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Home / Articles / Views / The Highroad /  Misdemeanors for the rich
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Thursday, December 2,2010

Misdemeanors for the rich

By Jim Hightower
Here’s a crime drama, tragedy and farce — all in one play.

 

First comes the crime perpetrator, Martin Erzinger. A wellheeled wealth manager in Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Denver office, Erzinger handles more than a billion dollars in private assets and describes himself as “dedicated to ultra high net worth individuals.”

Now, Dr. Steven Milo comes onstage, and the drama quickly turns to tragedy. Milo, a surgeon and father of two, was bicycling in Colorado last July when — Wham! — he was struck from behind by Erzinger. Instead of stopping to render aid, the money man sped away in his Mercedes Benz. But his car was damaged by the crash, so he finally had to pull over and call the Mercedes service center to have it towed. But he didn’t ask for an ambulance to check on the poor guy he’d just run over.

 

As Dr. Milo later noted, “Erzinger struck me, fled, and left me for dead.” The doctor did survive, but he suffered spinal cord injuries, bleeding from his brain, knee damage and disabling spinal headaches. He faces multiple surgeries, plastic surgery and “lifetime pain.”

Next, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert enters from stage right, and high tragedy devolves into low farce. The DA announced that he was dropping felony charges against Erzinger, instead only citing him for two misdemeanor traffic violations.

Why? Because Erzinger is rich!

Noting that this money handler could lose his prestigious Morgan Stanley position, the compassionate DA said, “Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession, and that entered into [my decision].”

Wow, what a humanitarian! I’m guessing that a felony conviction would also have pretty serious job implications for any low-wage working stiff who nearly killed someone — though I doubt the DA would give a damn in that case.

JimHightower.com

For more information on Jim Hightower’s work — and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown — visit www.jimhightower.com.

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