Sunday, May 30, 2004

Justice gets busted

It's simply human nature to alter our consciousness and no one is immune. Case in point, the Hon. W. John Brennan, 57, chief judge of state district court in Albuquerque, was arrested for drunk driving after attempting to flee a police checkpoint last week. He appeared to be "extremely intoxicated" and was carrying what appeared to be cocaine when he was stopped.

Brennan was booked on charges of possessing a controlled substance and evidence tampering, and was released on his own recognizance, according to jail records. A charge of drunken driving was pending results of a blood-alcohol test, Ahrensfield said.

A passenger, Patricia Ann Mattioli [who works for the state Commission on Higher Education], also was arrested on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, Ahrensfield said. Mattioli, 43, was released after posting a $2,500 bond midday Saturday, jail records show.

The judge claims he will take full responsibility for his actions, but one can't help but wonder why his passenger had to post bail and spend the night in jail when he didn't. Sounds to me like he sold her out.

His fellow jurist, Judge James Blackmer, describes him as "a truly outstanding judge and a fine, wonderful person." He goes on to say, ""I would hope that everyone keeps an open mind on this and all other investigations in general and not prejudge anything."

Tell it to the hundreds of thousands of inmates languishing in our prisons under mandatory minimums. One wonders if what's good for the public will also apply to the judge. We're predicting he won't do a day in jail but his passenger will not get off as lightly as he will.


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