Two stories on the same page of Saturday’s Herald-Leader grabbed my attention:
Police chief's wife convicted in Scott
“Agness Reeves, the former director of the Scott County Intensive Criminal Offender Program, entered an Alford plea yesterday to stealing money from the drug probation program she oversaw.
Reeves was convicted of one count of theft and agreed to a sentence of one year in prison in exchange for the dismissal of other charges. However, Judge Roger Crittenden sentenced her to five years' probation on the conditions that she not commit any other crimes nor seek public employment while on probation, according to a statement from the state attorney general's office.
Also yesterday, Reeves repaid $5,955, which is considered full restitution, said Scott Crawford-Sutherland, an assistant attorney general who prosecuted the case.”
IGate's Jackson gets 87 months
“A Louisville businessman who says he bribed a congressman to promote his small technology company was sentenced yesterday to more than seven years in prison.
Federal prosecutors said Vernon Jackson, 54, founder of iGate, deserved credit for pleading guilty in May to two bribery counts, and they said he is cooperating with the Justice Department in its political corruption investigation. Jackson could have received up to nine years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.”
I don’t know any of the details of the negotiations between these convicted felons and their respective prosecutors. Even considering Reeves made an Alford plea doesn’t seem odd that the white female police chief’s wife gets 5 years probation and the black male businessman gets more that seven years in the slammer?
Both of these people belong in jail, but I find it particularly offensive that a public servant can violate a public trust and gets off with probation. I don’t know why Reeves stole the money. It would appear she didn’t need the money, she made full restitution.
This is a woman that donated $575 to political candidates, including Republican Sen. Damon Thayer. Ironically, she also helped sponsor the Kentucky Women’s Law Enforcement Network 2003 Conference. I don’t think she stole the money to make the mortgage payment.
Jackson is neck deep in a political corruption investigation, but he wasn’t stealing from a public agency intended to help people to line his own pockets. What he did was wrong and deserves what he gets from the court.
All of this may be legal, but looking at the two cases, it sure doesn’t strike me as justice.
Perhaps Judge Roger Crittenden should have a discussion with U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III about nature of public corruption, regardless of the amount of money involved, the location of the crime or the race and gender of the person being tried.
“The rule of law ... only makes sense if our public officials are not corrupt," Ellis said, ordering Jackson to serve 87 months in prison. Jackson, a tall, stocky man with a shaved head and a trim mustache, stood without reaction. "Public corruption is the worst kind of a virulent and malignant cancer," the judge said.”