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Mobile, AL, best known for its big city atmosphere, but friendly down home folks, is facing some tough problems in the county’s District Attorney’s office.  Actually, several of the area’s community leaders are facing serious charges, says A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and founder.   In early May 2010, former Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine was arrested and charged with murdering his mistress, Angel Downs.  He is currently awaiting trial for first degree murder and several other drug charges, along with being hit with divorce papers from his wife.  The accusations also include charges that he used company property, specifically, a company truck, to take numerous vacations to areas such as Pensacola, FL. and New Orleans, LA.

Two months following Nodine’s arrest, Michael Hickman, a Mobile County assistant district attorney, was arrested in his home for what ultimately became third-degree domestic violence charges.  Few details have been released in this case and Hickman is currently taking a leave of absence from the District Attorney’s office.

Two weeks later, Steve Giardini, another Mobile County assistant district attorney was arrested and charged with child sex crimes.  The shocking tragedy is that in his role with the district attorney’s office, he served as a specialized child sex crime prosecutor.  Those whom he worked so closely with over the years have refused to comment on his arrest and instead, are supporting Giardini.  This only adds to the shock since these people, including others in the DA’s office and the area’s Child Advocacy Director, encourage children and families to never suffer in silence and to always speak up.  The director, Pat Guyton, said, “It is inappropriate to comment on the arrest at this time”.

His charges include soliciting a 15 year old girl over the internet to have sex for the intent of producing pornography.  The girl he believed he was conversing with was actually an undercover FBI agent.

District Attorney John Tyson, Jr., who’s been re-elected several times to his post, is reeling from all of these charges and says he is in “major shock”.    The raid took place on Giardini’s home more than a year ago, yet remained confidential and unknown to even Tyson.  Tyson says this only adds insult to injury as he allowed the ADA to continue prosecuting others accused of the same crimes he’s now been arrested for.

In all three of these cases, A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and founder, says it’s important to remember none have been found guilty and are innocent until a jury decides.  Still, these community leaders only make it more difficult for those who do take their public responsibilities seriously.  “It’s a black mark for district attorneys and others”, says the founder.  Tyson agrees, saying his goal is to recover from these shocking events of late and to move forward with the job he was elected to do: convict those guilty of heinous crimes, including domestic violence and sex crimes.

No word yet on when the trials will begin for any of the three mentioned, says A. Harrison Barnes

Assistant District Attorney

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