Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Everyone in Harrisburg has been waiting for partisan Republican Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett to announce his promised Republican indictments in his bonusgate investigation.

The amount of time it has taken him to investigate the Republicans and bring charges, plus the public statements from Corbett lead us to believe they will be bigger than big and huger than huge.

Let's review.

Right out of the gate, during the press conference announcing Democratic indictments in July of last year, Corbett made it clear that there would be more charges:

"Let me make this perfectly clear -- this is not the conclusion," -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 7/11/08

So, we waited a month and still nothing. But, one of Corbett's trusted career prosecutors assured us that Republicans were on their hit list:

"'It's not limited to one caucus. Not even close,' said Frank Fina, the chief of the public-corruption unit. 'Anybody who violated the law is going to get it.'" -- Patriot 8/3/08

So, we waited another month and still nothing. Instead, Corbett announced he would put off any Republican arrests until after the election due to the mountain of evidence he was looking at, but not to worry:

"It's one of those times -- I hate to say it, but I almost feel like saying, 'Trust me -- we're going to get there, and when we're finished there are going to be a lot of people with egg on their face,'"-- Lancaster Intelligencer 9/25/08

So, we waited until after the election and still nothing. Corbett reassured us all, though, and told us to wait a bit longer:

"Corbett said at a news conference Thursday that the probe will be an immediate focus of his new term. He added that he expects further charges to come out of the bonus investigation, but it could be early 2009 before that happens." -- Patriot-News 11/7/08

So, we waited three more months and still nothing. Once again, Corbett said it would happen and the Republican malfeasance was so broad and massive that it was keeping his investigators working hard:

"Whenever we're ready to announce something, whenever we've reached that critical mass, we will announce it,'' Corbett said. ''I will tell you we're very busy.'' -- Associated Press 1/21/09

So, we waited another month and still nothing. But, we were told not to worry by Corbett's taxpayer-funded campaign spokesman because all the investigators were burning the midnight oil due to all the Republican misdeeds they were investigating:

"The agents and prosecutors are putting in a tremendous amount of overtime,” said Mr. Corbett’s spokesman Kevin Harley. “It’s very, very busy.” -- Scranton Times 2/8/09

In fact, Corbett whetted everyone's appetite for how enormous his Republican indictments were going to be:

"When we get through what we’re doing right now and we make announcements, I think it will shock the conscience of people.” -- KYW Radio 2/19/09

So, we waited seven more months and still, nothing. More than two-and-a-half years have passed since the bonusgate investigation began and more than a year since only Democrats were arrested.

That brings us to last night and Corbett's gubernatorial campaign announcement gala. When asked, Corbett and his state-funded campaign manager made sure we all understood how big and imminent his long-promised Republican indictments were:

"We continue to investigate, and I know when the next round comes, I believe that complaint will go away." -- Associated Press

"We're not going to hurry this along ... When those charges are filed, you're going to see, this has been done right." -- WTAE TV

"I know when the next round of cases comes, people will understand what we've been doing."-- Post-Gazette

"These are career prosecutors, and there are things that happen that can't be rushed." -- Brian Nutt to Patriot-News

After all this time and after all this hype over how busy Corbett's investigators have been and how huge and shocking the Republican charges will be, here at CasablancaPA we believe the scope and size of the Republican grand jury presentment can now be put into the "biblical proportion" category.

We now present to you the CasablancaPA Players in a dramatic interpretation of Tom Corbett's next press conference where Corbett, Fina, Harley and Nutt discuss the promised Republican indictments that still aren't quite ready yet:

And ... scene.


Anonymous said...

Please Do Not Turn The Unethical Into Criminals; It Will Only Cause More Disharmonies If One Becomes Governor.

A Governor must work with everyone to pass consensus common policies for the Commonwealth.

If not, every appointment, every official, and every friend will be targeted on past, present, and future scrutiny based on blowing back charges that should never rise to crimes for sightless aspirations beyond the pale.

