Is cheating sometimes OK? It’s a lovely question. Loxahatchee Groves councilmen Jim Rockett and Ryan Liang have no problem answering it. They need not speak; their actions boom where they stand. But they’re elected councilmen. Seemingly untouchable. Thus far, they’ve gotten to do what they want without the annoying constraint of the law.
In this newspaper last week, Ryan Liang’s attorney John Whittles was quoted as saying: “The essence of the lawsuit [against Rockett and Liang for alleged election fraud] would be whether the outcome of the election would have been different.”
That is, different then had his client and Rockett not allegedly cheated.
Is he mad? The “essence” of any lawsuit is, has the law has been broken? I understand Mr. Whittles was only appointed hours earlier, but surely he has been a lawyer long enough to know that?
This is simple. When the law is broken, the lawbreaker is punished.
For Mr. Whittles to suggest that it’s somehow OK to cheat, providing Liang didn’t actually win by cheating, is beyond ludicrous.
Follow his logic for an insane moment. It would, therefore, be OK for a card shark to use marked cards providing he didn’t win the pot? It would be OK for a horse to chug a gallon of performance-enhancing drugs provided it didn’t win the blue ribbon? It would be OK for a football player to fire up on crack provided he didn’t score the winning goal. Come on, really?
They’d all be disqualified from the game, as Mr. Whittles’ client must be if found guilty.
Cheating is cheating, lawbreaking is lawbreaking. If Liang and Rockett are found guilty of election fraud, whether it affected the outcome of the election or not, they must not only be barred from public office forever, but also go to prison. Ideally for a long, long time.
Tim Hart-Woods, Loxahatchee Groves