OTR: Andrew Lelling believes ‘Varsity Blues’ scandal is widespread

OTR: Andrew Lelling believes ‘Varsity Blues’ scandal is widespread

October 12, 2019 3 By Stanley Isaacs


>>GOOD MORNING. IT IS SOMEDAY — SUNDAY, OCTOBER
6. IT IS TIME TO GO ON THE RECORD. ANDREW LEVELING IS HAVING A BIG
IMPACT FROM VARSITY BLUES TO
BOSTON CALLING. HOW HE IS MAKING HIS MARK. WHEN THINGS GET AWKWARD. ED AND JOE KENNEDY SHAKING
HANSFORD WHEN WILL THE GLOVES
COME OFF IN THEIR SENATE RACE. MOMENTUM BUILDING FOR THOSE WITH
WARREN. IS THE PATH TO THE DEMOCRATIC
NOMINATION GETTING MUCH CLEARER? ANNOUNCER: FROM WCVB CHANNEL 5,
TODAY’S NEWSMAKERS ARE GOING ON
THE RECORD.>>WELCOME TO OTR. I AM ED HARDING. RAY TO HAVE YOU WITH US. OUR GUEST IS ANDREW LEVELING. HE WAS APPOINTED BY PRESIDENT
TRUMP AND TOOK OFFICE IN 2017. HE IS A GRADUATE OF BINGHAMTON
UNIVERSITY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF
PENNSYLVANIA LAW SCHOOL. IT IS GREAT TO HAVE YOU WITH US.>>THANKS TO HAPPY YOU WITH ME. ->>THIS HAS RILED PARENTS
AROUND MASSACHUSETTS AND AROUND
THE WORLD. THERE ARE DOZENS OF CASES
PENDING. ONE HIGH-PROFILE DEFENDANT,
FELICITY HUFFMAN, PLED GUILTY
EARLIER AND SHE RECEIVED A TWO
WEEK SENTENCE. YOUR OFFICE ONLY ASKED FOR A
MONTH. WHY SO LIGHT? WERE YOU TRYING TO SEND A
MESSAGE TO THE OTHER ONES WHO
HAVE BEEN ACCUSED AND ARE FACING
CHARGES?>>THERE ARE A FEW THINGS GOING
ON. MS. HOFFMAN WAS PROBABLY THE
LEAST CULPABLE OF THE DEFENDANTS
WHO WE HAVE CHARGED IN THAT
CASE. ONE OF THE THINGS WE LOOKED TO
WAS HOW MUCH MONEY WAS INVOLVED. SHE SPENT ABOUT $15,000 TO HAVE
HER DAUGHTER GET A FAKE SAT
SCORE. THERE IS A FEW THINGS WORKING IN
HER FAVOR. SHE TOOK RESPONSIBILITY ALMOST
IMMEDIATELY. SHE WAS CONTRITE. DID NOT TRY TO MINIMIZE HER
CONDUCT. I THINK SHE HANDLED IT IN A
CLASSY WAY. AND SO, AT THE END OF THE DAY,
WE THOUGHT THE ONE-MONTH WAS
PROPORTIONAL. I THINK THE TWO WEEKS SHE GOT
WAS REASONABLE. WE WERE HAPPY WITH THAT. I THINK IT WAS A THOUGHTFUL
SENTENCE.>>IF THEY FIND THEMSELVES IN A
SITUATION, OWN UP TO AND WE
MIGHT GO LIGHTER ON YOU?>>THAT IS ALMOST ALWAYS THE
CASE. IF PEOPLE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
FOR THEIR CONDUCT AND TAKE
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR CONDUCT
EARLY ON, IT WILL PROBABLY GO
BETTER FOR THEM. WHAT I VALUE IN THE FELICITY
HUFFMAN SENTENCE IS THAT I THINK
IT SENT A CLEAR MESSAGE TO THE
PARENTS INVOLVED THAT THERE IS A
GOOD CHANCE THAT IF YOU’RE
CONVICTED OF THE OFFENSE, YOU WILL GO TO PRISON FOR SOME
PERIOD OF TIME. THE LEAST CULPABLE DEFENDANT,
EVEN SHE GOT PRISON.>>YOU ARE CHARGING A NUMBER OF
PEOPLE BUT DO YOU THINK IT IS
WIDESPREAD AND THIS HAPPENS A
LOT?>>I THINK IT IS WIDESPREAD. I WILL TELL YOU WHY. THE COACHES AT UNIVERSITIES AND
COLLEGES WHO DEAL WITH
SECOND-TIER SPORTS. NOT BASKETBALL, FOOTBALL AND
BASEBALL, WHERE EVERYONE KNOWS
WHO THE GREAT HIGH SCHOOL
PLAYERS ARE. BUT THINGS LIKE CREW OR LACROSSE
OR WATER POLO, YOU HAVE COACHES
