We learned this week that a Federal Court judge has denied a request from State Sen. Malcolm Smith to delay his trial until after his Primary election in September.
The idea that delaying the trial would provide Smith with a “fair election” is nearly indefensible for someone who may have broken the public trust by allegedly committing a crime. Primary challenges have already begun to line up to face Smith in September, and the only way we can see a “fair election” taking place is for the voters to have all the information in front of them, including whether Malcolm Smith is deemed guilty or not on his pending fraud charges.
We value the maxim, “Innocent until proven otherwise,” and we believe that should play out in Smith’s case – along with the trials for the other individuals arrested last year in the same incident. However, it would be unfair to voters to be forced to vote without knowing the result of these charges.
As we move forward into yet another election cycle, it is becoming increasingly important for voters to take a closer look at the people they choose to represent them. A good number of our elected officials do their jobs honorably and their constituents can look toward their representatives with pride. But too many of these individuals over the years have taken advantage of the public trust.
We hope that once this trial is behind us, that it will be a long time before another of our elected officials betrays our trust.