This is closed circuit to Brad Moses.


               He’s a candidate for judge in Madison County.


               He used to be an assistant district attorney.


               But that ended last week, when he was fired. A few days before, on July 30, he overdosed at his house with another guy. If the deputies hadn’t kept hitting them with the Narcan, they would have died. What they thought was cocaine turned out to be fentanyl, and that’ll kill you.


               This is for that Brad Moses.


               Sir, you have a drug problem. If the deputies are right, drug use has destroyed your reputation and almost taken your life. If that’s not a problem, I don’t know what is.


               I suspect that you are an addict. Your life has become unmanageable, as evidenced by your conduct. Sitting on the cusp of the best day of your career – election to a judgeship with the biggest lawyer paycheck in the county and a 10-year term of office – you chose to get stoned. You chose to throw it all away.


               That is not rational. That’s what addicts do. You are a dope fiend.


               And realizing that may be the best thing you could ever do. Realizing that, and acknowledging it to the people you love and the people you’ve disappointed.


               The thing about addicts is that they can often be very successful. Up until that point where everything turns into a mushroom cloud. That’s where you are right now. An exceptional legal reputation and an unopposed path to the county court bench. You earned that. But running through it, and known only to you, was the dishonesty and deception that are part of every addict’s attempt to live life and hide a cancer. It’s a soul-killing dichotomy that offers escape but delivers doom.


               And here you are.


               The deputies saved you, and now you’ve got to save yourself.


               You’ve got to face this, and you’ve got to beat it.


               At a clinic, in a 12-step program, on your knees before God. Any or all of those, or whatever other path of counseling and redemption you need to follow. This is hell, and you don’t want to stay here. The alternative to recovery is death, if not of the body, then of the soul.


               You may be surprised at the relief and hope you can feel now that your cat is out of the bag. Amidst the fear of ruin, there is the embrace of freedom – freedom from the lie, and the isolation that deception invariably brings.


               It might seem odd, but if you are smart and humble, July 30 may turn out to have been the most important and beneficial day of your life.


               And what about the judgeship, and the betrayal of law which your addiction has driven?


               Neither cocaine nor fentanyl are legal, and you obtained them via illegal means. You need to accept any legal liability which may come from that, and you need to assist law enforcement in any investigation it may choose to undertake.


               Whether or not you can truly serve as a judge will be up to you. Are you a con man who breaks the very law he punishes others for breaking? Or are you someone who can be a better judge by knowing the addiction which will drive so many who stand before you?


               Can you honestly tell the public – the people of Madison County – what you have done and who you are? Can you let them into whatever understanding of your addiction you may now have, or develop going forward? Can you confess to them and ask for their forgiveness and understanding? Will you be a legal hypocrite or will you be a repentant brother?


               Not a manipulation, not another diversionary lie, not covering your ass or shining people on. Can you level with yourself, your family and your constituents?


               Can you save your life, your soul and your career?


               The first step is probably in recognizing that you can’t. That you’ve tried and failed. That’s what being an addict is. But that step, instead of being a defeat, is a step toward ultimate victory. You can’t fix it. God can. You need to have the faith and humility to let him.


               If you do, there’s hope.


               If you don’t, one day the deputies won’t be there with the Narcan.


               This isn’t meant to condemn you, or to tell you whether or not you should be a judge. It is to tell you that you’re in trouble. Your house is on fire. But there are others who’ve been where you are, and they made it out. And so can you.


               But you’ve got to be humble enough to accept reality, embrace recovery, and throw off the cancer of addiction.


               All of that is infinitely more important than what you do for a living come next January 1.

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