Bernie Ward Turned Down Earlier Plea Deal
By Rejecting Deal, Did Ward Dig Deeper Hole?
Given the opportunity for a plea deal that would have significantly reduced his potential prison sentence, did Bernie Ward only make matters worse by turning it down?
According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Matier & Ross column, the now- former KGO libtalker had a chance to accept a five- year prison deal 18 months ago, but rejected it. Now, he could be facing at least 15 years behind bars:
Radio waves: Federal prosecutors pursuing a child pornography case against liberal KGO radio talk host Bernie Ward were pressuring him as far back as a year and a half ago to accept a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for five years, according to knowledgeable sources.
At one point, the feds gave him a week to think it over and said the offer would be off the table after that.
"He was very upset," recounted one confidante, who asked not to be named.
Ward says he was only researching a book when he downloaded child-porn images in December 2004 and transmitted them to a woman with whom he had been communicating on a chat line. And after conversations with his lawyers, Ward rejected the plea deal - and Thursday, he was indicted.
While one can imagine why Ward would put off a likely prison sentence for as long as possible, this revelation generates new questions: since Bernie knew it was coming, was KGO aware of it as well? Did ABC recognize the risk of keeping Ward in its talk radio lineup?
In addition, we've since heard from broadcast professionals in California that signs of self- destructive behavior on Ward's part go back years and may be quite shocking in nature. Will some of this eventually come to light as well?
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