Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Political Deaths Come in Threes?

There is a superstition that celebrity deaths come in threes, a notion supported this week when Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson passed away.

Maybe political deaths comes in threes as well because Governor Sanford's political career ended in a bizarre Argentina escapade. Then former State Representative and Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate, Dennie Oxley, was found again in a state of intoxication. (And here I thought I was the only one driven to drink by the lackluster JLT campaign!).

Unfortunately, this time Oxley was caught on tape in the company of a hammered and unconscious 21-year-old intern (the niece of state representative David Niezgodski, D-South Bend). Can anybody smell toast burning?

Now comes Republican Superior Court Judge William Nelson's story which is almost as bizarre as Sanford's. The Star offers a vanilla headline:

"Woman charged with forging Marion Co. judge's name"

What you don't get from that headline is that the "woman" is Judge Nelson's wife, Kristina, that the forged name was that of Judge Sheila Carlise (with whom Nelson's wife is related by marriage), and that the forged letter, which was intended to prevent a foreclosure, stated that Mr. Nelson had been shot, which never happened. Tell me this isn't a Maury Povich episode.

Mrs. Nelson fell on the sword and stated that her husband had no idea of her actions, and given how bizarre her course of action, how could we doubt her? Even so, this story is riddled with unanswered questions. Did Judge Nelson know his home was in foreclosure? If so, how is this possible? While Judges don't make as much as law firm partners, they aren't exactly starving at $120,000 annually. So, what is going on? Is the Judge one of those "irresponsible" types the Republicans rail against for buying more house than he could afford? Or is he simply that clueless about his own affairs? Or is the Judge simply married to somebody who needs major counseling who has been siphoning off his money somehow? Expect a bizarre explanation before this is over.



Anonymous said...

How about this:
woman is so crushed by the untimely death of 20yo son that she lets all the house finances collapse and spends the money on slot machines. She hides everything from husband and intercepts all mail and telephone calls. In desperation she concocts an excuse and tries to remortgage the variable rate disaster she had financed without husband knowing.

I've seen it.

Chris Worden said...

Anonymous: That is completely plausible to me. Death of a loved one can wreck emotionally. The unfortunate thing, though, is the Judge is going to have to disclose some of his family's personal business to exonerate himself. I ask myself which way I'd respect him more - if he did disclose so that it would clear up the potential of his knowledge, or if he didn't - because hurting a spouse who is obviously not right at the moment is too much of a cost to pay just to keep a job.

Paul K. Ogden said...

In this day and age, $120K with great benefits is excellent, excellent pay for someone in the legal profession. Partners at many law firms often make more, but the vast majority of people in the legal profession pull in nowhere near $120K.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 6:55 p.m., she couldn't refinance the house without his knowing it. He's have to sign the new mortgage since (I assume) he's on the deed. The title company would make a copy of their IDs at the closing table.

Mann Law, P.C. said...

Paul Ogden she could have forged a power of attroney and went to closing without him. I have seen a spouse do such a thing. In fact file a joint bankrupcty to slow down foreclsore and forge spouse's signature.