After sitting through most of the two-day trial, I have to say I really wasn't surprised at the outcome. I thought the plaintiff's made a pretty good case for the fact Josh didn't actually live in the apartment he claims as his residence, but as John Morgan, Brown's attorney, correctly pointed out, the case was entirely circumstanial.
We did learn a lot about Josh personally though...
If the apartment — and his testimony — is any indicator, he sleeps with the windows open, the heat off, and takes lukewarm showers, which is why his electric bill is only a little over $10 a month. He must not wear underwear because the investigator didn't find any upon inspection of the apartment, and Josh admitted under oath he isn't above pirating a wayward, late-night wi-fi signal to get his laptop online.
There are numerous ways to poke fun at Josh over these — and the many other — revelations, but frankly, is there any point in doing that?
In spite of the ruling, Brown’s troubles may not yet be over. He still faces another residency challenge filed by James Olsen of Bainbridge Island. Olsen is scheduled to present his case to the Kitsap County Canvassing Board — Commissioner Chris Endresen, Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hague, and Auditor Karen Flynn — at 2 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Commissioners’ Chambers in Port Orchard. Like Brown, all three are Democrats and according to PDC reports, all three also contributed money to Brown’s election campaign — with Flynn contributing twice.
Olson has requested a change of venue, which Flynn has denied.
The ink wasn't dry on the verdict before a small group unhappy with the outcome began discussing trying to file criminal charges against Brown. “He admitted to a felony on the stand,” stated one person who would only speak on the condition of anonymity. “He also admitted to stealing a wi-fi signal. Isn’t there anything this guy won’t do?”
The felony accusation stems from testimony at the trial that Brown and a former teacher, Arna Souza of Bremerton, had discussed Brown house-sitting for her. Souza testified she had that discussion with Brown in May — not January as Brown stated — but that no agreement was reached. Brown, in the meantime registered to vote using Souza’s address. Souza said she never gave Brown permission to do so, and had only heard about Brown’s action after a visit from Ross’ investigator two weeks ago.
The group said they will send a representative to meet with Prosecutor Russ Hauge shortly, but don’t expect him to do anything. Then they intend to approach Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office.Did Josh commit a felony? Will he be prosecuted? Who knows?
But on this particular day, our system of democracy worked the way it was supposed to and it found Josh Brown to be an innocent man. And whether you agree with that outcome or not, our judicial system is still something we should all take pride in and be grateful for.
To Josh, I say hopefully, this experience will have given you some maturity and perspective — and reined in at least a little of your youthful arrogance. Personally, I wish I knew as much now, as I knew at your age. And when you get to be my age, you'll probably understand that statement a whole lot better. I also hope you will be as frugal with our tax dollars as the trial seemed to indicate you are with your own.
To all those unhappy about the outcome, I say, it's time to let it go and move on. There's no question that Josh won the election by a substainal majority and was the clear choice of the voters. Also, he clearly won this case. If you're unhappy with the way he governs, you have the opportunity four years from now to work for a change.
Either way, it's time for this to be behind us. For me at least, it is.