J. Tony Serra
Crawford and the Second Circuit: Redux

Now I feel sorry for the guy

Today I received a visitor from DOJ who arrived here by searhing "Anthony Dichio" whom I blogged about here.

When I did my own search, this story came up:

The U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the work habits of the U.S. marshal for Massachusetts, in the wake of a Boston Globe report that Anthony Dichio rarely put in a full day's work during a period when reporters tailed him.

For each of the days Dichio was followed, he was credited with a full eight hours of work, according to time sheets obtained by the Globe. However he averaged just four hours and 17 minutes, the Globe said. When he was not at his office at the federal courthouse in Boston, he often was doing errands or was at his home in Westford, 36 miles northwest of the city.

First, Mr. Dichio is presumed innocent. The issues with the timesheets may have been the result of a mix-up. Maybe he had vacation time built up, but he worked a little anyway. Maybe he, mistakenly, but in good faith, thought he was putting in a full 8 hours. He very well could have thought:

Things have been neat and in shape at the office lately. I have really good people working under me. But I'll check in to make sure everything is cool. Great. The machine is working well. My subordinates are so well trained that they don't need me physically here. But I have my phone me, and consider myself on call. Oh, what's running an errand or two? Do I really need to be physically present?

In any event, I really hope that Mr. Dichio does not go to prison. If he was milking his hours, I'd like to see him fired (and any benefits that he has earned due to his federal employment terminated), but I sure hope he doesn't get charged with any crimes. Alas, my sympathy for the accused runs with the overdogs as well as the oppressed. Besides, he'll likely be fired, and the negative press exposure has ruined his reputation. (His name will forever exist in the Google's cache).

What do you think? Should police officers be punished more strictly because they take a vow to enforce the law, and because they themselves throw many people in prison? In other words, should the law punish the rank hypocrisy that exists when a person charged with enforcing the law breaks it himself?