They say crime doesn't pay, but I don't know about that. Some crimes, if I had to guess, pay pretty well. Embezzlement. Fraud. Counterfeiting money. Those crimes will probably buy you a nice house in Shandon, or at least a flat-screen TV.
No, I have to think that whoever coined the phrase "crime doesn't pay" was thinking of stupid crimes, like threatening to sexually assault another man and his parents over the phone. State Rep. Thad Viers pleaded no contest to charges of phone threats yesterday morning. He released a statement, too, which is pasted below, verbatim, from the WLTX News site:
Rep. Viers released a statement to News19 Thursday:
"Todays events mark the conclusion of a sad chapter in my life [sic]. What started as a very promising day last Fall in an attempt to reconcile with my wife, went horribly wrong when she told me she had been seeing someone during the course of our separation. I and those around me lost our tempers and exercised poor judgment. In a world where public officials all to often seem to have no shame, I admit to being very ashamed [sic]. The words left by me and others on Mr. Ziegler's machine were wrong and hurtful. At the same time the some of those emotional words were mine, and were the words of a man still very much in love with his wife [sic]. In most of our lives, we can point to a time where as it relates to matters of the heart our emotions override our good sense. These events represent that for me and I look forward to moving on with my life."
I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone get sic'd so thoroughly by a news outlet before. And I know what you're thinking, so I asked a friend of mine: yes, the Citadel does require students to take English. And yes, a cursory familiarity with the language is an asset at USC Law. And the SC House -- well, I saw a representative spitting tobacco juice into a Starbucks cup last week on the House floor, so I don't want to jump to any conclusions about that.
If I'm being totally honest, Gervais didn't hear any violins as I read this release. I even put on one of Hannah Jane's Indigo Girls albums and re-read it, but still no tears. Maybe I'm jaded, but I don't buy the whole love-struck Romeo line. I doubt Viers and his buddies were sipping Merlot and watching Ghost when they decided to call up this guy and threaten to sodomize him.
In fact, this behavior isn't an entirely new experience for Viers at all. Back in 2003, in another moment of weakness, Viers apparently puffed out his chest at a circuit court judge who ultimately didn't rule his way:
On Friday, when Viers learned the clinic was asking a judge to rule, Representative Viers said, "They forget in this state that I get to vote on the judges." [in
judges are selected by the legislature] He later said the comment was not serious and prompted by anger. South Carolina
Before the hearing began, Breeden warned that "intimidation and veiled threats cannot be allowed," and he promised to "rule without fear or favor."