IN THOSE SPORTS WHO ARE GIVEN
SLOTS TO PLAY WITH. THERE IS NO OVERSIGHT OF WHAT
THEY ARE DOING WITH THOSE SLOTS. THE TEMPTATION GROWS TO SELL
THEM. YOU HAVE COACHES TAKING BRIBES
TO GIVE THESE SLOTS TO KIDS WHO
ARE NOT REALLY ATHLETES IN THOSE
SPORTS. I THINK THAT UNTIL WE DID THIS
CASE, THAT WAS KIND OF A
WIDESPREAD PROBLEM. I THINK THE SCHOOLS ARE NOW
SCRAMBLING TO DEAL WITH THAT
POTENTIAL PROBLEM.>>JANET ASKED YOU ABOUT
FELICITY HUFFMAN’S SENTENCE. THE OTHER HIGH-PROFILE DEFENDANT
IS LORI LOUGHLIN. THEY SPENT ROUGHLY UNDER HALF $1
MILLION.>>I THINK THAT IS RIGHT.>>THERE SHOULD BE A HIGHER
HAMMER DOWN THE END OF THE ROAD
FOR HER.>>IF SHE IS CONVICTED, WE WOULD
PROBABLY ASK FOR A HIGHER
SENTENCE FOR HER THAN WE DID FOR
FELICITY HUFFMAN. I CAN’T TELL YOU WHAT THAT WOULD
BE. THE LONGER THE CASE GOES, LET’S
SAY SHE GOES THROUGH TO TRIAL. IF IT IS AFTER TRIAL, WE WOULD
ASK FOR SOMETHING SUBSTANTIALLY
HIGHER. IF SHE RESOLVED IT BEFORE TRIAL,
SOMETHING LOWER THAN THAT.>>I WANT TO TALK ABOUT ANOTHER
THING THAT IS IMPORTANT. THE GUILTY VERDICTS OF —
MANY CRITICS WONDERED IF TWO MEN
CAN’T INSIST ON UNION LABOR
JOBS. DOES THIS MEAN THAT DEVELOPERS
NOW CAN’T BE FORCED TO BUILD
AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO GET
PERMITS TO BUILD LUXURY
HIGH-RISES?>>I DON’T THINK IT MEANS ANY OF
THAT. THIS IS ONE OF THE FEW CASES
WHERE I THINK IT HAS BEEN —
THERE HAS BEEN A DISTURBING
AMOUNT OF DISINFORMATION
PUBLICLY. IN MY VIEW, WHAT THE VERDICT IN
THAT CASE MEANS IS YOU CANNOT
THREATEN PRIVATE CITIZENS WITH
ECONOMIC CATASTROPHE IF THEY
DON’T DO SOMETHING THAT THEY ARE
NOT LEGALLY REQUIRED TO DO. I DON’T THINK IT IS HARD TO
AVOID THAT. IN THIS INSTANCE, YOU HAVE TWO
DEFENDANTS.>>WHERE THEY UNDER THE THREAT
OF LEGAL CATASTROPHE?>>IF THEY DID NOT GET THE
PERMITS THEY WERE NEEDED, BAY
COULD NOT — THEY COULD NOT
STAGE THEIR CONCERT THREE DAYS
LATER. THEY GET HAULED INTO A MEETING
ON NO NOTICE, THREE DAYS BEFORE
THIS CONCERT THAT THEY HAVE
ALREADY PAID FOR AND FOR WHICH
THEY HAVE ALREADY BOOKED TALENT
IS GOING TO HAPPEN.>>NEITHER OF THESE MEN HAVE THE
ABILITY TO WITHHOLD PERMITS.>>THAT IS NOT CLEAR. BOSTON CALLING DOES NOT KNOW
THAT. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN GIVEN THE
PERMITS YET, WHICH THEY SHOULD
HAVE GOTTEN WEEKS PRIOR. THOSE PERMITS HAVE NOT
MATERIALIZED. THEY ARE PULLED IN FOR THIS
MEETING.>>I GUESS THIS COMES DOWN TO
HOW OPTIMISTIC ARE YOU THAT THEY
WILL UPHOLD THE VERDICT, HAVING
MADE CLEAR, MANY, MANY MONTHS
AGO THAT HE IS —
>>I THINK IT IS CLEAR HE IS SKEPTICAL OF THE CASE. I DON’T WANT TO COMMENT ON WHAT
HE IS GOING TO DO HERE BECAUSE
THOSE THINGS ARE PENDING
BEFOREHAND. THE FACTOR TO KEEP IN MIND IS
THAT THE JURY INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN
TO THE JURY IN THIS CASE WERE
VERY THOUGHTFULLY LAID OUT. THEY INCLUDED MANY OF THE
CAVEATS THAT HE WANTED. THINGS THAT GAVE HIM CONCERN. AND SO, EVEN WITH THOSE JURY
