Friday, February 27, 2009

Corbett: "Dude, where's my evidence?"

I was asked to post this email that was sent to the House Democratic caucus today.
House Democrats:

One thing partisan Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett loves to talk about and use as a campaign issue is all the work he does prosecuting perverts and sexual predators.

Hey, who doesn’t want criminals like that locked up? Thanks Tom! We also appreciate your strong support for motherhood and apple pie.

What Corbett doesn’t want you to know is that he draws the line on aggressively investigating and prosecuting sexual crimes if the suspect is a political supporter.

Yesterday, Corbett’s office announced it would not press rape charges against the Republican District Attorney for Bedford County, William Higgins.

Kevin Harley, Corbett’s spokesperson and taxpayer funded political spokesman, justified the decision on the non-arrest by saying:

No one should be surprised at Corbett’s inability to find enough evidence against his buddy Higgins considering that Higgins has supported Corbett’s campaigns in the past and is a 2004 and 2008 campaign contributor.

In fact, partisan political prosecutor Tom Corbett has a history of failing to find the needed evidence when it comes to investigating his political allies, particularly Republican District Attorneys.

The best example is Corbett’s laughable investigation and subsequent exoneration of his long-time supporter Republican District Attorney Stan Rebert in York County. ("No criminal charges for Rebert" York Dispatch, 1/27/06)

None of it mattered to Corbett because Rebert was a Republican and was a loyal ally. ("AG candidate stumps here" York Dispatch, 4/15/04; "DA Stan Rebert launches re-election" York Dispatch 1/9/09)

Again, Corbett trotted out his spokesman and taxpayer funded political spokesperson, Kevin Harley to say:

"Our burden is to determine whether or not any criminal laws were violated. We determined there were none (broken). We did a thorough criminal investigation into each and every one of the allegations raised in (Downing's) complaint." ("No criminal charges for Rebert" York Dispatch, 1/27/06)

This should all sound very familiar to you!

Chances are good that Corbett will treat the Republican caucuses in his bonusgate investigation as favorably as he does his District Attorney friends.

The Republican Senate and House caucuses have been the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars for Corbett’s campaign. If he can turn his head for allies who give him a fraction of that amount, imagine what Corbett is capable of for that kind of money.

Refer back to Harley’s statement yesterday regarding the Bedford DA.

''We have disproved [the complainant's] private criminal complaint based on the absence of sufficient evidence to support the existence of probable cause to believe that a crime has occurred.”

You should be prepared to hear the same rationale from Corbett when it comes to the Republican caucuses.

The House Republicans destroyed their hard drives and servers over the summer and fall of 2007. (Patriot News 8/3/08) Appallingly, it was done with the complete knowledge of Corbett and his investigators. House Republican spokesperson Steve Miskin freely admits it:

"The attorney general's investigators were consulted about the changeover of computers, Miskin said." (Tribune Review, 10/16/08)

Unsurprisingly, Corbett has already started to “complain” that he can’t find the evidence he needs:

“The subpoena for documents from the Republicans so far has failed to produce the sort of chain of communication that prosecutors believe will establish their case.” (Post Gazette 12/5/08)

“One GOP source said investigators appeared to be exasperated because they had not unearthed evidence incriminating House Republicans, as they appear to have done with Democrats. ‘They are not finding a smoking gun,’ the source said.” (Inquirer 12/5/08)

How convenient for the Republican caucuses!

Corbett even put on a faux emergency hearing to “pry” evidence from the House Republicans. So, two years after the investigation began and 18 months after destroying their hard drives, the Republicans turned over more of what Corbett should have demanded in 2007, not 2009:

“Following that hearing, Republicans provided Corbett's office with records ranging from e-mails and memos to news releases. Republicans said they previously provided Corbett with voluminous records. But when the release of some records came into dispute, there were issues of ‘clarity’ about which records Corbett wanted, Miskin said." (Tribune Review 2/20/09)

The end result from Corbett is going to be another weak statement from Harley saying that there just wasn’t enough evidence.

It worked when Corbett was tasked with investigating Republican Rebert in York. He’s banking on it to work for Republican Higgins in Bedford. And, unless you demand balance from him, Corbett will do it again with his bonusgate investigation of the Republican caucuses.

The single question Corbett asks himself when it comes to any action he takes with bonusgate is “How will this affect the big money Republicans I need to bankroll my Republican gubernatorial primary?”

Aggressively investigating and indicting Republicans like John Perzel, Brian Preski, Bob Jubelier, Mike Long, Chip Brightbill and Drew Crompton will not be welcome news to all the big money in the Republican Party who have funded Corbett in the past and who he needs to fund him for his efforts in the 2010 Republican primary.


HigginsLover said...

Higgins had Attorney Gleason (isn't Gleason the Chairperson of the Pa. Republican Committee backing Corbett for Governor) of Johnstown as his lawyer dealing with the Attorney Generals Office about him raping that woman. Is it any surprise Corbett dropped the charges?

Ugarte said...

HigginsLover -- Thanks for the tip. Would love to know more. Please share. My email is

Anonymous said...

This is all very interesting but I am tired of seeing good Lawmakers become Criminals over laws design to cripple average people wanting to run for office and professionals that are employed by them.

I am not smart enough or better yet, I am a believer in being fair and understanding mistakes can be made, pride can come before the fall, and sometimes some just get lazy and ignore or forget to follow the rules.

Why there was a need to investigate and then indict good people that did sloppy things in a sloppy manner is beyond me. Why no one thought about telling all state employees that were given Bonuses to repay them with interest to avoid prosecution.

I my opinion this saves commonwealth money, corrects some mistakes, and prevents others to take action to avoid ruining their lives.

If we continue to pass laws that, stop the average citizen from running for office if he misses a campaign report.

Or had staff members make an error in misjudgment, or even took commonwealth money to reimbursed questionable expenses.

As well as being given bonuses that look like the appearance of impropriety, they should be able to be given the opportunity to repay these so-called miss-deeds.

There is nothing wrong in admitting mistakes due to hectic days and deadlines, that mix the lines between public service and private gain, and paying for them upon reflection, by fines, or public embarrassment and personal income setbacks.

Yet, to seek out and make them criminals and spend even more money for investigations, trials, and convictions over something’s that can restore public confidence and budgets with repayments is no vice.

I have follow Dr. Cyril Wecht case and Bonusgate, I am sorry but these are just so petty and small in scope and so large in vain, they never should have never risen to criminal matters. It should have been a matter of making the Taxpayers whole with reimbursements, fines, and a repayment plan.

I have met and know some the people involved, and many to almost all are good people that caught up with doing some bad, lazy, or shortcut practices.

My legal solution is to have all state employees repay all bonuses under a deductible payment plan, and then and only then if they refuse they will lose their jobs, and yes it will hurt many for the deeds of the few, but in the end it is the right thing to do.

It is time to end the investigations by announcing good government reforms that will reimburse the Taxpayers for the Bonuses and Investigations with and agreement it will never happen again.

America is all about second chances, lets be kind generous in forgiving for those that made mistakes that can easily be corrected rather than bankrupt them or put them in prison, over money that can be given back to the Commonwealth.

It is not a perfect solution but it is a fair solution that will save Taxpayers more money in the long run, correct wrongs in making reinstruction, and save many people that now are contrite to never do it again.

Mr. Smith Goes To Harrisburg