This weekend news came from Omaha of a lawyer, Terry L. Haddock, acting as a government informant. Haddock went into the jail to talk to Shannon Williams, who allegedly used Haddock’s cell phone to run a marijuana trafficking operation. Williams says he thought Haddock was his lawyer; the government says that it was clear to Williams that Haddock was “not his attorney and would not do any legal work for him at all.”
There’s no clear picture, yet, of why Haddock, licensed since 2002, decided to stop lawyering and start snitching. He has “told others he is in the witness protection program.”
It was almost a year ago that the story of Francis M. “Frank” Pignatelli emerged. At the time, I gave Pignatelli the benefit of the presumption of innocence and suggested that Pignatelli either “was dirty and got caught, or he was clean and got spooked.” I hadn’t kept up with that story, but in August Pignatelli pled guilty to a criminal information charging him with money laundering in Ohio:
So “dirty and got caught,” it is. He earned a 5K1 with his cooperation:
semiliterate Sentencing Memo by the U.S. Government
And was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison:
Will it turn out that Haddock, 52 years old, got himself into something too deep and started, like Pignatelli, cooperating to work off a beef? Was he looking for excitement, a change of pace from his civil and transactional practice? Was working as an informant a way to indulge a lifelong law-enforcement fantasy? At the detention hearing (mp3), the Magistrate Judge didn’t allow defense counsel to inquire into the background of Haddocks’ cooperation; maybe, if we’re lucky, time will tell.