Earlier this week, the Collected Works of Tom May’s senior hagiographer considered the tenure of Keith Henderson as Floyd County Prosecutor. But first, noting that a “hard” g is preferred, but a “soft” g is allowable, Shane’s Excellent New Words explains the meaning of hagiography (from March 9, 2016).
1. the writing of the lives of the saints
2. biography of the saints
3. any biography that idealizes or idolizes its subject
MOSSWORDS: Henderson ‘still passionate about justice’, by Dale Moss
NEW ALBANY — Keith Henderson scanned headlines a few weeks ago. One stuck out.
David Camm’s lawsuit against the state had been dismissed.
Swell news for Henderson, of course. As Floyd County’s prosecutor, he represented Indiana in pursuing justice for the murders of Camm’s wife and two children in 2000. After two murder convictions — one won by Henderson — and 13 years in prison, Camm was found not guilty in a third trial …
Moss proceeds with the hagiography, and all that can be said about this mellifluous act of selective memory is that he’s paid to produce hagiography because hagiography is what Bill Hanson’s regime wants to spoon-feed its readers. No offense to Moss, so merely allow me to suggest there’s a subtle but noticeable bias in the opening extract.
Granted, it’s a fool’s errand to speak dispassionately and rationally about the Camm murders. Extreme passions on all sides will remain inflamed for the rest of our lives, and probably the lives of generations to follow. Yet, as this pertains to Henderson as prosecutor, my personal view is unaltered.
If we “the people,” operating with Henderson riding point (and before him, Faith), couldn’t prosecute David Camm legally according to the accepted rules of engagement, then we screwed up. The task was to prosecute him legally, or let him go. Our prosecutors erred not once, but twice.
That’s damning, when you stop to think about it, and Moss blithely waves away these concerns in his eagerness to pay tribute. I’m not entirely convinced, and back in August of 2016, one of the prosecutor’s fellow Republicans wasn’t, either.
It’s worth revisiting his words, because even in the unlikely instance that the Camm affair was Henderson’s only linked series of mistakes (tactics, book deals, expenses slush) in 16 years, they’re mighty big ones — and hagiography shouldn’t blind us to this fact.
OAKLEY: Prosecutor ethics violation finding should serve as a wake-up call, by Matt Oakley (guest columnist at CNHI Court Avenue)
The Indiana Supreme Court hearing officer recently issued his report in the pending disciplinary action against Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson. After a lengthy trial on the matter, the hearing officer found that Mr. Henderson had a personal interest (the book deal) while he was still representing the State, a conflict of interest and an ethical violation. A separate complaint also alleged Mr. Henderson made “material statements that were false, dishonest, and Fraudulent” when he submitted invoices for his personal attorney to defend him from ethics charges from this private book deal.
The findings of the report are not just an indictment against our prosecutor but also an indictment of the process of spending taxpayer money in Floyd County. It is often easier to ignore embarrassing problems like this rather than to address the situation, but burying our heads in the sand won’t fix the problem …
… Next, when inappropriate claims get paid even under the rights process, we should try and rectify the situation immediately. Although it should have happened in 2012, I will ask for a vote to request Mr. Henderson to pay back the $27,539 Floyd County paid to his private attorney for his ethics investigation. The Ethics Commission also alleged that Mr. Henderson’s ethical violations resulted in a delay in three years of the prosecution of David Camm and more than $225,000 in excess costs and expenses to Floyd County. Inaction is not an option unless we want to repeat this unfortunate scenario.