Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Additional Problems with Middle District of Florida U.S. Attorney Nomination

Additional Problems with Middle District of Florida U.S. Attorney Nomination

by James Scanlan

In Truth in Justice editorials of June 23, 2010, and July 11, 2010, I discussed the pending nomination of Robert E. O’Neill for U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida. O’Neill is the prosecutor with the penchant for calling people liars who himself made a false statement in an application for the U.S. Attorney position submitted to the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission. O’Neill stated that a District of Columbia Bar Counsel investigation of his conduct in United States v. Deborah Gore Dean had been initiated by a complaint filed by the defendant when in fact Bar Counsel itself initiated the investigation after reading a court of appeals opinion “deplor[ing]” the conduct of lead counsel O’Neill and his colleagues. I pointed out that if O’Neill made the same misrepresentation before a federal entity, he likely violated 18 U.S.C. § 1001. Irrespective of any violation of law, however, one would expect that making a false statement on an application for a high law enforcement position would disqualify a person from further consideration for the position. But, though for more than a month the Department of Justice and White House have been in possession of a document conclusively establishing that O’Neill’s statement was false, the nomination remains pending.

In the latter part of the July 11, 2010 editorial I discussed remarks O’Neill made in the Nominating Commission application criticizing a former subordinate. The subject of the remarks is former Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Jeffrey J. Del Fuoco, who has sued O’Neill on a number of matters, including defamation for statements O’Neill made about Del Fuoco in the Nominating Commission application. Del Fuoco has joined Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. as a defendant as to certain issues. The suit is still in court, though a motion to dismiss is pending. I am not in a position to comment on the likely merits of any of the claims raised by Del Fuoco. But the complaint raises an additional issue concerning O’Neill’s credibility, and the government’s response to it raises an additional consideration regarding the likelihood that O’Neill violated 18 U.S.C. § 1001.

O’Neill’s Alleged Perjury in an Earlier Case. In addition to a claim regarding statements on the Nominating Commission application, Del Fuoco alleges that O’Neill defamed him in a 2005 deposition in an earlier case. In connection with that claim, at pages 6-9 of the complaint (¶¶ 20-22), Del Fuoco alleges that in the federal workplace O’Neill threatened bodily injury to Del Fuoco by means of statements made in the U.S. Attorney’s office to three AUSA’s (each of whom Del Fuoco identifies by name). The complaint also sets out deposition testimony from the earlier case where, while acknowledging that he may have made statements along the lines of those described by Del Fuoco, O’Neill denied that he made such statements in the workplace. Del Fuoco maintains that such denial constituted perjury by O’Neill.

I have no direct knowledge of the underlying facts. But Del Fuoco’s identifying of the three AUSAs would seem to suggest that O’Neill in fact made the statements in the workplace. And I am led to understand that, if asked, the AUSAs would so state. Department of Justice officials must know of the allegations since Department attorneys are representing O’Neill in the case. But neither in the vetting process for the U.S. Attorney nomination nor at any other time has a Department representative asked the AUSAs whether Del Fuoco’s allegations concerning O’Neill’s perjury in the earlier case are true. I am further led to understand that there is some concern within the Middle District U.S. Attorney’s office that the head of the office may soon be a person whom at least several people in the office know to have committed perjury and that, if Del Fuoco’s case goes forward, some of those people may be deposed on the matter. Having AUSAs in a position where their testimony could show the U.S. Attorney to have committed perjury will not be a comfortable situation for the AUSAs or the office, or, one would think, for the Department of Justice. As with varied matters I have raised with the Department about O’Neill’s conduct in the Dean case, if the Department had been willing to pose a few simple questions, it would not now be confronted with a problematic nomination or the prospect of a problematic tenure.

The Department of Justice’s Claims Regarding the Status of the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission. In discussing the possibility that O’Neill violated 18 U.S.C. § 1001 by falsely stating that the defendant initiated the District of Columbia Bar Counsel investigation, I have mainly addressed the likelihood that O’Neill also made to a federal entity the statement that he made on the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission application. But in some places I have suggested that O’Neill may have violated the statute even by making the false statement to the Nominating Commission because the statement could be regarded as involving a matter within the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice or the Office of Independent Counsel. When making such point regarding the statement to the Nominating Commission – which I have variously described as an “unofficial body,” “an arm of the Florida Bar,” or “a body created by Florida Senators” – I was uncertain as to the precise status of the body or the implications of that status, save that I did not regard the Nominating Commission to be federal entity.

