Team Walker found out early: A bit of analysis on the Federal Indictment of Bill Walker and company

I’ve been to a few Federal Courthouses through time but I’ve been to the Dan Russell Federal Courthouse in picturesque downtown Gulfport the most. Before I lend any further insights on the United States Courthouse experience let’s visit with Warren Kulo over at the Mississippi Press:

Each of the five defendants was led into court at 10:08 a.m. wearing handcuffs and leg shackles. A bailiff informed attorney Joe Sam Owen that federal regulations require the restraints as long as a suspect is in federal custody.

No cameras or recording devices were allowed in the courtroom.

Yes chains still rule the day for new criminal defendants in the Southern District of Mississippi. Some courthouses will allow smart phones inside but it is best they are turned off lest they make noise in open court and displease the Judge. Most courthouses are like that in fact except for one in my experience and that is the Dan Russell Courthouse as the gang there still does not allow such devices in period. The U.S. Marshals Service there are old school kinda guys. How about some lovely music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=691r2DDdWn4

While I have no first hand experience going to the courthouse as a criminal defendant, I’ve had occasion to accompany a person in such an unfortunate circumstance albeit to a different United States courthouse but coupled with my civil litigation experience this is how I interact with the good folks that work at the Russell Courthouse.

When entering the building to go through security one should always acknowledge the U.S. Marshals by hearty salutation in ones best southern drawl, such as “Good Morning Gentlemen” or “Good Afternoon Gentlemen”. (Old School guys like this).  This step is important because it sets the tone for the rest of the visit. They are going to check your identification and inquire as to your business there. (note to the general public, you can generally defer that question by asking for directions to Judge Guirola’s courtroom in the case of the Walkers, for example, when court is in session on that case.)

Minding one’s manners and not appearing flippant goes a long way once you’re inside.  If I were a criminal defendant the last thing I would do is this as excerpted from Anita Lee’s account of yesterday at the courthouse:

Both Scott Walker and Janus smiled at friends or family members in the gallery

No siree I would not do that. I’d make like the older salts at Team Walker and be reflective and “somber”. And by all means if you’re paying your lawyers big bucks don’t be afraid to ask ’em for that type of advice. Speaking of lawyers here is the lineup as Team Walker has some talented criminal defense lawyers on board:

I always operated on the assumption that once you enter a United States courthouse as a litigant that you are being judged every second of every minute of every hour that you are there.  Cutting up, even during the many periods of relative inactivity is just not a good idea. Make too much noise and disturb another proceeding?  I have seen this in person (as a nonparticipant) and the results are neither pleasurable nor desirable.

Worth noting is that to get to this point of indictments being unsealed means that whatever deal was being offered to Bill and Scott Walker along with Joe Ziegler, Tina Shumate and Michael Janus by Team Fed was simply too harsh from the defendants perspective.  The pressure to take a deal will mount as the case moves closer to trial but I can’t imagine they will get any better deal than the one they were already offered so there is a good chance this case goes to trial.

Finally we’ve had several readers make note that others that were enriched at the expense of the taxpayers were not indicted at all.  Names that come to mind that have already been mentioned in comments would be folks like David Harris of Ocean Springs.  I have no inside insights into the coming federal prosecution but often times such omissions means those parties have already cut a deal.  It is also not unusual for those on the periphery of criminal activity to get a pass and a person like Harris is not what I’d term central to the narrative.  At least there is a booby prize for the public as the days of Harris and his ilk cutting sweetheart real estate deals off the backs of the taxpayers are likely over.

As we move closer to trial we’ll get some more twists and turns as that always seems to be the case. Stay tuned.

26 thoughts on “Team Walker found out early: A bit of analysis on the Federal Indictment of Bill Walker and company”

  1. Hey, Doug! When I enter a Federal Courthouse, I always put up my hands and yell loudly at the U.S. Marshalls (or “privately-employed Court Security personnel”): “Don’t shoot, G-man!” It never fails to get some laughs. Ashton O’Dwyer.

        1. No doubt about that dress code. Any good defense lawyer will tell you or your spouse what to wear down to the color. Leather pants are a no no especially if you are Trinity Walker.

        2. What’s wrong with spike shoes, tight leather pants, maybe a rear tattoo of two entwined hearts above a black lace thong and even a neck choker for a breathless court judgment climax >>>>>> namely, a pair of pink handcuffs, a 6’x8′ SM furnished cell for two and personalized video of “Walk(ers) on Da’ Wild Side”.

          http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=loe+reed%27s+%22Walk+on+the+Wildside%22&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=BB93D14B7476B73D5067BB93D14B7476B73D5067

    1. Interesting.
      Lots of people are getting introduced to this since the arrests.
      That post is serves as a pretty good introduction of why this matters and why it ought to matter.

      This observation ought to be giving the Gulf Coast Cargo Cult Cognoscenti the chills. The last thing they will want are trials.

      State Auditor Stacey Pickering would not rule out further investigative efforts as this next stage moves forward. That’s smart because the web of politics, questionable ethics, and influence on the coast related to the Walkers is perhaps even more intriguing than the other coast black sheep, Dickie Scruggs.

      1. After what was unsealed the other day no one should fear .Stacey Pickering investigations, unless you’re a secretary that pads travel by a few hundred dollars.

        1. The observation that there is any comparison to Scruggs, and that laundry will be hung out as happened with Scruggs.

          I have no illusions that Chaplain Pickering will be doing this.

          1. No doubt it will have to be the Feds. No matter what Yall Politics says Stacey Pickering gets no feather in his cap for what has been produced by the state. He also lost his “rising star status”.Instead of the State of Ms. getting any real money back the Feds will take what the Walkers have. The victims here are the taxpayers of our state.

  2. The rat is as the rat does. He defied a court order and has been found in contempt. This is a state elected official that thinks he is above the law, thinks only his interpretation matters and will not prosecute his dear friends. Read the indictments carefully, Stacy Pickering has NOT filed any charges against his dear friend Bill Walker. I applaud the Sun Herald in the crusade against this disgusting rat. He had the chance to do the right thing and he chose to protect his political party. I would love to hear the sermon he gives of truth, justice and public integrity. That would be short and bitter sweet.

  3. I just hope people will remember how unethical Stacey Pickering has been when he runs for reelection. There should be an opening for a latrine supervisor on the ballot. Oh, but that may be above his capabilities or against his religion.

  4. I just hope people will remember how unethical Stacey Pickering has been when he runs for reelection. There should be an opening for a latrine supervisor on the ballot. Oh, but that may be above his capabilities or against his religion.

  5. I don’t know how far back this audit or investigation of the DMR went, but from what I hear this agency has not been audited in over 10 years. Just imagine if it went all the way back to when our current Governor was in charge of the Auditor’s office. Talk about a bunch of empty suits running our state agencies—this is a good example.

  6. I had read months ago that DMR and other agencies had not been audited in 10 years. Did you really think Bryant was any more proficient than Pickering? While Lt Governor, when the oil was covering the MS Gulf Coast, he claimed people were smelling lawnmower gas fumes. And then we elected this idiot to office!

  7. To BILOXI BLUES and WATER MOCCASIN: You all had better stop saying nasty things about the next U.S. Senator from the Sovereign State of Mississloppy! Ashton O’Dwyer, living in the CESSPOOL called New Orleans, part of “Louisiana Purchased”.

    1. Just the facts with a dash of personal opinions Ashton. Our state already has a previous State Auditor as governor who did nothing in his auditor job. We do not need to repeat this in the office of US Senator.

  8. We, the taxpayers, have been so short changed with regard to those elected to protect our interest at the
    state level. This is probably too much to expect, but since there are two other investigative agencies looking into this DMR mess, maybe one of them will also look into the Auditor’s office as to why none of this was
    caught before it got to this point, and hold the right people accountable.

  9. Ashton, please correct anything that I misstated. I read the publically published articles and comment. I do tend to vent my frustrations with all public officials, including Mr. Pickering, that do not take seriously the oath they took as public officials. It is telling that some officials are more interested in and protecting the party that they represent and not the sacred oath they took to hold that office. If Mr. Pickering fully prosecutes Bill Walker and all those that took public money for personal use and not selectively do this; then I will recant all of my “personal” comments. What about Mr. Pickering, you up for doing what you were elected to do? Are you up for upholding the sacred oath you took on behalf of all Mississippians?

  10. To BILOXI BLUES and WATER MOCCASIN: My Comment was “tongue-in-cheek”. If I lived in Mississloppy, I wouldn’t vote for Pickering for “dog-catcher”. Still, if he wins the U.S. Senate race, you (and maybe Doug) have made a very powerful enemy. Ashton O’Dwyer.

    1. Ashton, I took it the way you meant it. Pickering is way to weak to be a U S Senator from Ms. at this time. If the nasty truth as stated by many about him turns him away so be it. While I do not deserve to be at the head of the line I will be get in line to oppose him in the future.

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