Thursday, February 19, 2009

How long will McFaul last?

Today's front-page PD headline, "McFaul told how to dodge subpoena," makes me wonder, how much longer will Sheriff Gerald McFaul stay in office?

The paper's been after the sheriff since Jan. 2, when he laid off about 20 people but promoted some relatives and friends. Usually, by this point in a scandal, the other side pushes back, accusing the PD of a vendetta. But look at what reporters have found. Sheriff's deputies selling tickets to McFaul's fundraiser in the Justice Center, breaking the law. McFaul using the foreclosure crisis as an occasion for patronage, naming political buddies as real-estate appraisers, even though some don't have a license. Add to that the death of Sean Levert in the county jail last March after sheriff's employees took his medication away.

Now, the paper has a 23-year-old tape of McFaul telling his then-girlfriend how to avoid a subpoena from his alleged ex-girlfriend -- who was suing him for sexual harassment, claiming he fired her after she broke up with him. Girlfriend/Employee #2 didn't testify. Alleged Girlfriend/Employee #1 lost her case.

I don't think any public official survives being heard on tape saying, "The only one who can put the finger on me is you. The only one who can put a finger on you is me." (He was talking with G/E #2 about their relationship, but still!)

Someone needs to start a betting pool: which county official resigns next? I'm placing my bet: it's not Dimora, probably not Russo, but McFaul.
Update, Fri. a.m.: Bill Mason says he'll appoint a special prosecutor. "The rule of law applies equally to all -- let the chips fall where they may," Mason says. A local attorney says McFaul may have "committed bribery, obstructed official business, obstructed justice and interfered with someone's civil rights."

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