Tuesday, July 21, 2009
THE NEWS THE NEWS IGNORES
We finally got around to reading the latest court filing in the Bonusgate case, and we couldn't disagree more with the Patriot-News' lazy and shallow characterization of the information as Mike Veon pointing a finger at other legislative leaders.
Veon is pointing a finger, and it is aimed squarely at Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett.
The first and most important section of the "supplement to various omnibus pretrial motions" accuses Corbett of an "amateurish attempt" to conceal important evidence from the defendants.
Although the law requires the prosecution to turn over to defendants both incriminating and exculpatory evidence, portions of an investigative report were redacted.
Fortunately for the defendants, Corbett's agents appear to have the computer skills of sixth-graders; the "redacted" sections in the electronic document actually were highlighted in black. Even the Post-Gazette managed to crack the code.
According to the court documents, the redacted portions of the report fall into five categories:
1) the apparently improper removal of computer equipment from the House Democratic Caucus by an information technology supervisor in December 2007. (Veon was no longer a caucus member in 2007).
2) the assignment of a House Democratic intern in February 2007 to destroy computer hard drives.
3) the assignment of a House Democratic intern to shred documents in the information technology department between December 2007 and January 2008.
4) interviews with at least four individuals who supplied "documentary evidence" to the prosecution; there is no explanation of what they said or what evidence they supplied.
5) a "systematic scheme" by the House Democratic Caucus to shred documents related to the investigation.
Veon's lawyers call the redactions "an effort to hide the fact that the Democrats who are colluding with the prosecutor to set up these Defendants were, at the same time, destroying or altering other evidence which presumably exculpates these Defendants and inculpates other individuals who were not selectively prosecuted."
In other words, Corbett allowed Bill DeWeese to pick and choose what evidence to turn over. He appears to have been fully aware that DeWeese's staff apparently tried to destroy evidence DeWeese didn't want turned over. But instead of prosecuting DeWeese and his staff, he helped them cover up their scheme by redacting all traces of it from his report.
Anyone have a logical explanation for any of this?