Lawyers for Rubashkin file lawsuit over raid
BY GRANT SCHULTE • Des Moines Register
Lawyers for an indicted eastern Iowa slaughterhouse executive filed a lawsuit Friday demanding government accounts of how a May 2008 immigration raid was planned and executed.
Attorneys for Sholom Rubashkin, the former executive at Agriprocessors Inc., sued U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for "the immediate processing and release of agency records" related to the controversial raid.
Rubashkin is scheduled to stand trial Oct. 13 on charges of bank, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, and failing to pay cattle providers on time. Another trial will deal with allegations of harboring illegal immigrants.
The former plant executive was arrested last year after immigration agents raided his plant and detained 389 illegal workers.
Rubashkin has pleaded not guilty and vowed to fight the allegations in court.
The lawsuit alleges ICE officials failed to comply with records request under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
Rubashkin's lawyers said they requested documents explaining how the raid was planned, organized and executed. They also sought information on how the operation was justified, and any "evaluation, comment, question, or concern as to the successes or failures of the raid."
Defense lawyers sent three follow-up letters asking ICE officials about the open records request over a 132-day period, according to the lawsuit. ICE officials allegedly said they were still trying to comply with the large request.
"Despite several requests for production of the information sought, it is apparent ICE will not honor Sholom Rubashkin's FOIA requests without legal pressure," Rubashkin lawyers Guy Cook and F. Montgomery Brown wrote in the lawsuit.
An ICE spokesman did not immediately return a phone message.
[Hat Tip: FGBA.]