This issue has been ducked for too long. That's over with now. From here on, we do things MY way. (pulls out a shotgun) The Chicago Way. The "Globe guy" was Craig Lewis. He hired Tom Miller, a CO attorney, as his lawyer in an attempt to procure a copy of the RN. What Miller didn't realize at the time was that Lewis was going to get it one way or another. Without Miller's knowledge, Lewis attempted to bribe Donald Vacca for a copy. In so doing, he committed a crime. Commercial bribery, it's called. Miller and Lewis parted ways after that, understandably so. This was about late 1997. But nobody cared. With all that was going on, most people chalked it up to just another weird thing in a case that was very quickly building up a "freakshow" component. They just flat didn't think it was worth wasting taxpayer money on investigating. But there was ONE person (at least) who cared: Hal Haddon, JR's lawyer. Haddon held and still holds a LOT of power in the political and legal worlds of Colorado. He was out for blood, and what Haddon wants, Haddon gets. He put in a call to one of his friends in the CO "old boys network" that so bedeviled this case. That friend was David Thomas, the Jefferson County DA. In 1999, TWO FULL YEARS after the incident, Thomas brought charges against Lewis and Miller for commercial bribery and conspiracy. Lewis was made an offer: if he made a donation of $100,000 to the Colorado School of Journalism, the charges would be dropped. He did, and they were. I don't know if this was the same school where Michael Tracey plied his trade, but if it was, that's an issue in and of itself. At this point, or very soon afterwards, Miller realized that HE was the real target. And it was easy to see why. Aside from being a lawyer, Miller was also a court-certified handwriting examiner and well-known in CO circles for being damn good at it. After the bribe debacle, Miller did an analysis of the RN. His conclusion: PR wrote it. It quickly became clear that his conclusion was what put him in Haddon's gunsights. After their sweetheart deal with Lewis, they JeffCo DA offered him a deal too. But instead of being an offer that he couldn't refuse, it was an offer no self-respecting man with any spirit could accept. The deal was: Miller would avoid jail time by giving up his law license and renouncing his own credentials as a handwriting examiner, thus eliminating any chance that he might be called to testify against PR in court, where his reputation alone would give the defense a tough mountain to climb. Not being a stupid man, Miller realized that this was not a negotiation, it was a gang-rape. So, he did what anyone would have done: he told them to stuff their deal. After another two years of legal wrangling, the case went to trial, where Miller's lawyers pulled off a real coup. During cross-examination of David L. Williams, a private investigator working for Haddon's office, Williams revealed that he and several other investigators for the firm had been ordered to find something that they could use against Miller if he were ever called to testify against PR. When they found out about the bribery angle, they knew they had something. If Miller were found guilty, he'd be disbarred and his credibility would be zero. If he accepted their deal, same result. They wanted to turn him into damaged goods so he couldn't testify. The jury cut Miller loose in about the same amount of time it makes to have a cup of coffee. Since then, he's become very bitter toward the Rs, who he blames for trying to ruin him out of fear and revenge. I can't blame him for being angry. I'd take it personally too. I'm not sure if what Haddon and Co. did was illegal, but if it was, nobody bothered to take him to task on it. Williams also gave Haddon a possible out in his testimony by saying that he didn't know how far the order to smear Miller went. Thus, Haddon has plausible deniability and can theoretically throw Williams to the wolves as a rogue operative if necessary. Speaking of plausible deniability, aside from the consequences something like this might have on the legal system as an institution, the big question here is how involved were the Rs themselves in this attempt to ruin a man's life? Well, there's a lot of debate about that. It goes back to the question about Watergate: what did they know and when did they know it? If they did orchestrate it, it reflects very badly on them. Did they understand that risk? If they didn't, when did they find out about it, if at all? What was their reaction? If they didn't, why did Haddon feel the need to stoop to such disreputable tactics, especially since his clients were supposedly innocent? Perhaps the answer to that lies in the lawyer's mantra that even if you are innocent, a lawyer will defend you like you're guilty because they know that most of their clients are guilty. Did they Rs make any attempts to find out what their defenders were doing? I would guess not. JR himself has stated that he adopted a "don't ask, don't tell," policy toward the investigators. Perhaps most pressing of all, were their other attempts to sabotage potential witnesses? Well, according to Cina Wong, another document examiner who pegged PR as the author, there were. In a recent radio interview, (I hope you folks caught it. Shame if you didn't) Wong claimed that she was sent threatening messages from R lawyer Lin Wood and that suspicious cars would follow her. Whether these were just coincidences is up to the reader. In all, let me say this. Hal Haddon's conduct in this affair was nothing short of reprehensible. While it's possible that JR was not involved in the plan, his money was used to do it. That's the Chicago Way.