Whew that was a mouthful. Let’s start with BIll Mack, who cut a deal to testify against the former Goatherder in Chief. Judge Brown gave Mack 20 months, higher than what was requested by the Federal prosecutors for bribing Aaron Broussard. If my preliminary calculations are in the ballpark, Mack will spend somewhere close to 10 months in a low security prison before hitting the VOA house in New Orleans.
Moving right along Michelle Hunter has been having fun with a guy that is obviously “nuttier than a Chinese fruit cake” who fancied himself as the second coming of Jesus Christ. Not to minimize the deleterious impacts on the poor woman and child whose house Nike Ablia chose to spread the good word but if I may be so bold as to suggest that Ablia needs a rubber room and medication far more than incarceration. I speak here as someone who watched a friend afflicted with bipolar disorder crack up (severe sleep deprivation will do it every time) along with those of a close friend that has a brother similarly afflicted that indeed also thought he was second coming of Jesus Christ right on down to wearing a white sheet and a white sheet only. There but the grace of God…….
One cannot reason with a prosecutor whose fixation on his quarry has blinded him to all else. That is, unless you are a federal judge who can see past the target, put it in proper perspective, and exercise the authority necessary to deny the hunter his prize.
The dogged pursuit of New Orleans attorney Ashton R. O’Dwyer Jr. by U.S. Attorney Jim Letten over a now-famous e-mail currently rests with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which will decide whether to confirm the lower court’s decision to dismiss the case or accede to the government’s demand to try the case in front of a jury.
This case centers around an e-mail sent by O’Dwyer on Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 to Sean McGinn, Case Manager for Judge Jerry Brown of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. O’Dwyer had filed for bankruptcy and was under court order to request permission to spend money from his Social Security check. Of the five e-mails he exchanged with McGinn that day, one asked McGinn to remind Judge Brown that he had been out of his antidepressant medication for some time and was unable to pay for a refill. That email read in part:
“I could not sleep last night, which I attribute to the effects of abruptly stopping my medication on Sunday, the 24th (my pills ‘ran out’, and I have no money to purchase more). Maybe my creditors would benefit from my suicide, but suppose I become “homicidal”? Given the recent ‘security breach‘ at 500 Poydras Street, a number of scoundrels might be at risk if I DO become homicidal. Please ask His Honor to consider allowing me to refill my prescription at Walgreen’s, and allowing me to pay them, which is a condition for my obtaining a refill.”
Imagine how much closer to conclusion the Jefferson Parish Political Corruption case would be if the US Attorney’s office did not employ their scarce resources trying to squelch the free speech rights of ordinary citizens and instead focused on cleaning up the rampant corruption in local government?
While we do not condone the contents of Ashton’s emails, we defend his right to send them to the hilt. It doesn’t take much talent to deprive a bipolar man of his prescription medication. Some would argue such constitutes a bald faced act of cowardice and I agree. It was the promise of medication the NOPD used to lure Ashton from his house in September 2005 where he was arrested without cause and then repeatedly shot with bean bag rounds from a 12 gauge shotgun while in custody. Elliot Ness this isn’t; rather such is seemingly business as usual in New Orleans. Sean McGinn sir, you are a sissy!
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.
While the old children’s saying is not completely true, it takes a wise person to understand why people lash out, especially in circumstances such as those in the case of our own Ashton O’Dwyer, whom I finally had the pleasure of meeting in person last week.
Ashton, in many so ways, is a tragic figure woven into the fabric of our post Katrina world. Like Robert Davis, Ashton will probably never see justice done in his post Katrina abduction at the hands of the NOPD where he was incarcerated and repeatedly shot point-blank with beanbag rounds from a 12 gauge shotgun.
Nowdy without looking for specifics I know we were copied on some of the poison missives that Ashton sent that were cited in FBI agent’s Chris DiMenna’s affidavit. Besides not being a lawyer I am also not a shrink but Ashton’s last email reminded me of my buddy who finally flamed out after not sleeping for several days. This is symptomatic of mania that is associated with Bipolar disorder:
Mania is generally characterized by a distinct period of an elevated, expansive, or irritable mood state. People commonly experience an increase in energy and a decreased need for sleep. A person’s speech may be pressured, with thoughts experienced as racing. Attention span is low and a person in a manic state may be easily distracted. Judgment may become impaired; sufferers may go on spending sprees or engage in behavior that is quite abnormal for them. They may indulge in substance abuse, particularly alcohol or other depressants, cocaine or other stimulants, or sleeping pills. Their behavior may become aggressive, intolerant or intrusive. People may feel out of control or unstoppable. People may feel they have been “chosen,” are “on a special mission,” or other grandiose or delusional ideas. Sexual drive may increase. At more extreme phases of bipolar I, a person in a manic state can begin to experience psychosis, or a break with reality, where thinking is affected along with mood. Many people in a manic state experience severe anxiety and are very irritable (to the point of rage), while others are euphoric and grandiose.