Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Chapter 30

Chapter 30

Pat stuck her head in my office “You have a new client that wants to see you”

I was still considering Jamie’s asshole observation so I tried to be polite “Who is it, what’s their problem and how much money do they have?”

Pat responded “It’s Dante Dorr, he says he wants you to provide crisis management for his upcoming federal indictment and he has no money left”

“And why do I want to get involved in Dante’s latest shitstorm if he can’t pay me?”

“Leather for once don’t be an asshole, Dante needs your help”

This whole asshole thing was having real ramifications “send him in”

“Dante, what trouble are you causing today?”

“There is going to be a story in all the papers tomorrow that I am the target of Ping’s latest investigation”

“What did you do to get Ping interested in you?”

“This is attorney client privileged right?”

“Sure Dante if that makes you less nervous, sit down and tell me what’s going on”

“The stories are all going to say that I acted as a bagman for numerous politicians in delivering cash campaign donations thru various LLCs that my clients controlled including to Ping’s campaign”

“So what’s the big deal LLC’s can make contributions, and bundling is an accepted practice in this town.  By the way you said the stories will say . . . are the stories true?”

“Well that’s why I’m here Leathers, none of it is really true but . . .”

“But what Dante” I was starting to get a feeling this wasn’t a run of the mill Albany corruption scandal.

“But I told all the papers it was true”

“And you did that because . . .?”

Dante stood up clearly agitated “Because everyone else is in the papers being investigated for one scandal or another and no one is writing about me”

“So you made yourself a target to get publicity?”

“Yes do you know how hard it is to survive in this town when no one knows who you are? When no one is talking about you?”

“Dante do you realize how crazy that sounds?  You want to be in the media for something positive not something bad like being the target of a federal corruption probe”

“Don’t be an asshole Leathers, first there is no such thing as bad publicity and second in this town I’ll be a superstar, I can do interviews and really put my face out there, it is going to be a lot of fun”

I could swear Dante was getting wood thinking about all the media attention he would garner.  “If I can’t dissuade you Dante what can I do to help?”

“Two things, first I want you to publicly state that you are representing me and second I want you to figure out a way I can do this without ever having to talk to Ping’s investigators.”

I thought about it for a second and responded “You don’t want to talk to the feds because you haven’t done anything but you don’t want to admit that and you don’t want to lie to the feds either, am I right?”


“You know I don’t do criminal law Dante and so does everyone else in this town so my representing you will look odd”

“No Leathers it will make perfect sense, I picked you because no matter what the media says, and I will make sure they keep saying I’m under investigation, I will keep saying I am innocent and you are the best person to explain how unfair the system is in Albany that everyone is being tarred by the same corruption innuendo and even innocent men such as myself are subjected to the media spotlight without fact or circumstance being proven”

“Dante you are clinically insane, you are going to destroy your reputation to garner headlines, you are going to invite a federal investigation into your innocent activity but you will have to refuse to prove your innocence and you are looking forward to this?”

“You bet”

“ Okay Dante here is what you do,  have fun outing yourself with the media, make sure they know when Ping’s people come knocking on your door at 7 am and then publicly but politely tell Ping’s investigators to go fuck themselves, and to call me.  I’ll take it from there you poor sick twisted motherfucker”

“Don’t be an asshole Leathers you think I’m the only person in this town that would do this to get in the papers?”

“No I don’t Dante that’s why I’m going to help you, for free by the way, I think it could be a growth industry.  I do want 30% of any revenue you generate though either thru book deals or interviews, Deal?”

“30%? That’s a little rich but beggars can’t be choosers so I agree”

Just when you think this town can’t get any more fucked up the Dante’s of the world raise the ante.

But as my mentor Cadillac Curtis used to say “if you want to play the game you have to pay the ante, or at least promise to pay it”.

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