Friday, April 2, 2010


Since his election to the State House in 2006, Congressional candidate Bryan Lentz has had a front row seat for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett's transparent show of political expediency when deciding whether or not to investigate fellow Republicans. We're guessing that is why he is calling on the US Department of Justice to investigate his opponent's apparent nominating petition chicanery. ("Meehan opponent asks feds to probe forged petitions" Philadelphia Daily News, 4/2/10)

Lentz is well aware of Corbett's proven selective priorities when it comes to investigating petition irregularities. He watched Corbett use his state-wide grand jury to investigate ("Former lawmaker from Erie target of grand jury inquiry" Post-Gazette 11/4/07) and prosecute his Democratic colleague, Linda Bebko-Jones for her illegal petition gathering methods ("Ex-Pa. lawmaker, aide plead in election fraud case" AP, 8/5/08)

Yet, when Corbett was presented with extensive evidence of Republican State Representative Mauree Gingrich's petition irregularities, he ignored it outright. ("Challenger accuses Gingrich of forging nominating papers" Lebanon Daily News, 3/20/08)

Lentz knows he can't depend on impartial justice when Corbett's taxpayer funded political mouthpiece Kevin Harley says "We will conduct a criminal investigation and follow it wherever the evidence leads." ("Lentz seeks federal probe of Meehan's ballot petitions" Inquirer, 4/2/10)

After all, Corbett has shown repeatedly that he will ignore GOP misdeeds in order to further his political ambitions, especially when potential targets are campaign donors or political allies.

Oh, and don't think for a minute that State Representative John Perzel didn't blow his chance at avoiding the investigation that resulted in his ultimate arrest when the subject of the gubernatorial campaign came up during a highly improper meeting with Corbett and his taxpayer funded campaign manager, Brian Nutt, in 2007 while an active investigation of the state legislature was under way. ("Corbett guv run tainted by conflict of interest charges?" Philadelphia Daily News 11/12/09) Perzel is rumored to have plenty to say in upcoming court filings about what Corbett asked of him in regard to his gubernatorial bid and what Perzel refused to do in exchange for a wink and a nod.

Lentz is making a smart move in his effort to have an impartial investigation of Meehan's petitions. Corbett has proven over and over and over he won't touch those who have helped or can help or will help his political aspirations.


Anonymous said...

Petition purges seem to be an effective way to neutralize opposition. Recently some have helped to lead to incarceration or community service depending upon the threat of the opposition.Rendering the foe ineffective.

Anonymous said...

Petition purges seem to be an effective way to neutralize opposition. Recently some have helped to lead to incarceration or community service depending upon the threat of the opposition.Rendering the foe ineffective.

Anonymous said...

What about the big law firm of Reed Smith participation, and why doesn't Ralph Nader bring a Civil Suit against them, they have Deep, Deep, Pockets?

Oh, I forgot they give big big money to Corbett too!

Only Veon, Perzel, DeWeese, Stetler, and Ramaley were big alleged criminals targeted?

Anonymous said...

The truth and justice stopped Nixon, they will stop Corbett, not now but later!

Corbett has his own Puppet Masters to please for awhile too.

Anonymous said...

Republican Scandals - Scandals involving the GOP

The Ben Franklin Technology Center of Western Pennsylvania, perhaps the worst.

That’s was the state-funded program non-profit, designed to help companies develop new technologies and, ultimately, jobs, came crashing to an ugly halt, beset by mismanagement, extravagant spending and scandal by Republicans.

The Republicans in charge were never brought to justice, the debacle attracted the attention of the U.S. Postal Service, the state attorney general’s office and others whose sordid mess left by its former executives.

It’s was a mess that very well could have destroyed the much-needed funding mechanism that was responsible for the development of many a new technology in the region over the past 14 years.
Can anyone do some research and find out all invovled so it can be used in the uppcoming debates to question the integrity of the candidates.

The scandal was in the works in 1995 but broke in 1997-98, and guess who never investigated it before he left office?

No one ever charged and all just walked away and all were Republicans.

Anonymous said...

The US Justice Department is getting bombarded with requests to have Corbett's conduct scrutinized. The requests are coming from very many different and diverse sources-- but the theme is the same-- Abuse of prosecutorial power. These complaints have been filed by lawyers and otheers. I know that the investigation is under way and far reaching. Corbett will be another Ernie Preate-- plus-- guys on inside of AG office are turning on him.

Anonymous said...

Here you go....

