We have periodically discussed the infamous case of Tawana Brawley and Al Sharpton, now a MSNBC host. In 1987, Brawley, a black teenager, falsely accused a prosecutor, a New York police officer and a state trooper of a racist attack and rape. The racial animus was fueled actively by Al Sharpton who sued the case to propelled himself into national fame or infamy. She later recanted and a court ordered damages to be paid by both Brawley and Sharpton — neither of whom paid. Now the falsely accused former Dutchess County prosecutor Steven Pagones has tracked down Brawley living in Virginia and working as a nurse. It is 25 years after the sordid affair was in the national spotlight. He is seeking $190,000 in damages against Brawley, now 40.
In 1987, Sharpton made himself a national figure when he organized protests after Brawley was found inside a plastic bag behind an apartment house in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. She was covered with feces and racial epithets smeared on her body and accused various white men, including Steven A. Pagones, a former Dutchess County assistant district attorney. Sharpton attacked Pagones and the other men with Ms. Brawley’s lawyers, Alton H. Maddox Jr. and C. Vernon Mason.
A grand jury eventually found that the account was a hoax and Pagones successfully sued Sharpton, Maddox, Mason and Brawley. Sharpton has never apologized for his role and failed to pay the damages until various businessmen came forward to pay the damages for him in 2001. As opposed to Brawley, he is not hard to find. He is a host on MSNBC every night. Sharpton’s $66,000 damages were paid by friends, including the late O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran. Yet, an apology is still not forthcoming from Sharpton.
Brawley has now been hit with a demand for payment in Virginia. However, she will now have to pay interest at 9 percent, so the amount is $431,492. It is the height of irony. Sharpton fuels the hoax and stands next to Brawley throughout her lies as these men are destroyed publicly. He then becomes a close adviser to a president, a television host, and media favorite without paying a dime. She however is now looking at half a million dollars in damages.
Brawley is living under a different name: Tawana Vacenia Thompson Gutierrez in Hopewell, Va. and working as a licensed nurse at The Laurels of Bon Air nursing home. Those wages could now be garnished.
Notably, Pagones is saying that he might waive interest — a huge amount of money — if Brawley “fesses up.” That could be embarrassing for Sharpton and MSNBC.
I must confess that I have little sympathy for Brawley or the others. I feel sorry for 28-year-old Fishkill Police Officer Harry Crist Jr., who committed suicide a week after the false charges were made against him, as well as the rest of these men who were demonized in the relentless press conferences and marches by Sharpton and others.
Source: NY Post