By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
When disgraced lawmaker former Rep. Greg Wren (R-Montgomery) faced the press after pleading guilty to using his office for personal gain, he smiled into the cameras and said, “What I would like to say today, is I’m kind of glad to have this behind me….It has been a difficult process for me….I am looking forward to a change of scenery.”
These are the words of a man who just plead guilty to lying to the State’s prosecutors, stealing “eyes only” documents—giving them to a company that was paying him $8,000 a month—and used his office for personal gain.
He did not say he was sorry for lying, stealing and betraying his oath of office. He said he was relieved and looking for a change.
He did not say he was sorry.
But, men like Wren are never sorry for what they do, whether it’s cheating on their wives or robbing banks, it’s all the same. They are sorry they were caught and they always have an excuse.
After Wren’s perp walk, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard said that Wren was, “…a good man; he was a great legislator.”
This is coming from a man who has, in my estimation, done far worse than Wren.
This is like Judas calling Benedict Arnold a good man. Both have betrayed their oaths, used and discarded people like so much trash and played the people of Alabama for fools.
No, Wren is not a good man; nor was he a great legislator. Great legislators do not use their office to enrich themselves, they do not lie to the public, to law enforcement or the people who have elected them.
Of course, Hubbard wants to make nice with Wren. It’s a show he is putting on. Wren is one of the prosecution’s silver bullets aimed directly at Hubbard.
Governor Bentley, however, commenting on Wren’s plea said that Wren was a good friend, not a good man. Knowing Bentley’s kindness, his statement is understandable. While I believe the Governor was a good friend to Wren, the affection was not reciprocal.
But Bentley did not buy Wren’s excuse that he did not know he was committing a crime. “I would have known better,” the Governor said.
Wren, his brother-in-law attorney James Anderson, and Hubbard have all tried to spin Wren’s crime spree as being some sort of opium-laced fantasy, in which Wren was completely unaware that he was lying to a Grand Jury, stealing documents and selling his influence, i.e., breaking the Law.
If you ask a child if stealing is wrong, is lying wrong, is betrayal wrong, most will answer, yes. Are we to believe that Wren lacks the basic knowledge of right and wrong that we teach our children?
Wren and Hubbard are nearly cut from the same cloth. They are both narcissistic, petty, power hungry users.
All the good Wren may have done is not negated, but he can no longer be considered a good man because good men do not do the things he has done.
If Wren were the good man Hubbard said, then he would have stood before the cameras and said he was sorry for shaming his wife and children. He would have said he was sorry for all his crimes and asked for forgiveness from the voters and the State he betrayed. But, no, he smiled into the camera and felt sorry for himself. Good men don’t do that.