Monday, September 26, 2016


Taking a bribe
In recent months (and years), we have read about stories where public "officials" have been caught stealing monies from the public till, OR getting caught accepting bribes, OR getting caught with their pants (or panties) down around their ankles.

Today's story is about an enterprising young man named Juan Lopez, Jr.  Seems Junior worked for the Orange County Superior Court as a Court Clerk.  While not a high profile gig (basically a glorified paper pusher), it was steady work.  For the record, Court Clerk's earn about $27,000 a year.  Not something to laugh at but in Southern California, that's pretty much poverty rate.

So, what's an enterprising Court Clerk going to do to make up the difference?  He's going to do some side work, that's what he's going to do.  In this case, for a "fee," Junior (allegedly) would make criminal cases and traffic tickets disappear.  That's right, disappear.  With a few subtle clicks on the computer, Junior could make it look like people served time, or that criminal charges had been dismissed, or even make it look like entire fines had been paid to the court.

I suspect it's not that people got off so much as monies were being denied to the cash-strapped Superior Court. Want to piss off a bureaucrat?  Take money from them (or ask them to take a pay cut) - which is what Junior was doing and, as such prosecutors are calling this a bribery case (because a "public" employee was taking side monies to effectuate favors for people).

In any case, Junior is looking at some serious time in the pokey.  If he's reading this blog (as he ans everyone should), I would suggest he head over to his local county law library and take a look at:

  • California Criminal Defense Practice (Lexis)
  • California Criminal Law: procedure and practice (CEB)
  • Criminal Law Defense Techniques (Lexis)
  • White Collar Crime (Thomson Reuters)

Moral to the story, I'm guessing they found out when Junior starting driving up in cars he couldn't possibly afford, or wearing clothes he couldn't possibly afford, or going on vacations he couldn't possible afford, or buying a house he couldn't possibly afford.  See a trend here?  If you're going to do something illegally, don't draw attention to yourself.