I admit it… I Lied. So, Now I am a Felon (maybe this is a dissertation on irony).
In 2000 I pled guilty to securities fraud for crimes allegedly committed in Colorado.
Sometimes stories related to this matter pop up when you ‘Google’ my name. But, as I tap this post into existence also know that over ten thousand people follow my other blog daily. So, a lot more people are going to know this information about me soon. And, I think that’s a good thing.
For a while I tried to use this period from my life as ‘personal testimony’ to inspire other people. I have always asked that I be judged by the people that surround me today, and by the impact I am having daily in my community.
But, I don’t think I should do that any more because pleading guilty is what made me a liar.
I pled guilty because I thought it would make the problem go away faster. I reasoned (with bad advice from legal counsel) that I should just get the matter over with; I should focus on giving my family peace; and, that I could live with being a felon.
I was wrong.
Being a felon rips at my gut every day. I did not do the things I was accused of. I was the President of a wildly successful company that I started in 1993, that got into trouble – and, I never denied that. And, I did take full responsibility for what happened. My partners created the problem, and one of them went to prison for it. But, I may have made it worse. I was the one that contacted the authorities. I essentially called-in an ‘air-strike’ on my own company once I realized rules had been broken. I was arrogant thinking I could fix the problem. I raised my hand in public and apologized, saying that I could rally my people and turn things around (it’s what a man of integrity is supposed to do, right?) – and, that was used against me.
By the time the dust was settling we had lost everything. I was almost penniless and exhausted. My family needed me to stop hating myself and fighting everyone. I love my family more than I love my self-image, and I needed to get back to work, and teach my children what a leader does by a completely different example.
Knowing what I do of the world today, I doubt I would have been found guilty. And, today, I can pass any background check.
Is that irony? Or, is that providence?
So, in moments of self-doubt I get a numb feeling in the pit of my stomach… I should have fought to the death. I just gave away my integrity to make things easier.
I deeply regret that action more than anything else.
Pleading guilty makes me a liar. And, that is a definition of irony.
All that said, life has it’s incredible twists-and-turns. In my darkest days, many good men that knew me in life and business rallied to me and gave me opportunities that have emerged into my current career-path. A Christian mentor once told me that, “God would never be pleased with [me] until I forgave myself”. However, I don’t want to forgive myself. That’s what Jesus scarified himself for. I need to remember. And, hold myself more accountable, and to a higher standard. Today, my life experience have proven contiguous and I am uniquely qualified to help the men around me make better decisions. So, each day… Every day… I am faced with a simple focus… To earn the trust and faith of my community. Life is thusly a lens. But, I just want people to “see” me for the man I am. And, most do. So, there is another great example of life’s irony, but also providence and the hope for grace.
Brian Patrick Cork