Prosecutors try to paint a money trail By PETER WALLSTEN
St. Petersburg Times, published May 29, 1998
TALLAHASSEE -- Taxpayers gave state Rep. Randy Mackey $1,544.25 a month to run his legislative district office in Lake City.
But every month, Mackey used $600 to rent office space in a building owned by his parents. Then, every month, his father wrote a $200 check back to his son.
That was one of several revelations to surface Thursday, the second day of Mackey's federal tax-evasion trial, as a prosecutor portrayed a man who used his status as a public official to help a hometown corporation and pocket some extra cash.
Another development: Mackey was on the payroll of one of Florida's major road paving companies for nearly four years, but the company's president could not say for sure what the legislator did to earn his money.
Anderson-Columbia Co., meanwhile, won millions of dollars in state contracts and, with Mackey's help, lowered a stiff environmental fine.
Mackey continued to say he had done nothing wrong. "We're going to get on the stand," a confident-sounding Mackey told reporters during a break. "This whole thing will become clear."
The 48-year-old conservative Democrat has been accused of making $36,000 a year in 1993 and 1994 from Anderson-Columbia and failing to report the income to the Internal Revenue Service. He and his wife, Pamela, are accused of conspiring to hide the income, using a business called Mackey and Associates.
The legislator's lawyers say his failure to pay taxes was an "honest mistake," that he did not receive the proper tax forms from the company, and that he was distracted by his wife's illness. They also said he thought his wife had reported the income.
Among the additional revelations Thursday:
Anderson-Columbia paid Mackey $1,500 to $3,000 a month between January 1993 and September 1996, totalling more than $110,000. The payments stopped when the company learned of the IRS inquiry.
IRS Special Agent Jeff Breault, who led the Mackey investigation, testified that the lawmaker may have received cash payments from the company.
Mackey had promised to pay a 1992 loan of $25,000 back to Anderson-Columbia by October 1993 but did not pay it back until last year. He had offered to swap some land with the company instead of cash, but company officials declined.
A lobbyist for Anderson-Columbia said Mackey may have worked for the company in the 1980s, after being elected to the Legislature in 1986. Mackey said he did pro-bono work for the company in 1991, helping it establish a self-insurance plan for workers' compensation. But the most compelling testimony Thursday came from Terrell McRae, president of Anderson-Columbia, who said he had reservations about hiring Mackey and his wife as consultants.
"I didn't want to do anything to give the perception that our company was in or near something wrong," McRae said, adding that the company chairman assured him there was no impropriety.
In 1994, months after Mackey married his former legislative aide, some of the monthly checks were made out to Mackey and Associates, a partnership the couple formed to do consulting work. McRae said he thought the couple was sharing payments, and that Pamela Mackey had been hired as a lobbyist in the state Capitol.
But he acknowledged her qualifications were limited to her experience as Mackey's legislative aide -- and to the fact that she is his wife. Mackey, a member of the state House Transportation Committee since 1994, has come under criticism for supporting legislation his wife sought as a lobbyist.
Prosecutor Thomas Kirwin asked whether the marriage "was an important consideration" in hiring Pamela Mackey.
"I'm sure it was," McRae replied.
McRae could not say what Mackey did.
"I couldn't tell you what specific projects he worked on," the company president said, adding later that he appreciated Mackey's pro-bono insurance advice. Mackey was having some financial trouble with land investments, and needed the money, McRae said.
"I felt we had an obligation to help Randy after what he had done for us," McRae said. "He had done a super job."
Meanwhile, an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, released earlier this year, revealed that Mackey stepped in to help the company avoid what could have been a $42,000 fine by state environmental regulators.
He and another legislator called a top Department of Environmental Protection official on behalf of Anderson-Columbia, which was caught moving contaminated soil from an incinerator at the Pensacola Naval Air Station to Lake City. After the lawmakers' calls, the DEP lowered the fine to $7,500.
Mackey said Thursday that the $200 monthly checks from his father were unrelated to his legislative stipend. The cash, he said, went into a "land trust" he shared with his parents. Was the $200 a kickback?
"No," Mackey told a reporter. "Hell no." -- Times Researcher Carolyn Hardnett contributed to this report.
