Today's award goes to . . . well, I'm not actually sure who deserves it more! It's either the Sheriff of Nye County, Nevada; or the county's District Attorney; or it should be shared between them. You be the judge.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Like a scene from a Western movie, the two top lawmen here are settling their scores in public.
In May, a Nye County sheriff's deputy arrested the district attorney. The sheriff, Tony De Meo, alleges that the D.A., Robert Beckett, was misusing public funds. According to Mr. De Meo, public money had gone to supporting the local cheerleading squad, led by the D.A.'s wife, and to make a family friend's car payments.
No charges have been filed, in part because Mr. Beckett, the D.A., refuses to charge himself.
Meanwhile, Mr. Beckett appointed a special prosecutor to investigate possible abuses of power by the sheriff's office and other public officials. Mr. Beckett claims that arresting him was part of an effort to sabotage his re-election. Mr. Beckett ended up running last among five candidates in the Republican primary.
The special prosecutor filed felony charges against the sheriff's deputy, David Boruchowitz, who had arrested the D.A.
Mr. Boruchowitz was also the sheriff's informal press liaison. And after he was summoned to lock himself in the corrugated metal county jail, he sent out a press release with his own mug shot announcing he had been arrested. A judge later rejected the charges, contending Mr. Beckett didn't have the power to appoint a special prosecutor. So Mr. Beckett refiled the charges himself.
. . .
Mr. De Meo, the sheriff, and Mr. Beckett, the D.A., haven't gotten along in years. Mr. De Meo complains that his department arrests people who never get prosecuted. Mr. Beckett contends that some of the sheriff's cases aren't solid.
"I've often said they need a mother to stop the fighting," said Mr. Beckett's wife, JoDee Beckett. "It's like two little boys."
The public row has already derailed much of the county's criminal-justice system. The cases against Mr. Beckett and Mr. Boruchowitz got bogged down because nearly all of the other local legal figures had some connection to the two suspects. The district court's two sitting county judges both recused themselves, as did a justice of the peace. The state attorney general couldn't get involved because one of its lawyers is running for district attorney.
On June 20, the Nevada Supreme Court shipped a judge from a town several hundred miles away to appoint a special prosecutor to review the cases against Mr. Beckett and Mr. Boruchowitz.
Defense attorneys have seized on the rift between the D.A. and sheriff. One defense attorney representing a murder suspect wrote in a legal filing: "A review of the Internet reveals that Nye County is the laughing stock of the known universe."
. . .
The special prosecutor is now tasked with sorting out all the conflicting legal claims that have drawn in most major public figures in the county.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Kirk Vitto said he's concerned "the sideshow will take over the circus."
There's more at the link.
Your elected officials at work, folks. I can only hope that voters in Nye County kick out all the rascals and elect a better class of public servant next time round! Almost anyone will do . . . after all, it's hard to imagine how anyone could be worse than the incumbents!