Archived Story

‘Legal Schnauzer’ blogger released from jail

Published 2:45pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014

By CASSANDRA MICKENS / Associate Editor

COLUMBIANA —A blogger who aired an alleged extramarital affair involving the son of former Gov. Bob Riley has been released from the Shelby County Jail after more than five months detainment.

Shuler
Shuler

Roger Alan Shuler, chief writer of the blog “Legal Schnauzer,” was released on March 26, according to a March 27 blog post. The blog post claims that Shuler was “the only incarcerated journalist in the Western Hemisphere.”

After resisting Shelby County sheriff’s deputies at his Birmingham home, Shuler was arrested on Oct. 23, 2013, and charged with two counts of contempt of court and one count of resisting arrest. Shuler blogged about Republican Rob Riley’s alleged extramarital affair with a lobbyist named Liberty Duke. The Shelby County Circuit Court issued a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction ordering Shuler to stop making defamatory statements about Riley, yet Shuler continued to publish blog posts.

Shuler also claims via his blog that a Shelby County sheriff’s deputy “trampled the U.S. Constitution” when the deputy conducted a traffic stop outside the North Shelby Library Sept. 29, 2013, to serve Shuler and his wife, Carol, court papers in a defamation lawsuit Riley filed against Shuler. Lt. Mike DeHart, who served the court papers, testified that the Shulers discarded the papers, including the temporary restaining order, by throwing them out of their car window after they were served.

Shuler’s arrest caught wind with national and state political blogs, with several bloggers citing the violation of Shuler’s First Amendment rights.  According to Legal Schnauzer, Fox News Radio conducted a jailhouse interview with Shuler last month via telephone.

Shuler is quoted saying that he is grateful to have his freedom restored.

“I also am grateful for the support of many readers, friends, and justice-focused citizens. This has been a traumatic experience for me and wife, Carol, who has done a wonderful job of keeping our audience updated in my absence,” Shuler said.

“Jail, of course, is not meant to be a pleasant experience, and I can provide first-hand testimony that it definitely is an unpleasant place to be, more so than probably many of us can imagine. It takes a tremendous physical, mental and emotional toll.”

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