Monday, March 22, 2010

117 ACQUITTALS


It will be forgotten by tomorrow, as the Tom Corbett Gubernatorial Campaign spins his less-than-16% conviction rate as an enormous victory, but let's pause for a moment and imagine how it felt for Team Corbett to hear the words "not guilty" 117 times in a row.

Three years, millions of taxpayer dollars, countless state staff man-hours ....only to hear again and again, "not guilty....not guilty ... not guilty."

And just think: he still has to try a dozen more defendants on similar charges ... with similar evidence and similar witnesses.

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ahh, but still enough convictions (and pleas by those with remorse) to make you, Brett, looked like the criminal that you are.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Ahh, but still enough convictions (and pleas by those with remorse) to make you, Brett, looked like the criminal that you are.

March 22, 2010 9:53 PM


We shall see on Appeal!

Judge Lewis made so many Judicial Errors he will be reprimanded.

Corbett OAG could not prove even 1 charge of 16 charges on Steve Keefer!

Changing the Juror on Friday is highly irregular and Judge Lewis a Big Republican has much to explain.

Brett Cott will vindicated on Appeal along with Rosepink.

Mike Veon Convictions will be removed and a new trial remanded, but the OAG by that time will not choose to do another Trial.

Meanwhile, Republicans will sittiinmg pretty, knowing they have Corbett as Governor, Control the Senate, will win the house, adn all Appeals end up at teh Supreme court controlled by Republicans......UNTIL ZAPPALA GRAND JURY FINDINGS COME OUT.....THEN THE SHIP WILL BE HITTING THE FANS ALONG WITH TEH FEDS!

It will be somthing to see how Corbett will be one day shakin up beyond his belief.

One day more till Corbett's revealations,

DOJ will nip it in the bud!

JCB be ready for these schoolboys,

They will wet themselves with blood!

One Day Soon!

Anonymous said...

Mike, Brett, and Ana Marie, these verdicts will not stand!

Keep fighting, stand tall, and never give up!

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Attorney Bryan Walk, who defended Mr. Cott, noted that his client was convicted of just three of 42 counts.

"We are happy with that," he said. "We are happy the jury didn't buy into the state's case. That says something about the attorney general's office, to put together a case that really didn't amount to a whole lot."

Attorney General Tom Corbett lost the first case in the bonus scandal when former Rep. Sean Ramaley was acquitted in December. Though he "doesn't seem to hit the bull's-eye" by winning 14 of 59 charges, it's not enough to seriously hurt his campaign for the governor's office, said Gerald Shuster, professor of political communication at the University of Pittsburgh.

Mr. Walk noted that none of those convictions related to bonuses being paid for political work, which, he said, was the original reason for the attorney general's investigation.

"It doesn't bode well for the prosecutorial finesse and expertise of the attorney general," Shuster said. But "it's going to take something far more dramatic than this to not have Tom Corbett be elected the next governor."

When there are 139 charges and only 22 convictions, that says something about what this case was really about. "It was a political prosecution," said Mr. Walk, who represented Mr. Cott.

"In this current atmosphere of major voter disgust with corrupt political elite, any successful convictions by Corbett will only continue to bolster his already-strong candidacy for governor with the image of being the defender of the public trust," Brauer said. "That is always the great advantage an attorney general can have in running for governor."

Defense attorneys have said that the transgressions were minor, that many others especially Republican Senators and Representatives in the Capitol used state resources similarly and that the defendants, all Democrats, were singled out by Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is running for governor.

I'm absolutely convinced of Mike's innocence and I think the appeal process will bring that out," Mr. Raynak said.

Anonymous said...

Senior Deputy State Attorney General E. Marc Constanzo said, "We have a very positive reaction to the verdicts. We are satisfied with the hard work the jury put in and the conscientious work on their part."

He said Mr. Veon was charged in 11 different "criminal episodes" and was found guilty of at least one charge in seven of the episodes.

As for the many other charges where the four were acquitted, he said he was "not at all disappointed. There were charges on a number of criminal episodes and they were found guilty of a good many of them."

I guess 16% of 139 Counts is a victory?

Anonymous said...

Bonusgate verdicts a relief for Corbett backers
By Tom Infield

Inquirer Staff Writer

Republicans backing Attorney General Tom Corbett for governor had been growing more nervous every day that Bonusgate deliberations had dragged on.
When the jury finally returned to a Harrisburg courtroom last night and pronounced 14 guilty verdicts against former Democratic House Whip Michael R. Veon, it was more than a blow against political corruption.

It was a setback for Corbett's Democratic detractors who had suggested that his ambition to become governor in November had spurred his zeal in pursuing criminal charges against two dozen Bonusgate defendants.

Intimations that he was mismanaging the probe had bubbled up after the first of the defendants to go to trial in December was found not guilty.

"I think there was a lot of baited breath, and I think now you're hearing an exhale on the part of the Corbett campaign," said Chris Borick, a political science professor at Muhlenberg College, who closely follows state politics.

Veon was acquitted on 45 of 59 charges. One of his codefendants got off completely. Two others were found guilty on only a small minority of the charges against them.

What mattered, politically, was that Veon went down on some major charges, Borick said.

Speaking of Corbett backers, he said: "Their nightmare scenario was that Mike Veon was exonerated. . . . This was not a case where they needed to bat 1,000."

Now in his second elected term as attorney general, Corbett has been widely seen as the narrow favorite to win the governorship in November - though he first must win the GOP primary May 18 against state Rep. Sam Rohrer of Berks County.

Larry Ceisler, a public relations consultant long identified with the Democratic Party, said an acquittal for Veon would have been "a knockout punch" for the Corbett campaign.

"I don't know what Corbett would have run on," Ceisler said. "This investigation had taken up a good deal of his tenure. I think, politically, this allows him to continue.

"I know for a fact," Ceisler said, "that some very important Corbett supporters were holding their breath over this past weekend. A hung jury would have been just as devastating as an acquittal, politically."

Ray Zaborney, who was campaign manager for Republican gubernatorial nominee Lynn Swann in 2006, said, "The Veon trial was obviously high stakes for Corbett."

Zaborney added: "If you're going to look at this in a strictly political context, this is going to help Tom Corbett. On the most serious charges, and the ones that relate to Bonusgate, he got 14 convictions.

"It puts everyone on notice," he said, "that if you cheat the taxpayers, you are going to jail."

All except Republican Senators and Staffers.

Anonymous said...

The guilty verdicts cast a renewed glare on what prosecutors have called an entrenched "culture of corruption" in the Pennsylvania legislature, where, they said, top lawmakers blithely used their staff and other state resources to help win elections and keep themselves in power.

Judging from the vehement defense these past six weeks in Dauphin County Court of Veon, Brett Cott, Stephen Keefer and Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink, what this lawmaker and staffers did during their years of trying to win a Democratic majority in the state House of Representatives did not rise to the level of corruption.

Despite potentially illegal payment of staff bonuses for campaign work, Team Veon might have a point, if only on this small matter. The 24/7 nature of working in the state Capitol created an environment in which politics and ideology ran roughshod over ethics.

"We think it's a good day for the people of Pennsylvania," Frank Fina, chief deputy attorney general, said moments after the verdicts were announced. "We hope to send a strong message to the rest of our elected officials . . . to stop using people's money for personal benefit."

The jury acquitted Veon of all charges related to using public funds to conduct "opposition research" into political foes and for allegedly misusing tax dollars to pay for more than $16,000 in dinners held after a regular Tuesday night basketball games that he had hosted for fellow legislators.

The cost of those meals was the subject of many hours' testimony.

The attorney general's office sought to promote these abuses to the level of organized crime. That's the legal engine that drives this case, as well as those pending against former House Majority Leaders John Perzel, a Republican, and Bill DeWeese, a Democrat, but no investigation on Republican senatorial leadership has even been completed to date.

The jury is out on whether the Legislature's back-room dealings were mob-esque, especially since the trials are being played out as Corbett seeks to become governor while ignoring Senate dealings.

The cost of the entire investigation and trial will not be released, but some Law School and Political Science Professors, say they would not be surprised if it far exceeded anything the Defendants were charged with especially with so many non-convictions.

In addition, Attorney General Corbett has not called for any Bonuses to be returned, and many state witnesses that admitted they broke laws still are working on state time.

For good measure, the prosecution displayed huge photos of Team Veon smoking cigars after a night of fundraising. It referenced $300 meals and card games that followed Tuesday night basketball games, paid for with public money.

None of these events was ever proven illegal, but it was good tactics to have the jury see them to make the defendants unpopular for conviction.

In a time when the central question for Americans might be whether anyone, including President Barack Obama, can govern, Corbett's office has no doubt tapped into a monstrous strain of anger, frustration and disgust, not so much with any evidence his prosecutors were professional and only got a fraction of convictions.

The alternative to this parade of trials? Corbett could have called these people in, filed a civil complaint to have the bonuses repaid and possibly fined people for time spent on political activity.

However, for all the dramatic language and accusations hurled at the defendants, and for the aggressive defense by Team Veon lawyers, there is a sneaking suspicion that no matter the jury's decision, the gray area between the political and legislative -- or prosecutorial, for that matter -- will not ever be crystal clear.

Anonymous said...

Earlier yesterday, Lewis refused to grant a mistrial sought by defense attorneys.
That motion, which revealed details of a note that the foreman sent the judge on Friday, contended that Lewis had erred by dismissing an ailing juror and replacing her with an alternate. The switch, defense lawyers said, ran afoul of previous court rulings.

"The rule says you can't do it. The cases say you can't do it," Sansone told Lewis. "Your honor knew you can't do this and you did it anyway."

Prosecutors, however, argued it was permissible.

"You can't now come back and at this point in the game and say, 'Well, we were wrong,' " Fina told the judge. "They are way out of bounds on this one."

Last Wednesday, several jurors had tears in their eyes and one told the judge that deliberations were "hard on everyone" and that members were "turning on each other." That juror was dismissed on Friday because she was suffering from migraines and nausea.

Sansone later told reporters that Lewis' decision offered an ideal appeal issue for his client, the former No. 2 Democrat in the House.

"No verdict can ever stand under these circumstances," said Sansone. Fina called the hearing a "pointless" waste of time.

The mistrial motion also noted that the jury in the case appeared deadlocked and cited a note the foreman sent to Lewis on Friday.

The foreman's note said the jury was "having spiritual and moral issues that I do not know how to resolve. There are barriers and biases that cannot be hurdled."

Fina said that the note was sent at least four hours before Lewis replaced the juror and that there was no indication that the newly constituted panel was having any problems.

Anonymous said...

Prosecutors presented evidence that state workers canvassed door-to-door, manned phone banks, raised campaign donations, shipped out bulk mailings, collected nominating petition signatures and researched the backgrounds of political opponents to find their vulnerabilities.

