Pity Jay Kim. In March, the congressman (R-Diamond Bar) was sentenced to a year's probation, 200 hours of community service, a $5,000 fine and two months' home detention after pleading guilty to accepting more than $250,000 in illegal campaign donations. In June, he lost the primary election for his seat; that home detention in the Washington, D.C., area and the big fat "FELON" stamped on his rsum really put a crimp in his campaign. And on Oct. 8, a federal judge denied Kim's plea to have his probation cut short so that he could host a Larry King-style political talk show in his South Korean homeland. While sympathizing with Kim's plight, we can't help but thank U.S. District Judge Richard A. Paez for this mercy ruling. Paez spared the world this picture: Kim in suspenders, hunched over a desk, shoulders up around the earlobes, eighth wife in the wings, barking into the microphone: "Wonju, you're on with Tina Yothers." Not a pretty sight.
THIS SUCKSThe Medical Board of California on Oct. 8 reportedly accused a Laguna Niguel cosmetic surgeon of gross negligence and false and misleading advertising. The board will now schedule an administrative hearing that could lead to Dr. Gerald Kevin Greenberg's suspension or the loss of his medical license. The board reportedly alleged that Greenberg flushed down the toilet the fat he sucked from patients; used unsterile towels he washed at home for surgery; performed six cosmetic procedures on one woman in a single day; allowed a saleswoman in his office to perform liposuction on patients; infected patients with a rare bacteria because of shoddy sterilization procedures; pulled contaminated plastic tubes from the trash and reused them on other liposuction patients; caused "permanent cosmetic deformities" to a woman after sucking 24 pounds of fat out of her hips; ran misleading ads in The Orange County Register that falsely implied he was a board-certified plastic surgeon; injected collagen into a woman's lips without running tests to see if she was allergic to the material (she apparently was, and she had to have her HMO doctor drain pus out of her lips after they swelled, blistered and bled three months after the injections). A call to the doctor's attorney, Steve Hillyard, was not returned at press time. On the bright side, thanks to the pre-hearing publicity, there's probably no wait in Greenberg's waiting room.
STAYING PUT South Orange County Community College District trustee Steven Frogue has portrayed himself as a warrior against waste. But at a press conference on Oct. 12, Frogue announced that he will not make a move that could save the district $500,000. If Frogue resigned his seat, he could save the district the half mil it would cost for a recall election this spring. Frogue has become the target of faculty members opposed to so-called reforms the trustee has pushed for and community members who believe he's racist, bigoted and/or anti-Semitic. Recall proponents on Oct. 13 turned in 50,000 signatures to the county registrar of voters, and a special election will be called if 38,000 of them are deemed valid. At the press gathering, Frogue, in Bob Dornanian fashion, apparently raised the specter of fraud, alleging that signature gatherers lied about him and encouraged people to sign several times. Recall proponents denied the charges. Meanwhile, yours truly was contacted last week by the head of the Santa Monica chapter of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), which, among other things, has bemoaned the right-wing influence on the mainstream press. Jim Horowitz quoted right-winger Frogue as saying "all the reporters hate me" and that FAIR should step into the mess. But the trustee does have scribes in his corner: three members of Saddleback College's student newspaper, The Lariat, reportedly proclaimed themselves pro-Frogue at the press conference. And there are always his buds at The Spotlight, which the Anti-Defamation League has branded the most racist publication in America.
ILLEGALS FREED To the delight of a mob of protesters-okay, six people with signs-the Anaheim City Council passed an ordinance on Oct. 13 that allows residents to keep pot-bellied pigs as pets. Approved at the urging of the owner of an oinker named Mu Shu, the ordinance will "bring a pig from being an illegal pig to a well-regulated pig," Councilman Tom Tait snorted. Clockwork wonders where you take your pig when it dies-the pet cemetery or the smoker?