Trashed: City Attorney Resigns After Embarrassing Photos in Garbage Can

larry wilder asleep in trash canLarry Wilder, the City Council attorney for Jeffersonville, Ind. has announced that he will resigned due to recent criticism. It was not Wilder’s skills or courtroom demeanor that proved his undoing. It was the combination of a certain trash can, a lawyer, and a camera. He resign before he was . . . well . . . canned.

One week ago, photos emerged that showed Wilder sleeping in a neighbor’s trash can. The photos show Wilder head first in a trash can laying on its side on the street with only his waist and feet showing. The photos were taken by a police officer. It is still not clear how the photos were leaked to the press. He is described as drunk but the police decided not to give him a sobriety test.

Neighbor Conrad Embry, 80, complained about trash being strewn all over their lawn and a man sleeping in their can — a type of urban version of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story.

Wilder stated: “I’ve stood up and accepted when I’ve done great things. And I’ve stood up and said when I’ve done stupid things because men of character do those things. . . I have agreed, in my heart, that the best thing to do for this community is to offer my resignation.”

Wilder was the highest paid of the six city attorneys: In 2008, he received $107,000 in tax dollars. Not only is that four times the pay of the next highest paid attorney, but he is likely resented deeply by his brother Darren Wilder, who handles matters under the Board of Public Works & Safety. If any Wilder has a claim to trash cans as a form of casual shelter, it is Darren who can claim that he was inspecting the integrity of the city cans — the ultimate muckraking attorney.

There has been controversy over the fees for the city attorneys in the past.

In all seriousness, it is not clear that an involuntary termination would have been warranted. This was terribly embarrassing to be sure. Wilder appears to have been drunk. However, he did not harm anyone. It is not clear whether he drove in this condition (which would be a more serious matter). There is no evidence that he used his official connections for any special treatment. Given these facts, he did not have to resign and can be credited for taking the fullest possible responsibility for his actions.

For the full story, click here and here.

15 thoughts on “Trashed: City Attorney Resigns After Embarrassing Photos in Garbage Can”

  1. Feh, the City Attorney shouldn’t have resigned.
    Big deal he was photographed sleeping in a garbage can. He made a snap decision because of immediate embarrassment. He should have given it a few days, and seen how it played out. I think people were more snickering at him than furious.
    I think his punishment was that embarrassment, he needn’t have played martyr anymore than he deserved.

    As Buddha points out, many of us have had bingers and found themselves in compromising situations when they woke up the next day. It is nothing to be THAT ashamed about.
    (But still living in their parent’s house at 37, now that IS embarrassing)

  2. I have spent more time in tipped-over trash cans than anyone else here at this site. My way is to get in and get out in a hurry. I eat all the good stuff as fast as I can. Then I mark the area so that it is nice and smelly. And on to home for the hugs and kisses of my beloved master and mistress.

    Always glad to give advice to lawyers.

    “No one knows the internet like your dog.”

  3. You’re welcome Xenu. As a god perhaps you should consider striking the neighbor with white lightening.


    I would buy that explanation.

  4. Larry should be fired for lack of imagination. This situation screams for the “sleep walking” defense.

  5. “One week ago, photos emerged that showed Wilder sleeping in a neighbor’s trash can. The photos show Wilder head first in a trash can laying on its side on the street with only his waist and feet showing. The photos were taken by a police officer. It is still not clear how the photos were leaked to the press. He is described as drunk but the police decided not to give him a sobriety test.”

    At least he was dressed.

  6. As much as I’d like to give in to my well-earned anti-drunk bias, I’ll have to agree with Jill and AY. Anybody who has actually drank to excess more than once has probably awakened to unfamiliar surroundings. I know of a guy who has been found asleep – 1) under his parent’s car in the driveway, 2) hanging in a window sill after making it half way inside, and 3) on the floor of the kitchen, fridge door open, cold fried chicken leg in his hand with one bite missing. The moral of that story being, “It could be worse.” As long as The Trashcan Man wasn’t on the clock and nobody got hurt, this hardly merits resignation. Lots of jokes and perhaps someone sending out Xmas cards with that as the picture, maybe trying not listening to that little devil on his shoulder whispering “You’ll be fine as long as you get three hours of sleep. Have another shot”, but not resignation.

  7. seamus,

    You made the right decision.

    Actually, from what I read I see no reason for him to either resign or be fired. We have all done stupid things in our life and this qualifies for that category. I give him a lot of credit for making one of the few sincere apologies offered by a public official. I don’t see how this bears on his work.

    Meanwhile the ABA has yet to disbar lawyers who justified and aided in the crime of torture.
    “The Case for Disbarment of the Torture Lawyers

    The American Bar Association approved a resolution on August 9, 2004 condemning torture. It said:

    “RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association condemns any use of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment upon persons within the custody or under the physical control of the United States government (including its contractors) and any endorsement or authorization of such measures by government lawyers, officials and agents;”

    The resolution goes on to urge the U.S. to obey all international treaties and laws that prohibit torture. And, it also seeks vigorous investigation of torture and abuse of prisoners and “proceedings against persons who may have committed, assisted, authorized, condoned, had command responsibility for, or otherwise participated in such violations.”

    And, in the report accompanying their resolution, the ABA points to the role of lawyers who provided legal cover for the torture program. They say: “We do not construe the giving of good faith legal advice to constitute endorsement or authorization of torture . . .”

  8. Can anyone look beyond the act and look for the cause? Is that not what attorneys do for a living?

    Some deal with the dregs of society and forget at the end of the day that they are not criminals themselves.

    This is an unfortunate situation and the guy may have been calling for help. Alcohol has taken many a men down and women too.

    People forget that Attorney’s have lives outside of the present client(s). Most good Attorneys I know, put their own personal issues second unto a clients case. Some attorneys possess information that cannot be revealed under any circumstances. Was it not Illinois, where a man spend the better part of 20 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit? Why? Another guy confessed and the Attorney was under an obligation to not reveal it until after the other guys death. A Lawyer may not use any information of a past crime that will materially affect a present client. Then the man was released from prison. Humm, Justice huh, sicking to the Attorneys possessing this information.

    Do any of you remember the Verdict with Paul Newman? Think about it.

  9. A fitting place for many lawyers, for sure (present company excluded).

    I can tell stories of situations that warranted me throwing one of those types in the can myself.

  10. Before anyone makes muckraking judgments, remember that Alcohol kills more people’s lives than one is aware. I pray and hope that this man gets the help that is needed for his own sanity. Most people don’t understand that once this disease takes a hold it takes your soul as well. People or Intelligence doing incredibly stupid feats. The man should not be pitied but helped, not praised but released of the bondage of this disease.

    I know because I could have been him….

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