February 20, 2013

“ANOTHER SLEAZY DEAL” involving U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

I’ve lost my faith in Boston’s federal court and U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

Yesterday, former Chelsea Housing Authority Director Michael McLaughlin pleaded guilty to shafting both taxpayers and Chelsea’s poor by knowingly lying about his salary, which ballooned from $77,000 in 2000 to $366,000 in 2011.

His motive, said his lawyer: money. His jail time: possibly none, according to the plea deal McLaughlin worked out with Ortiz’s office.

Yet last month, computer prodigy Aaron Swartz took his own life after prosecutors in Ortiz’s office threatened him with multiple years in jail for downloading academic journals from an MIT computer system.

His motive: to make these journals available free.

His threatened jail time: up to 50 years.

It’s called prosecutorial discretion. Some of us think it needs more accountability.