This story was originally published April 2, 2001.
Welcome to the sixth annual Cloutie awards ceremony, held each April Fool's Day to honor leaders whose actions warrant recognition.
What kind of actions? Arrogance, greed, stupidity. Things like that.
Which explains why none of our honorees showed up yesterday to claim his award.
Our readers, however, will get awards for nominating those listed below. Cloutie refrigerator magnets and mouse pads to all with one lucky reader, drawn at random, receiving a Daily News warmup jacket, suitable for throwing snowballs at top hats.
And now, our (dis)honorees:
* Ed Mezvinsky, husband of Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky
For the worst excuse since the "Twinkie defense. "
For those who've forgotten, assassin Dan White blamed a diet of junk food for causing him to kill San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978.
Last month, federal prosecutors charged Mezvinsky with defrauding banks and investors of $10 million.
A day later Mezvinsky filed a lawsuit blaming drug maker Hofmann-LaRoche.
The company's anti-malarial drug, Lariam, caused him to suffer from "poor business judgment," Mezvinsky argued.
Hey, what about Majorie's husband judgment?
* Steve Schwaid, NBC-10 news director
For making grocery shelf-stockers miserable.
Everybody blames weatherman John Bolaris, but the winter storm hysteria generated by WCAU-TV (Channel 10) is directed from the top.
Hype boosts ratings, but lack of credibility will soon lower them.
We sentence Schwaid to 100 hours of community service: Buying milk and bread for Channel 10 viewers the next time his station airs an hysterical weather warning.
* Mark L. Walsh, chairman, VerticalNet
For failing to go down with his ship.
The CEOs of other local e-commerce giants, Internet Capital and Safeguard Scientific, held on to their personal stock even as it sank like a stone. Safeguard's Pete Musser held so tight he suffered public humiliation when margin calls forced him to sell at the bottom.
But Walsh cashed in $51 million of his bloated junk shares even as he was promoting his company to naive investors.
No, not for being a pig by gouging passengers for fares 30 percent higher than elsewhere, but for flying a pig.
In October, airline officials allowed a woman to convince them her 300-pound swine was a "therapeutic companion pet," like a guide dog for the blind.
"Frankly, I couldn't tell what kind of therapeutic service it was providing," said one angry passenger. "All I know is, it was ugly and it pooped."
* Johnny Butler, secretary of the state Department of Labor and Industry
For going away, when the going got tough.
The state shut down its offices where people used to file for unemployment benefits and instituted a file-by-phone system. Good idea, except that no one answered the phones. One woman speed-dialed for six straight days before she got through.
As the story of the failed system unfolded, Butler disappeared, refusing to talk with reporters for two weeks.
* The Rev. Randall McCaskill, former chairman of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity
For confusing street money with pocket change.
McCaskill collected $45,000 from judicial candidates seeking his group's endorsement in 1997 and 1999. But, according to a state grand jury, only about $5,000 of that money wound up where it was supposed to: Paying for Election Day workers and brochures.
Much of the rest paid for McCaskill's car leases, dentist bills and utility bills. More than $20,000 was taken in cash withdrawals that McCaskill couldn't account for.
* Bob Clarke, Flyers general manager
For picking the wings off injured Flyers.
Instead of trying to boost injured superstar Eric Lindros' trade value, Clarke let his personal animosity get in the way.
Making a public display of demoting Lindros from captain and bad-mouthing the player and his agent-father ensured poor trade offers.