Federal Charges for Smear Campaign

News-Press, The (Fort Myers, FL) January 20, 1999
Arrest adds twist to hospital case Author: Peter Franceschina; Staff News-Press Cape Coral Article Text: By PETER FRANCESCHINA News-Press staff writer

A paralegal who helped developer Carl Bailey prepare his defense on federal charges he and two Cape Coral Hospital administrators bilked the hospital of about $2 million has been charged with obstruction of justice. Michael A. Barfield, 36, who worked with private investigators hired by Bailey to look into the judge presiding in the case, was arrested Jan. 11 on a federal charge of obstruction of justice in Nashville. A court clerk there said Tuesday the affidavit outlining the allegations against Barfield is sealed by a magistrate’s order. The clerk said Barfield is in custody awaiting transfer to Tampa. Bailey and former hospital administrators Mike Ward and Dan Edgar were to stand trial on the charges in February 1997 when private investigators hired by Bailey alleged in court affidavits the judge and prosecutor secretly met to discuss the case. U.S. District Judge Lee Gagliardi -who recently died of cancer -and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Haley denied the allegation. An appellate court decided Gagliardi should step down from the case and suggested the Justice Department conduct a perjury investigation to determine who was lying. Since then, the Cape Coral Hospital case has been on hold while the prosecution and defense await the outcome of the investigation. A judge in Tampa has been holding regular status conferences to determine when the case can go forward, while FBI agents have been bringing witnesses before a Tampa grand jury. Bailey -who has claimed he is a victim of government persecution on a personal Web site -said he didn’t know anything about the allegations against Barfield. “I have no knowledge of what he did. I don’t know what he did right, wrong or indifferent. I just know he’s been arrested,” he said. “I believe there was something improper between that judge and prosecutor.” Copyright (c) The News-Press. All rights reserved.

St. Petersburg Times February 9, 1999 Edition:

SOUTH PINELLAS Section: CITY & STATE; METRO & STATE; TAMPA & STATE Page: 3B; 3B; 1B ethic indict trial Sarasota paralegal’s arrest may vindicate prosecutor, judge Author: LARRY DOUGHERTY Dateline: TAMPA Article Text:

An accusation made during a federal embezzlement case has led to an obstruction of justice charge. One of the federal prosecutors investigating the massive Columbia/HCA hospital chain for alleged overbilling has stood accused of wrongdoing the past two years: meeting privately with the judge to discuss issues in a separate case. That prosecutor, Kathleen A. Haley, was sitting in the courtroom audience Monday when federal investigators disclosed the arrest of a Sarasota paralegal they accuse of helping to fabricate the allegation against Haley and the judge. Haley declined to comment on the arrest, but her boss, U.S. Attorney Charles Wilson, said, “We’re obviously pleased with this latest development in the case.” Wilson, who has previously expressed confidence in Haley, said, “We look forward to the final chapter and hope for the complete vindication of Judge Gagliardi and Ms. Haley.” The judge whom Haley was accused of meeting, Senior U.S. District Judge Lee Gagliardi, died last year. Wilson’s office has been a bystander in the investigation ever since an appellate court ordered senior Justice Department officials to assume control, to prevent a conflict of interest. Monday, Michael A. Barfield, a 36-year-old Sarasota paralegal, appeared in court to answer to one count of obstructing justice. Barfield was arrested in Tennessee last month. A magistrate ordered Barfield held without bail. Barfield was working for Carl A. Bailey, a defendant in a federal embezzlement case involving Cape Coral Hospital. The case has been pending in Fort Myers for three years. According to an FBI affidavit, Barfield helped a private investigator named Deanna Scapaccino create a story that she had seen the judge and the prosecutor meet in a restaurant on Feb. 8, 1997, where they discussed Bailey’s case and exchanged documents. The FBI affidavit also states that Barfield helped the private investigator draft an affidavit describing the fictitious encounter. The fabrication has been used by the Cape Coral defendants to attack Haley. The Columbia/HCA defendants cited it as grounds for Gagliardi’s removal from their case. The FBI affidavit says that two months ago Barfield told a grand jury in Tampa that no such meeting had occurred between Gagliardi and Haley, and that he and others had coached Scapaccino in her story. A senior Justice Department attorney who is prosecuting Barfield, Miles F. Ehrlich of the Public Integrity Section, declined to say who else might be charged. -Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this story, which also drew on information from Times files.

Second man accused of filing false affidavit
By LARRY DOUGHERTY   St. Petersburg Times, published April 16, 1999 TAMPA –

Federal prosecutors have charged a second paralegal withtrying to force a federal judge off a Fort Myers criminal case by falselyclaiming the judge had met improperly with the case prosecutor at a localrestaurant. Dana Corum, 61, of Lake Worth, helped prepare a false affidavit about themeeting, which alleged that the judge and prosecutor met at Plum’s Cafenear Fort Myers in February 1997 to discuss the case and exchangedocuments, an indictment states. Corum, the co-owner of a private investigation agency, also obtained records of long distance calls from the judge’s home telephone, the indictment said. Corum’s indictment follows the arrest in January of Michael A. Barfield, a36-year-old Sarasota paralegal, on the same allegation. The judge in thecase, Senior U.S. District Judge Lee Gagliardi, died late last year after an illness. The allegation of the meeting had forced a federal grand jury investigationof Gagliardi and the federal prosecutor, Kathleen Haley. In 1997, Haley was the lead prosecutor on an embezzlement case involving Cape CoralHospital. One of the defendants was Carl A. Bailey. Bailey hired Barfield, who in turn hired Corum, court records show.Corum and the woman with whom she co-owns Panther InvestigationsInc., Deana Scapaccino, worked out the details of the false meeting thatScapaccino claimed to have witnessed, Corum’s indictment states. Theycooperated on an affidavit Scapaccino signed and had lunch together atPlum’s Cafe to gather additional details, the indictment states. In concert with unnamed others, Corum is charged with conspiracy, twocounts of obstruction of justice and being an accessory to perjury after the fact. She was arrested in South Florida last month. Corum entered pleas of not guilty in front of a magistrate in Tampa onTuesday. Corum is free on a $100,000 bond secured by her roommate’s house.

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