There is no justice!
March 23, 2011 - A friend of mine, Oxford resident Bob Morrison, recently got me interested in the cancelled HBO series "Deadwood."
He loaned me all three seasons on DVD and I spent hours upon hours watching them all in just a few weeks.
I absolutely love this series about the gritty, rough-and-tumble town of Deadwood, South Dakota set in the 1870s.
The plots are fantastic. The characters are well-written and well-acted. They really draw you in, especially my favorite, saloon/brothel owner Al Swearengen.
I highly recommend the series to everyone, except those who don't like vulgar language. "Deadwood" is laden with profanity, but then again, so is real life.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the series except for the way it ended.
The main bad guy, a mining tycoon named George Hearst, is simply allowed to leave town. Hearst had people murdered and beaten. He threatened, bullied and cheated people left and right. Hearst wanted to run Deadwood like a dictator.
Despite doing all this, he was ultimately allowed to exit Deadwood riding atop a stage coach, off to increase his fortune elsewhere.
Frankly, I wanted to see Swearengen cut Hearst's throat and leave him for dead on his saloon floor. Swearengen's quite good with a knife.
But it didn't happen and that left my natural need for justice unfulfilled.
You see I'm the type of person who needs to see the fictional bad guy get punished. He needs to end up dead, go to prison, lose his fortune or end up exposed for what he truly is before the whole world.
As much as I hate it when the bad guy gets away in TV shows and movies, I hate it even more when it happens in real life.
Case in point, I'm still pretty upset that Oxford Village Councilwoman Maureen "Moe" Helmuth will not face any criminal charges whatsoever for helping cover-up an alleged embezzlement of village tax dollars back in 2006-07.
Helmuth discovered the alleged embezzlement and chose not to report it. Instead, she admitted to loaning money to the accused, Deputy Clerk M. Patricia Paad, so she could repay the municipality and conceal the alleged theft.
Basically, Helmuth's not going to be prosecuted because she's a "necessary witness" against Paad. In order to prosecute the case, Helmuth needs to testify in court. There's no way around it, according to the prosecutor's office.
Now, my need for justice in the real world is going unfulfilled.
Helmuth's not going to be prosecuted, even though she should be.
My fellow village residents are apparently too lazy and/or apathetic to kick her off council through a recall drive.
It appears no one on council has the guts to publicly reprimand Helmuth or demand her resignation. I realize the village attorney advised them not to publicly comment on the Paad situation given she's still a village employee, however, council could express their opinions on what Helmuth admitted to doing because she is an elected official and she's not facing any charges.
As for Helmuth, she doesn't have enough class – or at least a healthy sense of shame – to do the honorable thing and resign from council.
So where does that leave the village?
I tell you where it leaves this village.
It leaves this community with a so-called leader who admitted to discovering an alleged crime and not reporting it.
It leaves this community with a so-called leader who by her own admission helped cover-up an alleged theft of tax dollars.
It leaves this community with a so-called leader whose silence about the alleged embezzlement in 2006-07 may have led to the $5,000 in village tax money that's currently missing.
By all means, let's keep telling everyone how "world-class" Oxford is and how our town "rocks," while we allow someone who was complicit in an alleged crime and violated the public's trust to represent us and spend our money.
Let's just bury our heads in the sands of vacuous positivity.
Our leaders are good at it.
Our citizens are good at it.
Maybe the village's new symbol should be the ostrich.
Note: I definitely like the idea of moving the firearm deer season opener to a Saturday. Fits my work schedule perfectly, helps the sport of hunting and aids the state economy. Sounds like a winner.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.