Thursday March 25, 1999 2:30 pm Eastern Time

Company Press Release
SOURCE: PA Dept. of Auditor General

Casey Investigation of Ben Franklin Technology Center Finds Gross Mismanagement and Rampant Misuse of Tax Dollars, Says Pennsylvania Auditor General's Office

PITTSBURGH, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- A special investigation of the Ben Franklin Technology Center of Western Pennsylvania (BFTC-WP) has found gross mismanagement and rampant misuse of funds by former top officials, according to Pennsylvania Auditor General Robert P. Casey Jr. State funds that were intended to provide technology grants to small businesses were, in fact, spent on luxurious vacations, gourmet meals, fancy parties and gifts.

Federal funds under the control of BFTC-WP were wasted on a litany of frivolous perks including room service, a stunt show and a John Wayne impersonator.

``For years, the President and Vice-President led wildly extravagant and grossly self-indulgent lives at the expense of hardworking taxpayers,''

Casey said at a press conference in Pittsburgh. ``They engaged in, orchestrated, encouraged, and benefited from a series of flagrant abuses that totaled nearly $2.6 million.''

A 10-month investigation by Casey's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) also found that the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the BFTC-WP Board of Directors consistently failed to monitor and oversee the financial management and operations of the Center, even though the state had placed the former President on probation in 1994.

Casey also faulted the BFTC-WP's Board of Directors for failing to exercise appropriate, reasonable, and consistent oversight of the Center's activities, particularly the conduct of its top officials.

``While there is evidence that the President and Vice-President misled Board members, the independent auditors, DCED, and the Center's staff, the irregularities were apparent in the Center's records and were well known among its employees,'' Casey said. ``Those who were responsible for oversight failed to take appropriate steps to uncover or deter the egregious improprieties.''

From 1994 through 1998, BFTC-WP received $31.2 million in state funds.

Casey's investigators found waste and improprieties that were endemic in several areas, including:

1. Extensive travel abuses, including extravagant and/or unnecessary excursions to Ireland, Germany, Japan, China, Alaska, California, South Carolina and Florida for conferences or training.

Exorbitant sums were spent with little or no relationship to legitimate business purposes and in violation of travel policies. Substantial personal and vacation expenses of the chief officers and their families were charged to the Center, and expenses of third parties -- including a DCED official and a bank employee -- were paid with BFTC-WP funds under suspicious circumstances.

Questionable travel costs totaled

2. Inappropriate and wasteful staff activities, including a birthday party for the Vice-President recorded as a "staff meeting," numerous gifts, catered lunches, an elaborate Christmas party (complete with band, piano, harp and magic show), over $48,000 in food and beverage charges at a private club, and three staff retreats in one year at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa in Farmington, PA.

The cost of these retreats was almost $30,000 and included the resort's "luxurious accommodations," as well as $2,255 for liquor and wine, and hundreds of dollars in horseback riding and massages.

Officials claimed they had been told that Nemacolin Woodlands did not cost any more than a Holiday Inn. Questionable costs of these activities totaled $133,633.

Continued below.....

Anonymous said...

Continued from above.....mind you these abuses were when Tom Ridge was Governor and Republicans were running this Non-Profit...we need to match up names later...but no criminal charges ever filed????

3. Questionable management practices, including a bizarre management style characterized by the frequent absence of the President, disorganization, indecision, intimidation, and systematic violations of BFTC-WP procedures and policies by the President and Vice-President.

Several instances of irregularities and waste appear to have been intentional efforts by BFTC-WP officials to curry favor and deter state oversight of their inappropriate activities.

4. Misuse of corporate credit cards by the President and Vice-President, who charged substantial amounts of personal expenses to their corporate American Express credit cards, failed to keep timely and accurate expense account records, and encouraged credit card misuse by others, including family members.

Questionable credit card charges totaled at least $50,000.

5. Questionable employment practices, including the widespread hiring of relatives of employees, primarily members of the immediate families of the President and Vice-President.

This contributed to the poor overall management, and exacerbated travel and staff activity abuses.

In addition, a member of the immediate family of a Navy official with direct management responsibility over a federal program administered by BFTC-WP was employed at the Center.

Costs of questionable employment practices totaled $194,928.

6. Contracts for equipment, supplies and services were entered into without competitive bidding, without adequate justification and for questionable activities. Many such contracts were wasteful and/or

Questionable non-bid contracts totaled $1,382,125.

7. A federal grant program that as characterized by disorganization, waste and misuse.

In 1995, BFTC-WP entered into a multi-million dollar contract with the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research.

While the so-called NNEOMT program did not directly involve state funds, the Center's deficient handling of it adversely impacted BFTC-WP's administration of the state grant program.

Much of the waste and misuse of funds in the NNEOMT program occurred in connection with a BFTC-WP-sponsored conference at a posh resort in Tucson, AZ, in February 1998.

Some 30 BFTC-WP employees, virtually the entire staff, attended this conference at a cost of over $750,000 (including $11,000 in room service, a $62,561 dinner tab! And $22,500 for barbecue and drinks).

