Via The Chicago Tribune:
Jay Grodner, the Chicago lawyer who keyed a Marine's car in anger because the car had military plates and a Marine insignia, finally got his day in court last week.
Grodner pleaded guilty in a Chicago courtroom packed with former Marines. Some had Marine pins on their coats, or baseball jackets with the Marine insignia. They didn't yellor call him names. They came to support Marine Sgt. Michael McNulty, whose car Grodner defaced in December, but who couldn't attend because he's preparing for his second tour in Iraq.
Grodner was late to court for the second time in the case. Grodner called Assistant State's Attorney Patrick Kelly, (Marine Corps/Vietnam 1969-1972), informing Kelly that he would be late to court.
"He wanted to avoid the media," Kelly said Friday. "So he's coming a half hour late."
"I don't run my courtroom that way!" responded Judge William O'Malley, ordering Grodner be arrested and held on $20,000 bail when he arrived. Finally, Grodner strolled in. A short man, wide, wearing a black fedora, dark glasses, a divorce lawyer dressed like some tough guy in the movies.
Grodner told me he'd describe himself as a "radical liberal" who's ready to leave Chicago now with all this negative publicity and move to the south of France and do some traveling.
Judge O'Malley has also traveled, but in his youth. He was a police officer on the West Side during the riots before law school. And before that, he performed another public service. Judge O'Malley served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1961-1964.
During the proceedings, the judge described the offense as anger rose in his voice, especially as Grodner started balking on a plea arrangement he'd made with prosecutors.
"Is this what you did? Yes or no," Judge O'Malley asked Grodner.
"Without knowing, yes," Grodner said, sticking to his I-might-have-done-it-but-didn't-really-mean-it defense.
O'Malley asked again, in a stronger voice, not that of a judge but of a cop on the street or a Marine who meant business.
"DID YOU KNOWINGLY CAUSE DAMAGE TO THIS CAR?" O'Malley asked.
Grodner bowed his head, meekly, and responded in an equally meek voice:
"Yes," he said.
After the admission, came the details and Grodner was lucky, getting off with a misdemeanor and no jail time, and not a felony even though he caused $2,400 in damage to Sgt. McNulty's car.
H/T to Curt@FloppingAces.