Troy King, Roy Johnson And Scrushelman

Remember when Scrushelman was convicted of bribery, he had this to say:

“If I’m really guilty of this, then every other person in public office better look out. I mean, everybody’s raising money and putting people on boards and commissions,” Siegelman said.

The reason for this statement is that while bribery requires a quid pro quo, that does not mean there must be evidence of an explicit agreement. The jury is free to infer from the party’s actions that one thing was given in return for the other.

Meanwhile, politics could easily be defined as the exchange of favors. No-one donates money without expecting something in return. And no-one asks for it without at least hinting that good will follow. So, in theory, just about any politician or donor could at any time be indicted for bribery.

In the Scrushelman case, 1) Scrushy made a campaign donation to Siegelman, and 2) Siegelman appointed Scrushy to a powerful state regulatory board.  The jury concluded from these facts, as it is allowed to do, that Siegelman made the appointment in exchange for the donation, and Scrushy made the donation in exchange for the appointment. Hence, bribery convictions.

Now consider yesterday’s news about Troy King and Roy Johnson:

 Alabama Attorney General Troy King asked Roy Johnson late last year to hire a friend’s mother while King’s office was investigating the state’s two-year college system and Johnson, its chancellor.

Bribery? Remember, the jury is allowed to infer the corrupt intent. In this situation you have King leading an investigation into Johnson’s actions as chancellor and then asking Johnson for a personal favor. Imagine how a mouse would feel when the cat under whose paws he lies asks the mouse for a favor, and you will get some sense of Johnson’s position.  I think a jury could infer that either King used the prosecution as a carott, promising to slack off if Johnson hired the friend, or else he used it as a stick, threatening to increase the intensity unless Johnson hired the friend.

Now I’m not saying that is what happened. I think King is an idiot, and this situation is more evidence in support of that conclusion, but I don’t think he is corrupt. He probably just did not realize how incredibly improper his request was. Still, the facts are there, and I do think an overzealous prosecutor – someone like Troy King – could seek an indictment.

Explore posts in the same categories: Corrupt Politicians

5 Comments on “Troy King, Roy Johnson And Scrushelman”

  1. Old Prosecutor Says:

    This is simply scary. King, while investigating someone for among other things putting relatives on the state payroll, asks the prime suspect in that investigation to put a relative of one of his staff on the payroll but that even now he fails to see where that is a problem. His comments of “favors are done all the time in politics” and “no good deed goes unpunished” shows that he is either incredibly dumb or lacks any kind of ethnics. Now his office must withdraw from an investigation that is state wide in scope which is exactly the type of investigation and prosecution the AG should do. By the way did anyone else notice that King bailed out of prosecuting the church arson cases as soon as the election was over?

  2. walt moffett Says:

    Once again King proves he needs more seasoning and political savvy.

    Will be entertaining to see how far this investigation goes.

  3. wheeler Says:

    “Will be entertaining to see how far this investigation goes.”

    it would be much more entertaining if all the relevent players did not belong to the same party.

  4. walt moffett Says:

    Graft is a bi partisan affair and eventually some one will be thrown off the sled to achieve that air of impartiality.

    Too bad there is not a way to get say the Idaho State Police to investigate, the tendrils of this could go very deep.

  5. Baudrillard Says:

    How much do you think King paid to keep this juicy little morsel under the radar before the Nov. 7 elections? Given the right timing, this would have changed the outcome in this race. The people of Alabama should now realize that they have been had by a true politician — maybe not the brightest or the most savvy politician — but a politician all the same. Troy King should be ashamed of himself. But politicians don’t feel shame, now do they.

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