Thursday, December 12, 2013

Has she no shame?

It takes a certain kind of person to want to be an elected official. It's not everyone who can beg and grovel for money and signatures on a daily basis. Most of us have a hard time looking someone in the eye and lying to their face - and then denying you lied when called on it.

More than that, a politician has to be absolutely shameless. It was brilliant how Mitt Romney slammed President Obama's health care plan after he had put (essentially) the same plan into work in Massachusetts. Listening to him explain how his was good and Obama's was bad just made your head spin.

Now we can welcome disgraced former state district judge Elizabeth Coker to the ranks of those who truly have no shame, no conscience and no ethics.

Fresh off resigning from the bench after being called out for sending an e-mail to a prosecutor listing some questions she might want to ask on cross-examination, Ms. Coker has entered the Republican primary for Polk County District Attorney against the incumbent, William Lee Hon.

What a delightful irony these two are running against each other as it was one of Mr. Hon's investigators who exposed Ms. Coker's unethical behavior and one of Mr. Hon's prosecutors who was the beneficiary of said e-mail.

As I've said before, it wasn't the first time Ms. Coker acted unethically. It was just the first time she got caught doing it. And, I guarantee you it wasn't the first time that one of Mr. Hon's prosecutors was on the receiving end of one of her e-mails. It's always intrigued me that it was one of the DA's investigators who blew the whistle on the whole operation.

Ms. Coker's decision to run against Mr. Hon is obviously Act II of the drama. Why Mr. Hon made the call to rat out the judge will make for an interesting back story in the campaign. Kaycee Jones, the prosecutor who received the messages, now sits on the bench of the 414th District Court and is facing a hearing before the State Bar's disciplinary committee for her role in the scandal.

Mr. Hon deserves as much damning as Ms. Coker for the incident since we should all realize that this had been going on for some time and that Mr. Hon was well aware of the practice.

Ms. Coker took a leave of absence from the bench in late October and her resignation became effective this past Friday. It's interesting that she had no compunction about continuing to accept a paycheck for work she wasn't doing because she couldn't follow the rules for being a judge. And what better qualifications could you want in a district attorney?

Ms. Coker doesn't think there's a problem with serving as a DA since the order from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct just states that she can't serve as a judge. However, local attorney Laura Prigmore wonders if that is the case since prosecutors are listed under the judicial branch in the State Constitution (in Article 5, Section 21) - which might explain why so many judges think they are prosecutors.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does the State Commission order prevent the State Bar disciplinary system from sanctioning her?