Windsor resident says Department of Justice is corrupt

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014


In the late 1990’s my father and I endured four long, painful years of the Department of Justice’s efforts to intimidate and bully. Much like the McDonnell case is turning out to be, it became more focused on putting a pelt on their wall and less on actual justice being served. My father at the time was a State Senator. Staff within the Department of Justice looked for a smoking gun for four years and when they realized there were none they thought they could win by wearing us down with their resources and brutal fear tactics. Twice during this time period they tried to get us to plead to something of which we were not guilty, with the assurance of no jail time. Fortunately, we had the resources and determination to stand strong and fight back.

After reading your coverage of the McDonnell case I was saddened as it brought back much of the anger I felt during the time I just described. While I have no opinion on the guilt or innocence of Governor and Mrs. McDonnell, I cannot help but see similarities to the case I endured in the one-sidedness from your article. I have great confidence in our judge and jury system, however I do have very strong opinions on the Department of Justice. If we, as Americans blindly believe the Department of Justice is always about seeing justice prevail we could not be more mistaken. This group has unlimited resources with no to little accountability. Some in this department are less interested in justice and more interested in personal promotion or agendas. Friends, it is very scary and dangerous to think we blindly trust in this department of our government with little questioning. My frustrations range from Eric Holder, right down to the Richmond office.

My heightened moment of disgust with the recent McDonnell case came when I read that the Department of Justice forced the children of the McDonnells to testify before the grand jury. I see this as a gross abuse of power, as I can assure this will have a permanent effect on those children and that family. In fact, I believe the entire grand jury process lends itself to quite often be far from fair and just. It seems with little accountability, government attorneys can twist and slant testimony to the point that it could border corruption. I would suspect the real criminal in this case is Johnnie Williams, who has now been given immunity to testify against the higher profile individuals. While there are many honorable people working within the Department of Justice, there are still some that appear to be driven by motives and egos that are far less than pure. Whether the McDonnells win or lose they will have the painful road ahead of putting their decimated family back together. If the Department of Justice wins they will parade out of the courthouse front door and bask in their victory. If they lose they will quietly slip out of the back door.

When my and my father’s case finally went to trial our attorneys had a field day and the judge handed the Department of Justice their heads. The case was such a travesty of justice and abuse of their power that after two weeks of government testimony the judge threw the case out of court. Sure enough, the Department of Justice attorneys slipped out of the back door. The judge later determined that the Department of Justice had acted in a vexatious manner and in bad faith and ordered the reimbursement of our legal fees under the newly passed Hyde Amendment. The ruling was upheld after a government appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

We won, but let me tell you how we lost. It cost me my mother. She died suddenly just before the indictment was handed down, having no known prior health problems. Part of their tactics to inflict pain and intimidation was to tell us in March that we would be indicted in September, giving them six months to torture us with constant harassment. It also cost my father his last healthy years. He died before we ever received the Department of Justice’s check. Lastly, it cost our family four, long years of almost unbearable stress. You see, they win even when they lose and we lose even when we win.

Again, I am so passionate and angered because I see the similarities and possible repeat of abuse of power and trust within the Department of Justice.

Richard J. Holland Jr., Windsor
On behalf of myself and my deceased father, Richard J. Holland