Louisiana Man Wins $1.7 Million From EPA For Malicious Prosecution

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The abuse of power: A Louisiana man has won a $1.7 million lawsuit from the EPA for malicious prosecution.

The judge wrote that [government prosecutor Keith] Phillips, “set out with intent and reckless and callous disregard for anyone’s rights other than his own, and reckless disregard for the processes and power which had been bestowed on him, to effectively destroy another man’s life.” Furthermore, Judge Doherty railed against the complete absence of evidence against Mr. Vidrine and ordered the U.S. government to pay Mr. Vidrine $127,000 in defense fees, $50,000 in lost income, and $900,000 in loss of earning capacity.



  • The Emigrant

    I think one thing that needs commenting on here is the role that political calculations play in prosecutorial decisions to drop a case. In something like what happened here, where the need to do nothing vis a vis charges should have been quickly apparent, a prosecutor may not, after a point, have the ability to drop the case gracefully without suffering political damage–if higher office is on his mind. Thus, for the prosecutor, the only hope for “victory” (i.e., the prosecutor’s political vindication) is a conviction–regardless of the actual justice involved. The prosecutor in this case may have had a personal animus in part because the litigant was interfering with his grand career plan–first by not providing the big case needed, then by being inconvenient.

    This is why prosecutors should not be able to run for elective office for ten years after their term as a prosecutor. Removes the issue from the table, and allows them to focus on their job, not the future. Likewise, I think prosecutors should not be elected in opposed elections, but validated by the citizenry in elections (i.e., appointed, then continue in office as long as a majority approves each election. When removed by the people, a new appointment takes place).

  • BSJ

    So, How much does Keith Phillips have to pay? Or is it just ‘We the People” that have to pay for his mis-deeds?

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