Friday, October 17, 2014

US: Good News for Hunter Biden, 44, Bad News For Average Americans

According to The Associated Press, Hunter Biden, 44, the youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden, faces no automatic review of his law license in Connecticut following his discharge from the US Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine use, Connecticut legal authorities said Friday (October 17).
Hunter Biden works in Washington as a private equity executive and board director of an international energy firm, but he is admitted to practice law in Connecticut, where attorneys' privileges can be examined under a disciplinary review system. 
Legal clients, state lawyers, judges and any citizen can file grievances, but as of Friday, none had been filed, authorities said.
Lawyers in Connecticut face automatic review of their bar admission only when they have been convicted of a crime, said Michael P. Bowler, Connecticut's Statewide Bar Counselor, who heads a team of lawyers that investigate attorney grievances. 
Criminal convictions have to be reviewed by a statewide grievance committee, as do other complaints, which can range from drug and alcohol abuse to inadequate legal representation.
COMMENT: Although I'm not an attorney, I have had extensive experience as a result of six years' honorable service in the US Marines as well as operationally managing Marine Security Guard Detachments worldwide for a period of 22 years while assigned abroad as a US Department of State Senior Regional Security Officer (SRSO).

What I do know, based upon my six years' military service, is that testing positive for cocaine usage was serious enough for Hunter Biden, 44, to be summarily discharged from the Navy with an administrative discharge:

Although Hunter Biden was never arrested for cocaine possession, his being the son of the Vice President of the United States presumably spared him of that indignity and embarrassment.

Unfortunately, the Privacy Act is conveniently used to protect families in high office whereas average US citizens who don't have political cover to hide behind are very vulnerable to media attacks and muckraking. 

As I have said so often in the past, those encumbering Schedule C assignments in the federal government very often are discharged administratively in cases where political cover protects them from being criminally prosecuted.

Few families holding high political office in the United States are ever prosecuted for offenses that most average Americans would be arrested, tried and convicted of.
"At this point, I'm not aware that Mr. Biden has been arrested for anything, and certainly not convicted," Bowler said. The Navy's brief confirmation of Biden's discharge did not cite any arrest or charges. Two people familiar with the matter told THE ASSOCIATED PRESS he was kicked out after testing positive for cocaine, confirming what was first reported by THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
Bowler added that Biden had told state authorities in 2007 that he was also admitted to the bar in Washington, DC.
The Navy said Thursday that Biden was discharged in February 2014 from a part-time position as a public affairs officer in the Navy Reserve, but did not provide an explanation. Biden released a statement through his attorney saying, "I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge."
Biden, 44, a former Washington lobbyist, is a managing partner at the Rosemont Seneca Partners investment firm and a director at Burisma Holdings, a Ukraine-based energy company.
Mark Dubois, the president of the Connecticut Bar Association, said that state bar and ethics officials are sensitive to news accounts involving misbehavior of lawyers admitted to practice in the state, but he said, "They have to be judicious about starting the process."
Dubois, who formerly investigated and prosecuted ethical misconduct as Connecticut Disciplinary Counsel, said authorities have initiated cases in the past involving drug and alcohol abuse by attorneys, but "only when it's a fairly extensive record of abuse."

No comments: