Whitey Bulger’s Lawyer Has To Tighten Up His Argument To Get Judge Stearns Kicked Off The Case

The Joy Of

I suggested yesterday the Appeals Court will get around Whitey Bulger’s lawyer’s petition for mandamus because it does not like to decide things piece meal preferring to deal with all the issues of a trial on a regular appeal. If it is faced with an interlocutory matter, a minimum it will require that it be ripe for decision. Carney’s pitch depends on things that are not settled. We don’t know if the issue of “immunity” that Whitey is hanging his hat on to force Stearns’s recusal will be part of the trial. Carney argues as if it has already been determined that it will be.

He suggests in that case dealing with immunity he will need Judge Stearns and FBI Director Mueller as witnesses. However if Stearns rules immunity isn’t going to be part of the trial then there is no need for the Appeals Court to consider who the witnesses will be. I suggested that it may have been better to go right after Stearns making any decisions in the case. The emphasis should be on showing that the public will raise a question of the fairness of the trial judge making the decision on immunity.

This might sound like splitting hairs but it does away with the Appeals Court dismissing the mandamus for being premature. Carney needs to point to the perception that the public will have about Stearns’s partiality. Stearns already stated the issue will go to the jury but he seems to be considering reversing himself on that issue. He has asked Carney to reply to the prosecutors’ argument that it is not a jury issue. Carney must argue that Stearns is disabled from making that decision because it may affect him and his friend Director Mueller. Then he must show the public has good reason to believe Stearns is impartial.

I felt Carney in his petition was beating around the bush rather than charging in and grabbing the issue by the ears. He writes Whitey’s “alleged involvement in organized crime was well-known to the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), to the United States Attorney’s Office in Boston, and to the New England Organized Crime Strike Force [at the time Stearns was in that office].” But he doesn’t nail it down. He  enumerates all the racketeering acts in the 1995 indictment and all the murders alleged in the murder indictment now pending before Judge Stearns. These show the acts which occurred prior to Stearns joining the office in 1982 and during the time he was there. Carney also noted that Whitey’s reputation was well-known to the public noting a 1988 Globe article on the Bulger Mystique and a statement by Flemmi.

What he doesn’t show is that it is probable that Stearns or others in the U.S. attorney’s office knew of Whitey’s reputation prior to the investigation that produced the 1995 indictment. That is crucial to his showing that Stearns is partial toward the government before the Appeals Court. If as Stearns states he doesn’t know of any investigations into Whitey by his office and Carney doesn’t show that people in his office knew about them and infer from Stearn’s position that he knew or should have known then what is there to complain about?

It reminds me of the notorious Amy Bishop case where the local cops knew and a state trooper should have known about the circumstances surrounding her killing of her brother and pointing the shotgun at others. No one in my office which had jurisdiction over the crime knew about it. Yet the public perception was that my office was at fault for her not being charged. That a lot of people know something does not necessarily mean others do but in those circumstances if you can show actual knowledge by some then you have a much stronger case to show a person should have known.

I say should have known because if you are in a group of people who know something and would be expected to talk about it then the public has a basis for concluding you did know about it, whether rightly or wrongly, and that affects its perception of whether justice is being done.  Although my office was, as Carney wrote of Judge Stearns, “pure in heart and incorruptible,” the perception was left that justice was not done by us and some type of cover-up occurred. We could not have avoided that, but here there is a chance to avoid that public perception.

Carney writes that Whitey was not charged with any crimes until 1994. He states the reason is he had immunity from Jeremiah O’Sullivan. He will to prove this from the words of O’Sullivan. He also says he will show it from the inaction of the federal prosecutors. In other words, Whitey was such a notorious criminal the U.S. attorney’s office should have gone after him and the only explanation for its failure was it knew he had immunity. Stearns has already rebutted that argument by saying he, and by extension others in his office, did not know about Whitey. They can’t be expected to do an investigation about something they did not know anything about.

Carney argues that given Stearns’s position he had to know or should have known. Stearns’s  first position in the office in 1984 was as chief of the General Crimes Unit, in 1984 to 1986 chief of the Criminal Division which he held until 1986 when he was promoted to First Assistant United States Attorney.  Carney is right that he is in the position to know what is going on in his office. But he needs more than that to close the deal. He has to show those in the office knew about Whitey.

Carney’s best argument is pointing out there is a widespread perception in the public that Stearns should recuse himself. He points to several articles about it. But that perception showing the public has a good reason to be skeptical about Stearns without a foundation will be given little heed by the Appeals Court.  He needs to give the court something to chew on so it believes the public has a right to question Stearns’s partiality.

I’ll speak to this tomorrow because there is evidence that shows the people in the U.S, attorneys office knew about Whitey.


  1. What did he know and when did he know it? This appears to be the question for the Appeal’s court to decide in re: Writ of Mandamus request from Attorney Carney.

    It is too difficult using only public records for me to determine exactly when Judge Stearns was appointed to the Federal Bench in 1990. But here’s what I do know, and that should be a matter of public record in the US DOJ.

    Beginning in 1989, I filed an initial complaint against John Iuele aka Whitey Bulger with the NH Attorney General’s Office and also with the US Attorney in Boston. I received no response, nor does it appear that any immediate action was taken by either DOJ Office.

    Then in early 1991 I filed an subsequent complaint with Margaret Hinkle. The Massachusetts Court System Records report that “Judge Hinkle was appointed to the Superior Court in 1993 by Governor William F. Weld…Before her judicial appointment, Judge Hinkle has also been as Assistant Untied States Attorney in Boston in the Economic Crimes division…Before joining the Superior Court, Judge Hinkle aslo served as Head of Justice Department’s New England Bank Fraud Task Force.”

    This complaint included the Echotech ponzi scheme fraud perpetrated upon my company, by Gene Phillip’s company, First Equity Insurance. The link between John Iuele and the Gene Phillips company was Michael Milken’s junk bond schemes with Executive Life Insureance and a man named Alan Teal, who was later convicted and sentenced. History shows Milken’s junk bonds had a large impact on the failure of many New England Banks at that time as well as the Pennsylvania insurance industry. My complaint received no response at that time.

    Then in 1996 I was subpoenaed to testify by the Organized Crime Task Force from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in USA v Rennert. Initially the AUSA informed me that I was being considered part of the insurance ponzi scheme that destroyed several insurance companies in Pennsylvania. After I explained my situation, the OCTF agreed that I had been a victim. After I testified the OCTF informed me that it went to the Boston Office, where my complaint had originated. I was informed this request was denied in Boston and then again in FBI HQ. Shortly after my testimony my spring water beverage business branded as HIgh Birches Mountain Spring water was sabotaged several times and finally ruined. I filed all the appropriate complaints with New Hampshire and US DOJ Offices. The complaints are still pending.

    Again, IF John Iuele is Whitey Bulger, as the facts appear to show, then at least twice in my situation Prosecutors used their discretion not to prosecute John Iuele or Gene Phillips et al. This would imply to me that immunity is an issue that needs to be discovered further.

    • Jean:
      I really don’t know what to suggest to you. It seems you have taken all the right steps and have been in contact with all the right people yet you have come up against a stone wall. It seems to me your big enemy now is time and the statute of limitations. Unlike with wine, age does not help a person with past sufferings.