There is a bit of a kurfuffle about Mr Chuck Carney and the punishment of the chap who stole $37,792 from our parking receipts. Given that I pay into those meters I want to see every nickel (they don't take pennies) going to the City Coffers.
All that said, this is not a major case. For example, there is no where near the scandal that is the way colleges and universities are allowed to run star chamber like hearings for students accused of crimes up to rape—the rights of the accused being violated left and right. This is a case of taking money, and the perp promising to pay it back (and has already begun to do so). And, he was fired.
So, we have a contract with a company for which this person works. Does that contract allow us to stick our oar in the water with regard to how they discipline their employees? If the secretary had been stealing petty cash and she was cashiered, would we see it the business of the city to interfere? If we do stick our oar in the water do we violate the contract and lay ourselves open to being sued? What do the lawyers say?
Now, I grant you that on his blog, Gerry Nutter suggested that there may have been some favoritism on the part of Mr Carney. Maybe and maybe not. Let us set this aside for a moment.
The plan, as I read it in the newspaper is to turn this over to the police. What will that do for the taxpayer? We will spend some amount for a jury trial if the perp now pleads innocent (and why shouldn't he?). We convict him and put him away for two years at $60,000 pa, which is $120,000 plus the trial, paid for by us. In the mean time the convicted perp might take this opportunity to straighten out his life, but maybe not. Maybe he becomes a person who turns to a life of crime. Even if he doesn't, do we think he will quickly get a job when he gets out? I hope he has a family to help him out.
In some way this incident asks the larger question of if our system is working for us or against us?
If we had just let the company deal with it we would have gotten our money back, avoided additional costs as taxpayers and maybe even found a man who straightened out his life. Then again, maybe he was destined for perdition.
It is just that I would have preferred avoiding the instant outrage and asking some questions. I would have liked some "out of the box" thinking before throwing the book at the perp.
Regards — Cliff