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Robert Moussallem met with FBI and IRS agents in October 1988 to initiate a sting operation to catch Birmingham, Alabama, mayor Richard Arrington and other African-American city officials to accept bribes, in lieu of indictment for Moussallem's bribing an IRS agent. The repeated attempts to trap Arrington (dubbed 'Operation Bowtye') were unsuccessful and Moussallem, fearing betrayal, told Arrington why he had been meeting him. Shortly thereafter, Moussallem was indicted. Two days before his trip to Washington, he was shot in the face with a shotgun.
Although Arrington was never indicted by federal investigators, he brought Moussallem's story to the public and it brought public attention to a seemingly systematic targeting of black officials by the Department of Justice. U.S. Attorney Frank Donaldson dismissed these notions, saying "We're colorblind, and we simply follow the evidence where it leads" and that Moussallem "was a twice-convicted felon. His credibility was zero."
His murder remains unsolved.[who?]*
- This is incorrect. It may or may not have been murder, but Moussallem was shot by a bail-bondsman named Hoyt Goggins who claimed he was showing the shotgun to Moussallem when it discharged accidentally.
- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,974787,00.html?promoid=googlep Time, "Civil Rights: Let Me Out of Here!" by Michael Riley Birmingham, 3 Feb. 1992; accessed 28 Jan. 2008
- GQ December 1993, "The Witch-Hunt" by Mary A. Fischer, page 248
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