Attending the hearing yesterday, driving back from it and reading comments I’ve received over time suggests to me it is time to reflect and make clear some of the thoughts I have on the subject matter of this blog.
I’ve criticized the judge, the prosecutors, investigators, defense counsel and others while writing my opinions. All that means is that the way I see things is different from the way they see them. I’m putting it out so that you can see there are other sides to the issue which you should consider.
My criticism of individuals in no way should be taken as a reflection on the integrity of any of the persons involved. I believe everyone is doing their job to the best of their ability in an honest and upright manner. I may be able to point out several reasons why I think something is not right; but I’m sure if given the opportunity the person I criticize could explain why I am wrong in my judgment.
I worked as a prosecutor for over twenty years with some of the best prosecutors in the state. I disagreed with the way some of the cases were handled by them. I thought some should not have been brought; I thought others should not have been dismissed. I would let myself be heard but never thought the prosecutor I differed with was doing other than for what he or she believed to be right.
My disagreements with the investigating officers are legendary. They’d push, I’d push back. They’d want to do something, I’d say no. I’d sometimes suggest something, they’d say no. A few went around grumbling that I was corrupt for not doing what they wanted. Most understood there had to be a give and take between prosecutors and cops.
A cop who didn’t even know me warned a cop who had worked with me for a long while to “watch out for him. He’s bad.” The cop I knew enjoyed telling that story.
The word corruption is sometimes used too loosely to express person’s disagreement with the decisions or actions of another person. It shouldn’t be used like that. People see things differently based on their life experiences, the information before them, and the pressures of the moment. As much as I have disagreed with some of the actions taken by individuals in this matter I do not believe anyone did it other than for what he or she believed to be the right reason.
To be more specific, I don’t believe AUSA Wyshak should have prosecuted John Connolly in Florida. I’ve set our my reasons before. Do I question his integrity in doing this? Absolutely not. He looks at the case in certain way which tells him Connolly is the epitome of all evil. I come at it from a different view point.
I have questioned the investigating officers in this case for getting too close to the gangsters. They may feel they have not done that. They may feel that is part of the job.
I’ve praised these same people for the work they have done in bringing down the criminal empire that Whitey constructed. For that work they have my admiration. I don’t question their integrity. I just like to remind them that gangsters are gangsters even when they join your team.
The same goes for Judge Stearns. I might think he should recuse himself and set out my reasons for that. (Doing further research I find I am wrong on that – I’ll explain later in a separate post.) He may not agree with me. He has more information than I have which I understand. I don’t think Judge Stearns has any agenda other than doing his job as he has done for over twenty years in a fair and impartial manner with high integrity.
This also applies to J.W. Carney who’s been laboring in the trial field for over thirty years and keeping his wits about him. I understand his job is to throw obstructions at the government and to delay the matter as much as he can. Not all of his positions are free of chaff. I may criticize him less because his burden is so much higher but if I were in prosecutor Kelly’s shoes, I’m sure I’d be quite upset at him.
There are many things that are happening that I have written about and will write about. I have to get back to the Naimovich case. My attitude toward that is what I have tried to explain above. I believe that case was a great miscarriage of justice. Tom Foley of the state police was an investigator on that case. I think what he did with respect to Naimovich was wrong. He disagrees. I still have the highest respect for Foley and what he accomplished on the job. I do not question his motives. He did what he thought was right at the time he was doing it. He had no other motive than doing the job well.
Let me end by saying I don’t agree that everything that was done was right. People with the best of motives can do things in wrong ways and bring about bad results. Not all people had the best of motives.
The FBI established a system of dealing with informants that reeks of corruption. It still exists. We have no way of knowing how many gangsters who are murdering people today are part of the FBI’s team.
Whitey and his gang existed before he met Connolly. How much of an effect the FBI’s relationship with Whitey helped keep him in business is still an open question. These and many other matters remained to be explored and discussed. I hope to do that and to express my opinion on them. I just ask the reader to keep an open mind.