“The Perfect Beer For Whatever Happens”: A Bud Light Moment Leads To Conviction of North Carolina Judge

budlightmessageBud Light recently had to apologize for its slogan “The Perfect Beer For Removing ‘No’ From Your Vocabulary For The Night.” It was part of a broader campaign and slogan on all Bud Lights as “the perfect beer for whatever happens.” Wayne County, North Carolina  Judge Arnold O. Jones II appears to have taken that slogan to heart. He was just convicted for attempted bribery of a federal agent with two cases of Bud Light. Jones is a registered Democrat who was elected to an eight-year term on the Superior Court bench in 2008.


1068386_630x354The Superior Court judge was convicted last Friday on three felonies of paying a bribe to a public official, promising and paying a gratuity to a public official, and corruptly attempting to influence an official proceeding. The bribe was to get copies of text messages from the phones of the judge’s wife and another man who the judge believed was having an affair with his wife. The agent was actually a Wayne County deputy, but the deputy was also a member of a FBI gang task force. Notably, the judge had just married the woman but became convinced that she was having an affair. The defense agreed to the underlying facts: “Shortly after marrying his wife, he began having concerns about her fidelity. Jones asked a sheriff’s deputy who he wrongly believed to be a friend whether the deputy could access his wife’s text messages. The deputy said yes when he should have just said no.”

The defense objects that the agent then set a trap for the judge and never told him that he would need a warrant for such text messages. The defense alleges that a simple inquiry from the judge was used to build a major investigation and a type of entrapment for him. While the deputy explained that the information would not meet the standard of probable cause, he said that he would see what he could do. Days later, the deputy told the judge he had the information on a disk (which was actually blank) and asked the judge to shred the disk after reviewing it to avoid it being traced to the deputy. That makes the entrapment defense very difficult. Even a jealous husband/judge would have realized that this was clearly improper (and should have realized when he asked in the first place. To make matters worse, the judge reportedly told the deputy that he had “his paycheck” in exchange for the disk and ended up giving him $100 instead of the two cases of Bud Light.

Notably, Jones remains on the November ballot but the bar is likely to open up an investigation in light of the conviction.

7 thoughts on ““The Perfect Beer For Whatever Happens”: A Bud Light Moment Leads To Conviction of North Carolina Judge

  1. There go the judge.

    It always astonishes me how little is required for some folks to compromise both their integrity and careers. I agree Bud Light as a bribe is an insult; and almost a de minimis form of bribe. But, to throw an elected official in jail for such, is a worthy cause nonetheless.

    I’ve pinched people for bribery for surprisingly little offered. It was almost a game, thought it would be more entertaining if it wasn’t so pathetic.

    Not to digress too much, yet this does show the intermediate form of stratification on the political structure in the United States. This judge is sent to jail for taking bribes for a couple racks of beer, but senior politicians can get millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for favorable treatment and they are rewarded by their political parties.

  2. This kind of stuff goes on all the time. Cops run licenses for you, or criminal background checks. Friends in tax departments can get you copies of someone’s taxes, or so I have heard. Not that I or anyone I know would ever personally participate in such a scheme. Plus, if you have friends in the court clerks’ office, you can get favors.

    This is just the real world, and all these little rules get broken all the time. Does anybody here really think that Hillary and her team hasn’t already seen Trump’s tax returns???

    Sooo, the amount of the alleged “bribe” and the nature of the info sought makes this case a non-starter in my humble opinion.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

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