Tuesday, February 9, 2010
"MANZO" MEANS "MEAT" IN ITALIAN
We've actually lost track of the many ways disgraced government witness Michael Manzo pulverized the prosecution's case during the first week of the "Bonusgate" trial.
For one, he testified that he told prosecutors about conversations with Mike Veon long before prosecutors claim he did. Prosecutors would have the court believe that in four appearances before the grand jury and who knows how many interviews with investigators over the last year and a half, Manzo never mentioned that he'd discussed bonuses with Veon until just after the deadline for turning evidence over to the defendants. So:
* either he did tell investigators before, and the prosecutors never turned the evidence over to the defense as they are required by law to do, or
* he didn't talk to investigators about the central allegation in a three-year investigation until weeks before the start of the trial, and the prosecutors may have abetted perjury by allowing him to testify otherwise.
For another, he testified that Brett Cott, who is being tried on multiple felony charges for his role in awarding bonuses for campaign work, had nothing to do with awarding bonuses for campaign work. According to Post-Gazette reporter Tracie Mauriello's "Tweets" from the courtroom:
* Manzo: Cott had no power to give bonuses to his future wife, future sis-in-law or anyone else
* "Manzo doesn't recall Cott [ever] directly saying how much money should be given to particular staffers as bonuses.
* Manzo: Brett Cott was not involved in the genesis of the #bonusgate scheme
We are not lawyers here at CasablancaPA, but this seems to contradict the prosecution's accusations. Perhaps we are witnessing a sophisticated legal strategy that is beyond our feeble comprehension.
Finally, according to the latest update on the Post-Gazette, Manzo testified yesterday that his sexual affair with former Miss Rain Day Angela Bertugli ended around the time of his marriage. Defense attorneys today confronted Manzo with "a string of e-mail messages" proving that the two continued their physical relationship well into 2008, long past Manzo's 2005 marriage. In true Clintonian fashion, Manzo claimed his previous testimony was not a lie, because even though their physical relationship continued, he and Bertugli stopped having sexual intercourse because "I had some inability to perform." ("Manzo" actually means "beef" in Italian, not "meat;" we have a juvenile sense of humor.)
Nice work, prosecutors. We can't wait to hear from convicted thief Jeff Foreman next!