However, the jury dismissed almost all of those charges and one must question why they were even brought in the first place.

Legislative employees under immunity that admitted to such charges testified that those duties were often performed during regular work hours without taking leave — sometimes getting taxpayers to reimburse their travel expenses — and prosecutors argued that much of it directly benefited Veon in his role as a leading campaign strategist for the House Democrats.

They were not allowed to testify or even mention whether Republican employees were doing the same thing, and have gone uncharged to date.

The case was fought bitterly, with lawyers on both sides angrily accusing the others of ethical misconduct, hundreds and hundreds of objections and impassioned debate over even minute details.

There are complaints sitting at the Philadelphia and Harrisburg Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board, but not comment has been mention to date either.

The verdict has implications for the 2010 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, in which Attorney General Tom Corbett used these prosecutions mostly against democrats and Republicans that refused to support him as a candidate for the Republican nomination.

Corbett has hired senate employees that were given bonuses but so far not investigated, which brings into question what his campaign is all about after millions being spent with so little results for the taxpayers coffers.

Corbett has made Harrisburg reform a key element of his campaign, but in the only other case to go to trial as a result of the same investigation, former state Rep. Sean Ramaley, D-Beaver, was acquitted of all charges in December.

Ramaley, Veon and the other three defendants were among 12 people with ties to the House Democratic caucus who were arrested together in July 2008.

The other seven pleaded guilty to related charges in January, and several testified for the prosecution.

If Corbett does not produce results of his office investigations of Republican and Democratic Caucuses before Election Day, no doubt his opponents will use it against him.

There is currently in Pittsburgh a Grand Jury of Republican Senator Jane Orie alleged activity that Veon has been investigated, prosecuted, and now convicted upon, for her sister Supreme Court Justice Joan Melvin Orie.

If it leads back to Republicans before the election, Corbett may have more explaining to do than campaigning in the future, and if elected, follow him into office that could make governing almost impossible if under investigation for not pursuing senators.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Steve Keefer, good to see the OAG Charges amounted to nothing in the end, but they did ruin your life.

Time to get back up and start rebuilding what Corbett tried to do to you for his Campaign Ambitions.

Judge Lewis will be reversed on Appeal for Mike, Annamarie, and Brett.

So Little Proven So Much To Do To Prove None Deserved This Kind Of Political Prosecutions!

Anonymous said...

If you find yourself with a sorrow that does not meet the test of “true justice”, you can do two things about it.

First, go absorb yourself in service to others – particularly those less fortunate than you do.

If the enemy is behind the anxiety in your heart, responding with love toward God and others will drive this oppression away.

Second, let your Attorneys work on the Appeal, too many errors within the trial transcripts, and too many charges that were never illegal, and too much unethical conduct for campaign purposes, not true justice.

A true friend does not accuse or judge you. Although he did not commit sin when complaining about his life & difficult trials, those who claimed to be JOB's friends accused him of not having a strong faith, but after he was healed their prayers were not heard and only through JOB's prayers did God forgive them.

When the pain in your heart brings you to tears, immediately think of someone else who has suffered far more. Your hope will be renewed & you will be blessed by God for the love you have for others less fortunate.

A soul that feels "abandoned by God" during a difficult spiritual trial is closer to God than souls who constantly give testimony of how deep their faith is.

A smile & a hug are the best gifts we can give to those who feel abandoned.

Everything on earth has a time limit, nothing is permanent or lasting except love for our friends, family, and even strangers, and do not be afraid to claim the promises in God's Word for yourself because they are for you.

Stay strong you all will prevail!

Anonymous said...

117 aquittals? When you have to examine each counts you're the one doing the spinning. People aren't stupid. I see 10 out of the 12 people charged thus far have been found guilty or plead guilty. Pretty good percentage in my opinion. Or maybe you think law enforcement should not charge and prosecute cases that might be difficult?

Anonymous said...

117 aquittals? When you have to examine each counts you're the one doing the spinning. People aren't stupid. I see 10 out of the 12 people charged thus far have been found guilty or plead guilty. Pretty good percentage in my opinion. Or maybe you think law enforcement should not charge and prosecute cases that might be difficult?

Signor Ferrari said...

Maybe we think law enforcement should stick to enforcing laws and not running hypocritical political campaigns out of their taxpayer funded offices.

Anonymous said...

Tweet from one of the Veon jurors:

"Some of the people who got immunity for the bonusgate trial should go to jail for a very, very long time. Buxton, Foreman, Manzo"

Anonymous said...

Appeal..Appeal..Appeal..Something is grossly wrong here. It appears that the jury could see this and that followers of the trial can sense it. Justice has not been served. Appeal. Why don't those trained in the law see it?? Just because justice is blind, doesn't mean the judge and the lawyers have to be. APPEAL!!

steve said...

Anonymous said...
"Congratulations to Steve Keefer, good to see the OAG Charges amounted to nothing in the end, but they did ruin your life."

While this has been the most difficult thing i have ever experienced, Corbett didn't ruin my life. I have refused to let that happen and I will NEVER give him credit for that, nor will I let him have that kind of power over me. No matter what the outcome, Tom Corbett could NEVER take away from me the things that are most important in life; my REAL friends, my wonderful family and my two amazing sons.

Anonymous said...

Stay strong. Congratilations Steve. Mike, Anna-Marie and Brett will be vindicated on appeal. Stay strong. Time is on your side.

Anonymous said...

steve said...
Anonymous said...
"Congratulations to Steve Keefer, good to see the OAG Charges amounted to nothing in the end, but they did ruin your life."
While this has been the most difficult thing i have ever experienced, Corbett didn't ruin my life. I have refused to let that happen and I will NEVER give him credit for that, nor will I let him have that kind of power over me. No matter what the outcome, Tom Corbett could NEVER take away from me the things that are most important in life; my REAL friends, my wonderful family and my two amazing sons. March 23, 2010 2:54 PM


My oh my Steve, I am so fringing proud of you, your attitude, and courage under false accusations.

This is the kind of attitude all Public Servants must practice, and I am with you all the, the Democratic Party and Fair-minded Republicans need to stand up to Bullies like Tom Corbett.

Your defense was not just proof of your innocence, it is proof of Corbett Malicious Selective Prosecutions, and now is the time to keep pointing it out, like you just did.

Two juries of our citizen’s peers have rejected most of Corbett's charges of what are political practices not against the law.

Thank god, for the decency of common citizens that knows when Corbett and Prosecutors have crossed the line of decency and tells your parents, I admire the brave son they raised and fought the good fight, for more decency!

I stand corrected!

Time to mount up boys and gals and start to the march to stopping Corbett Campaign now.

Thank You Steve!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...117 aquittals? When you have to examine each counts you're the one doing the spinning. People aren't stupid. I see 10 out of the 12 people charged thus far have been found guilty or plead guilty. Pretty good percentage in my opinion. Or maybe you think law enforcement should not charge and prosecute cases that might be difficult? March 23, 2010 9:44 AM

Sorry, but the Jurors admitted they did not buy the OAG Case that Veon did everything Corbett said they did.

When a Republican Attorney general cannot bring charges against all four Caucuses after three years, you it is political.

When A Republican Judge errors in admitting unauthenticated emails, refusal to call Republicans Lawmakers And Staffers, suppresses holding OAG Prosecutors behavior accountable, and then goes against case law in not declaring a Mistrial, you have a Political Witch Hunt.

This case was about Corbett's Campaign spending millions of OAG money to claim he is prosecuting Taxpayers Dollars, and only prosecuting one Democratic Caucus on paying out bonuses, in the year of the election to become Governor.

There was a better way to not waste OAG dollars for this parade of trials?

Corbett could have called these people in, filed a civil complaint to have the bonuses repaid and possibly fined people for time spent on political activity.

Corbett chose the other way, and it will come back to bite him in his own butt.

Anonymous said...

Signor Ferrari said...Maybe we think law enforcement should stick to enforcing laws and not running hypocritical political campaigns out of their taxpayer funded offices. March 23, 2010 10:24 AM

Or at least investigate all Four Caucuses after 3 yaers, and only prosecute Democarts in an election year.

But you are more right than me, and far more brief.

Corbett is a creep!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...Tweet from one of the Veon jurors:"Some of the people who got immunity for the bonusgate trial should go to jail for a very, very long time. Buxton, Foreman, Manzo" March 23, 2010 10:29 AM....

Moreover, all kept those Alleged Illegal Bonuses they paid themselves on Corbett's Approval.

Others kept their jobs, pensions, and bonuses while admitting guilt, all while on the State Payroll, for the only purpose to testify for Corbett.

Now that is a hypocrite, sham, and outright frauds, in claiming you are protecting Tax Dollars.

The other poster said it best, the alternative to this parade of trials.

Corbett could have called these people in, filed a civil complaint to have the bonuses repaid and possibly fined people for time spent on political activity.

Anonymous said...

You know what I saw in Mike Veon and why he is such an effective leader, and why Corbett went after him.

Even after be found guilty in a flawed trial, and the Press asking Mike Veon, so what is your comment and response now???

Mike first statement is...I am pleased the Jury found Steve Keefer innocent...ONCE AGAIN MIKE VEON THOUGHT OF OTHERS INSTEAD OF HIMSELF.

No woe is me, no excuse, no backing down, just outright proof that mike Veon always put others ahead of himself even during the worse time in his life.

You have to honor and respect that kind of tenacity, caring, and dedication.

This is not over, and Mike, Annamarie, and Brett will win on Appeal.

While Corbett’s actions will dog him the rest of his career and life, bad Karma will haunt Corbett.

Anonymous said...

"Corbett could have called these people in, filed a civil complaint to have the bonuses repaid and possibly fined people for time spent on political activity."

You can't squeeze water from rocks. Not all, but most defendants who received bonuses would probably be pretty judgment proof. And then the same defense of "Webb's list doesn't match up with bonus recipients" would apply--how do you tell who got campaign bonuses and who didn't, without investing a lot of time and resources?

It's an easy soundbite to complain that people are getting to "keep" the bonuses, but lets be honest, that money is long spent and gone, and collecting would take a decade or two from most of the young and indebted recipients.

So keep running the soundbite, but it's a terrible argument.

And if you aren't going to collect the bonus repayments, you aren't going to collect fines.

So that leaves criminal charges and jail time.

And it's ridiculous to believe that the AG should only pursue cheap/cost-effective investigations. That's not to condone any and all spending by an AG/DA, but criminals could game the system if they knew that the AG/DA wouldn't spend more than X on a prosecution by committing crimes that would cost $1 more than X to prosecute.

The easiest arguments are often the worst. As regrettable as it is that taxpayer dollars were diverted to campaign bonuses, trying to recoup them would be far more inefficient and costly than this trial. You'd get no money and no deterrence, while still spending about the same amount of resources used to uncover the scheme.

Here, at least the AG buys deterrence and imposes costs on the leaders of the schemes, rather than those who were just following orders.

