By Art Gallagher
I was in Maryland on business this afternoon when I received the news of Alex Desevo’s arrest. Someone was calling me with a scoop. Word of the arrest had made it to the holmdel-patch police blotter and the sordid details were leaking out.
My first reaction was sadness. A member of my community, someone I know by name and who knows me by name, was in the middle of a personal, family and career crisis that was about to become very public and very humiliating.
That Desevo is “on the other side” didn’t even occur to me until my friend who called with the scoop said, “do you know what they would be doing it if was one of us? They made stuff up about our guys and called their employers trying to get them fired.”
“True, but we’re not like that,” I said. The truth is some of us are like that.
Within an hour I was receiving more calls. The APP had the story. Desevo’s professional head shot was on the front page of the paper’s website. The APP beat me to the sordid details and salacious implications that I wasn’t relishing reporting.
Desevo was not the only Middletown resident charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance by the Holmdel police on June 18. He was the only one who became front page news. That is part of the price one pays when you’re a proverbial big fish in a small pond.
Sometimes, especially on a local level, I think it is appropriate to relate to each other and to both good news and bad news not as us and they but as we.
There is no point piling onto Desevo. He won’t be a candidate much longer. His arrest should not be a campaign issue, assuming he resigns his candidacy. He needs to get help and do some serious work on himself. His career is likely in shambles. His family must be under a lot of stress.
Desevo’s problems are not Democratic problems or Republican problems. They are human problems.
Desevo does not deserve our sympathy, as he brought this upon himself. Nor is his plight a cause for celebration or scorn. Concern is appropriate. Holding to account is appropriate. Support of his recovery is appropriate.