Judge's acknowledgement is refreshing

November 2, 2010
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Here’s something you don’t see every day: a public official acknowledging a mistake and even alerting the news media about the mess up.

Late yesterday we received an e-mail, which was also sent to several other news organizations, from Hamilton Superior Judge William Hughes. It seemed innocent enough, titled “Press release” and a photo was attached. His e-mail gave no indication that the release was about his recent arrest for drunk driving.

Judge Hughes alerted the media of his arrest in North Carolina last week for driving while impaired and driving left of center. The judge was vacationing at the Outer Banks.

Perhaps he was advised to tell the media before it got out some other way. He even provided the case number, when his initial court appearance will be, and what law firms he’s hired to represent him. Judge Hughes has also alerted Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission of his arrest.

I was very surprised to see him divulge so much information to the media unsolicited. Most of the time, public officials try to sweep these kinds of incidents under the rug, or they don’t as freely offer up their arrest and case number.

What was his motivation in doing so? Was it so he’d get less of a punishment or gain public credibility for owning up to his mistakes?

It’s embarrassing and possibly career-damaging to be arrested for drunk driving. I found it refreshing for someone in the public eye to acknowledge the arrest and not shy away from it, even if he won’t make any more statements regarding the arrest right now.

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  • It is called covering your A$$
    I guess it is one way to describe a PR coverup and spin.

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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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