Nowlin’s Reply to the Government details alleged ineffective representation of attorney Tony Farese

SLABBED post Nowlin’s Motion to Vacate – another view of the “just-us” system of North Mississippi introduced readers to a second defendant alleging “ineffective representation” of counsel” by north Mississippi attorney Tony Farese.

The bottom line to the Government’s Response claims Nowlin’s “proposed amendment differs in both time and type from the allegations set forth in the original pleading…[and]…is, therefore, timebarred…the existing record conclusively establishes the petitioner’s guilt, no evidentiary hearing is required“.

Nooooo doubt about it – the Government doesn’t want its relationship with attorney Tony Farese before the Court in either Nowlin v USA or USA v (Zach) Scruggs. In fact, the Reply filed by Nowlin’s current attorney, SuperLawyer Cynthia Stewart, noted “…[the Government’s Response]…brings into question whether the Government has read Petitioner’s § 2255”.

Stewart took care of business in Nowlin’s Reply(in Scribd’ format below).  Her emphatic page-one claim – “‘The letter Mr. Massey was referring to is what this case is all about . . .’ ¶ 9 (emphasis added)”  – scored a 3rd grade reading level on the Flesch-Kincaid scale, meaning ” It should be easily understood by 8 to 9 year olds”!

Reading the Government’s Response and Nowlin’s Reply from my behaviorist perspective suggests there is an underlying problem of the Government viewing Nowlin’s situation with the thinking of a criminal as opposed to its role as a guardian of justice for all. Such biased thinking is the very essence of north Mississippi’s “just us” system.

Nowlin’s behavior as described in the Reply, on the other hand, appears typical of the average person tying to unwind the red tape wrapped around county government and doing what he’s been given to understands is allowable.  Unfortunatly, none other than Nowlin’s own attorney at the time, Anthony (Tony) Farese, allegedly discounted that understanding to the extent he didn’t seek the easily obtainable supporting evidence, the letter.  Consequently, Farese reportedly insisted Nowlin’s only viable option was to enter a guilty plea and cooperate with the Government by testifying against his co-defendant, Lafayette County Supervisor Gary Massey:

…when he was before this Court for sentencing, he attempted to tell the Court that there were “mitigating circumstances” in his case and that he had been “misled” by an “elected official” but that his attorney, Anthony Farese, would not allow him to tell this Court what those mitigating circumstances were…What Petitioner wanted to tell the Court was that Gary Massey had been telling him all along that “he had a letter from the Lafayette County Attorney stating that he could work for and be paid by Petitioner as a consultant as long as Petitioner did not have any kind of contract with Lafayette County”.

Petitioner first told Mr. Farese and two Assistant United States Attorneys, Tom Dawson and David Sanders, about the letter during a meeting on March 19, 2007. The § 2255 motion alleges that:
During this meeting, Petitioner explained how and why he paid Mr. Massey the way he did. He also told them about the letter Mr. Massey said he had that allowed Petitioner to pay Mr. Massey the way he did. When Mr. Dawson asked Petitioner for a copy of the letter, Petitioner told him that he did not have one but they could get a copy of the letter from Mr. Massey. He explained that he and Mr. Massey did not conspire to hide anything and that there was no kick-back or bribe involved in the way he paid Mr. Massey. Petitioner told them that Mr.Massey did not even know how he was paying him.

The 2255 motion further alleges that Petitioner was not asked “whether Mr. Massey told Petitioner that he had a letter from Scot Spragins saying that he could be paid the way Petitioner paid him” when he, at Mr. Farese’s insistence, underwent a polygraph test that was conducted by an FBI agent.

Given the significance of the letter, one has to question why Farese would allow such a meeting to take place without a copy of the letter in hand, much less suggest Nowlin enter a plea and cooperative agreement without first obtaining a copy of the letter:

When Mr. Farese insisted that Petitioner assist the Government in their case against Mr. Massey by testifying before a grand jury, Petitioner asked “why he should do that if he was innocent; that Mr. Massey had told him, that he had a letter saying Petitioner could pay him the way he did.” The § 2255 motion alleges that:

Mr. Farese told Petitioner that Mr. Massey had lied about everything he told Petitioner; that there was no letter and there never had been a letter. (Emphasis added)

As an Exhibit to Nowlin’s § 2255 motion, the co-defendant Gary Massey submitted an affidavit that not only refuted Farese’s claim but also explained how easily the letter could have been obtained:

What Mr. Farese told Ken about the existence of the letter was a complete fabrication. I would have provided a copy of the letter to Mr. Farese, but he never requested it. My attorney had a copy of the letter and would have given it to Mr. Farese if he as asked for it. The Tupelo newspaper even had a copy of the letter. (Emphasis added)

Again, “‘The letter Mr. Massey was referring to is what this case is all about . . .’ ¶ 9 (emphasis added)”.  Read Nowlin’s Reply and see if you don’t agree:

[scribd id=50856553 key=key-1j2fqq6h7xtzbxbybczv mode=list]

One thought on “Nowlin’s Reply to the Government details alleged ineffective representation of attorney Tony Farese”

  1. I read somewhere today the Mississippi disciplinary counsel dismissed Zach Scruggs’ complaint agains Farese. No “clear and convincing” evidence. What, precisely, is “clear and convincing” evidence?

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