If someone wants to bring Pennsylvanians together, they must do it with an outreach hand of calculations not a slap in the face of truth and consequences.

We can all work together to prevent our mistakes of yesterday becoming new mistakes tomorrow, with reason, cooperation, embarrassments, but with true reforms not reformatories.

Please Do Not Turn The Unethical Into Criminals; It Will Only Cause More Disharmonies If One Becomes Governor.

A Governor must work with everyone to pass consensus common policies for the Commonwealth.

If not, every appointment, every official, and every friend will be targeted on past, present, and future scrutiny based on blowing back charges that should never rise to crimes for sightless aspirations beyond the pale.

If someone wants to bring Pennsylvanians together, they must do it with an outreach hand of calculations not a slap in the face of truth and consequences.

We can all work together to prevent our mistakes of yesterday becoming new mistakes tomorrow, with reason, cooperation, embarrassments, but with true reforms not reformatories.

Pennsylvanians hate hypocrisy and arrogance, but embrace apologies with admissions of mistakes, and prefer to forgive more than to remember.

"The Fifth Columnist"

Anonymous said...

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate.”
Part I:
We have one arena where two groups of people have their own ideas about political service, violations of ethics, and alleged crimes for old times without Auld Lang Syne.

The Harrisburg Defendants claim here they did nothing wrong and if they did everyone did something wrong. Perhaps they have a case, but then everyone has a wrong too.

It is tough to admit mistakes and a confession is the first step in improving oneself if indeed someone did wrong.

All the blame and denials lately with embarrassing stories and inner self-guilt to oneself is very emotional and psychological taxing, to the point where extreme depression can take over. Withholding emotions is seldom in anyone but Ice Men and Women, none exist here, in my opinion.

No one can close-off a person, or bring out a secretive person without penalty to himself or herself. Most do not know that political people always wear their emotions on their sleeves.

Sure, they try to hide it when they are too cheerful or susceptible or agitated because keeping a stereotypically view of leadership is another humiliation to how the media and then the people will judge them, on fear that enemies or opponents strike later.

For years to months, it is tough when you reject the need to tell anyone anything and it is common one develops being sick of themselves and thinking other people were getting sick of them, too.

Therefore, they resort to keeping more things to oneself as they tell others it is okay when, in fact, they are in denial. It does take balls to admit one is failing or hurting.

Everyone hates to admit they're wrong, or they're lazy, that they're guilty of something. I understand the feeling all too well... but ultimately, denial is a heavy weight for oneself, and a heavy injustice to others.

If everything is concluded to be going alright, but some part of the premise is actually a lie conceived in denial, then everything can be concluded to be going wrong. Soon one day or another most will find the courage and support to finally ask for some help with all problems, after keeping them in for so long.

In return, over time they will find the most appropriate sort of assistance, coming from the most reliable sources, and develop the faith in the fact that asking for aid is not a vice.

The ego is hard to overcome and hurting big time. Making one feel so small for having to depend upon another person, or having to face oneself in the mirror telling yourself it begins here and I will not deny it anymore.

All of us need to be individuals and no matter what your age, education, or intelligence we all need to grow up at many stages in our life.

The folks at CasablancaPA need to suck it up and that's the whole trick when coming out of denial, isn't it?

A lot of sucking it up and you will be amazed how many friends you have that will come out to support you in your time of unknown futures.

Still, all can be made fine if we can communicate to one another in being decent to one another. This must be the goal for all involved and understand we can find a better way to comprehend what happen without guilt but solutions to prevent such mistakes again.

Honestas Ante Honores!

Part II Continued.....

Anonymous said...

Part II Continued………

Ambition makes the same mistake concerning power that avarice makes concerning wealth.

It begins by accumulating power as a means to happiness, and finishes by continuing to accumulate it as an ends where roads run out of reality.

