Lisa Vs. Terry, Continued

Lisa & Terry799There’s been a good deal of discussion and disagreement over Grass Valley Councilperson Lisa Swarthout’s suggestion that Councilperson-elect-Supervisor Terry Lamphier should resign over allegations that he was ogling kiddie porn on his Official County Computer. Some folks think I was being too harsh on Lisa with the cartoon that appeared in The Union Saturday last.

Here’s my take on the situation: Is this how we should conduct elections from now on? An anonymous tipster casually drops a letter bomb the week before the election accusing the candidate of a) child molestation, b) sexual harassment, c) miscellaneous no-no du jour. Without any formal charges being filed, the candidate is forced to nullify an election he or she won fair and square, and the incumbents can appoint the person they wanted on the council in the first place.

Yeah, that’s a great way to run a democracy, don’t you think?

I’m not defending Terry Lamphier. I’m defending the right of the accused to defend his name and the right of the people to hold free and fair elections. If Terry proves to be guilty, so be it. Sorry if it has inconvenienced Lisa and Grass Valley City Hall.

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29 Responses to Lisa Vs. Terry, Continued

  1. fish says:

    I wouldn’t resign….I mean if he is eventually convicted, losing a city council city seat is the least of his worries.

    Shit Terry….if you’re innocent, at least act like it…don’t roll over for political reasons.

  2. Steve O'Herlihy says:

    Terry does less ‘for political reasons’ than any other elected in the county. That is why I am hoping he remains viable.

  3. Let’s face it Crabb–you are a pretty sharp guy and you nailed this….right on the head.
    Thanks for drawing and saying the truth, but dang, do you have to ask such a difficult security question?

  4. Tom Odachi says:

    “Some folks think I was being too harsh on Lisa with the cartoon that appeared in The Union Saturday last.”

    Harsh? But her comments were OK?

    You merely drew what everybody else was thinking.

  5. Eric Bare says:

    The saving grace about our democracy is the ability to ask that question. There will always be the weak minded that will pull that kind of crap.

  6. Ben Emery says:

    Bob,
    My sentiments exactly. Due process although not perfect is what I have been defending in this case the entire time. Also challenging the idea of a person who would search for porn a public computer that has 24 hour monitoring of searches on it. At face value the numbers don’t add up.

  7. Don Baumgart says:

    The question that eventually will need answering is, if the home computer doesn’t show similar Internet grazing, will there be a full investigation of who hacked Terry’s work computer. I’m betting the High Sheriff won’t go there.

  8. Ben Emery says:

    Don,
    I bet you’re right about the direction of our Sheriff’s office. I would hope some outside investigations come into play and I hope Terry is cleared of all wrong doing. If not I hope he has to go through some rigorous therapy to be able to recognize and control the disorder that causes person to have pedophilia tendencies. A disturbing movie but well worth a single viewing is “The Woodsman”
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/woodsman/

    It is a disease, I know a person who is on all other counts a great human being but they admitted and served a decade at San Quinton for their pedophilia crimes. What it showed to me that this like most other poorly understood conditions that it is in fact a chemical/ hardwired disease that needs to be treated with therapy and jail time if the convicted person directly involved another human being. Personally I don’t know if it has scientific relevancy but I wouldn’t mind seeing convicted pediophiles and rapists castrated. That is the vengeance side of my right and wrong positions.

    • Ben Emery says:

      Castrated for the male convicted criminals and I am not sure what the equivalency for women would be?

      • rlcrabb says:

        A dose of saltpeter might be more humane, especially if the conviction got overturned. As for the ladies…A chastity belt? We’re getting into kinky territory here.

        • Ben Emery says:

          Probably Bob,
          As I said that is my vengeance side coming out. I am pro peace but definitely not a pacifist, I am not strong enough person to be a pacifist. Maybe one day I will be.

  9. Chris Peterson says:

    t’s just as possible, and legally assumed, that he’s innocent of such behavior. So, rather than thinking of how to cure someone who’s assumed innocent, how ’bout we think of ways to correct the slam on his character; like a full public apology from those who brought it to heightened public awareness, or a fine from the elections board, or a slander suit, or a reprimand for the sheriff, or…?
    Assuming a man is innocent and planning the treatment for his guilt at the same time seems wrong. The investigation could uncover evidence that he murdered someone. Should we be discussing how best to carry out capital punishment? Far-fetched, but same logic.