Lawmaker convicted on felony tax charge
By PETER WALLSTEN
St. Petersburg Times, published June 3, 1998
TALLAHASSEE -- A longtime Florida legislator was convicted Tuesday of filing a false federal income tax return. State Rep. Randy Mackey of Lake City faces up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine, and he loses his right to vote. But his future in the state House of Representatives was unclear late Tuesday.
Mackey, an influential conservative Democrat who has good relations with the House's Republican leadership, will be sentenced Sept. 11. He did not know Tuesday whether he would appeal.
"We're absolutely shocked about it," Mackey said after the verdict. "We were able to show enough to put doubt in (jurors') minds."
The conviction grew out of $36,000 that he was paid in 1993 by a major paving company in his district, Anderson-Columbia Co. Inc.
Mackey paid the taxes -- about $13,000 -- after he learned about the Internal Revenue Service investigation in 1996.
Mackey, 48, an Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam, testified that he thought his wife was going to report the income, even though he endorsed the checks and deposited them into his personal account.
His lawyer argued that political opponents and the IRS were out to get his client.
The 12-member jury found Mackey not guiltyof two additional felony counts -- filing a false return in 1994 and conspiring to defraud the federal government by hiding the income.
Mackey's former legislative aide and now-estranged wife, Pamela, also was found not guilty of conspiracy.
Jurors deliberated about five hours Tuesday, easily tossing out the two felony counts. But they could not ignore the 1993 money, one juror said.
"There was $36,000 not accounted for," said juror Donald Daniels of Tallahassee. "No matter what he says, it was still his to declare."
This is not Mackey's first brush with the law.
Last year, he was arrested by South Carolina authorities on misdemeanor charges of illegal deer hunting -- having a gun and a light in a game area at night.
Mackey was visiting relatives and said he and other hunters keep guns in their vehicles to avoid bringing them inside around children.
Throughout the four-day trial, prosecutor Thomas Kirwin portrayed Mackey as a corrupt legislator who used his influence for personal financial gain.
Mackey, who was first elected to the House in 1986, was paid more than $110,000 in consulting fees by Anderson-Columbia between 1993 and 1996.
Besides not reporting all of it to the federal government, he did not report income on his state financial disclosure forms.
He also did not report a 1992 loan from the company for $25,000 -- a loan he did not pay off until last year.
State law requires public officials to declare assets and liabilities greater than $1,000.
The state Ethics Commission regulates the disclosures but cannot initiate an investigation, a spokeswoman said Tuesday. A citizen would have to file a complaint.
There were also allegations that Mackey used state money to rent office space from his parents and then received $200 monthly kickbacks, intervened while on the Anderson-Columbia payroll to help the company get a $120,000 state tax refund and received cash payments from the company.
"All of those things were just rabbit trails," he told reporters, denying any wrongdoing.
As news of Mackey's conviction reached the Capitol on Tuesday, nobody was sure what it meant for his job as a legislator.
House rules require that a member convicted of a felony be suspended immediately without a hearing.
But Speaker Daniel Webster said the rule also requires the crime to be a felony under the state Constitution -- meaning a federal conviction might not apply.
Webster said he would "promptly make the determination" on Mackey's status when he gets more details from the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee, perhaps today.
Mackey has filed to run for re-election in November. But as a convicted felon he loses his right to vote and therefore is not qualified to appear on the ballot, said David Bishop, a spokesman for the Department of State.
State elections officials said it was not clear whether an appeal would allow Mackey to run.
In the 1980s, state Rep. John Thomas of Jacksonville was convicted of federal loan fraud charges and was allowed to remain in office. He lost a re-election bid to Don Gaffney, who later faced a variety of charges related to his work on the Jacksonville City Council.
Gaffney was eventually convicted of conspiracy, extortion and attempted extortion.
In 1986, state Rep. Elvin Martinez, D-Tampa, was indicted on charges of lying to a federal grand jury about personal drug use and knowledge of drugs.
He was acquitted on three counts while a fourth count was dismissed for lack of evidence.
