“I met Allen Loughry at the request of a friend and a judge who asked me to help Allen on his campaign (for a seat on the state Supreme Court in 2012),” political consultant David Browne wrote in a letter to U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver prior to Loughry’s Feb. 13 sentencing. “I was told, ‘The boy won’t have two nickels to rub together, but he’s brilliant.’”
Browne pleaded for leniency for Loughry, who was convicted on 11 counts of mail and wire fraud, witness tampering, and lying to federal agents.
“When Allen won, I never had an individual as grateful, and I still have never seen anyone so ready to get to work,” Browne wrote. “Every night, he stayed in that building beyond everyone else. He read every piece of paper associated with every case. He loved his job, and he loved the law.”
Browne conceded that Loughry should have “reported every penny for travel” and shouldn’t have used a state vehicle for personal purposes, but argued that there were extenuating circumstances.
“I do not believe that extra months in incarceration will make any difference in Allen’s future behavior or deter any future elected officials,” Browne wrote. “Hopefully, the press coverage has already done that. Allen’s once promising career is destroyed forever. I hope his family does not have to be destroyed as well.”
Browne also suggested that there was bad blood between former state Supreme Court administrator Steve Canterbury and Loughry, which Canterbury denies. Canterbury testified during impeachment hearings about Loughry’s misuse of state vehicles, his transfer of courthouse furniture to his own home, and his lavish spending on the furnishings for his chambers.
“I don’t know why David Browne decided to even bring me up in his letter,” Canterbury countered. “I don’t understand the thinking. He was clearly saying things he could not have knowledge of.”
Assuming his motives are pure, Browne’s intervention on Loughry’s behalf is a nice gesture. Still, if anyone deserves to be punished severely for breaking the law, it’s a judge.