The Office of Attorney General is in a hard place too. They have a duty to investigate and prosecute where they find crimes or when crimes are reported to them, regardless of party, persons, or institutions.

Yet, they seldom make sure they do not make the same mistake of ambition for entitlement.

Prosecutors have a great sense of entitlement. What one mistake for entitlement is, in actuality, a differing world-view?

Many at the OAG have high self-esteem, they feel it’s because they’re better. Not intrinsically, but because they’re riding the rapidly accelerating wave of superior moral turpitude.

They deeply believe they are in fact in many ways considerably more knowledgeable, productive and honest than any other governmental systems or people.

Yet, there is a deep dark side to that way of thinking. It sometimes makes them think they know more than they really do in other areas, such as leadership.

They’re not inherently smarter or better than those who came before or are investigated. They just feel they are just better educated and morally perceptive, so when it comes to experiential learning in life they will continue to believe they have a right to a significant edge on others.

This explains why so many feel they’re ready to step into higher level of leadership in any organization especially government and why they’re find out later they were wrong.

They are going after the Culture of Corruption in Harrisburg as they see it. They are ignoring that others in both parties have come before them, work along side of them, and had the same ambitions.

They cannot understand or even worse give no credence that other governmental staffers had no shame, in their eyes, in working, or even in working hard, as long as it benefits them and the others.

The Caucus employees took great pride in doing jobs well done, because in the long run, those who perform consistently will wind up ahead of those who don’t.

Sure, some fell into the trap to work at the expense of all else and that is to waste the only life they had while other people enjoy the fruits of their labor.

The Republican and Democratic Parties have spent the last Decades systematically destroying each others' best and brightest.

Staffers and Citizens ended up no longer having any loyalty to anyone enforced on them, so they have none in return. The relationship lasts only for as long as it’s mutually beneficial.

Maybe it’s better this way, maybe it isn’t, but it means we have to look out for ourselves.

Sorry, but society is not going down that route anymore. It’s now about having a clearer picture of what we want out of life.

Good work is no longer a goal unto itself, but as means to an end to form a better society.

All know now that unless we’re careful, our hard work is going to be someone else’s reward and it has happen too many times.

None of us will ever take it with them when we go and most of us will not do anything with it while they are here.

The Professionals at the OAG must remember that, to wish is of little account, to succeed thou must earnestly desire fairness, or the desire will shorten thy sleep.

The noblest of spirits are strongly attracted by the love of glory via boundless ambitions.

Yet, once ambitions have passed their own natural limits, only carnage more than rebuilding will result.

Honestas Ante Honores!

Anonymous said...

Part III.......


Consequently, if the Defendants and OAG all seem to want too much too soon from suspicions to convictions to not guiltiness, be patient with all and use that to your advantage.

Nobody ever got anywhere by not wanting anything at all.

You have, at your disposal, the most ambitious, knowledgeable, and productive people in Pennsylvania dedicated to Public Service on both sides of the aisles.

Sure, mistakes were made, but that does not mean we have to make more new mistakes to correct less old mistakes.

Come together; seek out brave new ways to resolve these differences of ambitions in the same quests we all thought we were helping others in pursuit of helping ourselves.

Let us take the mud that is on all of us, clean each other off, so the commonwealth is made whole and we can forge a new future among our past mistakes.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

The people of Pennsylvania will understand and reward those that work together for the Commonwealth.

Anonymous said...

God Bless America let all crooks go free in the year of the Jubilee.

Can't we all just get along....Rodney King

Sorry, if you cannot do the time, do not do the crime...Baretta

I see no remorse from anyone on CasblancaPA only blaiming others, making up conclusions on distorted limited documents they put up.

Since there is no remorse there can be no mercy.

Anonymous said...

Budget deal could bring bigger paydays for nonprofits
Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated: 09/15/2009 06:12:26 PM EDT

Damn, just when Mike Veon, Vince Fumo, and Gerry LaValle could have been making more money from their NON-PROFITS, they can no longer use them.

