About a few months ago on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, a children's book author who was brought on for the 'Not my job' segment of the radio show, talking about his early days and how how wound up in prison for selling drugs. In court the author told the judge, "I'm guilty, Your Honor, but I'm a very nice boy." To which the judge responded, "nice boys don't smuggle dope."
I mention this because of my former ward Councilman Harry Thomas Jr., a very personable and charming fellow, was sentenced to 38 months for basically stealing money from the city that was meant to serve children. Neighborhood character/activist (depending on who you ask) Robert Brannum put out a statement in support of his friend Thomas, asking the judge to be merciful. And then he goes on about the unfairness of the media and defends his party. It won't be posted it here, as it is a bit longwinded.
As my councilman, Thomas was great at showing up at neighborhood meetings (more than what that baffon Vincent Orange did) and events. He was nice and friendly, and may I also add, a snazzy dresser. Sadly, he was also corrupt. His corruption undermined democracy and justifies a distrust of local government and it's ability to be accountable with the people's money. And that, needs to be punished regardless of how nice he is.
On a side note, a few days ago one of my former bosses was sentenced for a white collar crime and will be going to prison for it. As my boss he was a nice, quiet, sweet man, and it does break my heart to know that he actually committed a grave crime. It's not the fact that he is going to jail that saddens me, it's that all the niceness embodied in him didn't stop him from becoming a thief.