President Obama’s teleprompter may be more valuable than even his biggest critics claim. After all, a man who stole Obama’s teleprompter was sentenced to seven years in federal prison.
“The theft of government property is a serious offense,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Roderick Young said during Virginia resident Eric Brown’s sentencing hearing. “It’s all the more serious when the property belongs to the White House Communications Agency.”
Brown, 49, agreed to the lengthy sentence in order to avoid being prosecuted for 14 other truck thefts, according to international news channel. Virginia sentencing guidelines stipulated a prison term of about three years for the theft of government property.
Over the past 30 years, Brown has been convicted of 36 crimes.
“If I had to sum up Mr. Brown’s character, it would be that he’s a thief,” Judge John A. Gibney said.
Still, Brown’s defense attorney David Lett told NBC the sentencing agreement “gives Mr. Brown the opportunity to start anew if he wants to do so.”
However, Virginia’s Stafford County refused to join in Brown’s plea agreement, meaning he faces yet another potential conviction.
Conservative critics of Obama have long mocked what they consider his reliance on the teleprompter device, which displays speech text on a rolling screen.
Back in 1994, President Clinton gave what is widely considered one of the more memorable State of the Union addresses after his teleprompter experienced technical difficulties and he was forced to give an impromptu remarks for several minutes.
Although the truck itself was empty when it was recovered by law enforcement authorities, several of the stolen items later turned up at various Maryland pawn shops.
For his part, Brown said he did not know the black Ford truck he stole was owned and operated by the White House when he took the vehicle back on October 16, 2011 from a hotel parking lot in Virginia. And while it’s true that the exterior of the vehicle did not bear any official government signage, prosecutors said several computers and pieces of audio equipment found inside the truck did bear the presidential seal.
Brown said he specifically targeted Ford F-350 and F-450 trucks because he felt they were easy to steal.