Anna M. Johnson, 32, a convicted forger, stood before a Baltimore Criminal Court judge Friday wearing a T-shirt with two words on it: "Father Carcich."
The implication was clear. The very Rev. Guido John Carcich, convicted of illegally diverting $2.2 million in funds raised by the Pallottine Fathers for the poor, was given an 18-month suspended sentence last month.
Now, Johnson's lawyer, Morris H. Kaplan, was telling Judge Milton B. Allen that if Johnson was entitled to a suspended sentence as well.
"I was just trying to make it clear to the judge that the scales of justice should be tipped evenly," Kaplan said yesterday. "If Carcich could get probation for diverting over $2 million then certainly my client should receive nothing worse for forging $600 worth of checks."
Allen apparently didn't agree. He sentenced Johnson to five years in jail.
However Kaplan is not through. "I think the judge was touched by the shirt, even amused by it," he said. "I think if I can show definitely that my client can get a job and bring Carcich up again, the judge might reconsider the sentence."
Johnson still has the shirt, which she wore back to the city jail and Kaplan says she will wear it again if she comes back before the judge.
But he isn't planning on having any more shirts made up. "You can only do this effectively once," Kaplan said. "After the first time you become a bore."