Paschall Criminal Trial Begins This Week

To read a newspaper these days, one would think that odious misconduct within the Republican Party is limited to hooker fucking and reputed diaper fetishism (Sen. David Vitter), soliciting gay sex in a public men’s room from some dude who turns out to be an undercover cop (Sen. Larry Craig, Florida State Rep. Bob Allen) or other forms of sexual misconduct centering on abuse of children or the aged and infirmed.

Well, that simply isn’t true. Some Republicans are plain ol’ down-home country-style thieves, and there’s plenty of room under the GOP’s tent for them as well.

Take, for instance, former Jefferson County, Colorado Treasurer Mark Paschall. He’s slated to go on trial this week for soliciting a substantial kickback from a former aide, the illegal payment to come from a bonus Pachall himself recommended that the aide receive. From an article in today’s Rocky Mountain News:

Kathy Redmond, a longtime acquaintance whom Paschall hired as his administrative coordinator in 2003, alerted authorities after she said he tried to get her to go along with the kickback scheme.

. . .

The evidence includes a taped conversation in which Paschall appears to have solicited the money. In the tape, Paschall told Redmond that the bonus would amount to $18,000 after taxes and he expected her to give him half, according to the indictment.

Redmond told Paschall that she wanted “no part of his offer” and warned he would be criticized for paying her a bonus that amounted to almost half her annual salary, the indictment said.

Folks who follow Colorado politics regularly will no doubt remember Paschall as the clown who insisted, thankfully to no avail, that he could not discharge his duties as Jefferson County Treasurer unless the County Commissioners provided him a Cadillac Escalade. Paschall also gained fame by setting a standard for fucking off in office that would shame even George W. Bush:

During his first year in office, Paschall worked 132 days, with an average of 5.2 hours each day he worked. His job attendance rate was the lowest among all elected county officials.

Last but not least, Paschall also used his office to distribute over a thousand copies of his “Citizens Rule Book” advocating jury nullification. A juror in a criminal trial, Paschall wrote, is “answerable only to GOD ALMIGHTY.” Thus, if the court’s instructions of law differ from the will of Jesus, the juror should disregard the law and ask WWJD.

It remains to be seen whether the criminal case will remain in the Jefferson County District Court. The judge has deferred a ruling on Paschall’s motion to change venue until after the district attorney and defense counsel voir dire prospective jurors.

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