Thursday, July 23, 2009

Operation Bid Rig - Jersey Style

Well folks, I've said this before and will say it again - "You can't make this stuff up". Once again the state of New Jersey grabs national headlines with arrests involving corruption. But wait, it also includes the illegal sale of body parts. Now that's a new twist.

During the wee hours of the morning, law enforcement representatives knocked on doors to arrest 44 people for various charges involving money laundering, extortion, kickbacks and other offenses. They were politicians, government officials and Rabbi's. They actually had a bus to transport them to the FBI Building in Newark for processing (that's fingerprinting and mug shots for you laymen out there). I'm not going to recap the circumstances leading up to this mass round-up, but suffice to say that, in the words of Beth Mason, 2nd Ward Councilwoman in Hoboken whose mayor was part of the bust, as reported in, "the pure arrogance of it all".

As a former law enforcement investigator, I applaud the work that went into this case. These dedicated men and women spent countless hours compiling the evidence that these corrupt politicians and others, eagerly and readily supplied in their quest for greed.

As a resident of New Jersey, I'm sick and tired of reading about the greed and avarice of a few (although that now seems to be a relative term) that tarnishes the good work provided by many local and state elected officials who don't take a kickback. It amazes me that we may need to start defining what a good politician is, based on whether or not they've been indicted!

Ok, I know that everyone in our system of justice is innocent until proven guilty, but why do these people put themselves in situations where this is even necessary to consider? Why are they being put in handcuffs? Why are they subjecting their children and spouses to the embarrassment and humiliation of the public flogging that always comes with these incidents? I don't not feel sorry for these guys. A crook is a crook - period. I certainly don't feel sorry for any cleric, regardless of denomination, who is a crook. My question is this - when will it end?

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