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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Ind. Decisions - "Mick Alexander lawsuit back from the dead"

The 7th Circuit's June 26th opinion in Alexander v. U.S. was the subject of a June 29th story by Douglas Walker and Keith Roysdon in the Muncie Star-Press. The long story begins:

In the Byzantine, dog-eat-dog atmosphere that at times envelopes the world of Delaware County government and politics, it’s been said more than once that what goes around comes around.

It also seems that controversies, seemingly resolved in one fashion or another, have a way of suddenly springing back to life.

A case in point: local attorney Michael J. “Mick” Alexander’s federal lawsuit, filed three years ago, that alleged two FBI agents and others, including then-Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney, had “entered into a conspiracy to falsely accuse (Alexander) of a conspiracy to commit bribery.”

Alexander was charged with that crime in 2008. In 2009, a local jury deliberated for about an hour before finding the attorney not guilty of conspiring to bribe a witness in a client’s criminal case.

In his suit, Alexander maintained he was targeted because of his public criticism of the Muncie-Delaware County Drug Task Force and its representation in civil forfeiture proceedings by McKinney.

In October 2011, a federal judge — who had earlier granted a motion to remove McKinney as a defendant in the lawsuit — dismissed what remained of Alexander’s suit, against the FBI agents.

Not so fast, a federal appeals court seated in Chicago said last week, ruling that Alexander’s 2010 lawsuit alleging “malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress” can proceed.

The appeals court ruled the federal court judge who dismissed the case “asked too much of Alexander,” penalizing the attorney for not offering specific theories as to why the FBI agents would have sought to harm his reputation.

“Unfortunately, in a world where public corruption is hardly unknown, we cannot agree that Alexander’s complaint is too implausible to hold together absent of allegations of this sort,” federal appeals court Judge Diane P. Wood wrote in last week’s decision. “We might wish to live in a world in which such an egregious abuse of one’s official position might be unthinkable, but experience suggests we do not.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 3, 2013 08:40 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions