There is a tragic situation in Guadalupe County where the County Judge Mike Wiggins was arrested on Feb. 6 in College Station on a charge of possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana.
Judge Wiggins claims he was using the drugs for medical purposes.
His arrest has had an additional complication because the incident throws a cloud on a community trying to rid itself of drugs and drug abuse.
Whether he is guilty or innocent will be determined by the courts, however until that verdict happens the community will suffer.
Political scandals are not new to American politics. A scandal, whether private or public, is always painful to the individual, their family, and their friends.
They are embarrassing for the nation such as Watergate, the Monica Lewinsky affair, and Anthony Weiner’s photos.
What made these even more painful was how those involved behaved. President Nixon denied his guilt, President Clinton tried to redefine sexual intercourse and Congressman Weiner flatly denied everything.
The pain and embarrassment of a scandal is always complicated by the response of those involved, and not just final outcome.
Public figures are held to a higher standard of behavior. They are leaders and role models, and whether they accept the burden or not, they set the tone for behavior on a community or a nation.
But what happens when leaders do not live up to the higher standard?
What happens when they err by accident or on purpose? Their response is very important for the wellbeing of those they lead.
Every person in the U.S. is innocent until proven guilty. Everyone must have their day in court. But, in the meantime, what should leaders do about their role in the community?
Should the community have to suffer through the leader’s legal ordeal, or should they resign from public service until the matter is resolved?
A good leader will resign for the sake of the community.
A good leader will recognize that the law is the law and that rules are rules. Laws and rules maintain order in society.
The U.S. Constitution and lesser laws at the state and local level are all important to maintain order, and a leader must obey them as example for the rest of the community.
Sadly, our liberal society has made it easy to excuse bad behavior for any and all reasons from health to a lack of proper parenting.
Regardless of the reason for their mistake, leaders should not visit their personal problems on a community. We should not allow the perception to linger that someone is given a pass to continue being a public official because of their social, economic, or political status.
Guadalupe County should not suffer for the sake of a leader while he is clearing his name.
Judge Wiggins should be a good leader and resign until the courts give a final verdict.