One tidbit that did not make its way into LL’s most recent column on Vince Gray‘s rumored chief of staff, Reuben Charles, is that he’s a financial backer of a “premier prison sentencing and business” consulting firm.

The firm, ISA Consultants, caught the eye of St. Louis-based media earlier this year because of the involvement of Charles E. Polk Jr., a disbarred lawyer who once assisted former Attorney General John “Let the Eagle Soar” Ashcroft—and later went to prison for tax evasion and wire fraud.

The firm’s website no longer works, but when it did, the St. Louis Business Journal quoted it as saying:

“As a result of Mr. Polk’s prior background as a preeminent attorney/lobbyist and his humbling subsequent experience of being a prison camp resident himself, he is uniquely qualified to help clients navigate the many intricacies, nuances and traps of the criminal justice system,” according to his biography on the ISA Web site.

Polk said it was a life-altering experience “to one day go from accessing the highest ranks of our government and being a welcomed guest at the Supreme Court and Oval Office, to later taking up residence at a federal prison camp,” the Web site says.

The website also used to list Charles as an officer of the firm. Charles says that was an error, and he has never been involved in ISA’s day-to-day operations. He says he and Polk have known each other for several years but are not close. And he doesn’t think anyone should be raising any eyebrows at Polk’s record.

“I liked the idea because I saw a market for transition planning,” Charles tells LL. “Honestly, the market is replete with folks who have tax evasion problems, and he did his time and he was wanting to build an honest business.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery