Mr. No Apology

Bill Hill's office helped jail dozens of innocent people, and he's a shoo-in for re-election. Huh?

"Statement of Bill Hill in regards to the question concerning sympathy for victims.

"Date: 10/25/02

"I am very sorry for anyone who fell victim to these unscrupulous and corrupt confidential informants. Since that time we have put safeguards in place to ensure that we will never be duped again by confidential informants and/or police officers who are willing to use fake drugs to charge innocent people with narcotics violations."

Put that to music, get a couple of violins and a harp, and I believe you'd still have a grudging one-paragraph fax.

I talked to former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins about the FBI probe. He said Hill knows full well that there is almost no likelihood the Department of Justice will come up with federally prosecutable offenses, a least in Hill's own department. "The problems are much more likely to be ethical than legal issues," Coggins said.

To find a federally prosecutable offense, the FBI would have to find money going into the pockets of assistant district attorneys. Nobody thinks that happened. The issue is whether Bill Hill's department sponsors a culture in which it is ethically acceptable to prosecute a defendant, including pushing for a plea bargain, on evidence the department knows or suspects to be questionable. Even if the FBI finds that problem, even if they find tons of it, they will not mention a word of it in public because it is not a federal offense to be a slimeball. They will say only that they found no federal offense to prosecute.

It's too bad there is no real candidate to vote for against Hill in next Tuesday's election. Thank the Dallas County Democratic Party for that--the party that has learned to be comfortable with defeat.

Craig Watkins would actually be worse than Hill. But take it from me: Watkins ain't going to win. He's not even going to get within hailing distance.

So every vote you give Watkins is at least a safe vote against Bill Hill. I personally urge you to vote early, vote often and have state Representative Terri Hodge deliver all of your ballots. If you vote for Hill, you will be complicit in a much greater sin.

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