I also did not know that in an April 26, 2010 Motion to Dismiss the Del Fuoco complaint (at 6), Department of Justice attorneys representing both O’Neill and the Department, in seeking to claim absolute privilege for O’Neill’s statements about Del Fuoco in the Nominating Commission application, have stated that the Nominating Commission is “a quasi-legislative body, established by members of the U.S. Senate.” Though the motion does not make the point because it is not germane to the argument, it is clear enough that the motion means “a quasi-federal legislative body.” Thus, there may exist another argument as why O’Neill violated 18 U.S.C. § 1001 by falsely describing the origin of the Bar Counsel investigation in his Nominating Commission application.

Additional developments regarding the O’Neill nomination/confirmation are addressed in Addendum 7 to a Robert E. O’ Neill profile on jpscanlan.com


Anonymous said...

An example of absolute privilege is the ability of legislators for actions and statements made during debates and in the course of their legislative work, without fear of being sued for defamation.
Jim, my understanding of absolute privilege may not be as cogent as a DOJ attorney's BUT am I given to understand that if Robert E. O'Neill came into my place of employment and attempted to incite other folks into doing me bodily harm or in any way cause me distress that it would be perfectly legal?? Or is this only true if I happen to visit his office and he attempts to get his fellow AUSAs to kick my teeth in? I need to know. I had NO idea that a prosecutor could just go about threatening people bodily injury and the judicial body would say, 'hey, that's ok.'. Please expand on the definition of absolute privilege at your earliest convenience. It would seem that at all cost anyone should avoid Robert E. O'Neill who apparently could kick their teeth in or have someone in his office do so and that's his 'absolute privilege.' That is very scary for a layperson.
I do not know nor am I even vaguely acquainted with Jeffrey DelFuoco but what a scary thing to happen in a workplace where there are numerous laws in place to protect one.
How is O'Neill able to get by with this? Was threatening bodily harm to a subordinate part of a legislative duty? I am honestly befuddled by this.

Anonymous said...

The Ermest Peluso in Del Fuoco's complaint is an attorney for david gee, the sheriff. I can't put hands on it now but there are unsavory activities associated with Peluso. Tom Gonzalez whom you will see named with him frequently is possibly the largest crook (no, not really but UP THERE) accepted into the Florida Bar. He is also the School Board Attorney. Bad bad reputations, these gentlemen. Google searches will probably reveal most of it .. I will come back with the links at another time.

Michael Collins, Clearwater said...

In the case Thomas F. Spellissy v. Robert E. O'Neill, et al. CASE NO. 8:10-CV-1070-T-30AEP, O'Neill is being sued in his individual capacity. O'Neill is alleged to have given gave false statements to the Court and Jury during opening and closing arguments, not turning over exculpatory or impeaching evidence in discovery, falsely stating status of defendants, and misquoting government laws, regulations and policies in criminal Case No.08:-05-CR-475-T-27TGW . The government is also representing O'Neill in this civil case. In the criminal case there is also evidence of a witness being physically threaten by federal agents.

I bring this to your attention of this blog becasuse there is a pattern of misconduct by O'Neill in three different and unrelated cases. I hope that a person in a position to do something about Assitant United States Attorney O'Neill's misconduct steps up and takes action. The victim of O'Neill's misconduct is a decorated combat veteran who stood up to politics, a good ole boy network and was made a scape goat in a cover-up. Hopefully, justice will be served to O'Neill.

Anonymous said...

Make that way more than three. The only reason I have not filed suit is that there is only the rare attorney who will go up against these swine. NONE of them are available to me. So, guess what? Time for law school. The statute of limitations for RICO is long and flexible.

Anonymous said...

