Many thought that Trump’s appointee for drug czar had permanently taken his sleazy hat out of ring because of his corrupt past, but in the Trump administration it seems corruption just might be a job requirement.
In addition to being deeply in the pocket of Big Pharma, the prison-industrial complex and virulently any other anti-weed entity, Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino is also known for “judge-shopping” to expunge a friend’s cocaine-dealing charges.
In 1998, Marino—then an elected district attorney—reportedly hand-delivered a request to a judge asking him to clear the criminal record of Jay Kilheeney, who was convicted of distributing cocaine. Marino described Kilheeney as a friend.
According to records obtained by the Citizen’s Voice, Kilheeney is a coke dealer, wife beater, child abuser and all-around nasty criminal with an extensive rap sheet.
The judge granted Marino’s friend an expungement, then later changed his mind when he learned that just three weeks earlier, another judge had been asked by Marino to the same thing and denied the request.
The process is known as “judge-shopping,” and it is unethical and corrupt.
But wait, there’s more!
In 2006, while a U.S. attorney, Marino served as a personal reference for businessman and convicted felon Louis DeNaples, who was seeking to open a casino. Marino denied the claim at first, then later admitted it.
While being investigated by the Department of Justice for “serious abuse of authority,” Marino resigned and went to work with DeNaples.
What was next for Marino?
He ran for Congress, during which time he enthusiastically supported successful 2016 legislation to limit the DEA’s ability to crack down on pharmacies for over-dispensing opioids.
One would have thought that Marino’s name should have been dropped from consideration after all of this, but this is a government of endless cronyism and lawlessness.
For example: when Attorney General Jeff Session gleefully prattled on about “respect for the rule of law” while rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, just after his boss illegally pardoned the racist former sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona.
Bill Piper, senior director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), told the Washington Examiner that Marino’s past will likely be raised during Senate confirmation hearings.
How could it not be?
“We thought he was gone,” Piper said. “We thought the opposition we raised made him think twice. It’s possible they dug him back up because they couldn’t find anyone else.”