Anthony Bittner Pleads Guilty, to Serve 41 Days

by lewwaters

Anthony Bittner drew a lot of attention back in 2010 when the then 18 year-old High School Senior filed to run for the 18th Legislative District Representative seat eventually won by Ann Rivers. He drew even more attention when he was arrested for his involvement in a local organized crime ring.

Prior to the arrest, this blog was giving Bittner some support, not so much because I felt he would win in the heavily contested race, but because I liked the idea of a young man getting involved politically and was looking forward to his growing and maturing in public service.

All of that was dashed with the arrest, likely along with any political aspirations he may have had. I can only imagine the disappointment of his parents and younger sister who idolized her older brother.

But like many young people, Anthony chose a bad path, got involved with a bad crowd, did drugs and was arrested.

Initially pleading not guilty, he wised up and changed his plea to guilty, since he was caught red handed and cooperated with the authorities in convicting the ring leader.

Anthony Bittner appeared before Clark County Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson this morning, November 1, 2012 and “was sentenced to 45 days on work crew for his role in an organized crime ring.” Receiving credit for time already served, Judge Johnson stated Bittner “will need to spend 41, eight-hour days on work release in the next 60 days or he’ll go to jail to finish his sentence.”

Anthony contacted me weeks ago asking to sit down with me and I accepted. As disappointed as I was back in 2010, I was curious how he was doing since the news on him died down rapidly, the public largely uninterested.

On August 21 I went to the meet with my guard up, thinking that maybe he had served out his time and either wanted to make excuses or try to regain my support for another run at office.

I was wrong.

What I met was a young man who once was somewhat the talk of the town who had been dealt a healthy dose of reality and who realized just how he had screwed up, disappointing not only those who supported him, but his family who believed in him.

Gone was the brash support for Ron Paul that I previously saw and the cockiness we see in so many of today’s young people.

I was pleased to hear that he was enrolled in Clark College and working part-time to pay for his tuition, monies set aside for college having been depleted in his defense and that he had completed drug rehabilitation and was doing well in staying clean, something I hope continues in his life.

While it is unlikely that another run for public office will occur in my lifetime, at 20 years old his life is still ahead of him. This episode will be with him forever, although later in life maybe not as large, but will come up should he decide to ever run for office again.

My recommendation then remains, face it head on, admit you were wrong, which he has done, accept the consequences and do what you can to dissuade others from following that same wrong path.

Bittner told Judge Johnson, “I can assure the court that you’ll never see me again.”

That rests solely in Anthony’s hands, wholly dependent upon his future choices.

I liked Anthony Bittner back when I first met him and in spite of my disappointment, I still like him. I don’t like what he did, but now it all rests with him.

Many will no longer trust him and many will always see him as the 18 year old criminal arrested in 2010. That is just the way life often is, many taking the “once bad, always bad” view.

I hope for his benefit that he continues putting his life back together and will always recall just how close he came to losing not only his freedom, but his families trust.

Some have always had to learn life’s lessons the hard way, but those are what usually stick with you the longest.

Good luck in the years ahead, Anthony.

2 Comments to “Anthony Bittner Pleads Guilty, to Serve 41 Days”

  1. He can still be effective. A person should never let a mistake stop them from improving themselves and others with the rest of their life. Glad to see him making an effort.

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  2. I pray he is going to NA meetings, has a sponsor and recognizes he cannot overcome addiction in a short time frame. He is not the first young man coming from a good family to make bad decisions. Many have gone on to lead productive and sometimes even heroic lives. I am reminded of Christ’s perspective, those who have sinned the most are the ones most dedicated when they find the truth. A very rewarding life awaits Anthony if he surrounds himself with people who will hold him accountable and continues to rely on his higher power.

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