Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sorry? Nah.

David Safavian was convicted and has now been sentenced.

He’s the fellow who was Chief of Staff of the General Services Administration, enabling him to provide inside information about government land transactions to his old bud, Jack Abramoff.

Sentenced to an 18-month prison term, Safavian wept.
“ ‘I shouldn’t have given Jack Abramoff any information about the agency, no matter how innocuous it seemed,’ ”
he said, showing his level of contrition, i.e., none.

What remains unclear is why Judge Friedman, who said that Safavian was guilty of a “classic case of abuse of the public’s trust,” sentenced him to just 18 months instead of the 3 years requested by the prosecutor for the four of five counts for which he was found guilty.

Judicial leniency is usually reserved for defendants who at the very least show some regret for their crimes (and not just for their sentencing), and such abuse of the public trust should be one of the instances that results in far more than a slap on the wrist. The “public trust” is really the only thing that stands between the public and those who would steal from us, and deserves a far stronger defense.

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