President George W. Bush has not thus far granted many pardons, but he has been generous in coming to the aid of one particular constituency group: S&L executives and others who swindled thrifts in the mid-1980’s. A few of these guys, coincidentally no doubt, hail from Texas.
So far Bush pardons have gone to:
John G. Smith, “a former officer of Vernon Savings and Loan, a Dallas thrift that collapsed in 1987 after making millions of dollars in bad loans.”
Kenneth Foner, who had been convicted of “conspiracy to impede the functions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.” and committing “embezzlement as a bank officer.”
David McCall Jr., “a former Plano, Texas, mayor who was pardoned on his deathbed [in 2004] for his role in a savings and loan fraud case.”
Mark Hale of Henderson, Texas, an S&L executive who had been sentenced to three years in jail for fraud of at least $5 million.
William Hoyle McCright Jr. of Midland, Texas, who was sentenced in 1986 to two years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine for making “false entries, books, reports or statements of bank.” McCright, who just got his pardon yesterday, was a minor donor ($300) to John McCain’s presidential campaign.
So Bush is handing out pardons to a group of people who helped produce the last financial system meltdown just as a new crop are under investigation.