Head of Householder probe expert in corruption cases
Friday, May 28, 2004
Robert Ruth and Jon Craig
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
The Washington lawyer overseeing the investigation of Ohio House Speaker Larry Householders campaign activities and consultants has prosecuted public-corruption cases across the country.
John W. Scotts highest-profile case was the unsuccessful prosecution of two Utah community leaders accused of bribing members of the International Olympic Committee to choose Salt Lake City as the site of the 2002 Winter Games.
Scott, a 45-year-old senior trial lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justices public-integrity section, has had successes, too, winning corruption convictions in Alabama and Texas.
Scott is overseeing the Ohio probe and is expected to lead any prosecution if there are charges, but the investigation itself is being handled by FBI and IRS agents in Columbus.
Assistant U.S. attorneys based in Columbus have prosecuted several local public-corruption cases, including businessmen accused of bribing Harold W. "Hal" Hyrne, former city manager of Upper Arlington.
But the accusations against Householder and the consultants were seen as so politically sensitive that the case was referred to Washington. Scott and other lawyers for the public-integrity section routinely travel throughout the nation prosecuting federal corruption cases.
Scott and another Justice Department lawyer prosecuted the Olympics bribery case, which ended in December when a federal judge dismissed felony charges against two of the men who led Salt Lake Citys bidding effort for the Winter Games.
Six months earlier, Scott helped win guilty pleas in Alabama from a former top aide to the governor and two Montgomery businessmen on bribery charges.
He also was co-prosecutor in a bribery case involving a former Houston city councilman and a former Houston port commissioner. Both were convicted in December 1998.
Scott declined to comment about the Householder case.
But it causes me more questions! One article says "consultants continued to be paid", but in the "big picture", the payments were pretty paltry over a period of time...hardly a lucrative "scheme" for the trouble it seems to be causing...
Then...no question that it's "politically sensitive", as another article states, and that Federal investigator/possible prosecutor Scott is a top-notch guy, but I'm really curious about his "win-loss" record...not about him, but about the "targets" of his investigations...any "political party pattern" to those who were successfully prosecuted vs. those who were exonerated?
Lastly...I haven't read the Dispatch for years, but I have a real problem with one-paper towns whose editors write things like "While we do not prejudge the outcome, we continue to believe that one-party rule promotes an atmosphere of arrogance and entitlement in which kickbacks and other such activities tend to thrive."...these same "editors" are writing the headlines, assigning the news reporters, and editing the "wire" stories that make it to print...the PD is the same way, and I'd just say, "caveat emptor", my FReeper friend!! < sigh >