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The Language of Bribery Cases$
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Roger W. Shuy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945139

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945139.001.0001

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A bribery event that never happened: The case of businessman Vernon Drabek

A bribery event that never happened: The case of businessman Vernon Drabek

(p.211) [13] A bribery event that never happened: The case of businessman Vernon Drabek
The Language of Bribery Cases

Roger W. Shuy

Oxford University Press

A city council member misunderstood Drabek’s offer to help her employ a tax resale plan as a way to get credit for solving a city problem and also to help her with campaign financing, including a check for $1,000. She misunderstood the check as a bribe for getting the city to buy one of Drabek’s properties. In an effort to prove this, she taped eight meetings with Drabek, who considered the meetings to be business advice speech events and campaign contribution speech events. The city council member considered them bribery speech events. Analysis of the schemas, speech acts, and conversational strategies demonstrated how the two were in different speech events. This is a case in which the prosecutor’s wise intelligence analysis of the questionable undercover tape evidence caused him to drop the charges.

Keywords:   intelligence analysis, tax resale plan, speech events, schemas, agendas, topics, responses, campaign contribution, speech acts, conversational strategies, smoking guns

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