It's not too difficult to see why the more regulation you have the more temptation for corruption.

On September 30, Judge Doherty of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana handed down a decision in Vidrine v. United States awarding $1.7 million in damages for a malicious prosecution. The facts of what happened are simply appalling, and they deserve wider attention.

First, the background. Hubert Vidrine had been charged with knowingly storing hazardous waste materials without a permit for storing used oil at a refinery site. But there were two big problems with the case: It turned out that there was little evidence that the oil counted as hazardous waste, and no evidence that Vidrine had knowledge of what was happening. The government ended up moving to dismiss its own case, and later Vidrine filed an action under the Federal Tort Claims Act alleging that he was the victim of malicious prosecution. The case of malicious prosecution focused on misconduct by EPA Technical and Regulatory Expert Keith Phillips, who was one of the agents on the case and was responsible for developing the case against Vidrine.

In her decision, Judge Doherty found that Agent Phillips intentionally misled the prosecutor, his bosses, and the court as to the evidence against Vidrine, all to enable a prosecution against Vidrine even though there was no real evidence against him.