And finally… cash-for-dishonours

A law enforcement department has been caught allegedly handing out badges and credentials in exchange for bribes.

Sheriff Scott Howard Jenkins, 51, of Culpeper County, Virginia – an elected official – is accused of appointing various men as auxiliary deputy sheriffs in exchange for cash bribes and donations towards his re-election campaign.

Those who paid the bribes were told that the credentials, among other things, authorised them to carry concealed firearms in all 50 US states without obtaining a permit.

Sheriff Jenkins and three of the men who paid bribes have been charged with conspiracy, bribery and fraud offences and are now facing trial.

If convicted, each defendant faces up to five years in prison on the conspiracy count, up to 20 years in prison on each of the fraud counts, and up to 10 years in prison on each of the bribery counts.

Christopher R. Kavanaugh, US attorney for the western district of Virginia, said: “Our elected officials are expected to uphold the rule of law, not abuse their power for their own personal, financial gain.”

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