What’s going on in John Tyson’s office? The Mobile County district attorney is dealing with a lot these days, including a current assistant district attorney’s arrest on 3rd degree domestic assault and a former assistant district attorney’s arrest for child pornography, enticement and solicitation.
Michael Hickman, who is now officially placed on administrative leave, was arrested on August 1st for domestic violence. He was released on a $300 bond later the same morning. Those charges were eventually amended to 3rd degree domestic assault, which doesn’t necessarily mean jail time for the ADA. The problem is the news broke – and then it magically went away. I’ve not been able to learn anything else, nor are any of the local media reporting on it. Then again, this case could have been overshadowed by what followed next.
Two weeks after Hickman’s arrest, a former Mobile County assistant district attorney, who ironically specialized in the prosecution of sex crimes against children, was arrested for allegedly committing those same crimes he was sworn to protect the public from. Steven John Giardini has been charged with:
- 1 count of acting with the intent to entice a child under the age of 16 for intercourse, sodomy, or other sexual purposes – this is a class C felony and is punishable by up to ten years in prison.
- 1 count of acting with the intent to criminally solicit the production of child pornography. This is a class B felony that’s punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
- 1 count of acting with the intent to entice a child for sexual purposes, by means of computer, telephone, personal digital assistant, or other electronic means of communication or information storage. This class B felony is punishable by 20 years in prison.
He allegedly began communicating with what he believed was a 15 year old girl, who was actually an FBI agent.
Tyson clearly has a full plate. The fact is, he has an impressive track record over the sixteen years in this office. He announced earlier this year that he’d not be seeking re-election, but instead would focus on spending more time with his wife and family. He’s faced major budget cuts, despite an incredible caseload before him. These two arrests have done nothing for the image of the district attorney’s office. Tyson, a Democrat, has several in his office that are gunning for the job title, including favorite Ashley Rich, a Republican, who has gained a lot of early support – and rightfully so. She’s tough as nails when it comes to prosecuting criminals. This is certainly what Mobile, AL and its surrounding communities need.
As for the arrests of Giardini and Hickman, both are innocent until proven guilty.