Martinez, now a Hillsborough County Court judge, was convicted for not filing his income tax returns in a timely fashion in 1983, 1984 and 1985, a misdemeanor.
Mackey said he was heartened by calls of support from friends throughout Florida. Despite some donations from friends, Mackey said his legal fees are overwhelming. Last year he reported a net worth of $206,000.
As for his future in politics, Mackey said only: "I'd hate to see it come to an end like this."
Troubles mount for 2 state lawmakers By JULIE HAUSERMAN
St. Petersburg Times, published June 13, 1998
TALLAHASSEE -- State Rep. Randy Mackey is already a convicted tax felon. Now, he has to wear a 24-hour electronic monitoring device because of a domestic brawl this week with his estranged wife, Pam Mackey.
In a court hearing Friday that seemed to come straight from tabloid headlines, the Mackeys accused each other of infidelity, physical abuse and lying. At one point, Rep. Mackey removed his jacket, tie, dress shirt and undershirt and walked bare-chested through the courtroom to show scratches and bruises he said were inflicted by his wife, stepson, and the stepson's 18-year-old friend.
Mackey is a conservative Democrat from Lake City best known for his defense of prayer in the schools.
After five hours of wild testimony, U.S. Magistrate William Sherrill ruled that Wednesday's domestic melee in Lake City violated the terms of Mackey's probation, then ordered him to wear an electronic monitor for the next three months. Mackey will have to get permission each time he wants to leave his house.
Mackey, who has been in office since 1986, plans to resign from the House of Representatives on Sept. 1 -- just 10 days before he is to be sentenced for filing a false federal income tax return. For now, he says, he will carry out his duties as a state representative, even if he has to wear an electronic monitoring device to his district office each day.
"I'd tell my constituents: I've never done anything in this office to embarrass them in any way. I've worked hard for them for years," Mackey said outside the federal courthouse in Tallahassee.
During a hearing laced with profanity, Pam Mackey accused her husband of being a philanderer, beating her during their marriage, and, during a fight at their Lake City home Wednesday, holding her against a wall and threatening to kill her.
"I could feel his breath on my face. He said 'I'm going to kill you. I will f------ kill you,' " she said.
She said Mackey had a gun, a claim Sherrill later ruled to be unfounded.
She also admitted once smashing Mackey's things with a baseball bat in the couple's home.
"I only destroyed a few of Mr. Mackey's things in retaliation to his hitting me," she said.
"Mr. Mackey wasn't there?" lawyer Steve Dobson asked.
"No, he was with his girlfriend," she said.
Randy Mackey accused her of having affairs, claimed she is mentally unstable and said she has told others she wants him dead. He admitted that both had been unfaithful during their marriage.
"'We aren't both lily-white,'" said Mackey, who has aligned himself with Christian conservatives in the House.
Four years ago, Mackey left his first wife for Pam, who was then his legislative aide.
Pam and Randy Mackey's marriage unraveled this year, while the two faced charges of federal tax fraud. Pam Mackey was acquitted. Randy Mackey was convicted.
Neither has yet filed for divorce. Randy Mackey is living in the couple's Lake City home. On Wednesday, Pam Mackey arrived while movers carried her possessions out of the house. The couple began arguing, and Pam's stepson and another 18-year-old man joined the brawl.
"I'm the one who bears the brunt of the attack," Mackey said. "I never touched her in any fashion."
But Sherrill ruled that Randy Mackey was "not credible" and pointed to photographs showing that Pam Mackey had a bruise on her neck and marks on her back "consistent with being banged into a wall." Rep. Mackey was also assaulted, the magistrate said, and scratched when one of the teens attacked him with a wire coat hanger.
"It's pretty obvious after things broke down, everybody was fighting," Sherrill said. "'The truth has been stretched by a number of witnesses."
Randy Mackey's secretary, Brian Nimbs, was in the house at the time, and said he did not see Mackey strike his wife. But, he also said he left the room twice to call for help and might not have seen everything that occurred.
Diana Robinson, who works as Rep. Mackey's aide, said Pam Mackey once said: "I should have killed him when I had the chance."
