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Unbalanced justice

first_imgProminent Los Angeles lawyer Pierce O’Donnell won’t be going to jail, despite pleading no contest to five counts of illegal contributions to James Hahn’s mayoral campaign in 2001. Just as a reminder, that was an election in which Hahn defeated Antonio Villaraigosa. Instead of the six months he could have spent in the slammer, O’Donnell made a deal: In exchange for a no-contest plea to five misdemeanor counts of using a false name while making $25,000 in political contributions to Hahn’s election campaign, the other 21 charges would be dropped. Surely, the prosecutors thought that three years’ probation and a fine of $155,000 would be punishment enough for another upstanding pillar of the community. What’s outrageous about the deal is not the particulars of punishment. Plea deals such as this are common, and the punishment was within the scope of what is allowed. What’s disgraceful is that this kind of crime is treated as a misdemeanor at all. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Physically injuring another human being is rightfully considered a felony. But using one’s money and influence to deliberately attempt to flip an election is merely a misdemeanor in the eyes of the court. It’s no wonder that every level of government from City Hall to Capitol Hill is rife with stories of corruption and scandal when the imbalance of justice is clearly leaning in their direction. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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