More Questions About the Johnny Thomas Case
It took jurors less than 90 minutes to reject the DA's case against former County Supervisor Johnny Thomas. They didn't buy the DA's arguments and obviously didn't believe its key witness, Patrick Farley, who continues to be the county's top administrator. Based on the jurors' reactions, the prosecution was an epic fail:
Juror Rebekah Turner said the jury quickly came to agreement that Thomas was set up and was innocent of the charges.
"I felt very strongly he was definitely not guilty," Turner said. If Thomas decides to run for office again, "I'd vote for him," she said.
She said Patrick Farley, a top county official who participated in a sting operation against Thomas, "went a circuitous route to bring (Thomas) down." The jury members, who included 10 women and two men, were puzzled as to what Farley's motive was in participating in the undercover operation against Thomas, Turner said.
All of this raises a series of questions:
1. Why did the DA green light a sting in the first place?
2. Why did they use Farley (as opposed to a third party)?
3. Why did the DA ignore or miss the obvious holes in its case?
4. Why did the DA make allegations that were at best misleading?
The most damning charge, of course, was the fact that Thomas accepted $500 in cash. But at trial, prosecutors were unable to back up their story that Thomas had looked at the cash when he was given it. Instead, Thomas later returned to the Courthouse and asked Farley about the propriety of accepting it. Farley assured him it would be OK.
That left one remaining 'smoking gun." The DA's complaint alleged that its investigator "found a packet of $500.00 cash stashed behind a mirror on the dresser" in Thomas's bedroom. The fact that Thomas had "stashed" the cash became a staple of coverage and suggested some consciousness of wrongdoing.
But did he really "stash" it behind a mirror?
In fact, Thomas had the money in his briefcase. According to defense attorneys, Thomas routinely kept the briefcase behind a large standing mirror. Click Here to look at the pictures: