Thursday, November 16, 2017

Good Cop, Bad Cops Pt 5

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
(Disclaimer: The proprietor of this blog and Mr. Wilson have an ongoing years-long friendship, in which the former has benefited on several occasions by the generosity of the latter. However, that in no way, shape or form has influenced the blog owner’s decision to post a series of articles about his case nor the content of what is written below.)

When we left off at part four, our long-suffering hero, former Massachusetts State Trooper Antone Wilson, was saddled with his fourth consecutive incompetent and/or duplicitous attorney. To get you back up to speed without making you tread over old ground, Manoff had agreed to be Wilson's attorney for a $10,000 retainer, announced he was to try the case in federal court before subsequently announcing it would be tried in state court, after all. Then Manoff got suspended by the MA Board of Bar Overseers for, ostensibly, accounting irregularities but continued begging Wilson to retain him despite being unable to legally represent him as an attorney.
     Now that you've had your faith in those in the legal profession restored, let's continue.
     After Wilson had agreed to communicate with Manoff by email out of deference to his convenience, Manoff then became more slippery than a Trump son's hair. When he was able to reach him during the times Manoff wasn't screening his calls, he was told the case still hadn't moved and to call back in a month. Now, at this point in time, Wilson was submitting to a periodic background check from the DoD in order to maintain his Top Secret Security Clearance. Per Army regulations, he was compelled to report all pending legal action by or against him to the Department of Defense. Still trusting his attorney, Wilson gave the Army investigator Manoff's contact information in the belief he would make a good character witness who'd deny any wrongdoing on Wilson's part.
      He then left a voice mail with Manoff to give him a heads-up that he'd be contacted by the Army to vouch for his character. Then, in the reverse of the myth of the Christmas Miracle, Wilson contacted Manoff again on December 24th 2013 only to be informed the case had been dismissed. Why? Well, these legal thingies often come with deadlines, you see, and Manoff told him he'd failed to submit the interrogatories the MA State Police had requested... in 2011.
     As you can expect, Constant Reader, the conversation kind of went downhill from that point on. Manoff's answers were vague and deceptive, wouldn't give his client the dismissal date and then essentially hung up on him. It's also worth noting that, as Manoff had failed to do, the Suffolk Superior Court never notified Wilson that his case had been dismissed two years earlier. Merry Christmas, sucker. Nice doing business with you.

The Fat Cat with 90 Lives
In case you think that's hyperbole, let's recount what Manoff had gotten away with during this time in his life and career- Instead of erring on the side of caution for the sake of his misguided clients, Manoff had taken Antone Wilson's case while he was still being investigated by the MA Board of Bar Overseers. After having personally spoken with Mr. Wilson, I know for a fact that Manoff had never told him about his prior suspension from the California Board of Bar Overseers (It came as a surprise to him last month). In the subsequent investigation by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, Manoff should have been suspended, according to the Board's investigators, and, in Wilson’ words, over "the strenuous objection of the case prosecutors," was permitted to continue practicing law and get $8,000 from Wilson to essentially spike what should have been a federal case that never even got tried in state superior court.
     Keep in mind that in the course of this necessarily telescoped overview and summary of Wilson's trials-that-were-not-to-be and tribulations, going on 14 years had passed since the initial incident in Franklin, MA that had started the ball rolling. When one looks at Manoff's actions (or inactions) with the aid of some 20-10 hindsight, it becomes all but obvious that he'd spiked the case and had determined to do so almost from the gitgo despite accepting eight large from him, perceivably with the assistance of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers.
     With Manoff now thankfully out of his beleaguered life, Wilson then attempted to have his case re-litigated in 2014.You would think that getting an ambulance chaser such as Manoff out of his life would earn him a reprieve from the legal Twilight Zone to which he'd been consigned all these years but there you'd be wrong.
     When Antone Wilson began reaching out to various attorneys and offered a retainer, every single one had refused to touch the case or even to give him advice as to how to proceed. Yes, lawyers said his money was no good and his case was even worse. Now, Massachusetts law states that a case that had been dismissed for lack of requested documentation may be reinstated for up to a year after dismissal, yet Manoff never made the slightest attempt to do so. As if Wilson needed further proof that this clown got his law degree out of a Walmart vending machine, this proof of his duplicity was it.
     By now, word had spread throughout the Bay State like a sewer gas leak that Wilson and his case were radioactive. Let's keep one fact in mind: War criminals get attorneys. Serial killers get attorneys. Terrorists get attorneys. Mob bosses get attorneys. Antone Wilson? Couldn't get a shyster to even give him free advice even when he waved money under their snouts. Let that sink for a moment.

The "C" Word
Get your minds out of the gutter. I meant the other "C" word- Conspiracy. I don't use it lightly, if at all. It smells of Alex Jones' permanently sweaty armpits and soggy mimeographed broadsides printed in a basement with purple ink. The very word "conspiracy", as with "liberal", "self-published books" and "pit bulls" has been given a bad rap, smeared with a wide brush by people who have a vested interest in appending negative connotations to certain things, which in itself is akin to a conspiracy.
     However, it had become obvious to Wilson that there was active collusion carried out between the MA State Police, certain law firms and individual attorneys and several other important factions stretching all the way to the highest levels of Beacon Hill to keep Antone Wilson's case from going to trial. By 2014, it'd had over 13 years to percolate into a toxic brew to which anyone with a pension and/or a career to protect had grown intensely averse. This collusion also included, if you'll remember, the law firm of Timothy Burke, Finneran, Byrne and Drechsler and even the MA Board of Bar Overseers that had given Burke one pass after another.
     It should be posited, while it cannot be absolutely proven beyond any legal standard of doubt, that the Board of Bar Overseers stands to lose the most on account of this complicity with the initial complaint against Burke and Drechsler,  Wilson's former attorneys. In case you've forgotten, Wilson's appointed-without his prior permission-law firm counted among its partners Thomas Finneran. Finneran, again, was Beacon Hill's Speaker of the House and, on the recommendation of that same BBO, was disbarred by the Massachusetts State Supreme Court for federal obstruction of justice charges.
     And as much as the Board provides a necessary check and balance to attorneys within the Commonwealth and compelling them to act in an ethical manner, they also have the potential to be a force for less than noble motivations. That includes exerting pressure on otherwise ethical attorneys to shy away from cases as radioactive as Wilson's. Again, in spite of being ethically challenged, Manoff had begun to aggressively pursue the case, even aiming for federal court until suddenly running out of gas and doing nothing. Having pressure put to bear on him by the same BBO who were even then investigating him at the time he accepted the case would certainly explain his abrupt about face on the matter. And Wilson, it ought to be remembered, never told Manoff about his past attorney troubles or the BBO.
     And when one applies a bird's eye mentality as I have done with this case, there appear so many dots that they no longer beg to be connected. There are so many, in fact, that, like the pixels on a TV screen or monitor, they begin to form a picture. And several powerful entities within the legal and law enforcement community, while not necessarily working in direct concert with one another, nonetheless were working toward a common goal- To keep Trooper Antone Wilson's case from being heard in state and federal court.
     In the next and final installment of this special series, I'll summarize this collusion and current activity of this case.
(Part 6.)

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