Tag Archives: Tom Brandon

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Backstory

I am often undeservedly credited for bravery or courage.

That praise is much more appropriate for Jim Reed, my attorney and my friend.

This is an article that was published by the Arizona Republic today.

It is worth the read to learn the hidden story on what and how Jim has had to overcome in life.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/best-reads/2015/10/17/jay-dobyns-atf-hells-angels-attorney-jim-reed/74015938/

Jay Dobyns fought the Hells Angels. Jim Reed fought the feds.

The ATF agent wanted to bring an unbelievable case against the U.S. government. He only knew one attorney. But that attorney was made for the job.

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Liars, Cheaters, Cowards and Sissies (aka DOJ)

You Decide:

(If you look through the “Key Players” sidebar attachment to the story, isn’t it amazing that the pictures posted of Bill Newell and George Gillett are of them proudly displaying firearms during their catastrophic Operation Fast and Furious debacle?  It actually isn’t.  These are the misfits that DOJ and ATF backed in their attempt to trainwreck me.  Den of Thieves.)

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/investigations/2015/09/03/records-indicate-doj-execs-aware-misconduct-alleged-atf-case/71625076/

Records indicate DOJ execs aware of misconduct alleged in ATF case

Paul Giblin, The Republic | azcentral.com 9 p.m. MST September 2, 2015

Top U.S. Department of Justice officials withheld information from a federal judge about judicial irregularities in a high-profile lawsuit against the ATF, according to recently unsealed court documents.

The disclosures are contained in thousands of pages of court records unsealed Aug. 12 in the case of retired undercover agent Jay Dobyns, who infiltrated the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.

Dobyns sued the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for failing to properly investigate an arson at his Tucson home on Aug. 10, 2008, and for neglecting to protect him and his family against death threats.

The Justice Department oversees ATF and other federal law-enforcement agencies.

Unsealed records show Stuart Delery, now the No. 3 person at the DOJ, and Jeanne Davidson, who has been nominated for a federal judgeship, did not notify the judge in response to e-mails telling them a DOJ attorney tried to scuttle plans to reopen the botched arson investigation.

Electronic e-mail receipts from their accounts were sent, indicating someone saw the e-mails.

E-mails also show Davidson participated in discussions with subordinates about whether to tell the trial judge that an ATF supervisor possibly threatened an ATF internal-affairs agent whose testimony helped Dobyns.

James Reed, Dobyns’ attorney, said Delery and Davidson were ethically and legally obligated to report the possible witness and evidence tampering.

Delery and Davidson declined comment because the matter still is in litigation, said DOJ spokesman Patrick Rodenbush.

Rodenbush noted that a court-appointed “special master” investigated several incidents of possible misconduct during the trial, but concluded government officials’ actions did not constitute fraud on the court.

The special master, retired U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola, recommended on July 23 that the trial judge’s original opinion stand, because the possible misconduct did not appear to taint the trial judge’s opinion.

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Former federal agent Jay Dobyns, left, with his attorney, Jim Reed, at Reed’s office in Phoenix on Friday, July 31, 2015. (Photo: Michael Schennum/The Republic)

Facciola noted that the matter of whether government attorneys and ATF executives should face discipline could be addressed in other venues.

The trial judge, Federal Claims Judge Francis M. Allegra, ruled in Dobyns’ favor last year, awarding him $173,000, a fraction of the $1.7 million he sought.

Federal Claims Chief Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith, who has taken over the case, has yet to indicate whether she will accept Facciola’s recommendation.

It is uncertain what, if any, repercussions Delery, Davidson or other DOJ officials could face in light of the newly unsealed documents.

Delery was the DOJ’s senior supervising counsel during the Dobyns case. He now serves as DOJ acting associate attorney general, which is the agency’s third-ranking official.

Davidson also held a supervisory role during the Dobyns case. She now serves as director of the DOJ’s Offices of Foreign Litigation and International Legal Assistance, and has been nominated to a judgeship on the U.S. Court of International Trade.

DOJ attorneys are held to an extraordinary high standard, said Paul Charlton, who served six years as the U.S. attorney for Arizona and 10 years as an assistant U.S. attorney.

“The lawyers within the Department of Justice, unlike lawyers who represent private litigants, are supposed to advocate for the truth and nothing more. Your client is justice in a literal sense, it’s the right outcome, it’s the right thing to do,” Charlton said.

DOJ and ATF executives wanted to make an example of Dobyns, because he was one of a select few agents to publicly challenge ATF decision makers about unethical and improper actions, said retired ATF Agent Vince Cefalu of Lake Tahoe, Calif.

The years-long legal fight was the result, Cefalu said.

“What they do is they grind down until you can’t take it no more and you say, ‘Alright, I’ll stop. I’ll drop it. I’ll stop being a fool. I won’t talk anymore to the public or to the media or to the Congress or to anybody,’ ” Cefalu said.

Testimony during the Dobyns trial last summer showed ATF attorney Valerie Bacon attempted to influence ATF Special Agent in Charge Thomas Atteberry about plans to reopen the investigation of the arson at Dobyns’ home, because it could damage the ATF’s defense in the case.

Reed, Dobyns’ attorney, informed Delery, Davidson and other government attorneys of Bacon’s conduct.

In an e-mail on May 14, 2014, Reed insisted DOJ attorneys investigate, disclose and prosecute or punish everyone involved in what he called “the attempted criminal obstruction of justice by Valerie Bacon.”

The newly unsealed documents include e-mail read-receipts indicating people with access to Delery’s and Davidson’s e-mail accounts opened Reed’s e-mails.

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Assistant coach Jay Dobyns chats up the team before the Salpointe Catholic vs. Gilbert Campo Verde high school football game at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson. Photo taken Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. (Photo: Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star)

Reed said he knew about Bacon’s actions before trial because Atteberry informed Dobyns, who in turn told Reed.

Atteberry, the ATF’s special agent in charge, testified: “I had a phone conversation, and I also believe I talked to her in person one time when she was in Phoenix, and I believe during the telephone conversation she made a comment to me that if you — meaning myself — reopen the investigation, that would damage our civil case.”

Allegra, the trial judge, clearly thought the incident warranted investigation.

He ordered his opinion served on then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and two federal oversight agencies, accompanied by a transmittal letter pointing out Bacon’s actions and the government attorneys’ failure to disclose them.

However, the special master determined Delery’s and Davidson’s involvement — or non-involvement — had no impact on the trial judge’s ability to make an informed ruling. The special master reasoned Bacon’s attempt to sway Atteberry failed, so the trial unfolded as if it never happened.

The special master’s investigation also showed that several layers of DOJ attorneys, including Davidson, were aware of reported threats against ATF Internal Affairs Agent Christopher Trainor.

Trainor investigated Dobyns’ complaints that ATF supervisors improperly stripped him of his covert identification and purposely mismanaged the investigation of an arson at his home.

Trainor’s finding cast a trio of ATF supervisors, including Tucson chief Charles Higman, in a poor light.

Midway through the three-week trial, Higman left Trainor a voice mail in a “confrontational and antagonistic” tone that Trainor considered a threat. The same day, someone stuffed a construction cone into the tailpipe of Trainor’s vehicle.

Later, Trainor called Higman about the voice mail. Higman said no threat was intended. “That’s ridiculous. Why would I do that? I don’t even know you,” Higman replied, according to a transcript of the call.

Trainor reported the contact to an ATF attorney and DOJ lead trial attorney David Harrington. Harrington told him that the calls were not relevant to the case, according to court records.

Trainor disagreed and told Harrington that he planned to report the threat directly to the trial judge. Harrington twice told Trainor he should think long and hard about what that would mean for his career, according to court records.

DOJ attorneys exchanged more than two dozen e-mails discussing whether to disclose the matter to the trial judge.

Eventually, they decided to withhold the information, swayed in part by Harrington’s views that testimony about the arson was complete, Higman said his message was not a threat, and Trainor had withdrawn his demand to tell the judge.

Davidson, the high-ranking DOJ official, told the others in a July 21, 2013, e-mail what portion of the exchange would be important for the judge to know. She didn’t view the reported threat by Higman important, so the trial continued without the judge learning about it.

After the trial concluded, Trainor told the trial judge about Higman’s and Harrington’s comments. That led the judge to request the special master to investigate.

Trainor, who retired last year, declined comment.

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Salpointe Catholic assistant football coach Jay Dobyns (with tablet) is a former UA football player and former ATF agent who went undercover with the Hells Angels. (Photo: David Sanders/Arizona Daily Star)

None of the behind-the-scenes activity mattered, according to special master Facciola, because they failed to influence the trial judge’s decision.

