justice and the
Jill Simpson — a Rainsville attorney, and lifelong Republican
who worked for Gov. Bob Riley’s first gubernatorial campaign,
then later for the Roy Moore Campaign — filed an affidavit in
Georgia, 2007, describing a conversation that took place during
a telephone conference call days after Riley defeated
Siegelman in the 2002 election. The content of the call
implicates the White House involvement in the Siegelman
prosecution. Participating in the call were Simpson; Rob Riley,
the governor’s son; Terry Butts, an attorney for Riley; and Bill
Canary, chairman of the Business Council of Alabama. She
claimed that she filed the affidavit “because I believe everyone
has a Sixth Amendment right to have an attorney who does not
have a conflict."
Her courageous act was made even more meaningful when it
was disclosed that while she was discussing her decision to
come forward with her disclosure, her house was burned to the
ground and her car run off the road and totaled. Recently, Eddie
Curran, triggered by her interview on CBS News "60 Minutes",
has begun to target her credibility.
Later (Feb. 2008) she gave an interview to CBS "60 Minutes"
about her life as an investigative operative for the GOP.
Jill Simpson grew up in the Rainsville area of Northeast Alabama
as the daughter of two parents who were both politically active -
on opposite sides of the political fence.
She had been accepted at Cumberland Law School in
Birmingham and Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, Tennessee
- a far more prestigious school. But she really wanted to go to
Alabama, where as an undergraduate student in the 1980s she
met and became close friends with Rob Riley, the politically
ambitious son of Bob Riley.
That's the same Bob Riley who was a three-term Congressman
from Alabama who would be elected governor in a razor-close
race in 2002 - in part thanks to her.
While an undergrad at Alabama, Ms. Simpson was an active pro-
life advocate who joined the university's Young Republicans, a
group that actively supported the reelection of Ronald Reagan
in 1984. She remembers going to see Ronald Reagan speak
there in 1985, and still admires the former president.
After Law School, and a year in Birmingham, Jill went to practice
law back home.
Campaigning for Riley
In 2001, while doing federal contract work for clients in
Washington, D.C. and hounding the Federal Emergency
Management agency, Ms. Simpson would often run into her old
friend Rob Riley at the classy watering holes of D.C.
When Rob Riley told her his dad had decided to run for
governor, she agreed to help. At that time, she says, the Rileys
had virtually no money to run a campaign for governor. So she
put together a volunteer operation in North Alabama that could
"knock up signs" and such for virtually nothing.
Once the primary was over and the Rileys had the money raised
by Bush and the RNC, they didn't have as much of a need for
Ms. Simpson's volunteer network. So she didn't hear back from
them much during the general election campaign - until about a
week before the election, and significantly during the recount
In late October and early November of 2002, the Rileys started
calling Ms. Simpson back to get her help in the event of a close
election, her phone records confirm. And on election-day Nov. 5,
the race was razor-close.
When the poll workers and the press left the courthouses of
Alabama that Tuesday night, Siegelman was declared the
winner statewide. But the race was not to be over and would
come down to a few thousand questionable votes in Baldwin
County in South Alabama.
Siegelman received 19,070 votes in Baldwin County and beat
Riley by 3,139 votes there. And he won statewide by an initial
count showing him with 674,052 to Riley's 670,913 - a margin of
3,139 votes, the closest ever reported in an Alabama election.
Later, Ms. Simpson campaigned for Roy Moore. After he lost the
primary, the Riley campaign started calling upon her again – this
time asking Ms. Simpson for something she could not and would
Politically Motivated Investigation
She was asked to investigate state Senator Lowell Barron, a
powerful Democrat in the state legislature from Jackson County,
who she had known all her life and respected. It was rumored
that Barron was having an extramarital affair with another man's
wife, a man who died in a fall from a mountaintop in the area.
There were further rumors that Barron and a certain "yardman"
were present at the accident, suicide – or murder – and that
Barron may have pushed the man off the cliff.
Ms. Simpson says she knew the rumors were not true and that
what they asked her to do was not only unethical, but illegal, in
her view, so she absolutely refused to go along.
"I told them hell no," Ms. Simpson said. "So they stopped calling
me after that."
After Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted, she remembered
something Rob Riley had told her in a meeting in Birmingham in
2005. Riley had indicated after the first trial against Siegelman
was lost that they had "found another judge" in Montgomery who
might very well be able to put through a successful conviction.
Because of Rob Riley's braggadocio, Ms. Simpson said, she
began checking out the judge, U.S. District Judge Mark E. Fuller.
What she found was so astonishing to her that she eventually
felt compelled to call one of Siegelman's lawyers to report it. But
that first phone call was never returned.
That could have been the end of it, and she said to herself: "Oh,
well. I tried."
But eventually she put together such a revealing picture of a
very rich federal judge who owned companies doing millions
upon millions of dollars worth of business with the U.S.
Government, including making uniforms for the FBI and training
Saudi and Iranian pilots - all while doing business with the
Justice Department in eliminating Siegelman from politics forever.
Back during the heady days of 2002, Ms. Simpson had followed
Don Siegelman around looking for dirt for the Riley's. Their
nickname for Siegelman had been "The Cockroach." As the
story goes, "he was like a cockroach. You couldn't kill him" or
"get him to go away."
Now she found herself tracking the judge who was going to put
him away perhaps for life.
Amazingly, Justice Fuller received a $178 million contract
through a privately held company to train pilots and navigators
for the U.S. Government DURING THE SIEGELMAN TRIAL. The
company is called Doss Aviation.
For another company called Aureus International that is listed as
a division of Doss Aviation on the company's Website, Fuller is
also listed as the majority owner, according to Ms. Simpson's
research. The company does a comparable amount of business
making uniforms for the U.S. Military and the FBI, which played a
major role in the investigation and prosecution of Siegelman and
Yet legal cannons and codes of conduct say it is a "duty" on the
part of any judge to disclose any potential conflict of interest
before trying a case, and to disclose all of his sources of income
fully in official financial disclosure reports.
But in Fuller's case, no pre-trial conference was called. And
Fuller lists no income from Aureus on any of his disclosure forms
to date. He is about one month late in filing his forms for last
year, according to the online disclosure reports, and legal
experts say he may be preparing to cover his tracks in a future
In addition, the controlling laws in the case say if a "reasonable
person" were to conclude that the judge has a conflict or the
appearance of a conflict, the judge should recuse himself. It
doesn't say what a judge would conclude, but what a lay person
would conclude. That is what the 11th circuit court panel will
have to consider - if not prior to sentencing, then on appeal.
How and Why Ms. Simpson Wrote and
Signed the Affidavit
To understand why this otherwise loyal Republican would come
out against her fellow party members in such an explosive way,
you have to understand the mind of a true believer.
When no one on the Siegelman legal team called Ms. Simpson
back, she felt ethically off the hook, but not for long. She had
tried and they had failed. But it continued to weigh on her
Back when the Riley campaign had asked her to do the "dirty,
untrue" research, Ms. Simpson had contacted the Alabama Bar
Association to get an opinion on her legal and ethical
responsibilities. She was advised that she had no legal or ethical
duty as a lawyer regarding these political shenanigans.
She was told she could contact Joe Espy, who represented
Barron, but also knew Don Siegelman. Espy asked her to write
down what happened, but she didn't. She told Espy what she
knew, hoping that would be the end of her role in the case.
Later on, Espy asked her why the Riley campaign would ask her
to do some of the things they had asked her to do. Then she
told him about the photos and the conspiracy to get Siegelman
to concede in 2002. So Espy told her to call the bar association
again, and she was told she could contact Scrushy and had a
"moral duty to do the right thing."
So she called and then later wrote several letters to Art Leach,
who was representing Scrushy.
Meanwhile, she had already told her story to her friend Mark
Bollinger, who was on Alabama Attorney General Jimmy Evan's
task force in the successful prosecution of Guy Hunt in 1993.
