Former Salt Lake County attorney Ted L. Cannon's voice broke with emotion Tuesday as he asked a judge to extend his probation rather than place him in jail for the second time, as recommended by probation officials.
The judge granted his wish."I never intended to be treated unlike anyone else," Cannon told 3rd District Judge Leonard Russon. "Because I am a lawyer and an officer of the court, and I intend to live here and practice (law) here, I always intended to pay my fines."
Cannon's remarks were in response to allegations of parole violation by the Adult Probation and Parole Department.
Cannon admitted he had paid only about $200 toward the $2,500 fines attached to 1987 convictions, but he said it was because he has been unable to find consistent work as an attorney and hasn't had the money to pay - not an unwillingness to pay. He explained that reports to probation officers have been inconsistent because of the turnover in AP&P officers.
He also told the judge he faithfully takes medication and receives treatment for a psychological condition characterized by erratic behavior.
"I'm going to be taking medication forever," Cannon said.
Prosecuting attorney Larry Keller reported that AP&P officials recommended that Cannon spend an additional 60 days in jail because of his negative attitude.
Cannon spent 23 days in the Coalville jail in 1987.
After being indicted by the 1986 Salt Lake County grand jury, Cannon was found guilty April 1987 of misdemeanor charges of defamation and official misconduct. In May 1987, he pleaded no contest to reduced assault charges and attempted misuse of public funds as a part of a plea bargain.
More than a year ago, Russon fined Cannon more than $2,000 and imposed a six-month jail sentence. The sentence was suspended on condition that Cannon pay the fines, stay out of trouble and serve 30 days in jail.
But during Tuesday's hearing, Keller, who prosecuted Cannon in 1987, recommended a more merciful solution - an extended probation period of two years.
Russon agreed to extend the probation. The judge said that even though there is a perception that people for "some sections of town" get preferential treatment, Cannon's sentence is similar to any other offender in his situation.
"When the high have fallen, they stand before the court and are treated as anyone else," said Russon.
The judge revoked Cannon's original probation and sentenced him to a new probation period of two years and ordered him to pay $3,100 in fines.
Russon requested that AP&P establish a monthly payment schedule to assist Cannon in meeting his obligations.
Following the hearing, Cannon briefly confronted reporters. He said he believed the judge had been fair. "I just want to get on with my life," he said.
Explaining why he opposed sending Cannon to jail, Keller said, "This once powerful man has lost everything. There is little to be gained by putting this man in jail.
"But if he fails again, there's simply no excuse."