Friday, July 01, 2005

Wrinkled Robe ...

An article by AP, by way of USA Today, reports that “La. judge convicted of mail fraud.”

The facts are that state District Judge Alan Green “was convicted late Wednesday of mail fraud involving two $5,000 cash payments he took from a bail bonding company. A mistrial was declared on four other mail fraud counts, a mail fraud conspiracy count and a racketeering conspiracy count that a jury could not agree on.”

Green is the second judge from Jefferson Parish to be convicted as the result of the government's "Operation Wrinkled Robe" investigation. Former state district judge colleague Ronald Bodenheimer is serving a 46-month prison sentence.

Green left any comments on the verdict to defense attorney Frank DeSalvo who said, philosophically, "We're disappointed, but that's life. It ain't real good. And it ain't real bad."

So where are we in our quest to stamp out public corruption? One more down, and who knows how many to go. The cozy relationship between Judges and bail bondsmen was due for an airing.

Testimony in this trial drew a picture of one corrupt judge, “in bed” with a local bail bond company, and trying to get in bed more literally with a female principal of the firm. Green was the first of the group caught in this sting to decide to go to trial rather than “cop a plea.” What was he thinking? This was a crushing public humiliation.

Beginning with a self-righteous attitude, the Green camp devolved into a “nobody is perfect” stance, to “well, he badly handled campaign funds,” to “you don’t have to like him to find him innocent.” None of this was said as such, but the quotes can serve as captions to the defense posture.

DeSalvo said the defense would be discussing its next move, including a possible appeal. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten called the one guilty verdict "a resounding victory," and said that prosecutors would have to decide whether to retry Green on the deadlocked charges.

The AP article closed with “Louisiana Supreme Court spokeswoman Valerie Willard said this week that if Green were convicted of a felony, the high court likely would put him on interim disqualification pending sanctions, including removing him from the bench. Green is currently suspended with pay.”


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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