In an American court, you're innocent until proven guilty.
But in the court of public opinion, the appearance of guilt can sometimes be too strong to ignore. And the case of Metro Councilwoman Judy Green is a perfect example.
The list of Ms. Green's alleged misdeeds already included mismanaging a grant intended for a youth work program she administered and hiring family members who financially benefited from it.
But now come allegations of taking a bribe, and securing a credit card in the name of an aide without her permission.
In an interview with Fox 41's Stephan Johnson last week, Ms. Green denied any wrongdoing. But she offered no conclusive proof – or any plausible explanation for why so many accusations would be fired at her from so many different sources.
It's important to note that Ms. Green has not been convicted of -- or charged with -- any crime. But next week, the Metro Ethics Commission will hold a hearing on the issues surrounding the summer work program, and an adverse finding could lead to her removal from office.
In such a responsible position, the look of impropriety can be almost as damning as the real thing. And unless Ms. Green convincingly refutes all the charges leveled against her, her continued effectiveness as a Council member would seem to be in serious doubt.
Call and tell us what you think.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.