As if the good citizens of Gwinnett County haven't been pummeled enough by the dark forces of corruption and unethical behavior in the last decade -- after the days of Charles Bannister and the debacle that was Kevin Kennerly -- with the resignation and indictment of Commissioner Shirley Lasseter, they are once again being forced through the wringer of an abused public trust. Such a breach as hers is a personal injury to each and every one of Gwinnett's citizens!
Surely, the people of Gwinnett County are asking themselves these questions: "When will this end?"; "Can we do anything at all to prevent this from happening again?" Beyond the obvious need for even greater, more frequent accountability, there seems to be a certain atmosphere, an acceptance by a large segment of the community, that these things just "happen." There is a certain mindset that accepts that corruption is a part of government like the ever-encroaching kudzu is part of Georgia roadsides! And the parties that are piping up now to make excuses for Ms. Lasseter are not doing her any good in the long run.
If Commissioner Lasseter can summon up enough supporters to gather a large defense fund, where then is that synchronized outcry that should come from a public united in agreement that there was a severe wrong done and a penance needs to be paid?
While I understand that we are all human and are fallible, I also know that the price to be paid by the guilty party should be painful enough to make a mark-to leave an indelible impression upon them that will hopefully deter them from any future ethical lapses.
Of course, while this codependent attitude does pervade the very air of our county, the ultimate responsibility lies with the individual whose misdeeds have tainted their office. Some would say that there are times when the crime is made more palatable due to the perpetrator's hardship circumstances-that because they needed the money for personal financial woes, accepting a bribe is more understandable. They say that good folks make stupid mistakes and that their character "slip-up" should be treated less severely than that of others.
Oh, how I beg to differ!! Character is something you either have or you don't. If you make this kind of ethical mistake, I would question your character all along!! People choose to do things, with the full and conscious knowledge that they are committing a wrong and then they want to make excuses for themselves.
Whether you want to admit this or not, Ms. Lasseter, there were certainly other means somewhere out there to help your financial situation. And this question begs to be asked, "Where were these benefactor friends of yours with their "donations" when you needed bailing out of your personal monetary difficulties? It seems to me that before you accepted the bribe would have been the time to take donations!