An Independent Director's Best Quality: Is It A Head Full Of Rocks?

I don't practice criminal law, although gauging by some of the hostile e-mail I receive from bank haters, I have readers who think that I represent criminals. On the other hand, some of the civil clients I occasionally represent who are connected to banks in some manner push the envelope of de-evolutionary regression. In other words, they're so stupid that they likely could not possess the mens rea sufficient to be found guilty of a crime.Thankfully, those type of clients are a distinct minority. None of them, however, no matter how cerebrally challenged they might be, could match the addle-patedness of one Luis Aparicio (no, not THAT Luis Aparicio, a younger version), who tried to rob a New Jersey bank with a toy gun, threatened the bank employee who was about to hand him $47,000 in cash so that she threw the money on the floor and ran for safety (it being difficult to drop a fleeing women with "a black metal object made to look like a gun"), then grabbed a female bank customer to use as a hostage, but when he exited the bank and shifted his grasp to the hostage's hair, found out she was wearing a wig when she wiggled free of it and left him holding it in one hand and the "black metal object made to look like a gun" in the other. Instead of shouting, "I give up! It's a toy gun! Don't shoot!", Aparicio stood there like a block of frozen custard, ignoring police shouts to "drop the gun" until a police officer, spotting what "looked like a gun" in his hand, dropped Luis with a bullet to the neck. Aparicio survived and was arrested at the hospital. I'm not certain what happened to the wig or the "metal object made to look like a gun," although I suspect the former was restored to its rightful owner's cranium and the latter is sitting in a police evidence locker. Frankly, the way the FDIC has begun to pursue directors of failed banks, the next time a community bank needs to recruit an independent director (one not an employee or stakeholder of the bank), they may have to resort to tapping guys like Aparicio to fill the position. I recently had lunch with a former state banking commissioner who is now a consultant to community banks, and asked him if he could think of one good reason that a successful business person or professional should risk his net worth by sitting as an independent director of a potentially too-small-to-save community bank. He couldn't think of one, which gave me some cold comfort, because, unfortunately, neither could I. Maybe we can get Luis to do it.

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