This afternoon, Fischer Homes, the Crestview Hills, Ky.-based builder, will hold a press conference to officially announce the publication of a new book that chronicles the builder’s 22-month ordeal following the May 9, 2006, raids on three of its jobsites by federal authorities. (Click here for video of the press conference.)
Those raids—which also encompassed Fischer’s headquarters, and the homes and apartments where its employees and subs were living—led to the arrests of 76 alleged undocumented laborers and four of Fischer’s field superintendents, the latter of whom were charged with conspiring with its contractor (who was indicted two days later) to harbor illegal workers for financial gain.
Six months after those raids, though, a judge dismissed the charges against Fischer’s associates, but only after the government, according to the book, tried unsuccessfully to get the superintendents to implicate Fischer’s officers, and then threatened the builder with money laundering and racketeering charges. That dismissal didn’t end things, either.
The 160-page “No Crime But Prejudice: Fischer Homes, the Immigration Fiasco and Extra-judicial Prosecution,” was written by Jon Entine, a former ABC and NBC producer and a corporate responsibility consultant who is currently a visiting fellow with the American Enterprise Institute. Fischer Homes gave Entine unlimited access to its employees, attorneys, and documents for what initially was intended to be a record of events for the personal use of the company’s owners, who retained control over when or if its contents would be released, and in what form.
Entine secured a grant from Searle Freedom Trust to write a full-length book, whose distribution, through Atlas Books, and marketing are also being financed by Searle and the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, a free-market think tank. The first print run is 1,500, and proceeds from the sale of the book will go to St. Jude’s Research Hospital, a charity the Fischer family supports. Searle and Buckeye will sponsor a panel discussion about Fischer Homes’ experience and extra-judicial prosecution on June 9 in Columbus, Ohio.
In cover letters sent with advance copies of the book, Fischer Homes’ president and CEO Bob Hawksley characterizes its publication as his company’s “civic duty.” David Jansen, Buckeye’s president, writes that this case trumpets the “ultimate victory of freedom over tyranny in our country.” What’s missing, though, is a conclusive explanation of why the government singled out Fischer Homes in the first place.