Thursday, December 1, 2005
Prominent Michigan attorney Geoffrey Fieger's law office was searched by FBI and IRS agents, a move that only heightens the drama surrounding him. Fieger achieved a small amount of national prominence in the 1990s for his representation of Dr. Jack Kevorkian in connection with various assisted deaths, and he was the 1998 Democratic nominee for Governor of Michigan (losing badly to then-incumbent John Engler). More recently, Fieger has been investigated for campaign contributions in opposition to a Michigan Supreme Court Justice running for election and for alleged extortion of Michigan Attorney General MIke Cox for threatening to reveal an affair Cox had with a co-worker in an earlier job if Cox's office did not drop the campaign contribution investigation. When a local county prosecutor announced that he decided not to file charges, despite finding the extortion claim credible, Fieger demand a federal investigation of Cox (see earlier post here).
An AP story (here) notes that a Department of Justice spokesperson referred questions to the local U.S. Attorney's Office and the Public Integrity Section of Main Justice, which indicates that the investigation likely concerns improper payments to public officials. The presence of IRS CID agents as part of the search usually means that undisclosed transfers of funds are involved in the case, and those types of secret payments tend not to be reported on one's tax returns. There's no indication yet whether the search is related to the alleged extortion of Cox, but a search warrant is never a good sign for the lawyer whose office is the object of the search. (ph)