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Randy Mackey said: "'There's such an outcry against domestic violence, and rightly so. That's one of the reasons I'm getting divorced, is because of domestic violence. I was married 21 years. The biggest mistake I ever made was leaving my first marriage."
The hearing Friday is the latest in a series of court appearances for Rep. Mackey. Last week, a jury found him not guilty of two counts of tax fraud but convicted him of one count. That conviction grew out of $36,000 he was paid by Anderson Columbia, a major paving company in his district. Mackey didn't report the income.
Last year, he was arrested by South Carolina authorities for illegal deer hunting -- having a gun and a light in a game area at night. He later agreed to enter a pre-trial intervention program, and his record was cleared.
MISCONDUCT IS ALLEGED IN OTHER CASES
HANDLED BY FORMER PROSECUTORS
By Ted Gregory
Chicago Tribune Staff Writer
June 19, 1998
Two former prosecutors facing charges of railroading onetime murder suspect Rolando Cruz were accused of misconduct in five other cases, according to documents filed by special prosecutor William J. Kunkle Jr.
Kunkle wants to introduce the other cases in the upcoming trial of Patrick J. King Jr., Robert K. Kilander and five others charged with framing Cruz in the 1983 slaying of Jeanine Nicarico.
The seven men--three former prosecutors and four DuPage County sheriff's officers--are accused of manufacturing evidence against Cruz and hiding evidence that may have cleared him.
Cruz was acquitted in November 1995 in the middle of his third trial in the Nicarico case. The seven men were indicted by a grand jury in December 1996.
The documents, filed by Kunkle last week, refer to cases that King prosecuted as an assistant U.S. attorney in 1992 and 1994 and a 1985 case he prosecuted as a DuPage County assistant state's attorney. The claims against Kilander stem from Cruz's 1990 trial and the 1988 trial of Cruz's co-defendant Alejandro Hernandez, both in DuPage County Circuit Court.
Lawyers for King and Kilander said the allegations were false and vowed to fight to keep the cases from being used in court.
"We don't believe Robert Kilander did anything wrong," said Kilander's attorney, Ronald Menaker. "We feel these (cases) are irrelevant."
In the 1994 case, which led to the bribery conviction of developer Robert Krilich, King reportedly indicated to jurors that bond proceeds belonged to bondholders of a development company when he knew that the money belonged to Krilich.
Defense attorneys sought a new trial for Krilich, alleging prosecutorial misconduct. But the judge denied the request, saying defense attorneys failed to show who owned the bond proceeds. The judge also said ownership of the bond proceeds was irrelevant.
In the 1992 case, attorneys for two men charged with extortion said King and two other assistant U.S. attorneys knew a key witness' grand jury testimony was false weeks before the trial.
Nevertheless, the defense attorneys claimed, King and his associates failed to disclose the perjury and attempted to conceal it at trial.
On the day King and another federal prosecutor were scheduled to testify to offer rebuttals, interim U.S. Atty. Michael Shepard dismissed the indictments. The move was considered highly unusual.
But a U.S. Department of Justice review of the prosecutors' actions concluded the assistant U.S. attorneys did not conduct themselves improperly.
Defense attorneys in the 1985 case sought to dismiss charges against three alleged burglars prosecuted by King. The defense attorneys alleged that King allowed a detective to make disparaging remarks from the witness stand about one of the defendants even though King had been admonished from the bench against doing so.
The two cases involving Kilander are linked to the Cruz prosecution.
In one, the 1988 prosecution of Hernandez, Kilander allegedly delayed sharing new evidence in the case with defense attorneys. The evidence indicated that footprints found below a window at the Nicarico house were made by a woman's shoes--not a man's, as had been previously suggested.
In his documents, Kunkle also included a reference to the resentencing hearing of a Death Row inmate who testified at Cruz's 1990 trial that Cruz confessed to him. Kilander, then a DuPage County assistant state's attorney, prosecuted Cruz in 1990.
At Cruz's trial, the Death Row inmate, Robert Turner, denied that prosecutors had promised to appear on his behalf at his resentencing if Turner testified against Cruz.
Kilander did testify at Turner's subsequent resentencing but said he was doing so under subpoena.
THE INJUSTICE TO MY SON 7