Joe Perkins' Handwritten "Dirty Tricks" Notes Exposed
By: Donald V. Watkins
September 19, 2021
An Exclusive Investigative Report
Tuscaloosa, Alabama-based "dirty tricks" operative Joe Perkins and his controversial political consulting firm, Matrix, LLC, have sabotaged the lives and careers of public figures in Alabama for decades. Perkins got his start sabotaging public figures while performing political consulting work for the Alabama Education Association during the teacher organization's heyday in the 1980s and 1990s.
Perkins stepped up his game in the 2000s when Matrix took on Alabama Power Company as a client. Alabama Power Company crushed anybody who got in the way of the company's political stranglehold on the Alabama Public Service Commission (which regulates this public utility) and those state legislators and other elected officials who played a critical role in providing taxpayer dollars to guarantee Alabama Power a 5% annual rate of return on its shareholder equity.
I have obtained a copy of Joe Perkins' handwritten "dirty tricks" notes. They reveal how Perkins sabotages and terrorizes law-abiding citizens.
Perkins' notes have important legal consequences. First, they support pending legal claims that Matrix: (a) operated an ongoing criminal enterprise, or RICO activities, under Perkins' leadership, (b) engaged in extortion, and (c) abused the judicial process. These claims surfaced publicly in a September 2, 2021 lawsuit former Matrix chief executive officer Jeff Pitts filed against Perkins in a Florida state court.
Second, Perkins' notes provide law enforcement officials with "probable cause" for a federal criminal investigation into a host of "dirty tricks" activities that Perkins and Matrix conducted on behalf of publicly-traded corporate clients in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
Perkins' Notes Detail How His "Dirty Tricks" Work
Perkins' notes outlined his "dirty tricks" campaign to discredit and destroy me. They were handwritten so that there would be no electronic record of their existence. [Click here to see Perkins' handwritten "dirty tricks" notes.]
Perkins' "dirty tricks" in my case included the following:
1. Perkins abused the legal process by initiating and prosecuting a defamation lawsuit against me in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which was a "friendly forum" for Perkins. He knew I would be "homecooked" in this judicial venue. Judge Allen May, the Tuscaloosa County Circuit judge who was assigned the case, refused to transfer it to Jefferson County, where the case belonged. Judge May was appointed to his judgeship by former Governor Robert Bentley in 2016. Bentley, who is a Tuscaloosa resident, was forced to resign his office in April 2017 after I published "Forbidden Love" and "Executive Betrayal," a series of investigative articles that exposed Bentley's widespread public corruption, his highly suspect "dark money" political transactions, and his torrid "sex for power" love affair with married gubernatorial advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason that cost Bentley his marriage. Ms. Mason is a Tuscaloosa resident, as well. On August 20, 2021, Judge May awarded Perkins and Matrix a highly questionable $1.5 million judgment without conducting a trial in the case. Judge May based his judicial action, in part, on a court Declaration from Perkins that claimed Matrix played no role in the high-profile Megan Rondini rape case, which is discussed below. Perkins' handwritten notes suggest otherwise.
2. Perkins devised and implemented a "digital campaign" of sabotage that included: (a) the creation of a "character assassination" website that contained negative and grossly misleading content about me, (b) the placement of disparaging and negative content and advertisements about me on Facebook and other social media platforms, (c) the placement of negative and grossly misleading content about me on billboards in and around the Tuscaloosa area, and (d) the manipulation of the Google platform to prioritize his negative and grossly misleading content on Google's search engine. Perkins fully implemented this part of his "digital campaign."
3. Perkins' notes suggest that he targeted the accounts of my Facebook "Friends" and "Followers," including my Atlanta-based lawyer, Mario Williams, and elected officials who supported me. Starting in October 2017, thousands of my Facebook "Friends" and "Followers" had their Facebook status with me deactivated without their knowledge or consent. I complained in writing to Facebook about this sabotage on multiple occasions, to no avail.
4. Perkins' notes directed Matrix employees to investigate the Leroy Maxwell law firm in Birmingham, Alabama after I published an October 26, 2017 article about Matrix's secret role in University of Alabama honors student Megan Rondini's reported rape case. Rondini committed suicide after Tuscaloosa County sheriff deputies and local prosecutors refused to charge designated rape "suspect" T.J. Bunn, Jr. a/k/a "Sweet T" with her rape. Perkins' notes specifically referenced a flash-drive that Matrix surreptitiously delivered on October 4, 2017 to the Maxwell firm's Birmingham office, which happened to be located in the same office building with Matrix. The flash-drive contained two nude photos -- one of a male and another one with a male and female in bed. It also contained a one-minute-long "video diary Number #1" recorded by Megan while she was home alone, sitting up in her bed, playfully talking about her evening at Harry's Bar in Tuscaloosa while eating a snack. The video and photos were extracted from Megan's cell phone during the police investigation into her rape report. An information technology forensic expert examined the flash-drive and found that it contained a host of information from a laptop used by Matrix employee Robert Taylor, whose email address was email@example.com. Unbeknownst to Matrix operatives, the nude woman in the photo, which was taken in 2014, was not Megan Rondini. The purpose behind Matrix's delivery of the flash-drive was to threaten and intimidate the Rondini family into dropping its federal court wrongful death case against The University of Alabama, Sweet T, and other defendants at a time when Megan's mother was dying of pancreatic cancer. The Rondini case against Sweet T was settled on September 17, 2021. According to his notes, Perkins thought the Maxwell law firm provided the flash-drive to me. Based upon this erroneous belief, Perkins ordered Matrix employees to investigate the law firm. For the record, the Maxwell law firm was not my source for the flash-drive article.
