Friday, August 10, 2007

Only Tragic Outcomes in Kelty Case

The word seems to be that the Kelty grand jury will wrap up its investigation tomorrow. No matter their decision it will be a tragedy. I'm actually quite torn on this issue. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Matt Kelty violated the law, and if there is no indictment then a blow will be struck against open government that may take a long, long time to recover from. On the other hand, Matt Kelty does not deserve to go to jail or even be removed from the ballot for what happened. I fear that would set off a partisan firestorm in local politics that would burn for a long time as well (think Clinton impeachment).

At the end of the day either outcome is unjust. Unfortunately the issue was not handled properly and now it's up to the legal system. I think a just outcome would've been for Kelty to have had to pay back the loan before making any further expenditures. I think that's reasonable but I'm certain many on both sides would adamantly disagree.

I will be at the press conference if it happens tomorrow, but no matter the outcome, I will be walking away shaking my head, wondering, how did we get to this point?


Charlotte A. Weybright said...


Isn't there an "in between" in that Kelty could be indicted for a couple of misdemeanors? More than likely, he would not do any jail time if that were the case. I don't believe he would be removed from the ballot either, since what I have read states that a felony conviction would remove him.

No matter the outcome, look at the slap on the wrist Doug Foy received. Eleven felony counts and he still got probation with no jail time. The Grand Jury might see the misdemeanor charges as the middle ground. Kelty would not get off scott free, and he would still be able to run for office.

Also, even if the Grand Jury finds no indictable offenses, I believe the prosecutor can still pursue charges (although I would think he would not go further).

Jeff Pruitt said...

I suppose a misdemeanor indictment could be the best outcome at this point. I thought about that but convinced myself that even a misdemeanor would be enough for him to have to remove himself from the ballot. Perhaps that wouldn't have to be the case...