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Letter: A punishment to fit the criminal

April 25, 2014
  • Former Glendale Mayor John Drayman at his sentencing at Superior Court, with his attorney Sean McDonald, in Los Angeles on Monday, April 7, 2014 for embezzling proceeds from the Montrose Farmer's Market, and filing false tax returns. His sentence is 365 days in county jail, with 4 days credit for time served, and to pay restitution and all court fees.
Former Glendale Mayor John Drayman at his sentencing… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

Recent outcries express outrage at the vastly reduced jail sentence of former Glendale councilman and mayor, John Drayman. This outrage is misplaced and misdirected.

I believed Mr. Drayman was doing a good job for our city and particularly my community, Montrose. Boy, was I wrong. He turned out to be a crook, embezzler, defalcator, tax cheat and liar.

But is ours now a system of justice or vindictiveness? Indeed, merchants and residents of our community suffered theft, financial loss and grief at his hands. After unreasonable court delays, he was convicted. Good. So be it.

So now he sits in his nearby and comfortable home, his movements confined by court order and an ankle bracelet to restrict and monitor his daily life. The alternative, at most, would be a one-year sentence in county jail, where his companions would only be other convicts.

Whether it is augured by thoughtful reflection, vindictiveness, recompense or punishment, wouldn’t it make more sense to have Mr. Drayman cleaning sidewalks, picking up dog droppings, sweeping gutters and emptying trash bins along Honolulu Avenue from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. five (maybe six) days a week? Let him be denigrated and seen — store by store, curb to curb, block by block — by those he once represented in local office and bear the abject humiliation of those he cheated, betrayed and stole money. That would be justice. Everyone should be satisfied, except Drayman.

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Jails and prisons should be occupied by those who we are afraid of, not those who we are mad at.

Allen E. Brandstater
Glendale

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