As noted in the previous installment, you’ve got yourself a new in-house attorney, Mr. Doajo Hicks. And evidently he’s every bit as good a guy as you and Don Reid. Case in point, Hicks’s false statement to the Court regarding the email wherein Varlo was instructed to give the victim of the alleged assault an “A” for the class in which the alleged “assault” occurred, a grade she had not earned and which he did not intend to give her. Since I have an eye-witness account of just how that went down, let me tell you about it.
Varlo’s attorney, Mr. Prisbrey, had asserted that our alleged victim may have been compensated, so to speak, for her testimony against Varlo. In particular he had asserted that she may have been promised an “A” grade and given a job on campus. I myself think she may have gotten even more, but that’s another matter. In the hearing, Judge Meyers raised the question as to the source of the assertion about the grade. And it turns out that the source, or one of the sources, for information about the grade is Varlo himself. He stated in court that he had received an email instructing him to give the student an “A”. In response to this, Mr. Hicks immediately and without the slightest hesitation stated very clearly to the Court that “there is no such email,” thus effectively calling Varlo a liar, suggesting that Varlo is just making stuff up to try to help his case.
Now, Biff, before I say anything more, let’s note that this little move on Hicks’s part wasn’t very smart, and that if this is your new legal counsel perhaps you should have kept the search open a little longer to give other candidates an opportunity. I’m not saying Hicks is not tough (the bullet in the arm and all that) and doesn’t have a few tolerable qualities (just like you and Don Reid probably do, maybe), but think it through with me here: denying that the email existed was a really stupid move. So whether you hired him to be a sort of lawyer/PR hit man, i.e., hired him precisely because he is willingly and easily dishonest, or, on the other hand, because of his (prospective?) legal expertise, I think you’d have to agree that, on the basis of this one action alone, he’s more than a bit of a disappointment. Let me be clear: he shouldn’t have said that no such email existed unless he knew that no such email existed. What else can you call that but stupid? If he was mistaken and just thought that such an email couldn’t possibly exist, it was a pretty big gamble, and as big gambles usually do, it went against him. Alternatively, if he knew the email existed and just thought it wouldn’t be discovered, that was at least as big a gamble as the other. As it happens, after all (as reported by Dallas Hyland), such an email does indeed exist. It was pulled right off of the DSU server, per court order. It was an email from Mark Houser to Varlo, instructing Varlo to give the alleged victim and “A” that she had not earned, just like Varlo said. Score one for the honesty of Varlo Davenport.
What do you think, Biff? Will Hicks apologize, to Varlo for calling him a liar, and to the Court for making a false statement? What do you think he will have to say for himself? Will he say that he didn’t think the email existed? That would be his best defense, since it might preserve some vestige of honor for this practitioner of the "noble profession." Unfortunately, it would not clear him of the charge of stupidity. But let’s be more charitable: it would not clear him of the charge of having done something stupid. We’ve all done stupid things, right Biff? So he could be forgiven. And in that sense, we could chalk it up to a good learning experience for Mr. Hicks. I suppose the question you might consider is how many future “learning experiences” of this sort—of both Hicks’s and perhaps also your own—you can afford.
As for our “City Attorney,” Cosson, this occurs to me: that’s one hip cat who must be wondering like hell what sort of mess his St. George City masters have gotten him into. Oh, and he also, rather desperately by all accounts, asserted there “was no such email,” and that everything relevant to the case had “already been turned over.” Truly, Biff, on the basis of these examples, who couldn’t help but agree that our nation’s law schools need to do better?
I apologize for the long pause. When last I wrote, Varlo was just about to go to trial. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the courtroom. Judge Read and your buddy Mike Carter had a little ex parte session wherein Read clearly was going to allow Carter to just remove identifying information from a potential piece of evidence. Although this is a clear violation of legal procedure—and ethics—they both protested that they had done nothing wrong. Really. And your new buddy, Mr. Hicks, went so far as to say that in calling them on it Varlo’s attorney, Mr. Prisbrey, was committing a great “mockery of justice.” Come again?
Hicks evidently doesn’t think they were doing anything wrong either. But here’s a question for Hicks, and Read, and Carter, as well as for you: how would you feel if you were the accused? I mean, you’ve got the lawyer for the Attorney General’s Office and the Judge discussing evidence and deciding that some of that evidence can be secreted from you and your lawyer. Would that be okay with Read? Would he really be fine with that? And Carter? And Hicks? Hicks wouldn’t mind, wouldn’t think they were doing anything wrong by hiding possible evidence from him and his attorney? And how about you, Biff? I suppose you wouldn’t mind either? Of course you would mind! Anyone would mind! I predict you and Hicks both would say, or at least agree, that it was “mockery of justice.” Yes, I think so . . . if it were you.
And therein lies the rub, Biff. It’s not you, is it? So far you’re sitting pretty, right? Never mind that you’ve fired a man illegally and unjustly; never mind that you have conspired with other dishonest souls to falsely malign, slander and try to brand him as a criminal. Never mind that you’ve taken his livelihood and his career from him and his family. That’s all okay, too, right, because the career aspirations of Biff Williams must be preserved? In the end, that’s really what I have against you. Everything else is forgivable. Ignorance is forgivable; incompetence is forgivable; lack of credible credentials to be a university president? Also forgivable, since that fault is not in you but in those who promoted you to the position. But lying, Biff, slander, the willingness to take from somebody everything he has worked his life for just to save your paltry reputation as a somebody in this world. And to do it all without ever once speaking to the man himself, without making some effort, however small, to ascertain the truth. In sum: not to care about anyone beyond yourself. These are not venial sins, Biff; they are mortal. They betray what you yourself are, on the inside.
This is what I was referring to in my last entry. When I said there is a court in which you don’t stand a chance, I wasn’t referring to the one presided over by the Great Judge of the Universe, or some final tribunal of that god and his angels. Nope. I meant only the court of decency, honor, integrity, the court of the human heart. That court, Biff. That’s the one in which you already have lost, and in which you will continue to lose, day by day, until you make some effort to set things right. Even at this late date, you could still do that. All of your advisers would tell you not to, Biff, because it’s easier for them to perpetuate their corruption than to be honest. Odd, isn’t it, people who think they have too much to lose when they already have lost the most important thing of all? Think about it, Biff. And think of me as your “Abinadi” (I understand, at least, that you’re a “good Mormon”) and then decide your own fate.