Friday, March 28, 2008|Most people seem to want to jump to conclusions about the incident involving John Hartley that has led to charges of indecent exposure and soliciting a lewd act.

First, John has worked tirelessly for years as a community leader to improve the lives of the residents of District 3 and the city. He deserves the public to withhold judgment until he pleads guilty or he is convicted by a jury.

Much of what has been reported to date are consistent with an older man with an enlarged prostate that causes an acute need to urinate and also makes urination difficult. The use of a cup to urinate in is easy to explain if that were so and it is often necessary to help urination by actions that may be misunderstood by an observer.

It is unclear to me how two unidentified witnesses (Channel 7 reports they were two women in a nearby house) could see inside Hartley’s truck from a distance for the time necessary to see both urination and masturbation.

It is also unclear to me why Chief Lansdowne felt it necessary to comment.

Hartley may be guilty of all he is charged with, but he deserves the presumption of innocence at this time.

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