Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Trials of Larry O'Brien

I will be live-blogging the trial of Ottawa mayor Larry O'Brien on charges of bribery and influence peddling. The trial is expected to last nine weeks.
I don't know if O'Brien is guilty or not. I do know, from my law buddies, his legal bill will likely be in the million-dollar range. If he is innocent, this is a classic case for arguing for compensation for the legal fees of the wrongly accused. Larry O'Brien is a rich man, but no one who's innocent should take a million-dollar hit because a prosecutor has laid a charge and pursued it on the public dime. If he is guilty, he deserves whatever happens to him.
My bet (and it's quite objective, as I know little and could not care less about O'Brien) is that what a pol says and what a sucker hears are often two different things, and there-in lies that "reasonable doubt". I've heard O'Brien on the radio and he's extremely smooth, certainly in the top 25% of all pols I've come across. His alleged mark, Terry Kilrea, is none too swift.
I bet O'Brien walks.
But we'll see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Political bribery cases being prosecuted are extremely rare and are extremely hard to prove. I concur with your intuitive prediction that "reasonable doubt" will win out here. While it is easy to calculate damage in legal fees, the damage in people's confidence in City Hall is now incalculable. Whether guilty or not guilty, the end result will be a political indictment against local political institutions, politicians and their trustworthiness, leading to continued citizen alienation and low voter turnout.