Pubdate: Mon, 15 May 2006
Source: Times Union (Albany, NY)
Copyright: 2006 Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation
Author: Lorie J. Robinson


In response to Mayor Jennings' remarks that David Soares was hired to 
do a job, I'd like to remind the mayor that Soares was not hired, 
rather he was elected by the people of Albany County. The district 
attorney can only be fired by those same people who put him into 
office. The arrogance of Jennings and other officials who think that 
they have a right to call for Soares' resignation or seek an apology 
is astounding!

The mayor and others insulted by Soares' comments should read or 
reread an article by the Drug Policy Alliance, written after Soares' 
major electoral upset against Republican Roger Cusick, as a reminder 
of why Soares won the election for district attorney in the first 
place: "two reasons: first, because district attorneys have been the 
main stumbling block for reform of New York state's draconian drug 
laws. ... The win has also shaken up the Albany political machine 
because crimes in the state Legislature fall under the Albany County 
district attorney's jurisdiction. That means that the district 
attorney is responsible for addressing state government corruption. 
The incumbent Paul Clyne was often criticized for being soft on 
corruption, and so Soares' victory has sent shivers through the 
Albany political establishment."

Lastly, it seems clear that the district attorney's comments at the 
Canadian conference fall within the realm of acceptable 
constitutional free speech by a government employee. Such speech 
ensures continuity of the democratic process rather than tyranny or 
an oligarchic form of government.

Jennings pointing his finger and pronouncing that Soares was hired to 
enforce the law appeared tyrannical. The conference was just another 
public forum valid for discussing and informing people about issues 
relevant to the job Soares was elected to perform.

Lorie J. Robinson


The writer is a recent graduate of Albany Law School's Master in 
Legal Studies program.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman