A news story wafted by the other day, as largely unnoticed as a fart at a chili cook-off. I'll confess I was blissfully unaware of its ongoing existence. Seems Enron chief and potato chip magnate Kenneth "I'm a Good" Lay has been cleared of any wrongdoing. This might be a bit surprising to thousands of Enron employees gypped out of their life savings, their jobs and their dignity.
Oh sure, Ken was convicted because he was guilty as sin and the 12 nimrods who comprised the OJ jury were unavailable as they all presently reside in the deepest recesses of hell. These kinds of white collar crime trials are chock full of accounting minutia and boring as it gets. So nobody paid much attention. The Slobo Dan trial at the World Court retained more viewers. If it were a TV show it would have garnered ratings as dismal as the upcoming World Series. But it did eventually end in a conviction, unlike the Slobo Dan affair in which they eventually had to stifle the old coot in his cell.
But then ol' Ken had the audacity to up and die too. His phallanx of high-priced lawyers had of course filed an appeal during which he continued to live his lavish yacht and servant-laden lifestyle. And since that right is constitutional his untimely death meant his conviction got nixed. So much for any notion of any of those aggrieved parties divvying up his billion dollar fortune. Ha! Creditors and employees alike can pound sand. He's as innocent as OJ.
Meanwhile, George Weller was convicted of 10 counts of vehicular manslaughter. This conviction was handed down in absentia, as he is 89 years old and was too frail and sick to attend his own trial and assist in his defense. I had thought that was some kind of constitutional no-no too, but what do I know?
Weller now faces 18 years in prison. If he gets five years off for good behavior (what else would one expect from an 89 year old convict?) he'll be 104 when he next sees the light of day.
This guy needs to get off his deathbed, file an appeal and check out of Hotel Life faster than Rep Foley bends over a page. Perhaps Lay's lawyers could help him out.