I re-watched Last Week Tonight‘s infrastructure episode and that got me thinking about the Kaloko Dam collapse, which caused the deaths of six people and one unborn baby. James Pflueger, the owner of the dam, was sentenced to seven months in jail for reckless endangerment — that is, one month for every life taken. Four of the bodies — Timothy Noonan, Carl Rotstein, about-to-be-married Daniel Arroyo and toddler Rowan Dingwall — were never found.
I knew he would probably be out of prison by now, but I Googled “James Pflueger” in hopes of finding his obituary. Alas, I didn’t see any evidence that he’s dead, but I did find out he was released last year and placed on home detention only weeks into his ludicrously short sentence, due to poor health. I found this editorial about it, which explains the state HAD to release Pflueger because he’s in such poor health and they can’t take care of him. It says the compassionate releases like that happen all the time and it had nothing to do with the fact that Pflueger is richer than God.
It seems like some people get all the breaks. Pflueger’s gotten plenty, though whether his compassionate release was one of them or not I cannot say.