Friday, August 17, 2007

Exceptional Cooperation: Republican Staffer Who Helped Feds Convict Former Boss Gets Probation

In "Former Ney Aide Gets No Prison Time", Matt Apuzzo of the AP writes about William Heaton [fifth from left in this photo], former aide to former Republican congressman Bob Ney of Ohio [fourth from left].

Heaton doesn't have to go to jail even though he
admitted accepting a golf trip to Scotland [this photo!], expensive meals, and tickets to sporting events between 2002 and 2004 as payoffs for helping clients of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff [far right in photo]
pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy.
Apuzzo writes:
WASHINGTON (AP) - A former Capitol Hill aide received probation and a fine but no jail time Thursday after a federal judge credited him with helping the Justice Department convict a congressman in the Jack Abramoff scandal.

William Heaton let FBI agents record his telephone calls and taped a 2-hour meeting with Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio. He leaked documents and worked late into the night and on weekends to avoid arousing suspicion that he was working with the government.

Federal prosecutors recommended that Heaton serve house arrest, but U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ordered him to serve two years probation and pay a $5,000 fine. Huvelle said she would not have been so lenient had Heaton's cooperation not been so exceptional.

"People don't generally walk around congressmen wearing a wire," Huvelle said.
Well maybe they should!

Maybe that's a great idea just sitting there waiting to be recognized. Not just for congressmen, but all high-level government officers, elected and appointed.

Maybe their offices should be bugged, their phones should be tapped, and their emails should be scrutinized 24/7 by the world's most powerful data-mining software.

Maybe their aides should work weekends and late into the night leaking documents, and maybe aides should wear wires to meetings too.

Maybe then our government would be a little bit less dishonest.

What do you think?