‘Legal Schnauzer’ blogger arrested for contempt of court, resisting arrest
Published 12:12 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2013
By CASSANDRA MICKENS / Associate Editor
COLUMBIANA — A blogger who aired an alleged extramarital affair involving the son of former Gov. Bob Riley is being held in the Shelby County Jail after an Oct. 23 arrest.
Roger Alan Shuler, chief writer of the blog Legal Schnauzer, is charged with two counts of contempt of court and one count of resisting arrest. Shuler’s bond is $1,000 for the resisting arrest charge. No bond was set for the two contempt of court charges.
Shuler’s blog features several posts 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 posts.
On his blog, Shuler claims 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 to serve Shuler and his wife, Carol, court papers in a defamation lawsuit filed against Shuler by Riley. Lt. Mike DeHart, who served the court papers, testified that the Shulers discarded the papers, including the temporary restraining order, by throwing them out of their car window after they were served.
Shuler confirmed the exchange in an Oct. 1 post: “[DeHart] backed off and returned to his vehicle, we pulled away and threw his f—–g papers out the window.”
Shuler later wrote on his blog: “Alabama Republican Rob Riley has filed a proposed court order that seeks the arrest of my wife and me for reporting here at Legal Schnauzer on Riley’s extramarital affair with lobbyist Liberty Duke. Riley, who reportedly plans to seek the U.S. House seat being vacated by Spencer Bachus, wants two citizens arrested for — get this — practicing journalism.”
Shuler’s arrest has caught wind with national and state political blogs, with several bloggers citing the violation of Shuler’s First Amendment rights.
Capt. Ken Burchfield of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said sheriff’s deputies were only following court orders in carrying out Shuler’s arrest at Shuler’s Birmingham home.
“We received an order from the bench to arrest him and, in the course of doing that, he resisted arrest,” Burchfield said of Shuler.