Just read Scott Horton's piece on the arrest of a 63 year old retired social studies teacher, and member of Alabama's state legislature. The ap story on it is here.
To say the least this hits a little close to home.
What was this woman's crime, other than being an elected Democrat, which seems to be the real crime here.
“We charge that Representative Schmitz’s only substantial ‘work’ was to work her official position in the Legislature to land a job through the postsecondary system,” U.S. Attorney Alice Martin said in a statement.
Schmitz was employed from January 2006 until October 2006 by the CITY Skills Training Consortium, an arm of Alabama’s troubled two-year college system. The federally funded program operated at 10 sites statewide to help at-risk youth referred by juvenile courts develop academic, behavioral and social skills. The indictment claims Schmitz made as much as $53,403 annually as a program coordinator despite rarely showing up and doing virtually nothing for the money.
As Scott Horton replies:
Let’s just pause and look at what’s going on here. A massive federal case has been launched, at a likely taxpayer cost in excess of $2 million, against a social studies teacher, who it is alleged (on the basis of sharply disputed evidence) was not putting in as many hours as she should have in teaching her classes. This has to count as one of the more absurd (if not malicious) cases I’ve seen in recent years. And remember, this is a Justice Department that can’t spare an FBI agent to look into, or a prosecutor to handle, a gang rape case involving Jamie Leigh Jones, or any of the dozens of other cases involving rape, assault and homicide in Iraq. They’re not “priorities.” On the other hand, bringing charges against Democratic office holders has been a very high priority from the day Bush took office, and it continues to be so today.