Brickbats

Brickbat: Plant and Seize

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Former Pulaski County, Kentucky, constable Michael "Wally" Wallace has been sentenced to 11 years and eight months in prison after being convicted of planting drugs on suspects. The FBI began investigating Wallace in 2018 believing he was planting evidence on suspects so he could make arrests and seize property from them. Kentucky constables are elected officials who aren't paid a salary, but their office can keep a share of money or other goods seized during investigations. Wallace had also been planning a run for sheriff in 2018.

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  1. It’s never democratic when people with guns and arrest authority “campaign” for office, because it’s predicated on intimidation.

    Law enforcement should be selected by an executive with no power except to supervise the officers. Otherwise you get shit like this.

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    2. In theory, they don't have the guns and authority until after they have campaigned for and won the office. In practice, that control maybe works for the initial election but fails for the reelection.

      Regardless, the moral hazard here is not so much that the constables were elected but that they are allowed to keep what they can extort via investigations or seizures. That moral hazard is amplified by the decision not to pay them a salary, making the likelihood of abuse far higher.

      1. That moral hazard is amplified by the decision not to pay them a salary, making the likelihood of abuse far higher.

        It sounds like a bad faith nod to 'both sides' libertarianism from a bygone era. If we're not paying them, why would fiscal conservatives care what they do? You think they should be paid so you can revoke their pay when they violate the law? Spendthrift Republicans! Both sides!

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  2. Surprise surprise, Charles Oliver only reported part of the story, again.

    The conviction wasn’t directly for planting drugs or misconduct, but for federal civil rights violations and federal drug possession charges.

    1. Well, the planting of drugs was the basis for the civil rights charge. It's not complete, but at least it isn't deceptive this time.

    2. It would not surprise me to find out that tbe planting of the drugs and other misconduct wasn't actually illegal.

      1. If it got to court, it would certainly be perjury.
        If they wrote a police report, it would be perjury.
        However, that's a state crime, not a federal one.

        The feds often seem to shove things into civil rights when the real law being broken is a state one.

  3. Kentucky constables are elected officials who aren't paid a salary, but their office can keep a share of money or other goods seized during investigations.

    Ha, did the FBI create and structure the office as a sting operation?

  4. KY constable planting drugs on KY residents for asset forfeiture better hope when he ends up in a KY prison that he has KY prior to his asset being forfeited.

    1. Now he will be able to use his KY jelly while in KY prison.

  5. An unpaid elected position with the power to arrest, what colluld go wrong.

  6. "Kentucky constables are elected officials who aren't paid a salary, but their office can keep a share of money or other goods seized during investigations."

    So, like Mexico?

  7. Law enforcement getting paid out of their "haul"? Shady is as shady does.

    Back in the sixties, when California was run by Reagan, a Republican, the state banned such practices. Not even traffic ticket revenue would go straight to police coffers any more.

    It's strange hearing about other states that are so backward as to fully fund their cops with "enforcement" activities.

  8. Any cop who willfully puts innocent people in jail should be sentenced to the time they forced others to serve.

  9. electing law enforcement and judges es no bueno.

  10. Reading the article, it seems that concerns were raised by police officers, which led to the investigation.

    Is it wrong that I'm suddenly wondering who they would have voted for in the sheriff's race had this not happened?

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