For all the swooning over John Perzel's indictment, we feel the need to point out that partisan Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett did not indict a Speaker of the House. He did not indict a caucus leader. He didn't even indict an influential sitting member.
It's no coincidence that Corbett chose to indict another infamous but washed-up House member, while creating the illusion of drama by piling on lots of staff. Just as in the Democratic indictments, Corbett has ignored influential elected officials who are clearly culpable in the crimes he alleges others have committed.
The fact is, out of 22 people charged, only one sitting member was charged in any significant, ongoing wrongdoing. Sean Ramaley was practically an afterthought, who just happened to be running for the State Senate in a seat the Senate Republicans hoped to pick-up.
In choosing whom to indict in July of 2008, it's clear through Veon's pre-trial motions that Corbett ignored reams of evidence that incriminated active and influential Democrats, namely then-Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, then-Majority Policy Chairman Todd Eachus and Secretary of Revenue Steve Stetler.
History repeats itself with Corbett's Republican indictments. The most egregious example is how Corbett lets House Republican Leader Sam Smith slide by.
How can Corbett grant immunity (which implies she committed crimes for which she would otherwise be charged) to former full-time Smith employee Sheila Flickinger, yet not charge her boss Sam Smith?
Flickinger was a full-time "Special Projects Coordinator" for Smith in 2006, earning $58,539. She appears over and over in the Republican presentment as an insider who knew everything that was going on under Perzel's and Feese's watch at both the House Republican Campaign Committee and the Republican Caucus' Office of District Operations.
Yet, we're supposed to believe that not once did Flickinger discuss any of it with her direct boss Sam Smith?
Did Smith actually say to Corbett, "I had no idea," and did Corbett actually believe him?
This is simply not plausible.
This is just more of the same from Corbett. He is a tough guy when it comes to arresting staff people and a washed-up member or two, but when it comes to any elected official with juice you can just imagine the shrinkage going on in the collective shorts of the Office of Attorney General.
Corbett's efforts in the presentment to excuse Smith's conduct are eerily similar to his bizarre aside in the Democratic presentment, in which he admits that DeWeese did in fact, direct a state contractor to perform campaign work, but he used his campaign e-mail address to do it.
Smith and his supervision of the post-Perzel Office of District Operations:
"After issues regarding legislative bonuses paid for campaign work came to public attention in early 2007, a gradual shift in the culture in District Operations occurred, for the first time in many years placing a specific focus on a stark separation between legislative work and campaign work. For example, in the 2008 campaign cycle Ms. Uliana only was aware of one or two District Operations employees who worked on a campaign." (Page 172 of the Republican Presentment)That's a lie and Corbett knows it.
The Office of District Operations did not skip a beat after Smith took over. A quick analysis of campaign reimbursements to the director of the office, John Hanley, and the Regional Coordinators he supervised didn't change one iota from when Perzel oversaw the office. Compare Perzel-era expenditures here with post-Perzel expenditures here.
Daphne Uliana is shameful liar who not only escapes prosecution by Corbett but continues greedily gobbling up money from the House Republican Caucus with her $5,500 per month contract with the House Republicans.
Will Smith cancel this contract now that Uliana has admitted that most of her work for the caucus was political? Remember, DeWeese never fired Angela Bertugli after she admitted she did no work for the caucus. These payments were apparently felonious when others were responsible, but they go on with impunity.
More importantly, we may never know why some people were charged and others were not.
Did Corbett have a meeting with Smith just like the one with Perzel (Philly Daily News 11/12/09), but the result of the conversation was different?