When I was a boy, my dad instructed me about ethical matters. He told me that if you have to stop and ask the question, “Is this wrong?” then it probably is, and you’re just looking for some wiggle room to do whatever it is you wanted to do in the first place. Later, when I entered law enforcement, my academy drill instructor told us, “Just because something is legal, that doesn’t necessarily make it right.”
I’m reminded of these things now, after my retirement from a long career in law enforcement, including many years of service at the District Attorney’s Office, because of the debate about candidate Dan Dow taking campaign contributions from local defense attorneys. I think it is at least naive to think that the defense attorneys don’t expect some sort of future favor for their generosity, even if the current case was handed off to another prosecutor.
In law enforcement, we are held to a higher standard than, “Is it legal?” I expect the next district attorney to be a person who believes in that higher standard, and that is why I support Tim Covello.