Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Worthy of Trust & Confidence?

A badge isn't always an indicator that someone should be trusted:

State Attorney General Jerry Brown has announced the recall of 1,200 - 1,200! - honorary badges to staff attorneys in Los Angeles and around the state to avoid continued misuse of them. It's a wise move; no one who isn't a sworn law enforcement officer or agent should be allowed to carry a badge.

Just how often these badges are abused isn't known, but an aide of Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally, D-Compton, provided a good example by flashing a badge when he was being arrested on suspicion of DUI. Apparently, Dymally had purchased a number of legislative badges and passed them out to his staff, his family and even some political donors.

Since then, the badge pipeline has been turned off for legislators. But plenty more nonsworn workers in California still have access to them, including city council members, county supervisors, dispatchers, dogcatchers and even courtroom clerks.

Sounds like Brown ought to be a candidate for recall.

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