Stuff that was cut from my upcoming book.
Episode 1 This was a prologue that was cut from the chapter dealing with my indictment.
I’ve spent three years on my memoir which will be released later this year. I am going to start sending out pieces that didn’t make the book-and some that did. Here’s the first.
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016:
I was tired. Really tired. I’d been up late the night before until 3 a.m. watching Donald Trump win the presidency. I was stoked that he’d won but also a little in shock because I, like most people, had no idea what the outcome would be. What the voters would decide about Donald Trump.
And now, as if in some surreal, real life political parallel, I, the Mayor of Hillsboro, Ohio sat here at the defendant’s table in front of a judge in the Highland County courthouse awaiting the outcome of my criminal trial and what the jurors would decide about my future. No Electoral college here, just a popular vote by twelve citizens: Guilty or not guilty.
I turned around and looked at my wife, Taryn, and tried to manage a smile. We’d only been married three years. She didn’t sign up for this, didn’t deserve this - having investigators go through her lingerie drawer, counting her underwear, and watching detectives pore through our eight year old daughter’s school records. It was even more bizarre for me - having photographs of dumpsters thrust in front of my face, being asked if I recognized the trash contained within. A prosecutor, pointing out to a jury that my suspiciously low monthly water usage at my residence was evidence of my guilt –guilt that equated to prison time. My water bills? It was all like some peyote-induced bad dream – and I’d had peyote-induced bad dreams before. No, this was worse - this was no dream -I was on trial for four felonies and if the jurors walked out of that jury room and voted for my guilt, I would immediately be removed from office, and very possibly be sentenced to jail.
When I’d been indicted just a few months earlier, a reporter had asked me for a comment. “I am only guilty of trying to represent our citizens without the consent of an established political structure,” I’d said.
Of course, by “established political structure”, I’d meant a “good old boy” system. That was my true crime – it wasn’t these trumped up charges that I faced in this courtroom, I knew that. For a long time I thought that these people had rained all this down on me because I’d tried to make changes to their way of doing things, but I was wrong. No, my true crime was that Isimplywas not one of them.
When I ran for this office, the residents had warned me – “problem is, this town’s run by a lot of good ole’ boys..”, but stupid me just thought of it as a pest removal problem, like having rats or bedbugs – simply a matter of a few traps or fumigation to rid the city of the infestation, and then move on to the serious issues this city faced. Except it turned out the rodents were well entrenched, and I was the one that needed exterminated. And now, over these last three months it was the residents, once again, that I was hearing from – at the grocery, the gas station, on the sidewalk – “this is nothing more than a witch hunt, you hang in there”, “this is complete BS, we’re praying for you”. Hundreds and hundreds of people from all over the county – they, along with my wife, were the only thing that’s kept me from saying, fuckit, and doing something stupid. But at this moment, everyone’s support and well wishing is a million miles away and not admissible as testimony, it’s just me and an attorney sitting here now.
I was startled by the door to the jury room opening. The jurors filed back out to the courtroom, taking their seats. I slowly shook my head and said to myself, “How the hell had it come to this?? – I was just a standup comedian, a guy who just wanted to try to fix up Hillsboro - who’d run for mayor to make a difference. How had I even ended up in this Godforsaken town? –What the fuck. ” Suddenly the silence was broken – the judge entered the room briskly, her long black robes swooshing behind her, reminding me of some giant bat or maybe the angel of death, and the bailiff announced, “All rise…”