5. Perkins searched for any and every financial deal that involved me with the specific intent to derail any such deals. He even wanted to know, "how is he buying groceries now."
6. Perkins' "dirty tricks" notes called for Matrix employees and contractors to publicly brand me on the Internet as "Desperate, Deranged Donald," "Donald the Dogger," "DVWatkins -- The Fraud," "Deadbeat Donald," and "Lying Donald Watkins." The notes indicated this negative information should be sent to various legal groups and Fortune 500 companies. On October 31, 2017, Perkins issued a defamatory statement to the Alabama Political Reporter that stated: "Donald Watkins is a financially broken, desperate man suffering from psychological and behavioral problems that have brought him to the brink of ruin. Under investigation by Federal agencies, he has spent the last several months lying and fabricating slanderous stories for which he must be paid or has the promise of some reward." Based on these statements, I countersued Perkins in the defamation lawsuit he filed in Tuscaloosa County. As expected, Judge Allen May ruled in Perkins' favor without conducting a trial. I did not have possession of Perkins' handwritten notes prior to May's adverse rulings.
7. As mentioned above, Perkins' notes called for Atlanta Attorney Mario Williams to be investigated after Williams successfully convinced top-notch New Jersey-based federal prosecutors in January 2016 to end their six-month grand jury proceedings into various business transactions between former New York Jets football player Bryan Thomas and me (and a handful of other professional athletes who were my personal friends and business associates). The grand jury review concluded that the business transactions in question complied with all federal laws. In his notes, Perkins described his planned outreach to these athletes. In October 2017, Birmingham federal prosecutor Lloyd Peeples, a homegrown bigot from Dothan, Alabama, commenced a new federal investigation into the same business transactions that were probed and cleared by the New Jersey federal prosecutors. Perkins specifically referenced the "federal subpoenas" in his notes. Unlike the polished career federal prosecutors in New Jersey, Peeples' grand jury leaked enough evidence to fill a water reservoir. In his notes, Perkins did not explain who leaked him information regarding "federal subpoenas."
8. Perkins' notes referenced a lawsuit filed in 2013 by Bryan Thomas that named me as a defendant. Perkins used articles about the lawsuit to smear me. Perkins failed to mention in his campaign of disinformation that Thomas' lawsuit was dismissed, with prejudice (meaning Thomas can never sue me again over his so-called "fraud" allegations). No personal funds or insurance proceeds were paid to Thomas for dismissing his case.
9. Perkins' notes mentioned that the City of Birmingham sued my businesses and me in 2014 for $946,000 for what the City claimed were the amounts I owed for past due business license fees and occupational taxes over a multi-year audit period. Prior to filing this lawsuit, I had formally disputed the amount owed and provided business records to the City that showed I only owed $11,769 during the audit period. Perkins used this legitimate business license and tax dispute on his "character assassination" website. In the end, I was correct about the amount my businesses and I owed to the City in fees and taxes. I paid this $11,769 amount on time and in full.
10. Perkins' notes disclosed his plan to weaponize a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against me on September 1, 2016 alleging that I defrauded professional athletes out of about $13 million dollars. In 2018, the SEC amended its lawsuit to drop all of the legal claims relating to "fraud" in connection with the sale of economic participations in my businesses. With this action, the only thing left in the SEC's multi-year, government-sponsored, super-expensive lawsuit was a legal claim relating to $2,150,000 in private loans that I executed with one of my close friends and business associates. These loans were never in dispute. The loan maturity dates on the loans had been extended by mutual agreement on several occasions. Furthermore, the lender had never initiated any legal action to enforce or collect the loans. The sole purpose of the SEC lawsuit was to provide cover for Birmingham federal prosecutor Lloyd Peeples to jump into the fray and prosecute me in another "homecooking" forum. Peeples, whose hostile views towards women and blacks are well-documented in the articles he wrote and published years ago, ignored the favorable outcome of the New Jersey federal prosecutors and adopted the Perkins "dirty tricks" playbook to implement a new-wave of COINTELPRO activities that targeted me and my son.
None of the techniques Perkins described in his notes for attempting to discredit and destroy me is new. They mirror the techniques federal, state, and local authorities used to discredit Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ms. Rosa Parks, Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, and a host of other civil rights activists during the FBI's infamous COINTELPRO counter-intelligence program from 1956 to 1971. Private companies and citizens in the South acted in concert with these public officials to accomplish the goals of the program. COINTELPRO never ended in Deep South states like Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Today, Perkins is using his "dirty tricks" techniques against Jeff Pitts, Matrix's former chief executive officer. The two men are embroiled in bitter litigation against each other. Perkins has sued Pitts in Alabama, and Pitts has sued Perkins in Florida. Pitt's Florida law suit details serious allegations of extortion, abuse of the judicial process, and criminal racketeering conduct by Joe Perkins.
Joe Perkins may feel that he is immune to criminal prosecution in Alabama because of his political clout in the state and because he has a closet full of "dirt" on public officials in Alabama that Perkins has accumulated over the decades. Whether this is true remains to be seen.
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