    • Robert Lovejoy says:

      Chris, I for one will let the wheels of Justice spin as slowly as they do. My only disagreement with most is concerning the unknown informant. I can only assume at this point that the unknown person may have been acting in good faith. Suppose that person was standing near a printer when some pic of a naked little girl was printed out. Or suppose somebody was passing by and saw something on a comport screen.. If so, then the unknown person did the right thing by kicking it the ladder and making his/her superiors aware of a allegations rather than gossip about it. If that is the case, then no public apology is warranted and all concerned have repeatedly pointed out that no charges have been filed. What would you have done if you had concerns and suspicions about possible illegal acts in the workplace or logging into the County System from another location? The process is to send concerns up the chain of command, be it a hostile work environment or feeling uncomfortable.

      If the informant was acting out of a personal vendetta, then that is a horse of a different color. This all will take time as the FBI has a lot bigger fish on its plate than checking out what a small time small town elected dog catcher was doing on his computer. I am surprised that the FBI even bothered with this speck on the radar when they have much more important things to do. We should know if any charges will be filed by January or February. Until then, Happy Holidays.

    • Ben Emery says:

      Chris,
      I am right there with you. I hope if Terry is cleared the anonymous tipster is found out and charges brought to the fullest extent of the law for literally ruining a persons good name and possible future career. Unfortunately for Terry he will always have to answer to these allegations for the rest of his public career no matter what is found.

  10. Terry says:

    Multiply small town politics times times 150 million registered voters, plus another 12 million illegals who voted anyway, divide by the unwillingness to consider all the evidence before passing judgment, ignore all semblance of fairness and equality, and we have a new American paradigm: all are guilty until proven innocent…usually by a gaggle of really expensive lawyers whose sense of justice is equal to the amount of money the accused can cough up. I think it’s Lisa Swarthout who should consider resigning…from the human race.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      You speak of “considering all the evidence before passing judgement” and then make the statement, “12 million illegals who voted anyway”?

      I’m sorry; exactly where did you get that little factoid? Take out that particular uber-conservative fallacy, and the rest of your statement is spot on.

  11. Michael Anderson says:

    I hope everyone had a chance to read Jim Hemig’s commentary on Friday. If not, here it is: http://www.theunion.com/opinion/columns/13890774-113/grass-valley-community-lisa
    Jim concludes: “I only ask that you remember that this is the same person who has served our community for more than 28 years and only cares about advancing Grass Valley and not getting our community stuck in the mud of one individual’s scandal.”
    Hmmm. I guess I’m disappointed that Jim is conflating Lisa’s unquestionable love and dedication to the Nevada County community with the Terry Lamphier situation. Certainly if Terry is guilty then it is indeed a scandal, but he has not been yet charged. Not only that, there is also the scandal of the timing of the revelation about Terry’s alleged computer indiscretions.
    We need to wait to see what happens. In the meantime, Terry should attend to his business, both personally and professionally. And everyone else should just honor and accept the process.

  12. Barry Pruett says:

    “This all will take time as the FBI has a lot bigger fish on its plate than checking out what a small time small town elected dog catcher was doing on his computer. I am surprised that the FBI even bothered with this speck on the radar when they have much more important things to do.”

    I think that this comment fails to consider the magnitude of the problem of child porn and exploitation of minors. This comment trivializes such serious offenses. Astounding. Folks who search for child porn on computers encourage the exploitation of minors. If nobody looked at it, then there would be no reason to take hurt these children.

    • Barry Pruett says:

      It is the FBI’s job to enforce the laws in an effort to protect these kids. As people are trying to spin this issue for political reasons, let’s not forget that children are abused every day in order to satisfy the sick and twisted fantasy of people who view child porn. The FBI will figure this out and Terry’s case will be adjudicated, but let’s not trivialize why these laws exist and who they are designed to protect.

      • Robert Lovejoy says:

        Agreed Barry. My point was not to deminish any sicko’s support of the child porn industries or child exploitation, which a serious and grievous unspeakable offense. I believe every sane person agrees on that point. Neither did I intend to diminish the FBi’s role in faithfully excuting the laws on the land in this particular matter. I am surprised that the State Justice Department did not take this investigation on and am surprised that the FBI is examining the evidence ( if any) with their busy schedule of chasing down the producers of such nasty material. Your point is well made. Anyone who views child porno aids and abets that entire repulsive industry.
        Alcoholics can practice absenince. Drugs can become clean. Overeaters can alter their behavior. Gamblers can lose all and destroy their lives before moving on, but a child porn addict has never been cured as evidenced by the sicko’s repeated returning to the garbage heap. As a dog returns to its vomit.

