« More on foreign insurgents in Iraq | Main | Bush's Iraq address »

From the "don't let the doorknob..." department

This probably won't be of interest to anyone here other than me, but this guy was sheriff of my neighboring county when I lived in North Carolina. It's always gratifying to see such a loathsome individual brought down to earth.

For nearly a decade, Gerald Hege was both loved and loathed as the larger-than-life embodiment of law enforcement in Davidson County. Then his career fell apart. Facing 15 felony counts in a corruption and abuse investigation, Hege pleaded guilty last week to two counts of obstruction of justice in a deal that kept him out of prison.

For a sheriff who kept inmates in pink jail cells and had deputies dress up in paramilitary uniforms, it was an ignominious end -- and there was no trace of his flamboyant self when he slipped out a side door of the downtown courthouse and got into the back seat of his attorney's silver Chevrolet Suburban.

As his lawyers sped away, Hege's face was hidden by tinted windows.