INSTRUCTIONS IN FRONT OF THEM. AND THE JURY ASKED FOR COPIES
ALONG THE WAY. THEY STILL CAME OUT UNANIMOUSLY
DECIDING BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT
THAT THESE TWO DEFENDANTS
COMMITTED EXTORTION. THAT IS A STRONG FACTOR IN THE
GOVERNMENT’S FAVOR. AS YOU KNOW, THIS IS IN FRONT OF
THE JUDGE.>>ONE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH
CONSPIRACY AND THE OTHER WAS
FOUND GUILTY OF CONSPIRACY AND
EXTORTION.>>LET’S TALK ABOUT IMMIGRATION. YOU HAVE CHARGED SHELLEY JOSEPH
AND AND O OFFICER. THIS IS NOT AN IMMIGRATION
ISSUE?>>TO ME, IT IS NOT.>>WOULD THIS EVEN COME TO YOUR
ATTENTION IF IT WASN’T?>>YES. THAT IS A GOOD QUESTION. I HAVE BEEN ASKED THAT QUESTION. I THINK THE ANSWER IS YES. THE WAY THIS COMES TO MY
ATTENTION IS THAT THERE IS A
FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
TRYING TO DO ITS JOB. CATCH A FUGITIVE THAT HAPPENS TO
BE IN THAT COURTHOUSE. IT COULD HAVE BEEN IRS, FBI, ATF
.
HERE, IT HAPPENS TO BE ICE. THE WAY I HEAR ABOUT THIS IS,
ALLEGEDLY, THE FUGITIVE IS
ALLOWED OUT THE BACK DOOR. ICE IS UNABLE TO CATCH THE
FUGITIVE. THEY CALL US TO TELL US THIS HAS
OCCURRED. IT WOULD NOT HAVE MATTERED TO ME
WHICH AGENCY HAD CALLED. THE ALLEGED CONDUCT I THE COURT
IS THE SAME. THAT IS WHAT CAUSED US CONCERN.>>I FIND THAT HARD TO BELIEVE
THAT THIS HAS NEVR HAPPENED
BEFORE. INVOLVING ANY FEDERAL AGENCY OR
STATE JUDGE.>>I HAVE NEVER HAD THIS COME TO
MY ATTENTION BEFORE. FEDERAL AGENCIES HAVE BEEN
ARRESTING FUGITIVES FOR 30
YEARS. IT HAPPENED IN THE 90’S WITH
ATF. IF THEY ARE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE
ON A GUN CHARGE AND THEY KNOW
THAT THAT GUY ALSO HAS SOME TWO
BIT STATE CASE AND HE SHOWS UP
FOR COURT, WE WILL GET HIM. THEY WILL SHOW UP THERE. IT HAPPENS EVERY ONCE IN A
WHILE. I HAVE NOT, IN MY TIME, AND I
HAVE BEEN IN THIS FOR 15 YEARS,
I HAVE NOT SEEN THIS HAPPEN
BEFORE.>>ARE YOU READY TO CHANGE THE
MOOD DRAMATICALLY? ARE YOU READY FOR THE OTR POP
QUIZ?>>I AM. THERE WAS A PROSECUTORIAL
CONFERENCE IN THAT STATEMENT. LAW & ORDER IS THE THEME. WE WILL START WITH ONE OF YOUR
PREDECESSORS. BILL WELD.>>YES.>>IN 1997, HE WAS NUMBED IT TO
BE AMBASSADOR BY PRESIDENT
CLINTON. THEY REFUSED TO GIVE HIM A
HEARING. WE HAVE THE OPTIONS ON THE
SCREEN. WHO WAS THE SENATOR?>>STROM THURMOND, TRENT LOTT,
JESSE HELMS?>>HELMS, HE WAS THE SENATOR
FROM 1973 THROUGH 2003. NOW, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE
TELEVISION SERIES.>>GREAT SHOW.>>THEY HAD A 20 YEAR RUN ON
NBC. YOU CAN SEE IT ANYTIME,
ANYWHERE. WHICH ONE OF THESE THREE ACTORS

[LAUGHTER]
>>HE GOT IT.>>THE QUESTION IS WHICH OF
THESE THREE ACTORS WAS NOT A
FEATURE PLAYER IN LAW AND ORDER? WAS IT WALSTON, OLIVER PLATT OR
MICHAEL MORIARTY. THIS IS A PICTURE OF HIM, IF YOU
DON’T RECOGNIZE WHO HE IS.>>ARE YOU A BIG FAN OF THE
SHOW?>>I WATCHED IT FOR YEARS. THAT SHOW HAS BEEN ON FOR 20
YEARS.>>IT IS STILL ON.>>IT MIGHT BE LONGER.>>I WATCHED IT WHEN I
WAS YOUN