Alabama attorney/blogger Roger Shuler was arrested Thursday in Shelby County and held without bond, charged with two counts of contempt of court in a case that has sparked conspiracy theories pointing the finger of blame at Republican officials, including the son of former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley.
Capt. Ken Burchfield of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday that Shuler was being held in the county jail in Columbiana pending a hearing. Shuler was arrested "pursuant to a court order," and was also charged with resisting arrest, Burchfield said. A jail mugshot showed Shuler, inmate No. 288928, with an apparent swollen bruise on his left eye.
Shuler is a liberal blogger who has been sued for defamation by Riley's son Rob, by lobbyist Liberty Duke and by Republican lobbyist Jessica Garrison. At his Legal Schnauzer blog, Shuler has claimed that Rob Riley had an extramarital affair that led to Duke's divorce. Schuler has also been sued by Garrison, a divorcee whom he accused of having a "long running affair" with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.
Shuler wrote Monday that he skipped a Circuit Court hearing last week on contempt charges Riley sought against him, saying: "Rob Riley's actions are glaring proof that Rovian arrogance and lawlessness still reign over Alabama and other deep-red states across the South. ... Rob Riley is deeply connected to some of the most corrupt activities in modern American political history." Shuler also referenced Riley's ties to "national figures such as Karl Rove and Jack Abramoff." Conspiracy theories about Rove's role in Alabama politics are nothing new. The American Spectator's Quin Hillyer wrote in February 2008 about claims that Rove had conspired in the criminal prosecution of the state's former Democrat governor, Don Siegelman.
Liberal talk-radio host and Fox News contributor Alan Colmes has written about Shulter's legal woes, calling "Rob Riley’s zeal to have Shuler and his wife arrested ... breathtakingly unlawful -- and outright foolish."