Who ever said 12 felony convictions would ruin your career prospects?
Word is former City Councilmember and recently convicted felon Ralph Inzunza just landed a post with the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council.
"He is not doing anything in the political campaigns, not volunteering.... He's never going to be in the public representing the Labor Council," said Jerry Butkiewicz, the Labor Council's CEO. "He's never going to be in a meeting representing the Labor Council."
Butkiewicz said Inzunza was hired last week to teach basic job skills to low-income members of the public, many of whom speak only Spanish.
"He's going to be an instructor in our computer lab, teaching them English and math and computer skills, interview skills and updating their résumés," Butkiewicz said. "Ralphie has a bachelor's and a master's degree in social services from San Diego State, so, I mean, if anybody tries to say he's not qualified, they're cuckoo."
Overseeing a computer lab might not be as sexy as running a City Council district, but, as Butkiewicz points out, it's noble work. "I can't speak for Ralph, but I think that this would be the kind of work you would want to be able to say-if you were in front of a judge asking what have you done for the past six months-bring in some of your students or something."
A judge is scheduled to sentence Inzunza and co-defendant Michael Zucchet on Nov. 9.
Butkiewicz said Inzunza's pay will be "shockingly low" but declined to give a figure. He said Inzunza will fill a previously established position vacated by a departing staffer, and the cost of his employment will be covered by a grant, although he declined to say where that money would come from. Inzunza's employment will last as long as the grant money or until an anticipated appeal is exhausted.
As for those inevitable union critics who'll accuse Big Labor of taking care of a former politician who took care of Big Labor, Butkiewicz suggested they read the Book of John.
"It says that those without sin should cast the first stone," he said.