Three-tiered justice

We often hear about our “two tiered” justice system; one tier for the citizens and another for political class insiders.  Actually there’s a third tier carved out especially for adversaries of powerful elitists.  That third tier has two subgroups; whistleblowers and political enemies.  Broken down further, the political class takes two paths to muffle whistleblowers; active legal engagement and “kick-the-can-down-the-road” delaying tactics.  Sure, state and federal governments claim to have whistleblower protection laws, but the lawyer-politician class holds all the cards even when overwhelmed by compelling evidence one of their insiders gets crosswise with the law.  The $1.9 million BRAC Initiative agreement provides a defining example.

For nearly ten years Green County politicians, the Dayton Development Coalition, the FBI and the courts have stonewalled a mountain of evidence revealing money laundering, breach of contract, violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act, misappropriation of funds and a massive cover up.

Steve Haller, the Greene County prosecutor has been knee deep in the scandal and at least one other as part of the judicial and prosecutorial misconduct surrounding decades of illegal activity by former Republican Greene County Treasurer James Schmidt.  This case also offers an enlightening comparison that reveals active, legal engagement against non-Republican, Clayton Luckie.  James Schmidt walked away with a slap-on-the-wrist plea bargain after more than two decades of gouging Greene County taxpayers, but non-Republican Clayton Luckie fared much worse.  He admittedly violated campaign finance laws, a victimless crime compared to Schmidt breaking the law for decades with Greene County Probate Court Judge Robert Hagler acting as co-conspirator.  To add insult to injury, thanks to the Ohio Supreme Court Disciplinary Council and 24 character references from other crooked lawyers, Republican James Schmidt got his law license back even before he served three years’ probation mandated in his plea bargain.

Part of Luckie’s plea bargain included the courts would consider release after six months.  Well consider it they did; twice in fact, but after Judge Colleen O’Donnell denied Luckie’s second appeal after he served two years in prison she wrote, “Release at this time would demean the seriousness of the offenses.”  It makes a mockery of our legal system when felons are allowed to plea bargain their way out of indefensible criminal acts but political enemies are shown no mercy in prosecution or sentencing even though their crimes are much less serious than those of the insider political class.  For the full story check out the Clayton Luckie-James Schmidt Paradox at our January 7, 2015 post.



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