Local newspaper editors: Mercy for Wanda!

Former Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene is looking at a decade in prison for embezzlement, and corruption. She - along with three county government co-conspirators - have all cut deals with federal prosecutors for the abuses they crafted and carried out for years.

And while jail time should be part of the punishment, The Editorial Board at the Asheville Citizen-Times says maybe a decade is TOO long for this corruptocrat.

We would be disappointed if the deal resulted in no  jail time. Greene was an official with tremendous power who abused that  power for the personal profit of herself and some of her associates. A  no-jail sentence would send a bad message.

On the other hand, 10 years may be excessive. Politicians across the  spectrum agree that we lock up too many people for too long for  nonviolent offenses. The best sentence makes the point that Greene’s  misconduct must carry consequences without being vindictive.

The Editorial Board then proceeds to explain how the important thing is put in place safeguards to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

Of course, a stiff punishment is precisely that.

Also, policies are inadequate to catch and prevent all forms of abuse and corruption. It requires individuals charged with providing oversight to actually provide that oversight. This is a very difficult thing to do for people who don't know what to look for, or who don't know how read a budget spreadsheet. It's also very difficult when all of the people are part of the same local social circuit.

In case it's not clear... No, ten years is not excessive for the magnitude of the fraud perpetrated on the residents and businesses in Buncombe County. The ONLY reason Greene and her co-conspirators are paying back the money they stole is because they got caught.

There was no remorse prior to their plea deals. They all stole from taxpayers. Greene tried to escape via retirement and attempted to protect her ill-gotten gains.

Ten years is not excessive for the criminal enterprise Greene operated.

By the way, are we ever going to find out what Buncombe County Commissioner was part of the scandal?

Pete's Prep Sheet: Monday, Jan. 13, 2019

  • We have a Constitutional right to abuse elected officials on social media, an they can't block us! A ruling from the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last week is the first of its kind.

  • A Black Mountain man is charged with assaulting a 12-year old girl in a fight at the Asheville Mall. The incident was caught on video.

  • The internet is increasingly full of crap. From New York Magazine: "How much of the internet is fake? Studies generally suggest that, year  after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years,  according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot."

  • From ABC News: Six families of victims killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School won a legal victory Friday in their fight against controversial radio and internet personality Alex Jones.

  • Apparently, Democrats are afraid of criticizing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for fear of being the target of one of her "mean tweets."

  • Sheriffs in urban counties are ditching their affiliations with the federal 287g immigration enforcement mechanism. By contrast, rural county sheriffs are signing up with the program.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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