Anonymous said...

One does not have to be a legal scholar to realize the Judge erred egregiously from the bench.

This occurred on many occasions during the trial.

The bias of Judge Lewis will cost taxpayers more than that collectively of both the alleged criminal activity and its prosecution.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Corbett ever give up? I see he is trying to milk Healthcare for all he can. Maybe he thinks he can run for VicePresident on Sarah Palin's ticket. After all, he can almost see Ohio from his back door.

Anonymous said...

I have one question for Mr. Zaborney, who said that if you cheat the taxpayer, you are going to jail. WHEN IS TOM CORBETT GOING TO JAIL? It is evident to the world that he has been conducting his campaign on state time for quite some time now. W@hat about The Orie Sisters and their campaigning on State time and property. There are pictures of them. And what about the two phones? Doesn't that double stANDARD PROVE CAMPAIGNING ON STATE TIME? wHY THIS DOUBLE STANDARD?

wHY SHOULD ONE GROUP GO TO JAIL WHILST THE OTHER GETS A PROMOTION FOR DOING THE SAME CRIME?

where is the justice in this picture? cERTAINLY NOT IN pENNSYLVANIA.

Anonymous said...

In Corbett's press briefing today he is having Judge Lewis oversee the next case for Veon. Video clip is posted here http://roxburynews.com/
(AG Tom Corbett 3/23/10).

Must be nice to have a handy dandy Judge in your pocket!

Anonymous said...

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE....

That's not to condone any and all spending by an AG/DA, but criminals could game the system if they knew that the AG/DA wouldn't spend more than X on a prosecution by committing crimes that would cost $1 more than X to prosecute.

SO, CORBETT GAMES THE SYSTEM TO USE THESE BOGUS BONUS GATE TRIALS HE CANNOT PROVE FOR HIS GOVERNORS CAMPAIGN, INSTEAD?

The easiest arguments are often the worst.

AND YOU MADE QUITE A FEW THEM, DID YOU NOT?

As regrettable as it is that taxpayer dollars were diverted to campaign bonuses, trying to recoup them would be far more inefficient and costly than this trial.

HUH, PROVE IT? WHAT WAS THE COST OF THE INVESTIGATION AND TRIAL AND 139 COUNTS WITH 117 DISMISSED BY JURORS?

WE ARE STILL WAITING FOR REPUBLICAN CAUCUS INVESTIGATION, CANNOT THE OAG LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES AND GAIN BACKS THE BONUSES FROM THEM BEFORE GOING TO TRIAL?

OR IS THAT A SHAM INVESTIGATION, WASTING MORE TAX DOLLARS?


You'd get no money and no deterrence, while still spending about the same amount of resources used to uncover the scheme.

WELL, THAT IS BECAUSE CORBETT IS ABOUT DUMB AS THEY COME, A GOOD AG AND PROSECUTORS CAN RECOUP THE MONEY, BUT JUST NOT THEM?

Here, at least the AG buys deterrence and imposes costs on the leaders of the schemes, rather than those who were just following orders.

WELL, THE AG IS NOT SUPPOSE TO BUY ANYTHING, HE SUPPOSE TO PROTECT AND RECOUP MONIES ADMITTED UNDER OATH THAT WERE TAKEN BY HIS OWN WITNESSES ON STATE TIME I MIGHT ADD.

WITH LOGIC LIKE YOURS THEN CORBETT JUST COULD...."have called these people in, filed a civil complaint to have the bonuses repaid and possibly fined people for time spent on political activity...."CORBETT COULD AVOIDED ANY EXPENSE OF AN INVESTIGATION, TRIAL, AND PAYMENT TO WITNESSES, AND STILL HAVE DETERRENCE.

BUT HE IS RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR AND HIS CAMPAIGN DEPENDS ON LOOKING LIKE HE IS DOING SOMETHING WHEN HE DID NOTHING BUT SPEND COMMONWEALTH MONEY WITHOUT INVESTIGATING HIS OWN PARTY FRIENDS AND JUDGES.

THIS IS NOT GOING TO PRODUCE ANY DETERRENCE AT ALL; IT IS JUST GOING TO PROMOTE MORE MISUSE OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM FOR SELF-INTEREST POLITICAL GAIN.

Anonymous said...

RESPONSE TO ANONYMOUS 9:01 IN CAPS UNDER HIS COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...March 23, 2010 9:01 PM

"Corbett could have called these people in, filed a civil complaint to have the bonuses repaid and possibly fined people for time spent on political activity."

You can't squeeze water from rocks. Not all, but most defendants who received bonuses would probably be pretty judgment proof.

PRETTY MUCH JUDGMENT PROOF IS NOT ACCURATE AT ALL NOR IS IT TRUE.

CORBETT AHD NO TROUBLE GIVING THEM IMMUNITY TO TESTIFY AND GUIDING THAT TESTIMONY PROVES ON CROSS TO BE MADE UP OF LIES AND FORGETFUL MEMORIES.

CORBETT HAD THE ABILITY WHEN GRANTING THAT IMMUNITY TO HAVE THE BONUSES PAID BACK, BUT HE CHOSE NOT DO IT., SO SO MUCH FOR YOUR ARGUMENTS CORBETT COULD DO NOTHING
!

FURTHERMORE, HE DID HAVE THE POWER TO FINE AND HAVE THE BONUSES REPAID, AS DEDUCTED FROM THEIR PAYCHECK IN REASONABLE AMOUNTS OVER TIME.

CORBETT CHOSE TO SPEND MILLIONS ON A TRIAL TO GAIN NOTHING IN RETURN?

And then the same defense of "Webb's list doesn't match up with bonus recipients" would apply--how do you tell who got campaign bonuses and who didn't, without investing a lot of time and resources?

HE INVESTED RESOURCES ON THESE INVESTIGATIONS, BUT NOW YOU SAY, HE COULD NOT PROVE IT, SO WHY DID HE BRING SUCH CHARGES IN THE FIRST PLACE???

YOUR EXCUSE MAKING FOR CORBETT IS LAUGHABLE!

It's an easy soundbite to complain that people are getting to "keep" the bonuses, but lets be honest, that money is long spent and gone, and collecting would take a decade or two from most of the young and indebted recipients.

EXCUSE ME, CORBETT'S PROSECUTORS KEPT SAYING OVER AND OVER IN THEIR SOUND BITES THAT IT WAS ABOUT PROTECTING THE TAXPAYERS MONEY.....NOW YOU CRY ABOUT HOW COULD NOT RECOVER WHAT HE WAS PROTECTING???

HE IS STILL INVESTIGATING THE REPUBLICANS SENATORS BONUSES SO HE CAN START THERE, CAN HE NOT, OR DOES CORBETT NO LONGER CARE ABOUT PROTECTING TAXPAYERS MONEY????

So keep running the soundbite, but it's a terrible argument.

REALLY, AND YOUR ARGUMENTS ARE WHAT, SOUND LOGIC BASED ON THE HONESTY OF CORBETT?

A SOUNDBITE IS GOOD FOR A COMMERCIAL AGAINST CORBETT!

And if you aren't going to collect the bonus repayments, you aren't going to collect fines.

REALLY, TAT WAS YOUR ARGUMENT, CORBETT IS SUPPOSE TO PROTECT THE TAXPAYERS MONEY, SO MAKE HIS BONUS CAMPAIGN BUDDIES, REPAY THEIR BONUSES RIGHT NOW?

So that leaves criminal charges and jail time.

HE WILL NOT GET THAT, TOO MANY ERRORS BY HIS OAG PROSECUTORS, AND TOO MANY ERRORS BY REPUBLICAN JUDGE LEWIS THAT WILL OVERTURN THESE FEW VERDICTS ON APPEAL.

And it's ridiculous to believe that the AG should only pursue cheap/cost-effective investigations.

REALLY, SO YOU ADVOCATE EXPENSIVE INVESTIGATIONS THAT CANNOT RECOVER ANY MONIES OR PROTECT ANY TAXPAYERS DOLLARS, AS PROMISED WHEN CHARGES ARE BROUGHT AND THROUGHOUT THE TRIALS???

IS THIS REALLY YOUR ARGUMENT?

CONTINUED BELOW....

Anonymous said...

After this is all over and the full truth comes out on Corbett's Campaign, it is going to show Corbett never sought deterrence but will need a detergence to clean up the mess he made within in his operations.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...In Corbett's press briefing today he is having Judge Lewis oversee the next case for Veon. Video clip is posted here http://roxburynews.com/
(AG Tom Corbett 3/23/10). Must be nice to have a handy dandy Judge in your pocket! March 23, 2010 10:02 PM"

Judge Lewis will be shamed from Judges above him, as soon as some are removed after Zappala Grand Jury is through with them.

The Judicial Conduct Board is already in disgrace, it cannot afford more scandals!

The FEDS are coming too!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...Doesn't Corbett ever give up? I see he is trying to milk Healthcare for all he can. Maybe he thinks he can run for VicePresident on Sarah Palin's ticket. After all, he can almost see Ohio from his back door.
March 23, 2010 9:19 PM....

Corbett knows how to exploit any campaign issue to get elected more than worry about any social justice.

Don't worry once these types get into office, they vare amazed how no one will work with them, and have to cover up for many of their own people they appoint, and it does catch up with them.

Corbett will not escape anything he did to gain the power and lose his soul.

Anonymous said...

Holding people accountable by paying back Bonuses is really the best deterrence anyone can provide, if not for a Campaign Taxpayers would have been better served instead of spending more tax income.

Anonymous said...

WEIRD TIMING OR DEAL MAKING?

Senator's Wife Darla LaValle Sentenced To Only Four Years Probation

By: Bob Bauder
Beaver County Times
Monday March 22, 2010 10:08 PM

BEAVER — A tearful Darla LaValle, charged with skimming money from the nonprofit she directed for 20 years, was sentenced Monday to four years probation after pleading no contest to theft and misapplication of entrusted property.

LaValle, former director of the Voluntary Action Center of Beaver County and wife of retired state Sen. Gerald LaValle, entered the plea in county court as part of an agreement with the state attorney general’s office.

In exchange for her plea to one count of theft and three of misapplication of entrusted property, prosecutors dropped five other charges. Dismissed were four counts of theft and one of misapplication of entrusted property.

“I’m so sorry about what happened,” she said in court, dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

LaValle, 70, of 612 Farm Lane, Rochester Township, was charged as a result of a grand jury investigation of political corruption in Pennsylvania, including the “Bonusgate” scandal involving former state Rep. Mike Veon.

Investigators accused LaValle of stealing thousands from the nonprofit by inflating her salary without approval and denying two employees, including her sister, mandatory pension benefits.

