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An Apology Is Due From Pat Nolan : Former Glendale Assemblyman Shows No Contrition Over Racketeering Conviction

The unrepentant nature of Assemblyman Pat Nolan’s recent resignation and guilty plea deserves further comment. Nolan (R-Glendale) pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and was sentenced to two years in prison and nine months in a halfway house. He became the first Republican in the Assembly to be convicted as part of an eight-year FBI corruption investigation.

“For six years, I have battled. I’m worn out, though I think I would have convinced a jury of my innocence,” Nolan said. “I now have a great appreciation of what Chief Joseph (the defeated 19th-Century Nez Perce leader) felt when he said, ‘I will fight no more.’ ”

That’s it? Is that all that Pat Nolan has to say to us at this point?

It was Nolan, in 1985, who blocked the annual bill requiring lawyers to pay dues to the state bar. Those dues helped pay for legal aid to the poor and for information programs to help average folks find lawyers when they needed one. And there was Nolan in coast-to-coast fund-raisers last year, amassing $522,734, in part for his legal defense fund.

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Two years later, Nolan was among the legislators who attempted to pass a little-noticed amendment to a bill that would have made the records of the Fair Political Practices Commission confidential, thereby blocking public scrutiny of investigations of political malfeasance. The motive was clear: Nolan and others didn’t want the public digging into the affairs of politicians and asking embarrassing questions.

In 1989, Nolan tried to block an emergency quarter-cent state sales tax for earthquake relief for Northern Californians. At least he won’t get the chance to try that with Northridge earthquake victims.

Now, Nolan has admitted working with a former legislative aide to extort a $10,000 campaign contribution from the Marriott Corp. He has admitted accepting two $5,000 checks from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen in a sting operation.

We would have preferred to hear different words from Nolan: an apology to his fellow legislators and to his constituents. We’re still waiting.

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