“He made a mistake, he said he made a mistake, he and his family want to get on with it,” said longtime friend and motorsports executive Rick Hendrick. “He’s paid a tremendous price publicly with that. They just want to get on with their lives.”
The thing is, I agree with Hendrick — provided Beck is getting exactly the same deal any other serial customer of prostitutes would get from Mecklenburg County prosecutors for a first offense. It’ll be real interesting to watch the vice case load in the coming months and years and see if that turns out to be true.
Meanwhile, Hendrick, the guy the feds said paid $825,000 in bribes. As CNN sums it up:
During the import-crazed 1980s, getting Hondas in your inventory often meant bribing Honda execs to send you a larger allocation of the popular cars. Hendrick played this game for his dealerships, and in the process gave execs thousands of dollars in cars, cash, and even houses.
In 1997, he pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with these shenanigans. His sentence included a $250,000 fine, a year of home confinement, three years of probation, and an order to stay away from his racing team. In December 2000, Bill Clinton pardoned Hendrick.
That pardon, officially wiping away the felony fraud conviction, was worth millions to Hendrick as several states bar convicted felons from owning car dealerships. At the time of his conviction Hendrick ran some 89 dealerships.
As a reporter, how in the world do you turn to Hendrick as a character witness for Beck without at least mentioning the backstory?