The Soares Litmus Test

So it seems to me that the explanation of findings in the report from Albany District Attorney David Soares' on the Spitzer-Bruno stuff should at least temper, however slightly, the political value of what is a clear legal victory for the governor.

 

 

From the report:

"To be guilty of official misconduct, one must knowingly act to "obtain a benefit or deprive another of a benefit," and knowingly commit an "unauthorized exercise of his [or her] official functions." There can be no crime if all elements are not met. Here, the compiling of information on the use of state resources and turning it over to the media do not appear to be an improper exercise of official function. That these actions may have been done with ill intent does not turn a lawful action into an unlawful one. Neither does the fact that the individuals involved acted outside of the FOIL."

Of course, the main thing is that the report says that the officials didn't break the law or exercise their official function improperly. But ill intent, generally, isn't generally what people look for in their leaders (or their leaders' top aides).

The Soares Litmus Test