Thursday, May 10, 2012

Valley guy

Only down in the Valley would a public official under federal indictment not only refuse to step down from his office but would continue his run for a seat in the US Congress. If I didn't know better I'd swear that Cameron County, Texas was actually east of the Sabine.

While we're able, however, we should all raise a toast to Armando Villalobos, the elected district attorney of Cameron County, for providing us with endless amusement. You see, Mr. Villalobos was indicted along with his former law partner for allegedly bribing a former state District Judge.

How exactly Mr. Villalobos intends to run his office with any degree of integrity is beyond me. Does it get any better than when the top prosecutor in a county is under federal indictment for a crime of dishonesty? And then the fact that he insists on continuing in the race for the Congressional seat in the 34th District is priceless.

Did he do it? Is he a crook? Is he guilty? I have no idea. He is innocent unless proven guilty at this point -- even though most prosecutors don't quite understand the subtlety of that point. Might this lead to a seismic shift in how prosecutors treat the accused in South Texas? Will Cameron County prosecutors sit through CLE classes reminding them that the defendant - even the one in jail - is an innocent man?

Probably not.

Maybe at the end of the day we'll hear a certain someone explain that he had a few momentary lapses of judgment or that maybe he had been hitting the pain killers or the booze a little too hard because of some personal problems. Hell, I guess he could claim just a youthful indiscretion or maybe that he was just caught up with the wrong people. Surely he learned his lesson and won't do it again (well, since that's the accepted way of doing business in Washington, maybe he won't say that).

Heaven forbid one of the hoi polloi be accused of shoplifting or carrying a joint. We just can't tolerate such blatant lawbreaking as that now, can we?

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