Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bailed Out

But not for long. His Lordship is allowed to stay on at his luxurious suite at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago's most posh neighborhood, after he was bailed out with his wife's diamond ring as collateral. Conrad Black has been found guilty of using a corporation as his private piggy-bank, to fund a lavish lifestyle on the backs of the little people he trod on so carelessly.

When Hollinger took over the Chicago Sun-Times, a round of cuts sliced through the newspaper and left many blue collar workers out of jobs. The sackings touched on the white collar crew as well, with staff reporter positions eliminated, while those who remained were expected to pick up the slack. There was a great deal of grumbling all across the city, and the jurors may not have forgotten those days.

That Mr. Black would bill his corporation for tropical paradise interludes or his wife's party did not resonate with the jurors. If the big shots sitting on the board were too dense to notice, well, that's typical isn't it? They figured it out eventually, and tossed Mr. Black off the board. But the people who worked for Hollinger International, the ones who feared losing their jobs as profit shortfalls threatened bottom lines and further cuts, could not do anything about management beyond going elsewhere and starting over. The dogs in the street know that's not so easy to do, especially if one is employed in a shrinking industry.

Mr. Black would like to go home to Toronto to await sentencing and the start of the never-ending appeals. The prosecution believes that he's a flight risk and should be sitting in a cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center until court resumes in a couple of weeks.

The mighty has fallen, but it's a mighty snob that's been taken down a peg, and that's why the commoners are snickering with rude glee. What comes next? Will the House of Lords seek to erase a peerage when it's held by a convicted extortionist and racketeer?

No comments: