Jeff Noble was indicted Monday on two felony counts and one misdemeanor. The allegation involves his purportedly using $700 (roughly) of public money to buy lumber for personal use. Even the charge, as reported to the newspaper, is misleading.

Noble’s attorney, Derek Campbell, said the money was used for a publicly-owned bridge and not for Noble’s personal gain. Campbell, in speaking with Lexington’s “Herald-Leader” said “The fact of the matter is that, under the dictates of KRS (Kentucky Revised Statutes) Chapter 178, the bridge…is a county owned property that must continue to be maintained…Such points were made clear to…investigators…but…have fallen on deaf ears.”

Campbell goes on to tell “The Herald-Leader” he thought he would never see the day a political machine would “…pervert our justice system simply to beat down their political opponents.”

I suppose the proposition Mr. Campbell finds it singular any political machine would pervert the justice system simply to beat down a political opponent is the funniest part in a tragic situation really not funny to anyone, particularly not in the Noble family. Political machines have historically used our justice system to beat down opponents.

Perhaps some of you are familiar with the Chuck Panici story. Michael Volpe wrote about the trial and ultimate conviction of the former Mayor of the city of Chicago Heights in his book “Prosecutors Gone Wild: The Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni, and Louise Marshall.”

Chuck Panici was an important man who had personally “hobnobbed” and entertained the likes of Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and former Illinois Governor, Jim Thompson. Panici became known simply as “the boss of Southern Cook County.”

Then, owing to largely political reasons, Panici was charged with, and ultimately convicted of, charges brought under the Federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) statute together with a qualifying state predicate. The trial featured corrupt deals between federal prosecutors and mobsters and other nefarious types to whom the government offered leniency, and even absolution for far greater crimes, in consideration for telling a government authored “version” it hoped would net both Panici’s conviction, but more importantly, his removal from office. It worked famously.

We don’t have to look as far back as Panici to see this same type handiwork. The Justice Department appointed a special prosecutor to look into whether President Trump had either permitted or even cooperated in a foreign power’s attempt to intervene and swing the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election.

Trump claims the entire investigation was nothing short of a coup d'état to remove him from office brought on by disgruntled political adversaries bent on winning an election this way where they had lost it in the Electoral College. Others believe Trump did both obstruct justice and, at the very least, facilitate the Russian interference into the 2016 election.

Regardless of where you come down on the debate regarding the Mueller Report or the Panici case, the fact political adversaries use charging authorities as a battering ram against political opponents to gain through the justice system what they lost at the ballot box is well settled. It happens. It happens all the time. That is plain.

In the end, Jeff Noble is still who we have always known him to be. If he is someone you have always found to have enormous integrity and who you know to be honest and forthright, then his being charged with an offense by a government not only fallible but even capable of cheating to get what it wants shouldn’t change that opinion. After all, there is a reason our forefathers, in their infinite wisdom, intended for defendants to be PRESUMED INNOCENT until their guilt be proven BEYONE A REASONABLE DOUBT.

They knew charging authorities are staffed by humans. They knew humans were (and still are) inherently fallible. They knew governments were capable of bringing charges for reasons other than a good faith belief a crime had been committed. After all, aren’t we the same people who tried, convicted, and then executed the Son of God? I believe we are…

This is Abe Yokem and I am still up here SHOUTING FROM THE MOUNTAIN-TOP!

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