Former District Attorney Jim Wilson was my dear friend. We spent countless hours together, including riding our Harleys the Sunday prior to his death. Jim Wilson was an honorable, dedicated public servant. He cared very much about the responsibilities of his job and his responsibilities to the people of the 22nd Judicial District.
For the above reasons, I was upset that Mac Myers chose to write unfavorably of Jim in a recent letter to the editor. Criticizing a man when he cannot respond is totally uncalled for and reprehensible. Having said that, I assure you current District Attorney Russ Wasley is no Jim Wilson, although he presents as the centerpiece of his experience, his performance with Jim at the Ignacio Rael trial. Truth be told, Wilson saved the Rael conviction from the ineptitude of Russ Wasley on at least two occasions during that trial. During closing, Wasley stated Rael should be on trial for first-degree murder only, when Jim Wilson had purposely brought second-degree charges. Jim, familiar as he was with the case and the evidence, was able to recover after the public defender moved to amend the charges to only first-degree murder. Rael was found guilty of second-degree murder by the jury, thanks to Jim Wilson and in spite of Russ Wasley.
Jim Wilson, being the honorable man he was, would never have allowed his supporters to patently lie about his opponent, as has been done by Wasleys supporters in the Republican Central Committee. Jim Wilson would not have neglected his job and duty to the people in order to secure names on a petition, forced to do so because the great majority of delegates to his own party assembly didnt support him. Russ Wasley began campaigning for Jim Wilsons job at Jims memorial service, telling all within earshot he would carry on Jims legacy, but later badmouthed Jim at the county fair, claiming Jim was responsible for all the plea bargaining in the office.
Wasleys conduct, in and out of the courtroom, brings shame, not honor, to the legacy of Jim Wilson.