Thursday, March 17, 2011

Justice Murray: "What Were You Thinkin'?"

I am not a legal scholar.

So there are bound to be many legal factors taken into consideration by Justice Robert Murray in his decision Tuesday to modify Chelsea Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Carole Swan's bail conditions, allowing her limited access to Chelsea's town office, its staff and fellow Selectman Mike Pushard.

I certainly hope that's the case.

Because as I read in disbelief yesterday's breaking news story, I couldn't keep Dr. Phil's famous catch phrase from running through my mind.

Justice Murray's decision was based on Maine law, perhaps cases of precedent and the opposing arguments made by Carole Swan's attorney Leonard Sharon and Kennebec Deputy District Attorney Alan Kelley.

It was made with a judge's impartiality to the facts before him.

As a Chelsea resident, I view the request by Sharon and Swan to modify the latter's bail conditions differently.

My perspective is emotional and one of a common-sense approach to what is fundamentally right and wrong.

It is a perspective fueled by intense animosity toward Carole Swan, her alleged and confessed actions and to anyone else who may have "aided and abetted her" and/or benefitted from her actions.

Based on comments posted on the Concerned Chelsea Citizens Facebook page and the online KJ news coverage, I am not alone.

To me, Carole Swan is the fox in the henhouse, one who escapes the farmer's wrath - with a chicken still clenched in its teeth - and tries to return for another meal.

The farmer would indeed be a fool if he gave the fox renewed access to the coop. And yet, by allowing Swan's requested bail modifications - that's what many angry Chelsea folks believe Murray has done.

Yes, there are certainly restrictions regarding Swan's access to the town office, its staff and Pushard.

But the principle of letting her have even limited access has many in town riled up - to the point where a citizen cadre has started guarding the town office, keeping a staunch lookout for any further impropriety.

Justice Murray will likely be involved in several more decisions involving Swan in the coming months.

The ones of greatest concern will be those occurring before June 21, the date the disgraced selectwoman will be forced from office by the decisive vote of an outraged constituency.

And I hope, in these cases, that the sound of Dr. Phil's voice will be forever purged from my head.

No comments:

Post a Comment