LaValle, who had exclusive control of finances, paid herself $102,000 in 2005, $122,000 in 2006 and $23,000 for the first three months of 2007 before retiring, according to prosecutors. The organization’s two employees — Lucy Mathlage and LaValle’s sister, Judy Berresford — did not receive a raise during that period.

In addition, prosecutors alleged LaValle told Mathlage and Berresford that they were not entitled to benefits under the nonprofit’s policies because their salaries were funded through state grant monies.

The organization has since remitted $20,119 for Berresford and $19,869 for Mathlage to the Mutual of America Pension Plan.

LaValle could have received a jail sentence of up to 20 months under the state’s sentencing guidelines, according to Senior Judge Eugene E. Fike II of Somerset County, who presided over the case.

Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter said she recommended a sentence of probation considering LaValle has no prior criminal record, her age and that she has made full restitution to the organization.

In 2007, LaValle paid the organization $97,483.93, which includes interest and reimbursement for Social Security taxes.

LaValle’s attorney, William F. Ward of Pittsburgh, who refused comment after the hearing, said in court that his client provided the organization’s board with monthly and annual financial statements that outlined exactly how she was spending the its money. In addition, the board received annual audit reports that offered even more financial detail, he said.

LaValle, he said, was instrumental in funneling $600,000 in state grant funding to the organization.

Brandstetter said the board trusted LaValle so implicitly that they “all but ignored” the financial reports and audits. That was one reason, Brandstetter said, that she agreed to dismiss three of the charges.

The Voluntary Action Center, which closed after LaValle was charged, is now maintaining a shoestring operation out of a Salvation Army Building in Rochester. Brandstetter said the organization is now attempting to start anew.

LaValle, who entered the courthouse accompanied only by her attorney, was later joined by her sister, her brother-in-law and a niece. LaValle asked her husband and the couple’s two sons not to attend due to stress caused by her criminal case, according to Ward.

She told Fike that she was receiving mental counseling and taking medication for depression.

LaValle took turns in long embraces with her family members after the hearing concluded.

“My family and many other people have been hurt by this,” LaValle said before leaving.

Anonymous said...

From above...

Truth beTold, 03-23-10, 3:40 pm
She did WRONG no doubt and should face the wheels of justice! BUTTT i have a few QUESTIONS about this!!!

1# Why isnt the bookkeeper/ business manager /TREASURER of this group charged!

Which happen to be best of friends(at the time) with her and also the DEMOCRATIC CHAIRMEN and former Deputy Controller at the time of these CRIMES which was VINCE LaVALLE! Who after loss his job due to election change OUR lovely COMMISIONERS gave him a job!(maybe that was a deal so current commisioner could run for the senator seat hmmm)

2 # She was wrong --but cant cut herself a check it took 2 to tango sounds like she is getting the shaft alone! who could that be that writes the check??????

3 # Also where was the legal counsel to this CHARITY????

SOUNDS like political payback and someone cut a deal that was just as guilty ,,,the TRUTH will surface i am sure!!


brianef, 03-23-10, 3:46 pm
Yea I read that part, But I am quite sure that the judges in this county had absolutly no influance on the judge from somerset...that s just not how things are handled behind closed doors! I'll bet her and the judge went out to dinner afterwards! Thats why they held the trial here in Beaver Co. They knew they could pull it off! There are certain people that the law applies to and there are the ones that it does not. Some can break the law, Some can not!

vondell mccoy, 03-23-10, 4:15 pm Same thing applies here: The criminal court system in Beaver County is more concerned with making its statistics than actually prosecuting cases. They would rather plea out important cases and give probation and fines. A guilty plea looks as good as a trial conviction on paper. The sentence is unimportant when they send their statistics to the Justice Department. They sell out the publics' trust and security for statistics. Maybe if the Justice Department started a "Weed & Seed" program seeking out lazy court workers looking for the easy out, the system would change. But they won't. And We have such a limited amount of candidates to vote for at election time. Even the new candidates want the easy out. Guess we are just stuck with the way the system is.

http://mysite.verizon.net/vze12xesf/

CORBETT JUST LOVES THE SENATORS!

Anonymous said...

TSK, TSK, TSK, ANOTHER CORBETT WHITEWASH HYPOCRITE CLAIMING TO SAVE TAX DOLLARS, BY LETTING GO A BIG WIG POLITICO'S SELFISH WIFE RIPPING OFF CHARITIES....WHILE CLAIMING TO PROTECT TAX DOLLARS?

LET US SEE WHAT THE PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY....SHALL WE:

Comments

loyalty2 none, 03-23-10, 7:41 am
Darla walks into the sunshine! The system works!

easily amused, 03-23-10, 7:49 am
this is embarrasing. Had it been me, I would have had the book thrown at me. I guess it's all about who you know. I'm just destined to be a sod buster my whole life I guess.

devos, 03-23-10, 7:52 am
common theif is what she is, another lying Demorat.

bonj, 03-23-10, 11:39 am
Poor lady is depressed by the conviction. I'm sure she has plenty of stash for meds. This is usually the scenario when great quantities of money are thrown around without accountability. This is hardly a peanut in comparison to the coming Obamacare swindle of the nation.

Gorba De Goop, 03-23-10, 11:40 am
American judicial system at it's best. A slap on the wrist for Politicians be they local or Presidents. If you or I stole a package of chewing gum from a shop they would hunt us down and throw the book at us. This is a joke. Happy now Darla?

keysman, 03-23-10, 2:03 pm
Gorba,
The problem is with the DA's office and their constant desire to cut plea deals. THAT is why this woman walked on something a non-politically connected person would get jail time.

brianef, 03-23-10, 2:40 pm
Thiis is a disgrace to everyone! The judges in this county can and will continue to be bought! You can pay your way outta trouble if you have it! Only in Beaver County! You judges should be ashamed! She steals over 90,000.00 dollars and gets no jail time!

obadiah plainman, 03-23-10, 3:14 pm
brianef obviously didnt read the part in the article that said a judge from SOMERSET COUNTY was the one that sentenced her...good eye there champ

more below....

Anonymous said...

I guess Corbett is going for Deterrence rather gaining back Tax Dollars to investigate and prosecute Darling Dark Lady Darla!

What gets me is Senator LaValle and his cheating charity wife already have a great home in Florida, and now they will live off the following:

1. School Teachers Pension

2. County Commissioners Pension

3. State Senator Pension

4. Vets Pension

5. United Way Pension

And soon to be Darla's Disability Application Awards for her Depression.

ALL APPROVED BY CORBETT, THE BEST AG SENATORS COULD BUY!

Anonymous said...

WAIT MINUTE WASN'T SENATOR GERRY LAVALLE THE CHAIRMAN OF B.I.G. THE VERY NEXT TRIAL FOR MIKE VEON AND ROSEPINK?

I recall Senators Lavalle bragging about B.I.G. accomplishments while his son did the Real estate work for Commissions, but all of sudden, only Mike Veon is responsible once again, according to Corbett?


What a bunch of corruption sitting in the OAG!

Anonymous said...

Inside the deliberations room, Shutt said jurors struggled to understand the precise meaning of the language in the crimes code and to piece together e-mails and other evidence in large boxes of material generated by the six-week trial.

“When we would discuss a certain issue, we actually had to go find and root through and find a piece of information here, a piece of information there,” he said. “It was a task.”

He declined to discuss the dismissal of a sick juror on Friday, and said the panel bonded as friends.

“That’s what made it difficult, when you become close and you don’t see eye-to-eye on things and you start heavily debating,” he said. “It got emotional.”

As foreman he said he tried to make sure everyone was able to say what was on his or her mind before taking any votes. Within a few days they reached consensus on some elements of the case, but in other respects they were far apart.

“There (were) times where I thought there’s just too many charges and we weren’t going to be able to agree on all of them,” he said. “That was a main concern of mine.”

Shutt said jurors were aware of Corbett’s political ambitions — he’s running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

“We talked about it a little bit. We knew that he had an interest in it,” he said.

Asked whether that affected the verdict, Shutt said no.

Corbett said the case had nothing to do with his run for governor, rattled off a list of pending court dates for other defendants in the three-year-old investigation and said additional arrests were possible.

Yet, Corbett has had no time to investigate Senators that paid out bonuses after 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Jury foreman says Veon was an accomplice
By: Mark Scolforo
Beaver County Times
Tuesday March 23, 2010 07:31 PM

HARRISBURG — The foreman of the jury that convicted former Beaver County state Rep. Mike Veon of 14 counts in a corruption trial said Tuesday that he viewed Veon as an accomplice more than the driving force but that “the buck has to stop somewhere.”

“Somebody has to take responsibility for the people underneath, their actions,” Gene Shutt told The Associated Press in his first interview since the verdict was announced late Monday.

“I didn’t feel Mr. Veon was the creator of this conspiracy,” Shutt said. “We saw him as an accomplice — I did, I saw him as an accomplice. I didn’t see him as the mastermind.”

He said that jurors realized early on that it was far from a run-of-the-mill criminal case.

“We really took it to heart,” Shutt said. “We knew from the very beginning the ramifications of the whole trial, so we wanted to make sure we got everything correct.”

Telephone and e-mail messages left Tuesday for most of the other jurors were not immediately returned.

Jurors quickly concluded there had not been enough evidence to convict Steve Keefer, formerly Veon’s campaign treasurer and director of the House Democrats’ information technology office. Keefer was the only defendant to be acquitted of all charges.

“We looked at the evidence ... and it wasn’t close for us,” Shutt said.

He said jurors also decided it was unfair to hold Veon, Brett Cott and Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink of Beaver Falls criminally liable for successful petition challenges against presidential candidate Ralph Nader in 2004 and U.S. Senate candidate Carl Romanelli in 2006.

“Every Democrat across the state was doing this,” Shutt said. “They wanted to single out just Mr. Veon and his office and make it seem like they were running the whole thing. We knew better.”

Shutt said the attorney general’s office overcharged the defendants, who together faced 139 counts.

“We all understood that the AG’s point was to throw mud at the wall and see what stuck,” he said.

Attorney General Tom Corbett said Tuesday that state law allows for multiple theft charges and that Veon had been convicted of seven of the 11 criminal episodes for which he was charged.

“We believe that justice has been served with this verdict and that hopefully the people of Pennsylvania can have a little bit more faith in their state government today, now that these defendants have been convicted of stealing more than $2 million of their money,” Corbett said at a news conference.

look below.....

Anonymous said...

Judge Lewis should be replaced on the B.I.G. trial coming up.

Anonymous said...

If Corbett is saying the Investigations and Trials did not cost over Million Dollars, then why not put the real number out!

Corbett denied it, but never gave a real number!

Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentilmen...SERIOUSLY...

Why is Corbett being allowed to use the job he's repeatedly failed at to get the job he's not qualified for?

It looks like this "Bonus Gate" affair and the pace of it's prosecution are being timed to help get Corbett free press for his election bid for Governor.

