The McDonnell corruption trial, now in its third week, is an enormously sad and tawdry affair bringing shame on the defendants and the prosecution’s key witness, businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr.
Yet there are heroes — state employees. A number of them have testified over the past week that they sensed that something stunk with the way Williams, who has no formal science training, relentlessly pushed his questionable product and maneuvered to get the state’s prestigious universities to put their imprimatur on it so it could move from being a low-margin neutraceutical to a real and profitable pharmaceutical.
“Perhaps the only gratifying aspect of the trial last week was the extraordinary professionalism of the Virginia bureaucracy,” Richmond political analyst Bob Holsworth told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
He’s spot on. One reads so many attacks on government workers among more conservative writers who see public workers as slow-minded except when it comes to tying business up with regulations — the theory goes. Private workers build wealth and create products. Public workers live off the taxpayer’s dime and should be fired in droves, one theory goes.