Indiana Dept. Prosecutor fired over sending e-mail to Wisconsin Gov. to stage fake ''assault !!!
Official resigns over email idea to stage assault
Indiana deputy prosecutor's proposal aimed to discredit unions in Wisconsin
Mar 25, 2011 |
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Vic Ryckaert and Kevin O'Neal
For the second time, an Indiana public official has lost his job because of provocative -- some would say foolish -- comments made about the political brouhaha in Wisconsin.
Carlos F. Lam, a Johnson County deputy prosecutor, resigned Thursday after acknowledging he sent an email last month urging the Wisconsin governor to discredit labor union protests in his state by orchestrating a fake assault on the governor.
Possibly, Lam suggested, the pretend assailant might even use a firearm.
Lam's boss, Prosecutor Bradley D. Cooper, accepted the resignation. He called Lam's Feb. 19 email to Gov. Scott Walker a "foolish suggestion."
Last month -- on Feb. 23 -- the Indiana attorney general's office fired deputy attorney general Jeff Cox after he suggested in blog posts and on Twitter that police use live ammunition on protesters who had poured into Wisconsin's Capitol.
The political fight in Wisconsin erupted when Walker, a Republican, called for eliminating collective bargaining for public employees. (That bill passed March 10 and was signed into law the next day.)
Lam's message, posted on The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's website, said, in part: "If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions' cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the public unions."
Lam could not be reached Thursday. Efforts to reach Walker's office were unsuccessful.
A spokesman for Walker told the investigative journalism center that the governor condemns the email's suggestion and supports the union supporters' right to peacefully protest.
Lam began his email to Walker by urging the governor to stay strong in the face of the massive union protests.
He initially told The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism that he did not write the email and suggested that someone must have hacked into his account.
"I am flabbergasted and would never advocate for something like this, and would like everyone to be sure that that's just not me," Lam told the center.
Lam was hired in 2004 to prosecute juvenile crimes in Johnson County.
His boss, Cooper, initially defended Lam, saying he thought the email account had been hacked.
"Whether there's rules of professional conduct that apply or not is irrelevant, because he didn't send it," Cooper told the center.
The nonprofit watchdog group posted the comments Thursday in a story on its website, Wisconsin Watch.org. Hours later, Cooper announced that Lam admitted writing the message and had resigned.
The center found Lam's email among tens of thousands that media organizations received as part of a settlement to an open-records lawsuit.
The blog posts and comments from Cox, the fired deputy attorney general, came to light when they were posted on Mother Jones magazine's website.
In addition to political opinion and "strategy," Lam included a phone number in his email.
It's been disconnected.
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