Windsor resident: DOJ is corrupt

Published 9:40 pm Wednesday, August 20, 2014

By Richard Holland Jr.

In the late 1990s 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 was none, they thought they could win by wearing us down with their resources and brutal fear tactics. Twice 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.

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After reading 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 McDonnell case, I cannot help but see similarities to the case I endured.

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.

My heightened moment of disgust with the recent McDonnell case came when I read that the Department of Justice forced the McDonnells’ children to testify before the grand jury. I see this as a gross abuse of power.

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 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’s 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. 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 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. 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.

Richard J. Holland Jr., of Windsor, is chairman and chief executive officer of Farmers Bank. Contact him at