But, Shapira also writes that the Bush pardon is just "part of Harley's ongoing drama." As it turns out he (Shapira) is "contending with a messy legal spat involving an Alexandria businessman, the businessman's estranged wife and their 19-year-old son." Lawsuits allege, among other things, that Harley sought to sell marijuana to the teenager. Margaret Love, the U.S. pardon attorney from 1990 to 1997, said that because presidents issue very few pardons, expectations are high for the character of those who receive them:
"There's no question in my mind that if federal investigators had seen these court documents, they probably would have held the case up," Love said. "On the other hand, if these suits only happened in August, you can hardly fault the Justice Department or FBI for not knowing about it. If there's a take-away, it's, 'Do more, Mr. President.' "
The current U.S. Pardon Attorney, Ronald L. Rodgers, has declined to comment on the case but, since the conviction, Harley earned a social science degree from California Polytechnic State University and a master's degree in social welfare from Berkeley. He also married and had two children. Shapira writes:
Harley may never know why Bush chose him out of so many pardon applicants. He is one of just eight people in Maryland, the District and Virginia who have received a pardon or sentence commutation from Bush since he took office in 2001, according to an analysis by P.S. Ruckman, a political science professor at Rock Valley College in Illinois and author of the blog Pardon Power.
See full story - with many additional details of Harley's current legal battles - here.