The Pittsburgh police officer accused of forcing sexual favors from women in legal trouble went on all the local stations earlier this week in a wide-reaching media blitz, proclaiming his innocence, talking up his military service past, and refusing to answer questions about crack, marijuana, and un-prescribed narcotics that were found in his duty-bag in his vehicle after his arrest on the sex charges.
I know what you’re thinking — What lawyer would ever tell his client this would be a good idea?!
Well, I’m here to tell you! James Ecker, Defender of All Pittsburgh Slime, which is what his business card probably says.
And that’s not my opinion, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. They are the facts of the case and they are indisputable. He defended Thomas Hose who kidnapped Tanya Kach and kept her as a sex slave all those years. He defended the funeral director who never cremated the fetuses he was paid to cremate. The man that shot the Duquesne basketball players. John Vojtas. Ronald Taylor. Corporal Pokorny’s killer. The list goes on and on.
Now, I get that everyone is entitled to a defense, but James Ecker seems to relish his time in the spotlight just a bit too much. He tends to go to the media a bit too eagerly to proactively paint his clients as innocent and their victims as liars, and where there are multiple victims, cahootive liars (no, cahootive is not a word, but I can’t think of the word I want to use wherein liars are in cahoots with each other). Instead of fighting the fight in the proper arena — the courtroom, where order reigns, he plops himself next to a client in front of the news cameras where there are no rules. Where he can lie any lie he wants, lob any insult he wants, and refuse to answer any question he wants, all the while basking in the glow of the WTAE news-camera light not caring a flip whether or not he’s hurting his client’s case.
When the accused officer Skweres was brought before his judge yesterday to address the fact that he may have violated his house arrest by doing the interviews in his lawyer’s office, the judge, my hero, scolded the defense and then said this:
During the hearing, the judge told Skweres that he was, “A pawn in his attorney’s voracious and insatiable appetite for media attention.”
But seriously, judge. Nail. Head. Hit.