There’s a lot of power that attaches to major public offices such as president, member of Congress, or state governor or legislator. Put a person with a predilection for the criminal in such an office without proper safeguards, and corruption is on its way. We’ve seen this so many times, that it hardly needs pointing out.
Then there are those who go beyond just some influence peddling or money laundering. Either unbridled greed or a lust for more power propels them into acts of amazing corruption. In some cases, people turn up dead. In all cases, the public is also a victim of such criminal acts.
Brian Joyce is a former state senator in Massachusetts. It looks like he has been trying to win the prize for the greatest number of indictments by a public official. The number stands at 113 counts. Federal authorities are calling this a “criminal enterprise.” They’ve got that right.
“Former Massachusetts state Sen. Brian Joyce was arrested and charged with running his office as a ‘criminal enterprise’ Friday, and is now facing a 113 count indictment from the federal government.
“Joyce is reported to have gained $1 million through bribes and kickbacks and has also been charged with racketeering, extortion, honest services fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud the IRS, according to Newsweek.
“The 55-year-old Democrat was taken into custody by the FBI after a two-year investigation and was found to have accepted ‘hundreds of pounds’ of Dunkin Doughnuts coffee, after he pulled strings for a local franchise owner, Newsweek reports.”
One could be forgiven for waiting for the punchline, thinking that this must be a joke. After all, being bought off with “hundreds of pounds” of coffee from a doughnut shop? What did he do with it all?
But it’s not a joke.
“Prosecutors accused Joyce of using his law firm to launder money while he was still working as a state legislator.”
Given the wide range of criminal activities in which Joyce is alleged to have engaged, one wonders how he found time for anything else. If guilty, it would be clear that he found his public office to be a terrific vehicle for personal enrichment through corrupt activities.
Part of the tragedy is that this sort of thing is so common that it no longer surprises or even outrages people anymore. Without mentioning names, we can think of quite a number of folks who have held federal offices whose corruption makes Joyce look like a rank amateur. That those individuals remain unindicted is a measure of the failure of our justice system.
It looks likely that Mr. Joyce is going to be spending time in prison. If so, he can at least look forward to more free coffee.
Source: Daily Caller