Tuesday, December 15, 2015
My Take on the Dianna Duran sentence:
Yes, the 30-day sentence seems light for such an egregious violation of the public trust. If a city council member from Sunland Park ripped off $28,000 of public money to pay racino bets s/he would have serious vitamin D deficiency from lack of sunlight upon release from jail. But our Attorney General asked the judge for no time at all, plus the wacky and very messy deal of giving her a chance to retract her guilty plea--moves that very much call into question his own judgment as our chief law enforcer.
Judge Ellington doesn't let her off the public hook, not by a long shot. He ordered Duran to pay a $14,000 fine, make restitution of nearly $14,000 to campaign donors, serve five years of probation and perform 2,000 hours of community service while writing the letters of apology to her victims, publishing some in newspapers, and making 144 public appearances to educate school children and others about her crimes. Plus the humiliation of GPS monitoring to make sure she doesn't go into a casino. My take is that these highly public acts of penance will serve far more to deter future mischief by other elected officials than another one-to-five years in the privacy of her own forgotten jail cell. I have no problem with the sentence. Full Disclosure: Ellington, many years ago, took one of my political science classes.