Sam Riddle Arraigned in Detroit Corruption Case

The Detroit corruption case that snagged Monica Conyers, wife of Rep. John Conyers, continues to grow. Political adviser Sam Riddle (well known in Colorado for his representation of the family of Isaiah Shoels, a student killed at Columbine) and his significant other, Mary Waters pleaded not guilty to corruption charges in federal court Thursday. The charges were expected and both have maintained their innocence, reportedly refusing to consider plea offers. Ms. Waters' attorney, Todd Flood, had a great line after court:

Asked how Waters is holding up, Flood replied, "She continues to inspire me."

Riddle said:

"I will not be a fall guy for the privileged or well-connected."

After his arraignment, he tweeted:

My arraignment in Fed Ct was intense-had to take deep breath to respond to judge. My lawyer David Stiengold w/30 years fed exp chills me out.”


As to the charges:

[Riddle] was charged in two indictments with 10 criminal counts that include conspiracy, bribery, extortion, mail fraud and making false statements to the FBI. The most serious charges carry 20-year penalties.

Waters is charged in one indictment with one count of conspiracy and two counts of bribery. The most serious charges carry 10-year penalties.

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    dark avenger, (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by cpinva on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 07:27:42 PM EST
    no one ever claimed that the republicans in my fair commonwealth are the brightest bulbs in our political box. :)

    donald, while i applaud your efforts to apprise your state's legislators of their ethical obligations, it concerns me that supposed adults would need to be.

    many years ago, as a consequence of the newt gingrich inspired congressional dog-and-pony show, i and my colleagues were required to attend an 8 hour ethics class. it came complete with a lovely folder full of inspirational (and expensively produced) pamphlets, etc. we had  presentations by various and sundry members of upper-class officialdom.

    my comment to my manager (in charge of the proceedings) afterwards was: "if, at this point in your life, you still don't know the difference between right and wrong, i fail to see how an 8 hour class is going to resolve that." he did not disagree.

    and that's really what ethics boils down to: the difference between right and wrong actions.

    Relativism? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Fabian on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 08:52:01 AM EST
    I think some people get into trouble because they don't think in terms of "right and wrong" or "ethical or unethical" or even "legal or illegal".  I think some people see The Other Kidz doing something and think "I want a piece of that action!".  It doesn't occur to them that just because The Other Kidz are doing something doesn't mean it is right, ethical or legal.

    Also (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by nyjets on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 01:52:05 PM EST
    In addition people also aske themselves: 'Will I get caught', 'What will happen if I am caught', and 'Is the risk of getting caught worse the benefit of doing something wrong.'
    For the most part, I have found that most people are dishonest by nature and are rarely concerned with right or wrong.

    I agree. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Fabian on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 01:00:15 PM EST
    A lot of times people do clueless things because they are, indeed, clueless.  They really are ignorant.  Mandatory training would attempt to address the ignorance.

    Defense attorney's nightmare (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 02:10:42 PM EST
    Sam Riddle just won't shut up. His attorney must hate defending him - up to the point he was arraigned, he would make public statements, give interviews, and call into radio stations.

    Here's some more background - he and Mary Waters are the 8th and 9th people charged in this bribery scheme.

    jJeralyn, do make your clients (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 02:47:09 PM EST
    promise in writing they won't tweet?  What a disaster in the making.