Monday :: May 24, 2004

If THIS Guy Was A Democrat, ...


by pessimist

... How long would it take Rush to rant himself hoarse? How long would it take for America to shout "Shut Up!" at Bill O'Reilly in mid-tirade at how evil DemocRats are? How long until someone acts on Ann Coulter's fatwa that all the Democrat leaders should be exterminated and their followers forcefully converted to Republicanism?

Not long at all.

So just WHO do I refer to?

N.C. Sheriff Turns in Badge After Scandal

"If you go from being the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America ... to a convicted felon, that's a pretty long and hard fall".
For nearly a decade, Gerald Hege was both loved and loathed as the larger-than-life embodiment of law enforcement in Davidson County. Then his career fell apart. Facing 15 felony counts in a corruption and abuse investigation, Hege pleaded guilty last week to two counts of obstruction of justice in a deal that kept him out of prison.

For a sheriff who kept inmates in pink jail cells and had deputies dress up in paramilitary uniforms, it was an ignominious end ó and there was no trace of his flamboyant self when he slipped out a side door of the downtown courthouse and got into the back seat of his attorney's silver Chevrolet Suburban.

In his heyday, Hege reveled in the attention his tough-on-crime message brought him. The self-styled "toughest sheriff in America" gave press conferences from an office decked out like a military bunker and once sent out Christmas cards with a doctored photo of him holding the severed head of Osama bin Laden.

Touching. Very timely. What a sensitive guy - right Nick Berg?

He got a gig on Court TV and headed Republican tickets in this conservative county of 150,000 people just south of Winston-Salem. His Web site declared Davidson County ó best known for its furniture making and Lexington-style pork barbecue ó to be "Hege Country."

In the days after his abrupt guilty plea, Hege has kept a low profile. "There never was evidence that I took anything. I knew once you put yourself out there, they're going to get you to go. I was always prepared to be investigated. When you are the leader of anything, you are the man to take it on the chin," Hege said after entering his guilty plea. "When that happens, I accept my responsibility."

With his plea and resignation as sheriff, Hege avoided a trial on the corruption counts, as well as a court hearing to determine whether he should be removed from office.

Hege, who was sheriff for nine years, was suspended in September after a grand jury handed up indictments charging that he directed officers to abuse suspects, pull over drivers based on race and vandalize the property of political opponents.

Superior Court Judge Erwin Spainhour sentenced Hege to three years intensive probation, starting with three months on house arrest, during which Hege must wear an electronic-monitoring device. With the plea bargain, Hege avoided further charges against himself or members of his family. Thirteen of the criminal counts were dismissed under the plea agreement.

Can you hear the shouting from Hannity and Krystal about this scandal? What? Speak up! I can't hear you! The silence is deafening!!!


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