8. Questionable administration of the state grant program that led to BFTC-WP not following the recommendations of its review panels in the awarding of grants. In one case, the former BFTC-WP President modified grant terms without a basis for doing so.

The total amount of grants in which BFTC-WP's actions were questionable is $628,583.

Continued below.....

Anonymous said...

Contnued from above....and again not one Republican indicted ???

This is how Republican's ruin and run governmnet whne in control of government, Tea Baggers Beware No One Charged ????

9. Inadequate grant monitoring that provided no "effective mechanisms" to determine whether BFTC-WP grant recipients used the funds for appropriate purposes. OSI's review of BFTC-WP's records found that there were no audits or consistent efforts to verify reported information.

10. Royalties that went uncollected because BFTC-WP's former President discouraged efforts to collect additional royalties from grant recipients. OSI's investigation found that neither DCED nor the Center's Board of Directors monitored royalty collections adequately
despite the Center's relatively poor record for collection.

In a limited number of grants, OSI found that BFTC-WP failed to act effectively to resolve royalty questions; that the former President modified a royalty agreement without notifying the Board; and that BFTC-WP did not regularly seek up-to-date royalty information.

An OSI survey determined that five grant recipients made substantial royalty payments since July 1998.

Based on BFTC-WP's records, costs incurred by BFTC-WP in connection with travel abuses, inappropriate staff activities, credit card misuse, employment of family members, questionable contracts and grants were approximately $2.58 million. This does not include direct costs incurred in connection with the federal grant program.

The other major findings of Casey's investigation concern the failure of DCED and the BFTC-WP Board of Directors to monitor and oversee the financial management and operations of the BFTC.

Oversight by DCED was ineffective, routine, limited and unable to deter or detect management improprieties.

DCED did not audit records or communicate with the Center's independent auditor.

The BFTC-WP annual audited statements of state funds sent to DCED were not complete audit reports.

The audits themselves did not review BFTC-WP's financial records in sufficient depth to detect or deter the waste and misuse of funds taking place at the Center.

DCED did not increase oversight in response to a complaint about deficiencies in BFTC-WP's operation of the Job Link program that trains welfare recipients.

No steps were taken by DCED to inquire about the excessive spending on the trip to Ireland that included one of their own employees.

BFTC-WP's Board of Directors failed to exercise appropriate, reasonable, and consistent oversight of the Center's activities, particularly the conduct of the President and Vice-President.

Continued below.....

Anonymous said...

Continued from above....

and please note how the Board Of Directors WERE "UNAWARE" of subordinates doing these illegal acts.....but no one charged....and Corbett was AG at this time...NO ONE CHARGED FIOR ANY CRIMES ???

Several Board members were grant recipients. One performed paid services for the Center. There is no evidence any Board members failed to comply with the Center's Conflict of Interest Policies.

However, the extent and number of conflicts hampered the Board's ability to function properly.

Board members were largely unaware of travel expenses, credit card use, employment of relatives, contracting and other major financial activities of the Center. The Board was particularly remiss in failing to inquire into the failure to submit the fiscal year 1997 independent audit report.

BFTC-WP staff made individual efforts to communicate concerns about mismanagement to Board members, without success.

Recommendations - Casey outlined several recommendations that, if implemented, will improve the oversight of regional centers by both the Ben Franklin/Industrial Resource Center Partnership and DCED staff. These recommendations include:

-- Requiring the submission of complete annual audit reports as a condition of the state grant program and having DCED review the
reports with the staff of the independent accounting firm that conducts the audits;

-- Strengthening DCED staff by adding persons with audit/accounting experience;

-- Requiring that allegations of fraud, waste and abuse in state grant programs be reported immediately to DCED, the Office of Inspector General, and the Department of the Auditor General;

-- Requiring regular audits of Ben Franklin regional centers by DCED's comptroller;

-- Prohibiting the employment of immediate family members of BFTC

-- Prohibiting Centers from contracting for goods, equipment and/or services with businesses owned by Board members or in which they have a substantial interest;

-- Prohibiting grants from state funds to be made to businesses owned by members of the Boards of Directors of Ben Franklin Technology Centers or their immediate families;

-- Prohibiting Centers from using state funds to pay for lobbying services, directly or indirectly;

-- Determining whether appropriate legal remedies are available to recover state funds expended improperly at BFTC-WP; and

-- Requiring DCED to provide the General Assembly with a comprehensive report of actions it has taken and policies it has instituted to remedy the problems uncovered at BFTC-WP and deter further misuse of state funds in the Ben Franklin program.

NOTE: Report of Investigation available on Web.

SOURCE: PA Dept. of Auditor General