Any senseless body of law requires a corps of lawyers to make a comfortable living off of it. Hence the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s obscure (because they like it that way) cadre of administrative law judges, who occupy their days with the commonwealth’s baroque liquor code and those who dare violate it.
Well, at least part of their days. As The Inquirer reported last week, investigators from the state Inspector General’s Office caught some of the judges spending the equivalent of a couple days out of the office over the course of a dozen workdays. They spent this time as many of us would if no one cared where we were at 2:30 p.m. on a Tuesday — running errands, enjoying leisurely lunches, and working off said lunches at the gym.
Pshaw, say the judges: You can’t make lawyers punch a clock! “Your mind is always on the job,” one of them said, “and who knows when the great ideas come?” Indeed, and so what if those great ideas include sleeping in?
This was all just fun, though, compared with the other inspector general’s report revealed by The Inquirer last week. It found top LCB officials soliciting and receiving entertainment, jobs for relatives, and booze from those doing business with the agency. That’s right: free liquor for the liquor ministry. Hey, you certainly can’t expect them to pay the prices they’re charging us.