The Madison County Record Jul. 31, 2014, 9:17am

“He must have had a drag somewhere.”

That’s the response detective Nick Charles gets in The Thin Man Goes Home -- the fifth installment of the six-film series starring William Powell as Nick and Myrna Loy as his wife, Nora – when he asks an employee at a WWII defense plant why a co-worker had never been fired from his job even though he was constantly getting in fights.

Translated into modern slang, “a drag somewhere” means “connections, clout.” The ne’er-do-well didn’t have to worry about suffering consequences of his misbehavior because somebody important was behind the scenes protecting him. Whenever he got into trouble, he could “pull strings.”

It became apparent, long ago, that Katherine O’Malley has drag somewhere – and that her father, former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael O’Malley, probably is not the only one looking out for her.

Last year, we reported on the prodigal daughter’s “luck:” Judge Julie Katz dismissed eight fines levied against her, Judge Vincent Lopinot vacated a ticket and reduced another charge, and an anonymous judge expunged the record of her felony drug case.

Her co-defendant in the drug case, Sean McGilvery, had the good fortune to present his defense before a longtime customer, judge-turned-inmate, Michael Cook, and have his charge dismissed.

During 2011, Ms. O’Malley was charged with felony drug possession, shoplifting, and 14 traffic violations, but fined only $1,000 after pleading guilty to shoplifting, improper lane usage, and a seat belt violation.

There’s no question that the woman seems to “have friends in high places.”

Whoever they are, they can share the blame for the most recent mayhem made possible by misguided mercy (or self-interest): O’Malley’s charge of striking a pedestrian with her car on July 5th while speeding on Country Club Place in Belleville.

A traffic ticket with a possible fine of $120 was her only comeuppance.

Katherine O’Malley definitely has drag somewhere. How many people will she drag down with it?

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