Letters

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On April 15, the panel met with Luke Madole in what was essentially an unofficial meeting. No witnesses were presented, no evidence was presented or discussed, no record was made of the meeting. Luke talked about several theories he had about the matter and let it be known that he had received considerable contact from Baron & Budd representatives wanting to know what we were doing. He also said others from the legal profession had expressed their interest and offered assistance. He indicated the possibility that the U.S. Attorney's Office was looking into the same matter. The panel offered Luke considerable encouragement that it wanted to get on with the investigation. It was decided that the grand jury panel would meet on May 6, but that meeting was canceled by the district attorney's office. A later meeting scheduled for May 20 was canceled by Luke Madole the afternoon before. No other meetings were scheduled, and our grand jury term was allowed to expire without further explanation or contact on June 30.

Thank you for letting me get this off my chest.
Anonymous
Dallas

Editor's note: The Dallas Observer typically doesn't publish anonymous letters of this nature. But the letter contains so much detailed, apparently factual information that we showed a copy to Bill Alexander, foreman of the grand jury in question. Alexander says the letter was written by someone who clearly was a member of the panel, and adds, "I endorse everything he said." Alexander says he did not write the letter himself.

Alexander also says he was the one who provided the 2,000 pages of documents, which included transcripts of civil hearings on the Terrell memo in Ohio, Texas, and Kentucky, as well as appellate proceedings.

He won't comment further on the grand jury's actions, but says, "The bottom line is, the FBI is actively investigating this. Their investigation involves bankruptcy fraud in other states. The grand jury in Dallas didn't have the long-arm jurisdiction to handle this."

The Observer also provided a copy of this letter to Assistant District Attorney Mike Gillett. He sent the following written statement:

"My first impression was not to respond to a letter from an unnamed source critical of our office and Luke Madole. I believe the public understands the difference between efforts to generate news and reporting it. That is why we initially had decided not to respond. However, to set the record straight regarding the facts and Luke Madole, a response appears necessary.

"The facts are straightforward. The Baron & Budd memorandum was the subject of a requested grand jury investigation by Judge John Marshall. It was given to the grand jury after being left without explanation on a desk in our Intake Division. The grand jury initially decided to comply with the request, understanding that its jurisdiction was limited to offenses occurring in Dallas County. Judge Marshall had suspected that the memorandum might have been used in a civil case within our jurisdiction, because it had allegedly been used in a civil case in Corpus Christi, Texas.

"This was a grand jury investigation, not a district attorney investigation. Our legal responsibility was to advise the grand jury on the law and assist them in their efforts to examine witnesses appearing before them. The agreement by the grand jury to review this matter did not and does not change the traditional responsibility of the district attorney as a prosecutorial authority to that of a police agency investigative authority. I think it interesting that the anonymous grand juror, who now complains that we did not do his or her job for him or her, admits that he or she did not care enough to read the documents provided by their foreman.

"I will defend Luke Madole because he deserves it. I am personally aware of the large number of hours he devoted to preparing matters for the grand jury and complying with their requests. He initially addressed the grand jury in April when Mr. [Bill] Alexander was unable to do so, a fact the anonymous grand juror was unaware of. The two subsequent May sessions were canceled. The first because the grand jury, not the district attorney's office, through an oversight failed to subpoena certain witnesses. The second because not enough grand jurors as required by law could be present to proceed.

"The United States Attorney's criminal jurisdiction extends outside of Dallas County. The FBI, an investigative agency, has been conducting an investigation that will be reviewed by that prosecution authority. Both Bill Alexander and Luke Madole recognized the issues involved and had the wisdom to defer to the federal investigative resources and expanded jurisdiction. If the anonymous grand juror had read the documents provided to him or her, who knows, he or she might have come to the same conclusion.

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