We're paying for him and his staff to run for Governor...and then if he fails, he's still drawing a pay check, etc as a lame State's Attorney General!

Why are we and our legislature letting him to get away with that?

What about the Parole Board Corruption he's been told about, with evidence, for years now?

What about the "Rendell Murders"?

What about his repeated betrayal of public trust?

Corbett was repeatedly told, in writing, with evidence, about Parole Board Corruption to include inappropriate... quit possibly criminal... and repeated sexual contacts between State Parole Agents and Offenders and their families!

To include a District Director, who has a child now from an Offender's wife while hubby was on his caseload!

Also shaking down Parolees for money, selling urine passes, pocketing supervision fees, routine misuse of State Vehicles to the tune of many thousands of tax dollars.

Who investigates the Attorney General?

Who does he answer to... by his own repeated lack of action... it's not the good, decent families of Pennsylvania!

Why isn't the U.S. Attorney General (Eric Holder) investigating Tom (CORRUPT) Corbett!?

Anonymous said...

Lets throw some fat on the fire. Corbett a few day ago was asked to recuse himself from investigting a law firm who HE named in a Grand Jury presentment as suspect for accepting bonus money in this trial for their campaign work.

It seems the same law firm , six weeks later, donated a $ubstantial amount to his Corbetts campaign....and $uddenly they were off his radar.?????

Now come on, can't we check on Corbett's Campaign!

Anonymous said...

Inside the Veon jury deliberations
By Angela Couloumbis and Mario F. Cattabiani

Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau


HARRISBURG - The seven men and five women who decided the fate of former State Rep. Mike Veon and three of his aides weren't out to cleanse the Capitol of corruption or send a signal to officeholders everywhere to walk the straight and narrow.

They had too much work to do.

Their job, as jury foreman Gene Shutt said yesterday, was to sort through six weeks' testimony, mine the mountain of 1,600 exhibits, decipher their own scribbled notes in a legion of legal pads - and get along for one more week.

"It wasn't our responsibility to send a message," said Shutt, 47, who is a supervisor in Wiconisco Township (population 1,168).

"Our responsibility was to sort through the evidence and make a decision on the evidence.

"And let me tell you," Shutt added, it was a daunting task."

During that time, Shutt and the 11 other jurors huddled around a conference table on the fourth floor of the Dauphin County courthouse. Early on, they asked for a larger room - to accommodate the stacks of evidence and legal pads.

There was so much paperwork in the room that at the end of each day, Shutt said, sheriff's officers would lock and chain the doors to make certain no one entered.

And when the jury was in the room, Shutt said, all they did, day after day, was "deliberate and debate." Cell phones weren't allowed in. Small talk stayed at a minimum.

"It was mentally fatiguing," said another juror, Barbara Dupler. "We basically gave up our lives to be on that jury for that length of time."

Defense lawyers pointed out that prosecutors secured convictions on only 22 of the 139 charges brought against the four defendants, or 16 percent. Corbett, who is running for governor, preferred a different set of figures: of 12 people named in the initial round of charges, 10 have now been convicted or pleaded guilty in Bonusgate, a scandal nicknamed for what prosecutors say was a multiyear scheme to reward legislative staffers with state bonuses for doing campaign work.

Shutt said yesterday that as far as jurors were concerned, "There was no smoking gun."

"It was like a jigsaw puzzle," he said. "We had pieces of evidence here and pieces there, and we had to connect them together to form a final picture."

He said the jury took each individual charge and painstakingly kicked it around. "We all had a say. There wasn't one person in that room that didn't have the floor."

There were tense moments. One juror last week tearfully told the Dauphin County Judge Richard A. Lewis that people were turning on each other.

On Friday, that juror was excused for illness and replaced with an alternate, leading Lewis to instruct the jury to begin deliberations from scratch.

Rupert would not discuss the excused juror. Neither would Shutt.

"At points, it did get heated," he said, "but we policed ourselves. Some people had strong feelings, but we were all civil. Over six weeks, you get to know people. And that really helped."

But he couldn't stop thinking about the issues, even when he went home at night. "During the trial," Shutt said, "I didn't have the ability to turn it off at the end of the day."

And then he did something he hadn't done since the start of the trial. He slept through the night.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/20100324_Inside_the_Veon_jury_deliberations.html

Anonymous said...

In the Press Conference on Roxbury News, Corbett admits he did not know it was illegal to have Dinners at teh Capitol when working on legislative matters....SO WHY DID HIS CRACK STAFF NOT CHECK ON THIS BEFORE THEY BROUGHT CHARGES THEY COULD NOT PROVE?

It is clear it was done for a Campaign Project not seeking justice.

Amazing the trial took so long, was because of so many bogus charges were placed forth, whne none of them were illegal.

Corbett should be ashamed to let this happen.

Anonymous said...

The American system of trial by jury is unique.

No other nation relies so heavily on ordinary citizens to make its most important decisions about law, business practice, and personal liberty--even death.

Ideally, Americans take their participation seriously lest they someday stand before their peers seeking justice.

What are alternate jurors?

Additional jurors are chosen, known as alternates, in the event that any members of the jury are unable to complete the trial for some reason.

Alternate jurors participate in the trial proceedings but do not take part in deliberations unless they have been called to replace members of the jury, with approval of all parties.

Anonymous said...

Here is my problem with the Jurors Deliberations.

It took 5 days for them to deliberate before they needed to replace one of the Jurors.

Yet, as soon as the Alternate Juror was added, it only took 12 hours?

Now if they had really gone through everything all over again, would it not have taken another 5 days?

I think the Alternate Juror ws just a nice guy and went along with the other Jurors who were upset the Juror that was replaced was not agreeing with them.

Judge Lewis made a mistake adding this Juror instaed of ordering a Mistrial.

Anonymous said...

guilty
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guilty
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guilty
guilty
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guilty
guilty
guilty
guilty
guilty
guilty
guilty
guilty
guilty
guilty
guilty
guilty
plead guilty
plead guilty
plead guilty
plead guilty
plead guilty
plead guilty
plead guilty
22+7
by a jury of peers
I want my $$ back

Anonymous said...

NOT GUILTY
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Anonymous said...

What a disgusting pack of rodents you all are. Dems and Rs and plea-dealers alike. Public servants, my ass. You were all in it for The Game and the $$$. And you all have nothing but contempt for the voters. You consider us all gullible and beneath you.
I hope all the convictions stick.
AND I hope Corbett loses his election bid.
PA politics... a human septic tank.

Anonymous said...

Yeah....and LaGrotta still claims he is innocent too and framed by the same dude.

Anonymous said...

Continued above....

The tip staff was amazing. Joe Cherry even made us lunch one day. It was delicious! The coffee they provided sucked. I’ve probably gained a few pounds due to not being able to move around. Seven weeks of sitting!

This has been the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. It was overwhelming. I believe it was six weeks of witnesses being questioned, 1,700 pieces of evidence for us to look at, our notebooks, descriptions of the crimes, and the verdict slips. Twelve people had to come up with unanimous decisions for four defendants and many, many charges. What most people don’t understand is the basis of the charges. For example, one of the charges was theft of services. But to find someone guilty of theft of services, you must believe without a reasonable doubt that the defendant has carried out three or four underlying criteria. Every one of the charges was like this. If you could only find the defendant guilty of two of the underlying items, you could not find them guilty of the charge.

During deliberations, there were times of tension, there was laughter, there was crying. Here we found ourselves as the judges of others. The future and lives of others were in our hands. That is a lot of responsibility that I don’t think anyone wants.

While we were stuck in the court house all day we had to make the best of it. One day we took a quick lunch, then spent the rest of our available time exploring the court house. Besides, it was OUR court house. We checked out all of the court rooms, went to every floor, and every stairway. We were lucky to have the court room we had. It was so much bigger than than the others. Size really does matter.

And luckily we were given the Lawyers Lounge for our deliberation room. With the boxes of evidence, we needed as much space as we could get. The Lawyers Lounge had large tables, couches, a fireplace, a kitchen, it was like an apartment! Oh the life of a juror…

Now I just want to get back to my life. I want to get back to work and catch up on things. I want to catch up with my friends on Twitter and Facebook. I want to read the news to see what has been going on around Harrisburg. And I want to put part of this experience behind me. It was difficult. I’m not going to say it was a bad experience. But it was an eye opening one. I want to take the things I’ve learned here and carry them on in my life. And I want to stay in touch with some of the acquaintances I’ve made during the trial.

Posted in Government & Politics.

12 comments

By Jonathan – March 23, 2010


Read more: http://www.smithcreate.com/category/government-politics/#ixzz0jCugfTDZ

Anonymous said...

Being a juror on the bonusgate trial:

It’s Tuesday, March 23rd and I’m finally able to get back to my life. I’ve spent the last seven weeks as a juror on the bonusgate trial here in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This trial consisted of four defendants – Mike Veon, Brett Cott, Steve Keefer, and Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink (I know, long name).

As a juror for this largely publicized trial, I was asked to refrain from Twitter and Facebook along with any local news. I can’t begin to explain how difficult this was. I’m a web designer and use social networking to stay in touch with friends and also stay on top of events happening around me. I embrace these technologies. Yet, for seven weeks I had to hold back. I had to stay in the dark.

Over the seven weeks on the jury for bonusgate I developed friendships. It’s hard not to. I mean, every day I spent the entire day with these people. We came from different backgrounds yet all came together to do our job. Yet we would talk about our families, our jobs, movies, just about anything. And with that we developed bonds.

Some of the days were extremely long. When it gets late in the day, the lighting in the courtroom changes with the sky lights. And no offense to Mr. Fetterhoff (Steve Keefer’s attorney) … but he’s the last person we wanted to hear after lunch or at the end of the day.

Mr. Fetterhoff is very monotone (Bueller, Bueller… ) and makes it hard to stay awake sometimes. I remember one day when he went back to his seat and threw his papers down on the table after a witness wouldn’t give him the answer he was looking for. Many evenings I came home and was just numb to the world. My emotions were gone. I would go to sleep around 8pm.

Going to lunch was sometimes eventful. We would put our juror badges away and walk through town. Sometimes we would see the defendants and/or the attorneys as they looked for a lunch spot.

Sometimes we ended up eating at the same place. We’ve glanced at each other… and the nice person inside of me wants to just say “Hi.”, but of course we didn’t think that was allowed so we just kept our distance.

One extended lunch time we ate at the Downtown Deli and then walked to the Capitol for a self-guided tour.

After all, the Capitol was at the center of this whole case. We wanted to see this place.

Actually, we wanted to see room 626 which was talked about so much during the trial. Well, we didn’t make it to 626. But we did see the large painting of Bill Deweese hanging on the wall. Very creepy I must say.

Continued below.....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...What a disgusting pack of rodents you all are. Dems and Rs and plea-dealers alike. Public servants, my ass. You were all in it for The Game and the $$$. And you all have nothing but contempt for the voters. You consider us all gullible and beneath you.

