Monday, March 29, 2010

The Prosecution Rests. In Deep Doo-Doo.

Amateur Hour at the DA's Office

Prosecutor William Gargan and his boss, District Attorney Michael Green, owe a big "thank you" to Judge Richard Keenan.   He's the judge who threw out the DA's case, such as it was, against former County GOP Executive Director Andrew Moore.   That spared Gargan and Green the humiliation of going through twice, instead of once, what they've gone through with their prosecution of James Smith:   arguing a trial in which they have no case and no evidence.

For a week the refrain from reporters covering the trial of Smith, the former Monroe County Deputy County Executive, has been:   Prosecutor Gargan's witnesses say lots of interesting stuff about what the Robutrad workers did.   But what's it have to do with the person on trial?   And that's when things were going well for Mr. Gargan.

Then there were the prosecution's bad moments.   Especially with the two witnesses Mr. Gargan saved toward the end, no doubt expecting to generate the most impact with the jury.

Robutrad ringleader Robert Morone said:   James Smith knew nothing about our illegal activities.

County Executive Maggie Brooks said:   James Smith never questioned my decision to call in law enforcement, and never tried to talk me out if it.

Then, of course, came the inconvenient fact that law enforcement actually was called in, immediately.   Which renders irrelevant to the legal issues any opinion voiced by Smith about how the media might try to use it against Republicans generally.   It just shows that Smith has clear foresight.

Not the testimony a prosecutor wants when he's accusing someone of shielding wrongdoers from law enforcement.   But that's what you get when you contrive a prosecution for political reasons.   You end up arguing a case with no evidence, and without either the facts on your side or the law.

As the trial's gone on, Prosecutor Gargan has become increasingly defensive and rambling in explaining himself to the press, not responding to questions about failing to connect any dots to the defendant, James Smith, but retreating to generalities about trials being like "putting together a puzzle" that only becomes clear at the end.

Maybe that's how he and Green rationalized initiating this farce in the first place.

But wouldn't they have expected what happened this morning?   The presiding judge, Frank Geraci, pointedly asked Prosecutor Gargan whether there was anything criminal involved in the actions of James Smith.

Which forced Gargan to admit publicly for the first time, that nothing in the law says Smith did anything illegal:

Assistant District Attorney William Gargan acknowledged today that there was no clear description in either law or the county charter about how Smith should have dealt with the allegations.

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