This oughta get interesting: Bergin pleads not guilty
And the plot thickens! Bill Bergin pleads not guilty; seeks trial.
Since he was caught red-handed with the damning evidence, I'm quite curious to see how Billy-boy and his attorney have to spin this to try to get him off. At the very least, the whole thing doesn't get swept under the rug with some back door, confidential plea agreement. But wait....
Bill Bergin, former Sandy cop and one of the infamous killers of the unarmed, grieviously injured Fouad Kaady, pled not guilty in Clackamas County Court last Friday to charges of felony identity theft, first-degree official misconduct, and (the, IMO, rather odd charge of) "use of an invalid driver's license," according to the Sandy Post. [I don't know what the official charge SHOULD be, but taking people's drivers' licenses (without charging them so there would be no paper trail, it should be noted) and giving them to minors so they can go drink in bars, sounds like more than "use" of an "invalid" license, don't ya think? How about ILLEGAL use of STOLEN licenses to CORRUPT MINORS?? Geez. Get real.]
Bergin asked for - and presumably got - a trial date of Thursday, April 9, at 9 a.m.
"Yippee!" I said to myself when I saw the news. "This oughta get interesting." At least it won't all be swept under the rug with some confidential plea agreement, much like the deal ex-CCSO deputy Brandon Claggett got, right? Claggett, you will recall, was implicated in the same sordid scandal - stemming from accusations of sex with teenage girls - but was allowed to slide, allegedly because of the lack of hard evidence. Which, presumably, was not lacking in Bergin's case, hence his grand jury indictment.
How, I wondered, would Bergin and his famed defense attorney, Des Connall, spin this? The Post states that there is evidence as well as the statements of several witnesses, including those who received the licenses and who's license was taken. Would Bergin, who could be feeling thrown under the bus by his buds at the DA's office, be divulging some juicy tidbits about the inner mis-workings of the Sandy PD and CCSO? Is Billy such a team player that he'd take the sacrifice - letting Claggett skate virtually Scott-free - and face these charges alone?
I kinda doubt it. Especially since that pesky Measure 57 just passed and the new mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for first time identity thieves are now in effect. Oops! I don't believe this new law, so touted by law enforcement despite the fact that nobody knew how it could be paid for, allows much leeway in avoiding jail time, if found guilty of identity theft. Bummer Bill!
But wait. The Post states that Bergin, "through his attorney... asked for a trial date of Thursday, April 9, at 9 a.m." That struck me as odd. Is it normal for the defendant to ask for a specific trial date? Is that how it went down, or is the Post abbreviating the process for brevity's sake? Perhaps someone can enlighten me on that point.
But operating under the assumption (always a dangerous course to tread, I realize) that wily Mr. Connall specifically asked for this date for some strategic reason, I checked my calendar. Lo and behold, I noted that the Kaady's federal civil trial is scheduled go start less than 3 weeks later, on the 28th of April. Curiouser and curiouser, as my old friend the Cheshire Cat says. ;)
So, call me a conspiracy theorist if you will. But I see some interesting times ahead for the Sandy PD and CCSO. Maybe Billy has some info he's going to try to trade for a way out of his current mess. Info that could be real damaging to these entities - and the status quo in Sandy - in the Kaady civil suit. Perhaps Bergin and the whole corrupt "good ol' boys" network euphemistically called "law enforcement" up here on the mountain will all go down in flames together. One can only hope. Go Spence!
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