Posted in our “Off the Clock” category:

Everybody’s got heroes, somebody who taught him things and helped them develop as a person. One of my biggest heroes was Gene Siler, a Navy veteran and conservative Republican. Richard Nixon appointed him as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Gerald Ford made him a District Court Judge and George H. Bush later selected him for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

I was proud to work for him as a law clerk in my first job out of law school. I admired him for many reasons, but especially because he treated everybody the same, regardless of whether they were poor or a big shot. Very refreshing, in a society that is rigged in favor of the wealthy and powerful.

If anything, Gene Siler was  tougher on the big shots who had committed crimes. More than once I heard him tell some politician or wealthy criminal: “You were in a position of trust and you abused it. You’re gonna have to do some prison time.”

I often wonder what he would say if some of the wealthy politicians or billionaires who plague our nation today had to appear in front of him for sentencing.

God bless you, Gene Siler.