Sam Riddle, professor of ethics

Like many high school seniors, I took a blow off class or two. One of those classes was advanced weightlifting. (I’m not sure where the “advanced” part came from. But yes, I went to a public school.) My teacher, whose name escapes me, was six feet tall and weighed about 260 pounds. Best of all, he knew about as much about weightlifting as he did about Weight Watchers.

But hey, he was on the school’s payroll and had an opening in his schedule, so they sent him to the gym to babysit a group of teenagers. And most of these “weightlifting” classes devolved into impromptu “dodgeball” games in which one poor kid ran for his life and six people chased while hurling anything that wasn’t nailed down at him. It’s quite a miracle no one was ever hospitalized or charged with anything. The point is that this guy was as qualified to teach weightlifting as Sam Riddle is to teach ethics.

Wait, what? [Detroit Free Press]

That’s right. Sam Riddle. The guy in prison for soliciting and accepting bribes as part of Monica Conyers’s pay-for-play scheme. Teaching ethics to prisoners. How poor must the ethics of the other prisoners be?


Oh. Never mind.

UPDATE: Common sense has prevailed.

Sam Riddle was all set to teach an ethics course to prisoners — until corrections officials apparently had second thoughts.

The controversial political consultant, who is behind bars for taking bribes and shaking down businesses, was prepared to teach “Ethics and Good Decision Making” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at a federal prison in North Carolina. But by midday, prison officials canceled his class indefinitely with no explanation, his lawyer said.

“He was all set to teach tonight. The books had been selected. The students were selected, but we don’t know the reason (for the cancellation),” said Tracey Martin-Henry, Riddle’s attorney.

Whistleblower sues Wayne County

A former deputy chief of staff to Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett has filed a whistleblower suit against the county, alleging bribery within the office. [Detroit Free Press]

David Springsteen, 39, said Garrett and her top aides got rid of him after he met with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office to discuss his suspicions that clerks in his office were accepting bribes to expedite permit applications and approve licenses for convicted felons and others who were denied licenses.

According to the story, the FBI is investigating but has yet to find any proof of wrongdoing.

Garrett and other staffers named in the lawsuit didn’t respond to requests for comment. But Ronnie Cromer, an attorney for Garrett and her staff, said the clerk cooperated with investigators and did nothing wrong.

“In all my years of practice, I can’t recall a more baseless lawsuit,” Cromer said. “He will fail miserably.”

(Apparently, Cromer has adopted his interview style from Donald Trump.)

Springsteen told the Freep that learned of the problem when an applicant complained of not getting his CPL license “despite paying the expediting fee.” There is no expediting fee.

The case is in U.S. District Court before Judge Patrick Duggan.

Thursday legal(ish) links

Former judge Mary Waterstone wants the Michigan Supreme Court to remove the attorney general’s office as the prosecutor for her criminal case because the AG represents her in the civil case related to the same matter. She is accused of allowing a witness to lie in a 2005 drug case. [Fox 28 (South Bend, Ind.)]

Roger Parloff of Fortune Magazine thinks that  ‘honest-services fraud’ law is being overused. The SCOTUS will hear three ‘honest-services’ prosecutions this term – all of them high profile cases (Enron CEO Jeffery Skilling, Conrad Black and a former Alaskan legislator). The ‘honest-services’ fraud laws are designed to be a catch-all for dishonest activity that may not fall under other fraud protection laws. Think you can spot it? or do you want to see how erratic the application of the law is? Try this quiz! [HT: The great SCOTUSBlog]

One in five Americans needed a lawyer for something last year, says a survey by Findlaw. [TaxProf Blog]

If you really want to serve on the jury for the Justice Department’s trial of Sam Riddle’s involvement in the Detroit/Synagro bribery mess, too late. USDC Judge Avern Cohn told the media on Wednesday that the 100 juror candidates have already returned questionnaires and the pool will be ‘whittled’ down from there. [Detroit Free Press]