Is this fate or bad intent?

Anonymous said...


In 12 days as the jury renders a verdict, we will know how Corbett's OAG will be doing against others in Beaver County charged with corruption of government.

A Guilty Plea will bode well for Corbett' candidacy, a Not Guilty Plea will provide dark cloud of even more efforts to go after others already charged for convictions.

The Comments go from humor to hate.


Former Rochester Manager, Secretary Begin Defense Against Theft Charges:

By: Bill Vidonic - Beaver County Times

BEAVER — A defense attorney Tuesday urged a Beaver County jury to look past prosecutors’ efforts to paint former Rochester borough manager Ed Piroli as a thief....

Piroli, who was fired as borough manager in 2007, began his trial Tuesday on charges related to a public corruption probe. He was charged by the state attorney general’s office with theft, misapplication of entrusted property and criminal conspiracy.

Piroli was fired by council in late 2007. Among the reasons council members cited was that Piroli wasn’t in the office for at least four hours a day and allowed raises for administrative employees without council approval.

At the same defense table sat former borough secretary Lois Sutter, who faces her own set of theft, criminal conspiracy and conflict of interest charges.

The attorney general’s office accused Piroli of using state grant and police pension fund money to pay borough bills. For example, Piroli is accused of using a $50,000 grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development to make a mortgage payment instead of its intended use, to buy a security system for the borough building.

Townsend said Tuesday that Piroli paid back the money “to the penny with interest,” and did not pocket any of that money.

Prosecutors also accused Piroli, 58, of Daugherty Township, with using borough fuel for his personal vehicle without permission.

Piroli and Sutter, 55, of Rochester Township, also were accused of receiving unauthorized longevity bonuses, and Sutter an unauthorized fuel stipend.

Sutter’s defense attorney, Steve Colafella, said that Sutter was not the only borough employee to receive raises and longevity pay.

Defense attorneys had previously argued that the fuel and longevity payments were authorized by council members at least 10 years ago.......

State attorney general special agent Robert Gift said Tuesday that he interviewed past and sitting council members in late 2007 and 2008 during his investigation, and also picked through years of borough meeting minutes and budgets.

The trial also could have political ramifications for state Attorney General Tom Corbett, who Monday announced his candidacy for governor and is considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination for the 2010 race.

Corbett’s office has been probing public corruption allegations for the past couple of years. Among those charged were former state representatives Mike Veon and Sean Ramaley as part of the “Bonusgate” scandal, in which legislators were accused of using public money to reward campaign work.

Piroli and Sutter are the first in western Pennsylvania to go to trial on public corruption charges.

Tuesday September 15, 2009 07:22 PM

Anonymous said...

Here we go again...Another case of blatant political activity going on and Republicans turning a blind eye because they won't dare tattle on each other.


In heavily Republican Crawford County, it seems the Republican DA has cleared his fellow Republican row officer, the county Treasurer, from violating any "Elections Code" provision by having campaign materials in his county office, and having his staff handing them out.

First, clearly this case should have been referred to the AG for a conflict, since the DA was investigating his peer. However, because they are both Republicans, I am sure Tommy C. would have reached the same conclusion that there was no wrongdoing.

Secondly, in light of Bonusgate, perhaps someone ought to instruct the Crawford DA on the "conflict of interest" statute. I am not sure if there was an election code violation, but it certainly seems the Treasurer is self-dealing on goverment time and using government resources, no?

Furthermore, now that this matter has become public, let's see if Tommy C. thinks it is wrong for Republicans to actively campaign out of their public office. Afterall, isn't this what the Bonusgate defendants are charged with allegedly doing?

So we can expect the indictment of this character when???

Anonymous said...

Here is how I see the bulky quandary for the Defendants after reading all these blogs.

