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In defense of Frank Sedita

No reporter in town likes to hoist politicians by their petards more than I do. But I just don't buy into the grief Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III is getting from some quarters for the guilty plea entered last week by Ellicott Common Council Member Brian Davis.

SeditaThe argument goes something like this: Davis might have committed felonies, and might have been convicted if brought to trial, so therefore Sedita was wrong to negotiate a plea to Class A misdemeanor charges.

I see two flaws in that reasoning.

First, prosecutors since -- what, Roman times? -- have taken the bird in the hand (a plea) over two in the bush (the prospect of a conviction through trial). But all of a sudden, in this case, there's something wrong that that strategy.

Second, the plea by Davis was grounds for his automatic removal from office.

So, what the district attorney effectively did was get Davis to plea to charges that resulted in his removal from office. And some people are taking him to task for it. I guess they think more pounds of flesh should have been extracted.

The bottom line to me, as I close the book, or at least this chapter, on the Brian Davis Story, is that Davis no longer holds public office.

The Common Council didn't get rid of him.

Mayor Byron Brown certainly didn't get of him.

Frank Sedita did.

It's time people direct their cynicism elsewhere.

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City Hall | One Sunset
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