I hope all the convictions stick.
AND I hope Corbett loses his election bid.

PA politics... a human septic tank.
March 25, 2010 12:08 AM

My Reponse:

In regards to, "And you all have nothing but contempt for the voters. You consider us all gullible and beneath you."

I can assure you that people like Veon and his key staffers always respected the voters and citizens; it was their mission to help anyone and everyone that came to them.

I say this in complete honesty without reservation.

Now with that said, did they expect more pay for the hours they worked, like anyone else? Yes!

Was that right or wrong? Well, it was Wrong, because the voters did vote Mike out, and Mike admits it.

Yet, it was not criminal as Corbett made it out to be, and Corbett never has yet after 3 year, even reported on any investigation of his close Republican Senator Friends current and former.

Now, I do not think that is fair, and why I support the defendants., moreover, especially Mike Veon.

I respect you having a different view, but I can tell you, most Lawmakers and especially Mike Veon along with Rosepink and Cott, always put the Citizens firsts.

Anonymous said...

In case you missed it.....

"DON'T try to uncover evidence on your own. Never, for example, go to the scene of an event that was part of the case you are hearing. You must decide the case only on the basis of evidence admitted in court."

Anonymous said...

Some Do's and Don'ts for Jurors
During trial:

DO arrive on time and DO return promptly after breaks and lunch. The trial cannot proceed until all jurors are present.

DO pay close attention. If you cannot hear what is being said, raise your hand and let the judge know.

DO keep an open mind all through the trial.

DO listen carefully to the instructions read by the judge. Remember, it is your duty to accept what the judge says about the law to be applied to the case.

DON'T try to guess what the judge thinks about the case. Remember that rulings from the bench do not reflect the judge's personal views.

DON'T talk about the case, or issues raised by the case with anyone--including other jurors--while the trial is going on, and

DON'T let others talk about the case in your presence, even family members. If someone insists on talking to you or another juror about the case, please report the matter to a court employee. These rules are designed to help you keep an open mind during the trial.

DON'T talk to the lawyers, parties, or witnesses about anything. This will avoid the impression that something unfair is going on.

DON'T try to uncover evidence on your own. Never, for example, go to the scene of an event that was part of the case you are hearing. You must decide the case only on the basis of evidence admitted in court.

DON'T let yourself get information about the case from the news media or any other outside source. Even if news reports are accurate and complete, they cannot substitute for your own impressions about the case. If you accidentally hear outside information about the case during trial, tell a member of the court staff in private.

During deliberation:


DO work out differences between yourself and other jurors through complete and fair discussions of the evidence and of the judge's instructions. DON'T lose your temper, try to bully or refuse to listen to the opinions of other jurors.

DON'T mark or write on exhibits or otherwise change or injure them.

DON'T try to guess what might happen if the case you have heard is appealed. Appellate courts deal only with legal questions--they will not change your verdict if you decided the facts based on proper evidence and instructions.

DON'T draw straws, flip coins or otherwise arrive at your verdict by chance, or the decision will be illegal. It is also improper for a jury to determine damage awards by averaging the amounts calculated by each individual juror.

DON'T talk to anyone about your deliberations or about the verdict until the judge discharges the jury. After discharge, you may discuss the verdict and the deliberations with anyone, including the media, the lawyers, or your family. But DON'T feel obligated to do so -- no juror can be forced to talk without a court order.

Anonymous said...

Next Bonusgate hearing delayed after Corbett allegations
Thursday, March 25, 2010
By Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HARRISBURG -- Former state Rep. Steve Stetler's preliminary hearing on government corruption charges won't be held Friday after all.

Dauphin County Judge Richard A. Lewis wants to give Attorney General Tom Corbett time to respond to a pair of 40-page motions before allowing any more court proceedings related to the criminal investigation known as Bonusgate.

Joshua D. Lock, attorney for Mr. Stetler and former state Rep. Brett O. Feese filed the motions Wednesday.

He is seeking to have criminal charges dropped against both clients and asking to disqualify the Mr. Corbett's office from prosecuting their cases.

Mr. Stetler, a York Democrat, and Mr. Feese, a Lycoming Republican, are among 25 charged since July 2008 in the ongoing government corruption investigation known as Bonusgate.

Three of them -- former state Rep. Mike Veon and aides Brett Cott and Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink -- were found guilty of multiple felony counts Monday. Two others have been acquitted and seven others pleaded guilty.

In a pair of motions filed in the Dauphin County Courthouse yesterday, Mr. Lock argued that Mr. Corbett used public resources to campaign for governor and for re-election as attorney general even as his office was investigating similar conduct by others including Mr. Feese and Mr. Stetler.

Attorneys for other defendants raised similar issues but their arguments were dismissed.

"It is obvious that defendants Stetler and Feese are attempting to manufacture a defense taken from the unsuccessful playbook of convicted felons Mike Veon and Brett Cott," Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said. "When you don't have a plausible defense, you accuse your accuser."

Mr. Harley said the attorney general's office intends to refute every claim in Mr. Lock's motion.

Judge Lewis will give the office two weeks to do so. Meanwhile, he has called for a delay in Bonusgate proceedings, including a preliminary hearing scheduled Friday for Mr. Stetler.



Tom Barnes contributed. Tracie Mauriello: tmauriello@post-gazette.com or 7170787-2141


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10084/1045609-100.stm#ixzz0jD6ln2DQ

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Being a juror on the bonusgate trial:...
One extended lunch time we ate at the Downtown Deli and then walked to the Capitol for a self-guided tour.
March 25, 2010 12:42 PM

And he evens posts on Twitter in Feb and March as DZINER.So much for instructions from judge.

"I sold an image today through @shutterstock! My gallery is here: http://tinyurl.com/loggoe
9:14 AM Mar 2nd via Shuttertweet"

Anonymous said...

Ex-lawmakers try to turn tables on AG Motions say Corbett used state resources for campaigning
Friday, March 26, 2010
By Tracie Mauriello, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG -- Court motions laden with accusations that Attorney General Tom Corbett engaged in the same practices he's prosecuting in the Bonusgate investigation have delayed former state Rep. Steve Stetler's preliminary hearing on government corruption charges.

Mr. Stetler, a York Democrat, was to hear some of the government's evidence against him this morning in a hearing designed to determine whether there is sufficient proof to hold the case for trial.

Instead, Dauphin County Judge Richard A. Lewis will delay the hearing to give the attorney general time to respond to a pair of 40-page motions before allowing any more court proceedings related to the criminal investigation known as Bonusgate.

Joshua D. Lock, attorney for Mr. Stetler and former state Rep. Brett O. Feese, filed the motions Wednesday.

He is seeking to have criminal charges dropped against both of his clients and asking to disqualify the office of Attorney General Tom Corbett from prosecuting their cases.

Mr. Stetler and Mr. Feese, a Lycoming Republican, are among 25 charged since July 2008 in a wide-ranging government corruption investigation known as Bonusgate.


In motions filed in Dauphin County Courthouse yesterday, Mr. Lock argued that Mr. Corbett used public resources to campaign even as his office was investigating similar conduct by others, including Mr. Feese and Mr. Stetler.

Mr. Corbett, a Republican, is running for governor.

Mr. Lock's motions include more than 300 pages of exhibits that he says show, for example, that Mr. Corbett used his campaign cell phone to call his office on work time 103 times over 14 months.

Other exhibits indicate that he "parked" three employees in state jobs until they were needed for politics, then transferred them to campaign payroll. Mr. Lock also says that Mr. Corbett used state drivers and state vehicles on campaign trips.

Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said that use of state workers for campaigns was appropriate because the employees went off state payroll and were not receiving state benefits.

Mr. Corbett "is prosecuting these people for acts that appear to be comparable to ones he committed himself.

That raises very, very significant issues about what standard should be applied" to cases involving the use of state resources on state time," Mr. Lock said in an interview Thursday. "Is the standard what he says or what he does?"

He said Mr. Corbett has a history of using his office to prosecute and intimidate political opponents, including a former campaign consultant to John Morganelli, the Northhampton County district attorney who challenged in him in the 2008 attorney general race.

"He has shown a willingness to use the system any way he can to accommodate his political goals; that's what's so scary about this," Mr. Lock said.

According to Mr. Lock's motions, Mr. Corbett's office solicited campaign donations from Mr. Feese and others even as his office was investigating them.

That raises "the obvious question of whether [Corbett fund-raisers] encouraged the notion that prosecution could be avoided by political contributions," according to one motion.

A search of campaign finance reports show no contributions from Mr. Feese to Mr. Corbett since 2003.

Anonymous said...

LINK:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/13791903/20081002-Kimmett-Amended-Complaint

20081002 Kimmett Amended Complaint Against Tom Corbett

Anonymous said...

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

THOMAS D. KIMMETT and
SHERRY E. BELLAMAN
Plaintiffs

V

TOM CORBETT, BRIAN NUTT,
WILLIAM RYAN, LOU ROVELLI,
STEVE BRANDWENE, MIKE ROMAN,
BRUCE SARTESCHI, JILL KEISER,
JAMES FURLONG, and ROBERT COYNE,
Defendants

CIVIL ACTION LAW
NO. 08-1496
Jury Trial Demanded
AMENDED COMPLAINT

Introductory Statement

This is an amended civil rights action adding additional plaintiffs, additional defendants, and additional factual averments.

The complaint is brought by a Pennsylvania Senior Deputy Attorney General and an assistant of his against Tom Corbett, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, in his individual capacity.

The defendants Nutt, Rovelli, Ryan, Sarteschi, Keiser, and Brandwene, are members of Attorney General Corbett's staff.

All defendants are sued in their
individual capacities. The defendants Furlong and Coyne are employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

Shortly after plaintiff began working for the Attorney General's office in September of 2006 he discovered irregularities in
the Attorney General's Financial Enforcement Section (collections department).

The Financial Enforcement Section ("FES") of the Attorney General's office acts as a collection agency for all the Agencies, Boards, Commissions, and Universities of the Commonwealth.

The accounts-receivables from month to month may vary
between $300, 000, 000-$500, 000, 000 (three hundred to five hundred million dollars). The largest account is the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue whose accounts-receivables can be as much as $300 million, or more, at any given time.

This is all taxpayers' money. The above named defendants were fully aware that pervasive wrongdoing was occurring in the collections process by government employees before and during the plaintiff's complaining to them.

Kimmett engaged in a diligent effort, with assistance from a small group of co-workers, to
disclose and stop the wrongdoing.

He was assisted by Bellaman whose sole interest was to conduct herself as an honest and effective state employee enabling
her to raise and support her family.

Upon information and belief, Tom Corbett and Revenue officials later made an express decision not to formally investigate the
illegal misconduct plaintiff uncovered for purely political reasons.

