A Whistleblower Leaves Jail
Last week, Bob Mullally walked out of jail, finally free of the legal furor that turned his life upside down. Mullally, 59, served 45 days for violating a 1997 civil court order and leaking 79 confidential files detailing domestic-violence complaints involving LAPD officers to a KCBS-TV reporter.
A subsequent investigation by the police departments inspector general affirmed the TV revelations, documenting how LAPD officers suspected of domestic violence received favored treatment from their department. (See: "Life of a Whistleblower", June 6 - 12.)
The reward for Mullally, a criminal-defense consultant, was a jail term at Oxford Federal Prison in South Central Wisconsin. It was nothing more than a warehouse, he said, holding people who could have been sentenced to home arrest. They didnt even make a pretense of rehabilitating or re-training people. He spent his first night in a solitary-confinement cell with lights blazing. I was strip-searched three times during intake and given only a long T-shirt to wear, he said. I was first assigned to clean toilets, then I got to wash dishes. Finally I got promoted to bussing tables in the cafeteria.
Inexplicably, he was initially labeled a wife-beater. Somehow that story got around, and I was getting a lot of dirty looks and hostility. But I finally got things straightened out, and one guard even told me, Way to go.
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Mullally says he is still trying to make sense of his odyssey. He also has to find a job and a place to live. I just cant believe the courts continue to hide information about police officers abusing their wives and children. I want to come back to L.A. and talk to the City Council about what happened.
Hes heading home to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to nail down a new job and a place to live. I feel optimistic and, most importantly, I finally feel free.
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