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Thursday, September 19, 2019

20,000 Documents! Whoa!

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  Well.  There appears to be a treasure trove of possibly incriminating information.  Or not.  When you use a vacuum cleaner to swoop up documents, you're going to get some ash and trash.  Hope these guys brought their lunches;  it's going to take more than a day. 

Here's the link:

Prosecutor: 20,000 documents compiled in investigation of Limestone sheriff


State prosecutors say they have collected more than 20,000 documents in their investigation of Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely, who was indicted last month on 13 theft and ethics counts.
"It is kind of daunting to to think we're going to have to sift through all that and figure out how it applies to the case," Robert Tuten, one of Blakely's lawyers, said Wednesday. "Obviously it's all very complicated."
The state Attorney General's Office revealed the existence of its cache of documents in a motion for a protective order it filed jointly with Blakely's attorneys Tuesday.
If granted by the judge, the protective order would prohibit either party from releasing information that identifies people other than Blakely.
"The state's discovery includes bank records, loan applications, and pistol permit applications of third parties — among other documents — that contain personally identifying information," according to the motion. "While the State would normally make the necessary redactions before producing discovery, such an undertaking is not feasible in this case because the State would need to redact more than 20,000 items."
Mike Lewis, a spokesman for state Attorney General Steve Marshall, said Blakely is not required to step down while he is under indictment.  "Under Alabama law the sheriff is not required to leave office while under indictment, nor is he precluded from continuing with his official duties," Lewis said.  Tuten said Blakely has not been pressured by the attorney general to step down, and the sheriff has no reason to do so.  
BLOGGER COMMENTS:  The article goes on with a detailed recitation of the felony and misdemeanor charges, with which we're all familiar.
Lewis and Tuten both said obtaining a protective order to prevent disclosure of discovery in a criminal case in not unusual.
"While information gathered during the discovery process is usually not made public, this office took the extra step of filing a protective order to ensure that personal identifying information of other individuals is safeguarded," Lewis said.
Tuten said he is not sure who the protective order is designed to protect, but that it's a common step.  "Those things are pretty typical when you have somebody else other than the defendant involved. I don't know who exactly that could be, but it's not uncommon when there are other private citizens mixed up in an investigation."

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