Last Friday the highest court in New England told the always-amorous Boston U.S. Attorney’s office that it needs some space from what had been the prosecutors’ signature federal racketeering case. There’s been no word as to weather the exasperated judiciary will seek a restraining order but the judges’ language seemed clear, saying they, “decline the governments post-trial invitation.”
The appellate panel first rejected the logic backing the charges in December, but the jilted prosecutors weren’t willing to say goodbye. Instead, they set about making a virtual mixtape of desperate legal theories and emphatic interpretations to demonstrate the strength of their convictions. They insisted that public employees hiring well-connected subordinates to help secure budget increases for their department is tantamount to “operating like a criminal enterprise.”
However, prior to the December decision, retired federal Judge Nancy Gertner told the Huffington Post that such behavior is, “ That is American politics and not a crime .” The appeals court agreed and tried to be firm when it told the U.S. Attorney’s office it was over. The Judges left little room for interpretation in their writing, but prosecutors still weren’t deterred.
They began knocking on justice’s backdoor, seeking a three-way rehearing with the judges and the defense attorneys the judiciary seemed to prefer. There they could argue that a jury could have said yes to them under different circumstances. But it wasn’t to be, and this last stubborn advance clearly left the judges uncomfortable and went unrequited. By shooting it down last Friday, the appellate panel finally finished hammering another stake through the heart of the legacy left behind by increasingly disgraced former U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz. Amidst the humiliating headlines that ensued in December, Ortiz vowed she would never prosecute again.
Fittingly, the Boston Globe, which after its own rendezvous with Ortiz’s office is now well-reputed for the typographical errors that commonly flare up on its front page, covered this latest twist with its obituary section Monday. Attorney William Fick told the lurid Massachusetts rag that the defendants who had been kept in an unhappy relationship with the case since 2010 “can never reclaim the years lost to this legal battle, but now they can move on.”