By James F. Tierney
In the August 15, 2007 Boston Phoenix, Harvey described the criminal case against Powers Fasteners as a likely form of extortion, in which Attorney General Martha Coakley's motive in pursuing the company was to extort civil settlements from it and, more importantly, other companies -- such as contractor Bechtel -- with enough money to buy their way out. The Boston Globe reports this morning that lawyers for Powers Fasteners are asking the judge to dismiss the Powers indictment on the grounds that the Commonwealth's Attorney General cannot be an impartial prosecutor in a criminal case while she is simultaneously seeking money damages in a related civil lawsuit or negotiation. (Yesterday, the Globe reported that the private lawyer whom Coakley appointed to prosecute the case has "run up a tab that has already reached nearly $1 million," despite the fact that "even if convicted, the Powers Fasteners glue company faces a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine.") Is Coakley's zealous pursuit of a conviction against Powers Fasteners solely meant to hasten a multi-million dollar windfall accompanying a civil settlement? We'll be watching the case.