They did so to avoid public disclosure of possible criminal misconduct and fraud (or at least the gross malfeasance which was occurring within the Attorney General's office, all with the awareness and complicity of high officials in the Department of Revenue).

Corbett and the Revenue officials made this decision on or about late 2006-2007.

This illegal and improper misconduct has cost the taxpayers of Pennsylvania millions of dollars in lost monies due and owing to the Commonwealth. Further,
because of fraudulent payouts for services that were unearned or earned improperly, it is possible that perhaps even millions of dollars, has been, and may
continue to be, illegally paid out to preferred vendors.

This cover-up by Mr. Corbett and the other defendants, was, and is, responsible for the unlawful and
improper payout of large amounts of taxpayer funds to private collection agencies that do not, or have not, earned their commissions. Because the plaintiff
complained about this wrongdoing, the defendants Corbett, Ryan, Nutt, Rovelli, Roman, and Brandwene all unlawfully agreed and acted to deny the plaintiff a
promised promotion in retaliation for his persistent refusal to react favorably to their ill disguised message, which was to tolerate the illegal activity.

MORE IN THE LAWSUIT

Anonymous said...

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
THOMAS D. KIMMETT and
SHERRY E. BELLAMAN
Plaintiffs
V
TOM CORBETT, BRIAN NUTT,
WILLIAM RYAN, LOU ROVELLI,
STEVE BRANDWENE, MIKE ROMAN,
BRUCE SARTESCHI, JILL KEISER,
JAMES FURLONG, and ROBERT COYNE,
Defendants

Operative Facts

10. Kimmett began employment with the Attorney General's Department on or about September 2006. He is a highly qualified attorney with an accounting background who has worked in state government both in New Jersey, as a state tax auditor and Deputy Attorney General and also in Pennsylvania, as a Department of Revenue attorney and Senior Deputy Attorney General.

11. At the time that Tom Kimmett was negotiating for his employment
position he was promised a promotion to replace his then, superior, in the Financial
Enforcement Section (FES) where he was going.

12. When plaintiff got to the FES his efforts to learn what was going on in the Section he was hired to run were intentionally obstructed by employees
(particularly Jill Keiser who was scheduled to be replaced by Kimmett), she was
already in place, and she reported to his superiors by going around him i.e.,she defacto refused to relinquish authority in running the Section by avoiding his
(Kimmett's) authority and refusing to work with or assist Kimmett in anyway.

This insubordination by Keiser was known to Brandwene and the chain of command, who refused to take any action to correct the insubordination.

13. Kimmett was forced to developed alternate ways to learn and understand the Section he was chosen to run. He began by sitting with each employee starting from the bottom up to try to learn the operation and functions of the FES operation. He opened mail, he learned how to input and process checks, etc., etc.

14. Tom Kimmett subsequently learned, on or about late September through November 2006 that there was a persistent improper practice of unlawfully
referring out commissions to favored vendors after public employees had completed the necessary work to settle a delinquent account.

This abuse was confirmed in a four hour meeting with the Department of Revenue where this practice was discussed.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Kimmett had further discussions with a Revenue official concerning these statements and was told that
it had been ongoing for years in FES. Kimmett filed a report the next working day up his chain of command to alert officials in the Attorney General's office of the
statements concerning abuse and to request that Kimmett and two CP As from the Comptroller's Office follow-up to conduct a review.

15. This practice resulted in, and still may result in, the fraudulent payment of taxpayer money to favored vendors who did not earn commissions but collected
money from the Commonwealth.

The so-called "commissions" which were paid out to certain vendors, were deducted directly from taxpayers' monies. The fraudulent losses are estimated to amount to very large amounts of money, perhaps even millions of dollars. In addition to the abuse outlined above, Kimmett identified and reported what he and others believed were numerous other abuses, improprieties, mis- and malfeasance, including some of the
following:

1) A $324,000 payment to a private collection agency was challenged by Kimmett because the settlement and collection were made by the Tax Litigation Section pursuant to a Stipulation of Judgment at Commonwealth Court and not by any private collection agency

Subsequently, payment was ordered to be paid to the private collection agency by Michael Roman and Robert Coyne. (Note: this
has not been processed yet - very recent)

MORE BELOW........

Anonymous said...

...FROM ABOVE, MAYBE FROM GOD ALMIGHTY, KARMA HAS A WAY TO BITE YOU BACK JUST WHEN YOU DO NOT EXPECT IT....WHAT WILL CORBETT'S PROSECUTORS DO NOW WHEN THEY ARE BROUGHT IN???

2) An $110,000 payment to a private collection agency was
challenged by Kimmett because the settlement and collection were
made by the Tax Litigation Section pursuant to a Stipulation of
Judgment at Commonwealth Court and not by any private collection agency.

Subsequently, payment was authorized by James Furlong claiming approval by Michael Roman and Secretary of Revenue Thomas Wolf.

3) Improper payments to private collection agencies of $10,000 and
$11,000 were challenged and stopped before payment was made because FES employees had settled the cases, and not by any private collection agency.

4) A Taxpayer with a $913,000 tax liability was given a settlement of
$20,000 with no paperwork or backup. When the settlement was
challenged, Mike Roman ordered payment to proceed; Michael
Roman claimed this is just another "smelly" settlement by
defendant Steve Brandwene (former Chief) that he has approved
since becoming Chief.

5) A Taxpayer was granted in interest free settlement starting on May 1, 2001, for $50,000 down and $2,000 per month until $300,000
has been paid.

A subsequent audit totaling $544,386 was included
in a questionable manner, after the fact, in the original settlement.

When the $300,000 is fmally paid-off sometime around 09-2011, the total liability will be approximately $1.5 million and would require a future Attorney General to sign-off on a $1.2 million settlement.

Settlements are not formalized until all payments have
been received. The Commonwealth will lose over $1 million.

6) Approximately 250 completed Settlements/Compromises
involving hundreds of thousands of dollars dating back to 1990
were found in defendant Jill Keiser's office.

They had not been sent to the Referring State Agencies for Processing.

7) A high ranking Department of Revenue Official claimed that
employees in the Financial Enforcement Section ("FES") had
engaged in malfeasance on numerous occasions over a number of
years and this malfeasance was the impetus for the Department of
Revenue to take over the private collection agencies referral
process for Revenue cases.

8) Hundreds of Pay-directs (payment of commissions to private
collection agencies for money paid to referring State Agencies)
were paid improperly costing the Public Trust and taxpayers of
Pennsylvania tens of thousand of dollars.

9) A high ranking Revenue Official asserted that cases that were
settled by FES employees were shifted to Private collection
agencies in order to grant the private collection agencies improper commissions.

EVEN MORE BELOW, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT???

Anonymous said...

EVEN MORE FROM ABOVE CAN YOU BELIEVE IT....

10) Numerous (30-40) Private collection agencies Compromises
found in FES files involving hundreds of thousand of dollars could not be accounted for.

11) Private collection agencies were allowed to hold cases well
beyond the six month and twelve month placement periods in the
Contract and still receive commissions.

12) Private collection agencies were allowed to hold hundreds of
thousands of dollars (sometimes as high $700,000) each month in
Commonwealth Funds without paying any interest on this money
and contrary to a specific requirement of their Contract.

13) Resignation by one FES employees resulted in tens of thousand of dollars that was unaccounted for that was subsequently paid out to a private collection agency.

In addition, numerous records and reports that could have accounted for the missing funds were never found.

14)Up until June 2007, FES contractually authorized payment of
some of the highest commission rates in the nation to private
collection agencies, all based on no-bid Contracts.

In July of 2007, Kimmett spearheaded the effort to reduce the commission rates across board on all private collection agencies.

15) Numerous provisions of the no-bid Contracts were not enforced
by FES. 16) FES continuously violated HIP AA requirements for cases containing Protected Health Information.

17) Private collection agencies employees were allowed to work in
FES and were granted unlimited access to the Revenue computer
database and confidential information.

Private collection agency employees routinely granted their agencies extension to hold cases beyond the six and twelve month holding periods with little of no
oversight.

16. Tom Kimmett complained of these unlawful practices to officials in the Department of Revenue (particularly to Mr. Furlong) and he also complained
within his own office.

17. Department of Revenue officials, including Mr. Furlong, admitted their knowledge of the unlawful practices, their awareness of the state of poorly
kept inadequate records in the Attorney General's office, and presumably in their own office, and they were aware of the prolific loss of taxpayer money under improper conditions.

Furlong specifically admitted that the misconduct was occurring and that it had been going on for quite some time.

18. Kimmett persistently complained within and without his chain of command, to other areas in the Attorney General's Office, to Revenue officials, as
well as others, that the recurrent mis- and malfeasance and possibly fraud was occurring in the unlawful payments of commission for unearned services that needed to be investigated and acted upon.

19. At various times Kimmett informed his supenors about what was going on, submitting memorandum after memorandum outlining his concerns and
the abuses, in addition to a number of discussions with them.

Specifically, among others, Tom Kimmett spoke with Mr. Rovelli, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Brandwene, Mr. Nutt
and many others, but to no avail.

JUST A LITTLE MORE BELOW....

Anonymous said...

EVEN MORE FROM ABOVE CAN YOU BELIEVE IT....

10) Numerous (30-40) Private collection agencies Compromises
found in FES files involving hundreds of thousand of dollars could not be accounted for.

11) Private collection agencies were allowed to hold cases well
beyond the six month and twelve month placement periods in the
Contract and still receive commissions.

12) Private collection agencies were allowed to hold hundreds of
thousands of dollars (sometimes as high $700,000) each month in
Commonwealth Funds without paying any interest on this money
and contrary to a specific requirement of their Contract.

13) Resignation by one FES employees resulted in tens of thousand of dollars that was unaccounted for that was subsequently paid out to a private collection agency.

In addition, numerous records and reports that could have accounted for the missing funds were never found.

14)Up until June 2007, FES contractually authorized payment of
some of the highest commission rates in the nation to private
collection agencies, all based on no-bid Contracts.

In July of 2007, Kimmett spearheaded the effort to reduce the commission rates across board on all private collection agencies.

15) Numerous provisions of the no-bid Contracts were not enforced
by FES. 16) FES continuously violated HIP AA requirements for cases containing Protected Health Information.

17) Private collection agencies employees were allowed to work in
FES and were granted unlimited access to the Revenue computer
database and confidential information.

Private collection agency employees routinely granted their agencies extension to hold cases beyond the six and twelve month holding periods with little of no
oversight.

16. Tom Kimmett complained of these unlawful practices to officials in the Department of Revenue (particularly to Mr. Furlong) and he also complained
within his own office.

17. Department of Revenue officials, including Mr. Furlong, admitted their knowledge of the unlawful practices, their awareness of the state of poorly
kept inadequate records in the Attorney General's office, and presumably in their own office, and they were aware of the prolific loss of taxpayer money under improper conditions.

