How long are we going to keep this up, Seth? This ongoing, increasingly insulting farce of you as our district attorney? How many more taxpayer dollars are you going to pocket? How many more pathetic reports of you trying to spend other people's money are we going to have to stomach? It's not enough that you've decided to not to seek reelection, Seth. We need to stop paying you. Now.
We've long known you were temporarily tossed off the ballot in 2009 for misusing campaign funds. But as my colleague Jeremy Roebuck reported over the holiday weekend, we now know exactly what you were doing with other people's money – people who worked for you, who were in your corner, who quickly decided it was in their best interest to take away your credit card.
As Roebuck laid out, prosecutors have made clear in court filings their plans to dredge up the greatest hits of Seth: The Early Years. And some other little known chestnuts, too. Like that time you used campaign funds to expense in-room movies at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. That time you used campaign funds for haircuts, facials, massages, and women's leggings. That time your long-suffering campaign finance director, Aubrey Montgomery, used her own credit card to buy you a New York City hotel room for the Pennsylvania Society gathering – and you proceeded to rack up an extra $200 in movies and meals. And refused to pay her back.
(Again with the movies. What were you watching up there, Seth?)
And then there's your mom's credit card – a golden ticket, even back then apparently, to the nicer things you wanted to enjoy.
The movies and hotel room and spa treatment might seem like small potatoes compared to the unreported gifts and alleged bribes – the tropical trips, cash and used Jaguar etc… But now we can see the through line from renting a movie on your campaign funds to offering to intervene in a drug case for a jaunt to Punta Cana. How you've been willing to compromise your integrity for the pettiest perks. Once in office, the swag only got better – and you stayed the same.
You've been letting us down from the start.
"I don't go to Delmonico's on my own to eat," you told city officials in 2009 – statements that prosecutors now plan to highlight in your corruption trial aimed for mid-June. "I don't go to Four Seasons. I don't go to the Palm – for the most part. On my own, I would normally just go to, like, Taco Bell."
Note: "For the most part." Come on, Seth. As soon as it became even remotely possible for you to start lunching at the Palm – with whatever funds you could find to foot the bill – you wouldn't have been caught dead eating Nachos BellGrande.
And now you may go to prison for it.
But until a jury makes that decision you may well get the last laugh – by staying in office and collecting that sweet, sweet taxpayer cash.
Even in exile you're taking other people's money. Ours. And for some reason we are letting you.
As the city's top law enforcement official, you pull in $175,572. That means since being charged May 21, you've pocketed $47,944. Every day, another $675.
We don't want to pay for your defense, Seth.
I'd ask you to step down, but what's the point? You've made a laughingstock of yourself for so long at the taxpayers' expense, why would you change now?