It looks like there was a group Inner Circle of Defendants that did the most emailing, phone, fundraising, and campaigning for the HDCC on state time. What is not implicit is that these Defendants’s responsibilities in part for years were the elections for all Democratic Representatives. In their defense, they were doing what they normally did every two years they never thought it was illegal.

Republican counterpart in the HRC and SRC no doubt exist in these practices to boot. CasablancaPA is not incorrect posing the query why so quick to investigate HDC and why so time-consuming investigating HRC?

Conversely, this Inner Circle of Chairpersons and Key Staffers were the ones making frequent contacts, setting up meeting, raising funds, not checking on Comp Time Slips, and to a lesser extent using state resources, equipment, and expenses for personal purposes.
As a result, you will see emails on Mann, Gerber, Shapiro, Frankel, DeWeese, Preston, Dermody, White, George, Santoni, Sturla, and many more Lawmakers and to of their staffs. But not nearly in the same numbers as the Defendants, since it was the Defendants running the Campaigns.

Another huge dilemma is not the emails. The Presentments are full of Testimonies and Confessions from a number of sources. This includes other Staffers, State Witnesses and Informants, Campaign Consultants, Staff Employee Complaints, Immunity Witnesses, and most of all Guilty Pleas turned into State Cooperative and Corroborative Witnesses. This is what has to be overcome at Trial and if OAG Corbett is non-discriminatory, the same will happen to HRC, SRC, and SDC.

This is why I cannot agree with my friends here at CasablancaPA that only DeWeese or only Eachus or only Others have caused all these investigations with his order to HDC Employees to cooperate with his own Investigation and later OAG'. Particularly, when I read about how some deeds, operations, forgeries, and words were purposely used to mislead, hide, campaign accounts, computer systems, budgets, and keep such information from HDC Members such as DeWeese and other Lawmakers.

On the other hand, this is why I sense the majority of these contraventions are ethical in nature rather criminal in intent.

I just detest it, when everyone is brought in, and fingers are pointed, and then we have to separate the black from the white. When we see more grey than anything. Additionally, it is not funny when friends, colleagues, and staffers are defending themselves by exploiting others in a broad Witch-Hunt that should be more about Ethics if the OAG would be equitable more than parochial.

This is why I support the Defendants, but I become displeased when they are not evenhanded to others as they are asking from the public. Thus far, I can understand their frustration and isolation. I am sorry they are going through tough times that could be resolved in a new appropriate approach in seeking rightfulness for Pennsylvania.

Finally, I am lost and divided in my thoughts as most here because we do need to correct many of the practices and new reforms have been put into place, but on the backs of some that will absorb the pain for all, and I pray we find a better way.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Here we go again...Another case of blatant political activity going on and Republicans turning a blind eye because they won't dare tattle on each other.

I guess this was viewed as an Employee Manual Election Violation and Ethical Violation.

Too bad such judgment is not used more often around the Commonwealth.

Especially if it is the first time.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...
Here we go again...Another case of blatant political activity going on and Republicans turning a blind eye because they won't dare tattle on each other.

It is an ethical violation is it not, if not then a an election manual violation, if not then an employee manual violation.

In any case, it is not criminal intent, and why some a CasablancaPA should be given the same care on investigating, confronting, and punishing the same sorts of things.

One more thing, why no Perp Walk?

Anonymous said...


Mixed verdicts for Piroli, Sutter
By: Bill Vidonic - Beaver County Times

BEAVER — It was a mixed bag of verdicts for Rochester’s former borough manager and secretary, with a Beaver County jury Friday pronouncing Ed Piroli and Lois Sutter guilty of criminal conspiracy and conflict of interest. However, jurors pronounced the pair not guilty of the crimes they were accused of conspiring to commit.

Piroli, 58, of Daugherty Township, was also convicted of a felony count of misappropriation of entrusted funds. He moved a state grant that was to pay for a security system for the borough police department into the borough’s general fund, and instead used it to pay borough bills.