as I've said before: The people who speak up against Robert E. O'Neill are not folks who have been wronged by him in the courtroom or even the workplace. I have never EVER met him personally and yet he has had people stalk and threaten myself and my family, one of whom displays cult-like behavior associated w/ the teenagers who are the main supporters of the Irish Republican Army. Like it or not, this is factual information. I have it documented and we are living it. Interesting thing is that once I expose them, name, tag #, location, sightings, they disappear to be replaced by yet another thug. Sometimes I only expose them in email and it stops. They read your email, they stalk you everywhere you go. So, Robert E. O'Neill not only will kick someone's teeth IN, he will send his corrupt partner, Colin Breen's wife, Chritine Breen out to stalk people whom he has never encountered in any setting legal or no. THIS is a display of all the signs of mob behavior and also a corruption and gang mentality on a level one normally only reads in "The Godfather". It's my humble opinion that people are better off to have their lives destroyed publicly rather than this sicko of a monster, O'Neill having his partner's wife threatening innocent people with inclusion on the sexual offenders' registry and other heinous things that I have documented. The courtroom venue gives you an avenue of approach which then reveals corruption on a higher level at times. Much like the corruption existing that O'Neill has gotten THIS far and is a criminal of the highest order wearing the cloak of a FEDERAL prosecutor. Selectively targeting some and ignoring the abuse and domestic terrorism foisted on others and even participating in it himself in a tertiary but thinly disguised manner. That exhibits a profound level of mental illness and psychosis. Unless people think that the Godfather was an angel.
If what I am saying is not TRUE, why would O'Neill not pursue me for defamation of character? Because I can prove it. But he's still not done trying to plant child porn on a computer and send it into my home with the help of Christine Breen and whatever thugs Colin has in his stolen mansion at night. The evidence EXISTS.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seriously looked at the flame thrower to assess his credibility? And have you overlooked the stats on workplace violence? Is it more likely that a disgruntled employee would be the victim, or would he more likely be the perpetrator?

Alleged threats by O'Neill to kick someone's butt sounds like mere locker room talk. On the other hand O'Neill, as I understand, had to take strong measures to defend himself from the potential threat of violence from the disgruntled employee.

Play fair. Get real.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll get real AND play fair.
He (O'Neill) quite likely made all that up. "a number of attorneys and other blah blah yada yada" told him to protect himself. LOL. Come on what is he, A BABY?? He makes things up seemingly all the time. Evidence. Exoneration from arson for his buddies. Conversations. Evidence. Yes I mentioned that twice. ALL of those folks w/the Breen O'Neill krewe live in a meth-fueled and unlimited meth money fairytale. As much a badass as robert is and all those murders and gangbangers he and hsi buddy prosecuted and he's AFRAID OF another ATTORNEY?? That's just freakin FUNNY. Laugh out loud funny. Del Fuoco's throwing paper and Robert, unable to defend himself against THE TRUTH picks up a gun? And some more lies?
How's that for fair?? And very real. I KNOW THEM. I know what THEY ARE.

Anonymous said...

Many, MANY people have attempted to expose Robert O'Neill and his criminal connections over the years. Reporters have been intimidated. Innocent citizens like myself have been stalked and through it all robert oneill and colin breen and four green fields just grow richer and seemingly more powerful and untouchable.
This is an article by John Suggs which is about two years old and will fill in some gaps on the O'Neill saga.

Michael Collins, Clearwater said...

Below is an article on another O'Neill case with major issues concerning two constitutional violations by AUSA O'Neill against Wesley Snipes.


Snipes is now the the fourth (Gore-Dean, Del Fuoco, Spellissy) high profile case with issues concerning O'Neill's lack of ethics. The four victims of O'Neillism have the money and or education to fight back, what about those who don't and how many of them are out there.

Steve O'Hara said...

Colonel Tom Spellissy is innocent and we all know it. There are soldiers dying every day by IEDs because Spellissy is sitting on the sidelines. The guy is a brillant soldier. O'Neill prosecuted the wrong guy and has been under fire ever since and we hope he goes down for convicting an innocent man. I am just stunned that O'Neill was even nomimated for the US Attorney job. This blog is great, professionally done and highlights the true criminal, Bobby O'Neill.

Michael Collins said...

More from the MDFL.


This is how they operate in Florida.

Anonymous said...

This case has been reopened. Judge orders the government to respond. This will get interesting.

USA v. Spellissy et al
Case Number: 8:05-cr-00475-JDW-TGW
Document Number: 221
Docket Text:
ORDER directing the Government to respond to [220] MOTION for leave to file Joint Petition for Writs of Error Coram Nobis as to Thomas F. Spellissy, Strategic Defense International, Inc. Signed by Judge James D. Whittemore on 10/28/2010.

Anonymous said...

Just in.

Case Name: USA v. Spellissy et al
Case Number: 8:05-cr-00475-JDW-TGW
Document Number: 225(No document attached)

Docket Text:
ENDORSED ORDER granting Defendants' [220] Joint Motion for Leave to File. Within five (5) days of the date of this Order, Defendants shall electronically file the Joint Petition for Writs of Error Coram Nobis. The Government is directed to respond to the Petition within thirty (30) days of the date the Petition is filed. Signed by Judge James D. Whittemore on 11/19/2010. (KE)

Michael Collins said...

The Coram Nobis Appeal is at the 11th Circuit and there should be a ruling in the next few weeks. A Spellissy vacation would be a bombshell on US Attorney O'Neill.