Facciola wrote: “There was a decision made, based on legal principles and strategic judgments, that there was no reason to bring the alleged threats to the attention of the court. It bears emphasis that the wisdom of that decision is not the special master’s concern.”

Dobyns’ attorney said justice would be better served if everyone involved was deposed.

“The U.S. Department of Justice is supposed to be the gold standard of ethics,” Reed said. “They are supposed to go above and beyond their pursuit of ethical obligations by seeking the truth, regardless of whether or not it hurts the federal government.”

Retired undercover ATF Agent Louie Quinonez of Scottsdale said he believes the case has been driven by professional jealousy. Dobyns was one of the agency’s most effective undercover agents, but certain officials didn’t appreciate the risks he took nor the contributions he made.

ATF decision makers tried to quiet Dobyns for questioning decisions, Quinonez said. “If anyone asks me, ‘Should I stand up to the agency on this issue?’ I’d be inclined to tell them, ‘Don’t do anything. Keep your mouth shut and take it — or they will destroy you,’ ” Quinonez said.

 

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Beatdown!

Today U.S. Court of Claims Judge Francis Allegra opened the closing argument phase of my lawsuit by making the statements that he was the “finder of fact” and “decider of law” in this matter. He went on to say that after three weeks of trial (June and July 2013) his assessment of ATF’s treatment of me was “wretched”, their acts were “purposeful”, derived out of “professional jealousy” and “simply spiteful.”

Judge Allegra went on to say that during trial, witnesses testifying for the government had answered questions in his courtroom with “less than candor”. That is a tactful way of saying they committed perjury, or for the rest of us laymen – they lied.

This was before the attorney’s even spoke.

Federal Agents traveled from New Jersey in the east, California in the west, Idaho in the north and Louisiana in the south, all to hear what was said today.

DOJ Civil Attorney David Harrington argued for ATF that responsibility for the issues before the court, “Lie at the feet of Jay Dobyns”. He also went on to say that, “Mr. Dobyns has not been damaged by ATF and holds no rights to a monetary judgment”, that my case is, “flimsy”, and that, “Mr. Dobyns account of events are self-serving”.

Moving backward to October 2012, ATF and DOJ held in their possession an ATF Internal Affairs Report that documented ATF’s corrupt reaction, response and investigation of the arson of my home. ATF’s own Internal Affairs had delivered to ATF Executives the following eleven conclusions, all based in fact.

Of note – These are not my findings or opinions. They are ATF’s own internal findings:

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This was never about money or escape. It was about the truth. It was about not being afraid or intimidated. We won today. Vindication.

Attorney General Eric Holder, ATF Director B. Todd Jones and Brandon have concealed and protected the Internal Affairs report and other critical facts and evidence for 16 months refusing to accept the internal findings or admit any ownership.

What did they do about the findings? Nothing. No accountability. No discipline. No nothing.

This is your ATF and DOJ.

As a demonstration of the federal arrogance I have fought off for the past ten years, today, when DOJ’s Harrington was advised that his allotment of time before the court was running short and in the midst of trying to convince the court that the entirety of all of this was my fault, Harrington replied to the Judge’s advisement, “Your Honor, time flies when you’re having fun.”

His DOJ co-counsel P. Davis Oliver and ATF Attorney Melissa Anderson both laughed. The rest of audience in court groaned.

For me, my mission has been accomplished. The truth has been told and exposed; in part. The remainder will be exposed in the next few months when Judge Allegra issues his ruling and hopefully lifts the rest of the protective order.

I knew I would get my final day in court today and was confident that my attorney, Jim Reed, would out-class the best DOJ had to offer. That came true.

But, the truly best part of the day for me was a surprise. Jim’s father, John Reed at 84 years of age, was in the courtroom today to see his son make his arguments. Jim has been an attorney for 25 years and John had never seen his son work in a courtroom.

When court was adjourned I found John Reed weeping in the hallway. John told me that he had never been prouder of his son than he was at that very moment. John said that he was overwhelmed by having raised a man who was willing to stand up to the biggest bully in America. His son never blinked or buckled. John knew he had done good.

IMG950452_0Jim comforted his father and watching the two of them was the very best part of the day for me.

Honor. Respect. Dignity. Integrity. Truth. Justice. The Reed’s father and son. Those traits have been lost on Eric Holder, his dispatched attorneys and the leaders past and present at ATF.

Thank any and all who have supported my journey.