  13. Chris Peterson says:

    I see no statements by anyone on this thread which can be remotely taken as defense of such a repugnant act. That being said, any discussion on the morality of laws against such acts dose nothing but further the rumor that Mr. Lamphier committed this crime in the first place.

    Putting myself in his place, and assuming his innocence, (which, in absence of any evidence to the contrary, we must), I would be outraged that anyone would “secretly” make such a charge and, election or not, those holding public office would issue statements condemning what is still only a rumor.

    Your life, your family, and your career is instantly stigmatized by such an accusation, because we all know that 50% of the community will believe anything they’re told. Those of you who argue the immorality of such an act only exacerbate the situation in an effort to show yourself to be of higher moral integrity. To me; the injustice of your assumption shows me the opposite.

    • Robert Lovejoy says:

      Chris, are you saying that we should not even mention child porn or child exploitation because any statements along those lines can and will be taken by 50% of the citizenry as evidence that the non assured is guilty? Most can separate the two different issues without combining them. At the end of the day, it does not matter what we say or think concerning the unnamed small town elected official. What matters is what our legal system decides.
      I do understand that one can be exonerated in the Court of Law, yet convicted in the court of public opinion. OJ Simpson comes to mind. I think we are all overreacting to bar any discussion of child porn until the outcome of an individual’s fate is decided. All folks say the same thing, which is to withhold judgement. Some refuse to even discuss it and I believe you are in that camp. I have noticed that R. l. Crabb drew a rather large rack on Lisa and nobody is talking about that either. I see your point.

      • Chris Peterson says:

        Since you asked, Robert, the answer is no; I’m not saying that you shouldn’t discuss or, like the rest of us, be ever vigilant of such a disgusting behavior. My question was, quite simply, why here?

        The subject of this thread was whether it is morally or lawfully acceptable for an elected official to publicly ask a candidate, weeks before their election, to drop out of a race when no such charges have been brought, based on the “word” of some anonymous tipster. This is only a discussion on the depravity of child pornography by your making it so which, as I pointed out, adds fuel to the fire by association.

        Laboring over gun control, had he been secretly accused of murder, or the crime rate in Nev. Co., had he been accused of burglary, serves no purpose other than to further focus attention, (ergo the public’s opinion), on a crime that the person in question has yet to be charged.

        As Bob’s caricature so aptly illustrates; you’re putting the heinous act itself ahead of the guilt or innocence of the accused. You might be easily characterized as the guy in an old western, down at the saloon, inciting a lynch mob.

        Argue the facts as you know them, rather than your repulsion of the subject, and you might find yourself with a little less to say. God forbid you are publicly accused of a crime someday and you find us all here discussing how reprehensible your behavior could be, rather than the injustice that an anonymous rumor and public condemnation can have on your life.

  14. Ben Emery says:

    Thanks Barry for making a clear point.

    I personally am glad the FBI was brought in to get involved. For the reasons you state along with wanting to make sure justice is served not a political witch hunt executed. I am assuming Terry is innocent until something is proven otherwise but will hold my judgement until all the facts are out in the open. That is why there is no definitive statement from myself one way or another.

    • Barry Pruett says:

      I do agree that Terry is innocent until proven guilty also, but I also agree with Lisa that the media circus surrounding the allegations does detract from the work of the city. It is an unfortunate situation for all who have to deal with the alleged crime.

  15. Michael Anderson says:

    George Boardman’s column this morning in The Union is spot on. Kudos, GB.
    http://www.theunion.com/opinion/13934782-113/lamphier-investigation-county-lot

    • Chris Peterson says:

      A well-written piece on the situation, but one that oddly fails to mention the public official who brazenly asked for Lamphier to exclude himself from the election, absent any evidence of wrong-doing. That, for me, is the principle issue; using one’s public standing, weeks before an election, to issue a rebuke of a candidate for a crime he has yet to be charged.

      Unethical, to say the least. One has to wonder if there will be an equally-public apology, should he be exonerated, *once again*, from the accusations of this anonymous source. And if he is found to be innocent of any wrong doing, I would think the community would be well-served to seek out this political, or personal, “deep-throat” and remove him/her from public employment.

      ‘Nuf said.

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