Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | I am amazed at the hypocrisy Mike Aguirre is exhibiting in his non-prosecution of John Hartley’s sexual misconduct.

Coming from someone constantly hammering the theme of government transparency—and from a person quick to accuse others of corruption—Aguirre’s handling of the Hartley case smells like old fish.

For several days, Mr. Hartley’s campaign spokesman has proclaimed his innocence. Meanwhile, the City Attorney refused to release the crime reports so voters could read the facts ourselves.

With no warning or public notice, after backroom dealings with Mr. Hartley, Mike Aguirre’s staff has agreed to a misdemeanor charge and doesn’t require Hartley to register as a sex offender. Hartley did not even make an appearance in the courtroom; it has all been handled for him secretly and quietly by the City Attorney.

Hartley pled “no contest” to a charge of lewd behavior, and the judge found that a crime was committed. He is a former city official, is a substitute school teacher, and he now seeks election to the City Council. If there was ever a case for the public’s right to know, this is it.

Mike Aguirre owes us all an apology for his behavior in this case. At the very least, we deserve to know why Mike Aguirre — the city’s top prosecutor — is keeping us in the dark.

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