Without Piroli using that grant money, which was eventually paid back, “The doors to the borough building would have been padlocked,” his defense attorney, Steve Townsend, said.

Piroli was cleared of improperly using money from the borough’s police pension fund to also pay borough bills. Townsend said Piroli simply was trying to steer the financially strapped borough through dire economic times and didn’t profit personally.

Prosecutors said Piroli and Sutter worked together to give themselves raises and/or longevity pay without the knowledge of council members.

Defense attorneys argued that Piroli and Sutter didn’t receive anything that other borough employees did not receive as well, and that past and present council members knew of the payments.

“I really believe Lois Sutter did nothing wrong,” her defense attorney, Stephen Colafella, said.

Of the jury’s decision, Townsend said, “I don’t understand the verdict.”

The criminal conspiracy and conflict of interest charges were based on the accusations that Piroli and Sutter improperly took longevity pay and/or raises. But the jury ruled that the acts that those convictions were based upon were not of themselves criminal acts.

“The verdict was just completely incorrect,” Townsend added. Colafella said Piroli and Sutter will explore what legal options they could pursue in post-verdict motions.

Both were fired by the borough before they were charged by the state attorney general’s office in August 2008.

One of Sutter’s sons sobbed as the verdicts were read in Beaver County Judge Harry Knafelc’s courtroom Friday, ending the first western Pennsylvania trial in a public corruption probe conducted by state Attorney General Tom Corbett’s office.

Piroli and Sutter, 55, of Rochester, would not talk to a Times reporter after the verdicts, instead hugging family members and supporters.

A sentencing date hadn’t been set for them as of Friday evening.

Jurors could not be reached for comment Friday night.


Ed Piroli, former Rochester borough manager

— Misappropriation of entrusted property (for a state Department of Community and Economic Development grant), misdemeanor of the second degree — Guilty.

— ­Misappropriation of entrusted property (for using police pension money to pay bills), misdemeanor of the second degree — Not guilty.

— Theft (taking borough gasoline for personal vehicle), misdemeanor of the first degree — Not guilty.

— Theft (longevity pay), misdemeanor of the first degree — Not guilty.

— Criminal conspiracy, felony of the third degree — Guilty.

— Conflict of interest, felony — Guilty.

Lois Sutter, former Rochester borough secretary

— Theft (receiving longevity pay and pay raises), felony of the third degree — Not guilty.

— Criminal conspiracy, felony of the third degree — Guilty.

— Conflict of interest, felony — Guilty.

Friday September 18, 2009 10:19 PM


Anonymous said...

Justice delayed is Justice Denied. OK Mr. Corbett, stop being a candidate and start being the public official the voters authorized you to be. Step into the Grand old party that elected you and clean it up before you file your petitions. Then you will have completed the job you set out to do. Then, and only then will you be worthy of putting your name on the ballot for judgement by the voters of your party -- the decent rank-and-file Republican voters who want to return our party back from corruption to family values and the principles of the founders of our Party

Anonymous said...

Top Cat Tommy Corbett knows how to time an indictemnet after all in the Grand Ball room of The William Penn Hotel during a sold out Breakfast Luncheon for Tom Ridge for Governor.

Tomcat Corbett told Ernie Preate in no uncertain terms you better run for the Senate not Governor.

Preate did not learn listen, he clean up toilets in prison.

Tomcat Corbett was then told by a very smart man, someday you will be Governor son.

TomCat's hair turned white that day, as if he saw the Almighty Burning Bush. But it was just Mary Beth Buchanan!

Anonymous said...

There is a group of fine looking catholic women whose club is known as the Burning Bush, and I ain't talking about Opus Dei!

If you do not believe me, try looking it up, The Shirne Of The Black Madonna people know.

Check out the Detroit-New Castle connections.

Now please do not get all shook up and write about paranoia.

Just listen to the The Gregorian Chants while it is raining.