17 March 2007

Municipal campaign shenanigans costly

Take a gander at this story involving a former St. John's city councillor, charges of mischief, withholding information from the police and generally a tale that raises many more questions about the case than the trial will resolve.

But here's a bit of perspective for pure contrast: the total cost incurred by the former councillor to deal with the damage was $160.

About five years ago, your humble e-scribbler had his credit card lifted from his jacket as it hung in the closet at his office. There were a limited number of suspects and the credit card company confirmed that $300 worth of groceries were charged to the card at a supermarket within walking distance of my office at the time.

There were security cameras in the supermarket.

There were three likely suspects of which one could be eliminated almost right away. The police had good physical descriptions and complete current contact information since the suspects were being interviewed for a job when the theft occurred.

The police response was much less than enthusiastic and little - if anything - was done beyond filling out the mandatory forms.

In the municipal shenanigan's case - involving $160 - there was repeated attention from the police, regular contact with the candidate, fingerprint evidence taken and analysed at a lab on the mainland and now a trial involving a prosecutor being shipped in from central Newfoundland to handle what may well be a lost cause for the Crown.

There's more on the case at Meeker on media.