Disgraced (the media like to use that term for anyone who's done something bad while in office, so I'll play along) former McLennan County tax assessor-collector Buddy Skeen has been sentenced after pleading guilty to public corruption charges.
For his part in ripping off taxpayers by selling county trucks to benefit himself and his friends, Skeen will get 180 days in jail, 5 years probation, a $10k fine and 400 hours of community service (he resigned as he pleaded guilty).
Appropriate? Not in the least. In arguing for probation, his attorneys tugged on the heart strings of jurors. Skeen's a family man. Skeen has served the community for 24 years. Skeen made a mistake and took responsibility.
So what? Having a family makes his crime less offensive? He served his community for 24 years but just now got caught? But I'm sure he was on the up and up those other 23 years. And he only took responsibility after flatly denying any wrong doing and unsuccessful attempts to get the case moved and the judge thrown out.
Any elected official's primary resonsibility, in this case a fiduciary responsibility, is to the people and taxpayers he represents. Skeen knowingly used his office for personal gain and did so with a sense of entitlement and arrogance unrivaled in McLennan County. He got off easy.