One of the sublime pleasures of researching and writing this cranky little e-zine is watching a story build and then spin totally out of control—just like the cyclone in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Just when you think things couldn’t possibly get worse for the people involved, they do.
Julie Roehm, the 35-year-old dynamic senior VP-marketing communications at Wal-Mart was brought in from the automobile industry to oversee the company’s half-billion-dollar-plus advertising budget. She allegedly rubbed Sean Womack, Wal-Mart’s VP of marketing communications, the right way and everybody else the wrong way—and the two lovebirds were thrown out on their tails. Not only is Roehm suing Wal-Mart for breaking her contract and damaging her reputation, but she also accused Wal-Mart’s CEO, H. Lee Scott, of accepting favors from vendors, whereupon it was announced on Monday that one of the vendors was suing Roehm for defamation.
The same week that Irwin Jacobs sued Roehm, Representative William Jefferson—the New Orleans congressman who was caught with $90,000 cash stashed in his freezer—was on the wrong end of a 94-page indictment on 16 felony counts for bribery, racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
In the stuffy, rarefied world of museums, John S. Carter, director of the Independence Seaport Museum here in Philly, pleaded guilty to bilking the organization out of at least $1.5 million and not even paying taxes on it.
A new book, “The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught,” has just been published, while its subject, a naval air ace from the Vietnam War, will be inmate 94405-198 in San Diego’s Metropolitan Correctional Center for the next seven years.
And America’s anger at the Iraq War came crashing down on the head of a middle-level functionary in the executive branch of the U.S. government. VP Dick Cheney’s chief aide-de-camp, Lewis I. (Scooter) Libby, drew a jail sentence of 30 months for perjury. Meanwhile, all those who made a hash of the war are still on the job and drawing paychecks.