Bollinger also knew Siegelman, so he eventually told Siegelman
Ms. Simpson's story. Siegelman called and asked Ms. Simpson
to write up an affidavit, but still she refused.
Then as sentencing was approaching and justice didn't seem to
be happening in Montgomery, Ms. Simpson finally came up with
the idea to drive across state lines to Georgia and sign the
affidavit in a lawyer's office in Dade County. She then met Mark
Bollinger there and gave him a copy of the now famous affidavit.
Why go to Georgia? Because she was afraid federal
prosecutors or even Alabama's conservative Attorney General
Troy King might drag her into court and tie her up with
expensive paperwork for years for something like mail or wire
fraud - for making accusations against a federal judge in an
Alabama court filing sent through the mail, or even e-mail.
But so far, the judge has ignored the facts in a brief filed with the
11th circuit court based on her research and refused to step
aside. Her name is not on the brief. And she insists she took no
fee for her work and time.
Ms. Simpson insists she had no desire for publicity and the only
thing she's getting out of whole thing is "a bunch of misery." To
back it up, she almost canceled talking to me two days before
the interview. She would not allow any photos to be taken of her
for this story. And she's refused at least one offer to appear on
a national network television show to talk about her affidavit.
But as the sentencing date approaches in less than a week, she
thinks that without telling someone in the press the whole story -
and getting it all out in a timely manner so people will
understand it - justice may not prevail.
In addition, she is not happy with the way assistant U.S. Attorney
Louis Franklin has falsely attacked her in the local press. She
believes the false allegations are a possible violation of federal
guidelines governing what prosecutors can say to the press
during the phase of a case between conviction and sentencing.
And, one lawyer can't say that about another lawyer without
potentially facing legal consequences.
So she agreed to tell her story to me. After eight hours of talking
with Ms. Simpson, she said something that should let you know
where she stands - and it has nothing to do with partisan politics
"I still believe that justice will always prevail in the end," Ms.
Simpson said. "Whether it prevails in time for Mr. Siegelman and
Mr. Scrushy to avoid going to jail, we will see. But in the end,
justice will always prevail. I really believe that."
Apologies to Glynn Wilson - Dana Jill Simpson Post on June 20,
<source at Locust Fork>
Key Points from the Sworn Testimony of
Dana Jill Simpson
Key points from Simpson's sworn testimony:
- Rob Riley, the son of Alabama Governor Bob Riley, told her that
Siegelman ended his challenge of Bob Riley's gubernatorial
victory in 2002 after receiving assurances that "they would not
further prosecute him with the Justice Department."
- Bob Riley met with White House strategist Karl Rove about the
- Rob Riley had frequent contact with Rove.
- Rob Riley and others discussed Rove's direct involvement in the
- Rob Riley told her in early 2005 that U.S. District Judge Mark
Fuller would "hang Don Siegelman."
- Rob Riley told her that he knew Fuller was going to get the
Siegelman case nine months before an indictment came down.
- Rob Riley told her in early 2005 that "they had come up with an
idea to prosecute Don Siegelman with Richard Scrushy" after
the initial charges against Siegelman were dropped. Riley told
Simpson it was a good idea because "nobody likes Richard
Scrushy, and he thought that would ensure a conviction for Don
Sponsored by Friends of Don Siegelman 2007
Excerpt From Affidavit
May 21, 2007
“Rob Riley asked about Siegelman
being a problem in the future... but
he was told by William “Bill” Canary
not to worry about Don Siegelman
that “his girls would take care of
<link to affidavit >
|"I still believe that justice will
always prevail in the end," Ms.
Simpson said. "Whether it
prevails in time for Mr.
Siegelman and Mr. Scrushy to
avoid going to jail, we will see.
But in the end, justice will
always prevail. I really believe
Dana Jill Simpson
|Transcript from the
Dana Jill Simpson
.......<link to PDF>.......
See Key points below
|image: captured from '60 Minutes" site
Jill Simpson was interviewed
about her involvment with
"oppositional research" for the AL
<link to CBS 60 Minutes Site>
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