Furlong specifically admitted that the misconduct was occurring and that it had been going on for quite some time.

18. Kimmett persistently complained within and without his chain of command, to other areas in the Attorney General's Office, to Revenue officials, as
well as others, that the recurrent mis- and malfeasance and possibly fraud was occurring in the unlawful payments of commission for unearned services that needed to be investigated and acted upon.

19. At various times Kimmett informed his supenors about what was going on, submitting memorandum after memorandum outlining his concerns and
the abuses, in addition to a number of discussions with them.

Specifically, among others, Tom Kimmett spoke with Mr. Rovelli, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Brandwene, Mr. Nutt
and many others, but to no avail.

JUST A LITTLE MORE BELOW....

Anonymous said...

JUST A TOUCH MORE FROM ABOVE....

20. Tom Kimmett had a detailed personal discussion with William Ryan, one of Mr. Corbett's top assistants, during which his promised promotion, and his
findings regarding improper activities, were reviewed in the same talk.

Ryan committed to discuss the matter with Mr. Corbett and get back to Tom. Instead, only a steady drizzle of negative treatment confronted Tom Kimmett on a steady basis from then until the present.

And when Mr. Ryan discussed Kimmett's promotion concerns he also discussed the aforementioned abuses and possible corruption.

Because Ryan initiated all discussion regarding the promised
promotion, it was clear to Tom Kimmett that there was a linkage in the minds of the defendants between his complaints concerning wrongdoing and the promotion
(which never took place).

21. Kimmett also had discussions with Mr. Rovelli, Mr. Brandwene, and with Mr. Nutt at different times regarding these issues.

22. Kimmett was assured these matters would be submitted to Mr.
Corbett for consideration.

Upon information and belief Mr. Corbett was fully informed of these matters i.e. both the pervasive unlawfulness and malfeasance present in the Attorney General's Office and Kimmett's promotional concerns,
which were linked by his superiors to his persistent complaints about the public corruption which he raised both outside of, and within, the Attorney General's
Office.

23. James Furlong told Tom Kimmett that "Revenue would not provide
information to bring down any employee of the Attorney General's Office" after assurances that they would.

Furlong said it would "break the trust" between "the Secretary" (Fajt), Deputy Secretary (Coyne) and the "General" (Corbett) and

Rovelli. Furlong also stated that Tom Corbett and Lou Rovelli were engaged with the problems and the issue on an ongoing basis.

24. Corbett and Coyne decided not to expose the malfeasance, misfeasance and unlawful misconduct of which they were aware, even though both knew that the unlawful payments of undeserving commissions and the
unreasonably low compromising of certain taxpayers obligations were costing Pennsylvania taxpayers millions of dollars.

25. For example, in deference to a certain private collection agency which both Roman and Furlong claimed was connected to a former Attorney General, special treatment was extended and certain special opportunities were provided to that vendor.

These actions, like others, may quite possibly have even been criminal in nature, but at the very least were plainly against the public interest and trust vested in these public officials, yet were not acted upon.

26. In certain situations for unexplained reasons and with little
documentation for support, special treatment was accorded certain taxpayers, vendors and practitioners, an example being, a $20,000 or so compromise would
be accepted as payment for a debt to the state of Pennsylvania of a little over $900,000.

27. The losses represented by the aforementioned practices were
subtracted directly from the Commonwealth's accounts- receivables, or from other
obligations owed to govemment Agencies, Boards, Commissions, Universities, etc. (such as universities, thus raising the cost of education to the taxpayer).

SHOW ME SOMEMORE, OK, I WILL JUST BELOW....

Anonymous said...

DON'T SHOW ME THE MONEY, AG IS PROTECTING TAXPAYERS MONEY....READ BELOW HOW OR HOW NOT....

28. All of the defendants named above were aware ofKimmett's efforts to disclose and eradicate the improprieties he discovered.

29. Kimmett went to the Department of Revenue to complain because
the greatest loss of Commonwealth revenue was through the accounts payable to this Department.

He also reached out to the Office of Administration and complained directly to Pennsylvania Universities (Bursar's) and others in an effort to stem the abuse.

30. As the technical property owner, Revenue not only had the authority to deny the Attorney General's office the authorization to collect their accounts/receivables but Revenue also had a duty to maximize collections to the benefit of
the taxpayer i.e. the General Fund.

31. The defendants Furlong and Coyne not only abrogated this
responsibility, but participated in the unlawful actions of the other defendants, including Corbett, in unlawfully covering up the illegal activities, but also by
tacitly supporting the conspiratorial destruction of Kimmett's promotional
opportunities when they ran him in a circle between the two Agencies.

32. The actions of the defendants were cruel and designed to intimidate and emotionally injure Tom Kimmett through placing undue pressure upon him seeking to induce severe anxiety and insecurity in him as a way to retaliate against him for his complaints to the Department of Revenue and drive him from his
employment.

33. Kimmett filed his original complaint in this matter on August 11, 2008.

34. The next day Corbett and his spokesmen proclaimed that Kimmett's
allegations were "false and baseless" knowing these pronouncements to be inaccurate and untrue.

35. Corbett used the power of his office in the knowledge that he would demand significant press attention in an intentional effort to affect the jury pool
within the jurisdiction of the Middle District hoping to prejudice that jury pool
against the plaintiff by defaming him while seeking to deprive him of his 15th amendment rights.

36. Immediately after Kimmett filed the original suit the defendant's Roman, Keiser, and others in the Attorney General's office began a retaliatory
program of harassment and ostracism against the plaintiff Kimmett.

Roman took work functions away from Kimmett and reassigned them to Keiser who had been one of the prime wrongdoers committing the improper activities Kimmett had
exposed in the first place.

Roman was fully aware of Keiser's complicity. Keiser was part of an internal AG clique which included, among others Brandwene, Rovelli, and Roman all of whom were engaged in the improper activities.

In addition, Roman refuses to respond to emails and communications from Kimmett
that is required in order for Kimmett to perform certain tasks and functions.

Reports and documents routinely sent to Kimmett by Revenue as part of his job function are being diverted to others, again to make it difficult for Kimmett to
perform his job duties and functions and to send a message to Kimmett for filing this action and to others that may think of challenging the Attorney General's
office.

37. The defendants Keiser, Roman, and Sarteschi then engaged in an
unlawful process of isolating the plaintiff by acting to alienate him from his assistants including the plaintiff Sherry E. Bellaman, consequently violating
Kimmett's 1st Amendment right to seek redress and the rights of both Kimmett and Bellaman to associate, particularly in the performance of their duties, free of unlawful state interference.

OOPS.....JUST A TAD MORE BELOW...

Anonymous said...

READ AND BELIEVE FOREVER MORE...FROM ABOVE...

38. Bellaman, Kimmett's assistant, was threatened by the defendant
Keiser who has been directed by the defendant Roman to take over a number of Kimmett's job duties and prevent him from continuing to clean up the wrongdoing
he has exposed. All this has occurred since August 11,2008.

39. Keiser, on August 13, 2008 downloaded Kimmett's original
complaint, printed it out, and then proceeded to harass and pressure Kimmett's assistant Bellaman to review it while questioning her in a threatening tone.

Keiser threatened Bellaman "that you had better watch yourself" .

40. Bellaman was extremely upset and contacted SEAP (State Employees
Assistance Program) for help. The ATTORNEY General's SEAP representative, instead of helping her, sent Bellaman to the defendant Sarteschi, the ATTORNEY
General's Human Resources Director.

41. Sarteschi then directed Bellaman to a meeting in his office on August 28, 2008 and, as plaintiff sat waiting outside his door, she watched in great fear as
the defendant Roman approached the office and entered with her. Even though the meeting was set-up days in advance, Bellaman was never told that Roman would
be attending.

This meeting under SEAP procedures was to be confidential.

42. Plaintiff Bellaman's emotional trauma was increased by this action. Sarteschi and Roman knew of Bellaman's situation. They knew that she was a direct assistant to Kimmett and that Roman was a defendant in that action.

They also knew that the basis for Bellaman's emotional distress was the harassment at the hands of Keiser who had been directed by Roman to take Kimmett's functions
away in the effort to ostracize and isolate him.

Bellaman alleges that this misconduct by the defendants Sarteschi and Roman was intentionally designed to
harm her and to strangler any support she might provide Kimmett (she has objected to being required to sign off on many of the illegal transactions complained out here in).

She and Kimmett further allege that the aforementioned misconduct was also designed to deprive Kimmett of his 1 st Amendment right to seek a redress of
grievances in filing the original suit.

43. In the meeting Sarteschi noticeably sided with Keiser, defending her and her claims that she had never threatened Bellaman.

44. Sarteschi and Roman acted to intimidate Kimmett by harassing and
intimidating his assistants as a way to isolate and frighten him and deter him from moving forward with the litigation against Roman and the other defendants including Corbett.

45. The defendant Jill Keiser has de facto assumed the plaintiff Tom
Kimmett's duties. Keiser has joined in an effort with Roman and others to personally and professionally isolate Kimmett in the performance of his duties in
retaliation for filing the original lawsuit.

As part of this unlawful plan Keiser has engaged in misconduct to threaten and intimidate Kimmett's assistants, particularly
Bellaman seeking to deprive him of her help.

46. The events alleged in paragraphs 33 through 45 above occurred between August 11, 2008 and the filing of this amended complaint.

Anonymous said...

These unlawful actions on Corbett's part, along with the actions of his minions like Roman, Sarteschi, and Keiser, which upon information and belief, are carrying out the policies set by Corbett to intimidate persons like Kimmett who practice a strong ethical commitment to their public duties above their loyalty to
the leader and who believe in their right to access our courts free of retaliation.

Anonymous said...

NOW HERE IS DAB HER, AND DABE THERE, AND A ABBA DABA DO AS I SAY NOT AS I PRACTICE ON CORBETT....

Corbett has retaliated against Kimmett in violation of Kimmett's First Amendment rights for speaking out on matters of public concern and for seeking a redress of grievances.

Corbett knew as early as November 2006 that the plaintiff had
uncovered wrongdoing in his collection department and that plaintiff was speaking out against it and complaining both inside and outside of the Attorney General's office.

Furlong had stated on numerous occasions that Coyne had spoken to Corbett directly regarding the abuses in FES. Corbett knew directly or constructively of the circumstances directly expressed in paragraph 15 above and of similar situations.

Instead of responding through the proper legal channels Corbett chose
to respond in the press branding Kimmett's disclosures in the public interest as "baseless and false" knowing that these public representations were false and
intending to mislead the public and intimidate Kimmett.

Anonymous said...

The plaintiff Sherry Bellaman is a subordinate of the plaintiff Tom
Kimmett's.

She is aware of the improper goings on in the Attorney General's office and can cooperate many of the representations Mr. Kimmett makes.

The aforementioned defendants are all aware of this