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Confidence loss from Knight's actions merit his exit

Long suffering citizens of Bossier City might have been excused if last year they thought the one new face of their elected officials wasn’t, like the reelected bunch, an idiot and/or con man.
But charging City Councilman James “Chubby” Knight with running a check-cashing scam, it was alleged that he went one-up on the incompetents with which he serves. At least their needlessly spending over $100 million on low priority items over the past decade that with other spending left a mountain of debt whose summit has yet to be reached, which prevented them from using the investment proceeds thereof to mitigate or solve last year’s budget crisis, seem to have done all of their blundering legally.

Knight, the one non-incumbent to gain election, stood accused of knowingly shopping around forged checks for cashing. First, he went to three banks before one would cash for him a check he says was a sweepstakes prize that eventually was found to be bogus. Meanwhile, he claims he answered an ad that got him taken in by a “secret shopper scam.” He said he was sent two $975 cashier’s checks to be cashed, asking the money wired elsewhere. Investigators say banks alerted them of the activity and witnesses testified differently about the events. Through his lawyer Joel Pearce, Knight claims prosecution by Bossier-Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin is a political conspiracy because of Knight’s unannounced impending mayoral run in 2013 and of some unspecified questions he had about one of the city’s wasted investments, the Cyber Innovation Center, and others about debt issues.

To believe this story, it takes as much suspension of disbelief as is required to believe in the past decade Bossier City has managed itself with fiscal prudence. Observe:
  • Knight receives this large check from a putative sweepstakes, doesn’t ask any questions about it and runs to the bank … and then another … and finally a third that finally would handle it, the two rejections not ringing a bell in his seemingly empty head about the check’s veracity?
  • And he didn’t want it deposited, he wanted it in cash. Why does he need it all as walking around money, if he’s just to dump it in another bank?
  • Then, despite years of experience in the business world and presumably knowledgeable enough to comply with campaign finance laws and city finances (especially those he said he was checking out), he goes looking around and alights on something he can’t recognize as a common scam?
  • And why exactly is Knight participating in this program? Is he bored with his City Council job? Does it not pay enough? Does he need more money to enter more sweepstakes?
  • Did he ever remit money to the designated account, minus “fees?” Maybe so, because within a day he says he got seven more – wow, scam artists must have been working overtime to get them to him that quickly in such an easily traceable way.
  • Finally, after being hit over the head repeatedly by these incidents, Knight figures out maybe the crushing headache he has is telling him something’s not on the level. But does he inform the Bossier City Police, or, since it’s federal law being violated, those authorities? No, instead he goes to the late Bossier City Marshal Johnny Wyatt, maybe because Wyatt’s office posted stern reminders around town about bad check passing and shoplifting. After huddling with Wyatt, then they go to the BCPD.
  • But to add insult to injury, now Marvin comes after him on a buncombe charge, ignoring this big conspiracy perhaps because he’s a part of it; where’s a real crusading DA like Jim Garrison when you need him? After all, Pearce asserts Knight’s predicament is related to one of Marvin’s employees being charged by the BCPD, which eventually were dropped and ended up in disciplinary action against the officers involved. So apparently the BCPD and Marvin have mended fences to go after Knight?
  • Nonetheless, this sense of urgency by the “Bossier power bosses” who seek to “erase your memory” (the hyperbolic Pearce, who represented one of the BCPD officers, perhaps means with this that in their vindictiveness these powers seek to erase Knight’s memory by some heretofore unknown technology – maybe secretly located at the CIC and the object of Knight’s “investigating” – or maybe he means just that they will make Knight an Orwellian “unperson”) seems especially acute because of Knight’s suddenly announced threat to run for mayor in 2013. After all, in an age where presidential candidates only announce their intentions a couple of years in advance, Knight needs to let the cat out of the bag three years prior and apparently is such a threat to the “powers” that they are acting now, with extreme prejudice. (And maybe with Wyatt as well – maybe Pearce has some inside information about how the bosses offed Wyatt and made his tragic demise look like an accident because he was working in cahoots with Knight to bring them down?)
There you have it. Either you don’t believe this string of implausible events, behavior, and explanations that even Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (better known two decades past as “Baghdad Bob”) would not have the audacity to put forth as credible, or Knight has got to be the world’s densest rube. To which the latter, actually, in regards to political judgment would make him right at home as a Bossier City Councilman or mayor.

Now that 26th District Attorney Schuyler Marvin has dropped charges in exchange for Knight's resignation, the temptation could be to think it was political -- Marvin trumps up case to get rid of threat to the good-old-boy system that has held Bossier City and Parish back. However, when considering the convoluted behavior and explanations forwarded by Knight about all of this, the lack of credibility within them makes one think he got lucky because he could bargain away his office for leniency. His resignation, on Mar. 31, comes not a moment too soon. Let's hope credible candidates present themselves and that this district's voters can make a better decision next time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All I can say for you is that it is truly sad when cousins marry.