We’ve got our own intriguing perjury trial:
A state investigation of Bessemer Circuit Judge Dan King and his role in gambling cases led to a misdemeanor perjury charge filed against a special agent handling the case, according to trial testimony Tuesday.
The state’s investigation of the judge came out in the perjury trial of Anthony Castaldo, a special agent with the attorney general’s office. Attorney General Troy King’s office declined to discuss the gambling investigation – or whether it’s ongoing – that was mentioned in Castaldo’s trial, which ended its second day Tuesday.
State prosecutors cannot confirm or deny the existence of such cases, said Chris Bence, a spokesman for the attorney general.
So far as I can tell, Troy King sent Anthony Castaldo to Bessemer to investigate Judge King’s handling of gambling cases. Castaldo spoke to the clerk in Bessemer, Earl Carter, and may or may not have told Carter that he (Castaldo) was with the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC). Then, at a later trial, a defense attorney asked Cataldo if he had told Carter that he (Castaldo) was with the JIC. Castaldo responded under oath:
“I did not. Somebody alluded to me being a …,
He never finished his sentence, because an objection prevented it.
The only thing that will be resolved by this trial is whether Castaldo: 1) told Carter that he was with the JIC, and 2) intentionally lied about it under oath. I’m guessing the answer is going to be no. It sounds like what he was going to do at the prior trial, had he been allowed, was explain that Carter assumed Castaldo worked for the JIC and Castaldo let that assumption go uncorrected. In other words, his first response – “I did not” – was not an attempt to deceive the court, it was a technically true answer that required an explanation, an explanation Castaldo had every intent to provide.
Unfortunately, whatever the answer to those questions, the good ones will remain open. Like:
1) What the heck was the nature of the gambling investigation? What did the AG’s office think Dan King was doing? And is he still under investigation?
2) Why is Castaldo being prosecuted? We know it isn’t because Troy King holds all of his employees to high ethical standards. So what did this guy do that led King to throw him under the bus? Was his allegedly purjured testimony harmful to another case or investigation? Did he do something to personally offend King? What’s the deal?
3) What in the world does this mean?
Castaldo began testifying Tuesday, telling jurors that Troy King initially appointed him to serve as a special investigator handling “attorney general matters of interest.”
Castaldo said in that position, he handled public corruption cases referred directly by the attorney general or he performed “favors for friends” of the attorney general.
Who are the friends? What are the favors? Is this another example of King using his office for personal gain? Or is Castaldo a liar? Or is there an innocent explanation? And are the answers related to my second question?
It’s times like this I wish I was a reporter rather than just a blogger. I’d love to be able to go investigate further.