Friday, November 16, 2012

New trial, different verdict in NM Teapot Dome scandal

The two descendants of Albert Bacon Fall both know that Saturday's retrial and subsequent not-guilty verdict of their historically infamous relative won't have much legal standing. But they're holding out hope that someone with the appropriate power specifically the president of the United States may be able to lend a hand. Eighty-three years after Fall, a judge, U.S. senator from New Mexico and secretary of the interior during the Warren G. Harding presidency, was convicted of bribery during the Teapot Dome scandal, an Alamogordo audience found him not guilty of that conviction. It was the result of an informal retrial of United States v. Albert Bacon Fall that was staged Saturday night at New Mexico State University-Alamogordo's Tays Special Events Center. "It's what we've been saying all along," said Jouette Smith, the great-granddaughter of Fall who made the trip from Deming to watch the retrial of her great-grandfather. "I just wish the rest of our family could be here for this. My father (Fall's grandson) was obsessed about this his entire life. This would have pleased him." The case was presented by local attorneys, judges and others as part of Alamogordo's state centennial celebration. It was sponsored by the bar associations of Otero and Lincoln counties. The jury members of the audience sat through nearly three-and-a-half hours of testimony for and against Fall...more

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