Steve Ellis’s defence: it’s not illegal to suck at your job
The eloquence of the legal profession was on full display yesterday in the ongoing trial of former immigration adjudicator Steve Ellis, accused of offering a woman refugee status in exchange for sex. During the defence’s closing statements, attorney John Rosen reminded the court that creepiness isn’t a crime: “I’m not here to defend the conduct. I’m here to defend the indictment. If [the Crown] can’t prove [Ellis proposed the exchange] he gets an acquittal,” Rosen said, conceding that his client was attracted to refugee applicant Ji-Hye Kim, and that Ellis switched his ruling because of that attraction. “But [Ellis] does not make [changing the draft decision] conditional. He doesn’t say, ‘But you’ve got to do something for me.’”
Yes, by going to the plaintiff’s restaurant twice and ensuring he sat in her section, then repeatedly calling her from untraceable payphones, meeting her for coffee and telling her to keep his trade offer a secret, Ellis was acting badly. Poor job performance isn’t against the law, even for a judge.
Thank God. If it were, we’d be locked up for ending this post without a snappy joke.