Thursday, April 15, 2010


"If there's one thing in all of this that annoys me? Obstruction's the worst. You're interfering with people finding out what truly happened." -- Attorney General Tom Corbett at announcement of bonusgate charges against John Perzel

Something just isn't adding up.

How is it possible that Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett's three-year investigation of the state legislature missed the political operation Republican Senator Jane Orie was running out of her district office? An operation that rivals the one Mike Veon was convicted of running from Room 626 of the state capitol.

There are the conflicting and dubious excuses from the Corbett campaign that either a receptionist at the Office of the Attorney General referred the Orie whistleblower to the Allegheny County (according to Corbett) or that the whistleblower is a liar and didn't call the OAG (according to Kevin Harley).

We don't believe either excuse - in fact, phone records contradict Harley's story - but let's give Corbett the benefit of the still doesn't add up.

Corbett's investigation should have uncovered the Orie operation long before the whistleblower even picked up the phone in late October of 2009.

The Senate Republican caucus was first hit with subpoenas from Corbett on February 8, 2008. ("Black Ops in the legislature," Tribune Review, 2/17/08) We assume the subpoenas were identical those served on the House Democratic caucus, which required electronic data including emails and other documents on servers to be turned over. ("AGs office issues subpoenas for bonus hearing," Associated Press, 10/3/08)

In fact, we don't have to assume because top Senate Republican lawyer Stephen MacNett said as much after the subpoenas were served on his caucus:
“'The Senate Republican caucus has fully complied with the Attorney General’s previous requests for information,' MacNett wrote. 'We will, of course, do the same with regard to the subpoenaed information.' Republican leaders have directed caucus staffers to retain any potentially relevant records, both paper and electronic, until the investigation is complete, MacNett added." (Lebanon Daily News 2/13/08)
The Orie Grand Jury presentment outlines the extensive political material and emails on the taxpayer-funded Senate Republican computer system -- some residing there until the middle of 2009!

Emails among Orie and her staff regarding both Orie's and her sister's judicial campaign are mentioned repeatedly in the presentment. (Pages 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 36, 38, 40, 41, 45) On page 17, Orie is described as having sent a campaign email from her BlackBerry.

But, emails can be deleted. What is more disturbing is to learn of the documents that were saved on the taxpayer-funded Senate Republican servers through a system of drives maintained by the Senate Republican Caucus' IT department:

Page 23 --
"Testimony reveals that up until late spring of 2009, some of those very campaign and political records of Orie's were maintained on computer hard drives that were part of the state computer system; these were identified by Orie's staffers as 'O' and 'S' drives, at various times. Testimony from these staffers further revealed that in the late spring or early summer of 2009, Orie directed that these political files -- specifically thoase still remaining on the 'S' drive -- be transferred to a 'thumb drive' and the non-legisltaive data that was previously being maintained on the Senate's system was then removed from the drives that up until that time were then on the state's computer system."
Page 34 --
"Kerner testified that she was provided with a new senate laptop from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, within which political and fundraising data was to be entered...According to Kerner, the 'O' drive was Orie's own private drive, which contained political and/or campaign files, including folders labeled 'FR' and 'FR Harrisburg.' Kerner said that 'FR' meant 'fundraiser.' She further testified that her computer access to the 'O' drive was facilitated through Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but only certain legislative staffers had access."
Everyone who has worked in an office environment with shared drives in remote locations (i.e. Harrisburg and McCandless) knows that if "Harrisburg" (i.e. Senate Republican Caucus IT) facilitated the setting up of the Orie shared drives, then the Senate Republican Caucus IT had to have had access to the Orie drives containing the political material. In fact, the entire Orie system of drives were backed up to servers completely under the Senate Republican IT department's control.

How is it then, that Corbett's investigation missed the Orie political operation even though it subpoenaed the Senate Republican Caucus in February of 2008 for the very political material which was sitting on the Orie drives well into 2009?

Perhaps Corbett received this material and simply ignored it, just like he ignored the call from the Orie whistleblower. After all, the Senate Republicans have said repeatedly that they have answered all of Corbett's subpoenas to the fullest extent possible.

But, for the sake of argument, let's give Corbett the benefit of the doubt again, and allow that perhaps the Orie material wasn't provided to him via his subpoenas.

The only other possible excuse for Corbett having missed the Orie operation is that the Senate Republicans egregiously obstructed justice by not turning over to Corbett what they turned up in their search pursuant to the subpoenas...or worse yet, the Senate GOP didn't even bother to search for political material.

Either way -- Corbett ignored the evidence or the Senate Republicans never turned over subpoenaed evidence -- something just doesn't add up in the Senate Republican Caucus.


Anonymous said...

Another important question is what made Orie think it was ok to keep storing political material on caucus servers - not only after Corbett launched his investigation, but after the caucus was subpoenaed??

Anonymous said...

DA John Morganelli said in 2008 that the Senate R's would never be brought to justice-- too much $$$ given by Jubilier Brightbill and company//

Anonymous said...

Corbett brought the current Republican Congressional 4th District Candidate Mary Beth Buchanan into the US Attorney Office, and she prosecuted mostly Democrats claiming use of Federal or State Property.

Kurt Acker is or was Mary Beth Buchanan Campaign Manager and as stated if AG Corbett knew what they were campaigning on state time with state resources, (we) they all would be in handcuffs.

Yet, so far no indictment of Kurt Acker by Tom Corbett or his crack staff saying we go where the evidence takes us.

Well, it is right there in Grand Jury testimony, and no indictment of Republican Kurt Acker whatsoever, an Attorney that is suppose to know the laws and yet breaks them?

Is Tom Corbett protecting Republican Candidate Mary Beth Buchanan by not indicting Kurt Acker because her husband's law firm Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney gave big contributions to Tom Corbett's Campaign?

This makes Deputy AG Frank Fina look stupid when Fina and Corbett cannot back up his own words and pledges to the public and Kevin Harley caught in more outright lies that changes his statements every few months?

Corbett covered up Senator Jane Orie alleged campaigning on state time operations and ignored Joan Orie Melvin alleged participation and employs an Orie Brother Jerry on his Insurance Fraud Section, that is another direct connection to Tom Corbett duplicity, deceit, and defecation on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Voters, Citizens and Taxpayers?

This is a cauldron of thieves, conspirators, and outright hypocrites in how they act, whom they employ, and offices they seek.

They will not get away with it, if honor, honesty, and the truth prevail over their insipid prowling for more power.

A Special Prosecutor needs to be appointted NOW!

Anonymous said...

Are the Rooney's of Pittsburgh related to Buchanan, Ingersoll, and Rooney's Law Firm?

I am told a Rooney will run against Jane Orie in the upcoming election if he receives over 500 votes in the Primary.

My oh my, another example of a Big Law Firm unseating Top Leadership in Harrisburg with one of their own related.

I mean the Casey's of Dilworth Paxson replacing Fumo, Frank Dermody replacing DeWeese with Dermody's wife at Reed Smith, and now Rooney's unseating Jane Orie with Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney relations.

Dilworth never investigated as far as Fumo's connections, Reed Smith never investigated as far as Nader petitions participation, and now Buchanan, Ingersoll, Rooney never investigated with Kurt Acker handcuff participations as Campaign Manager for Mary Beth Buchanan?

Where is the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board, Judicial Conduct Board, and American Bar Ethics Associations, and US Attorneys DOJ, or a Special Prosecutor?

Anonymous said...

The Steelers are prepared to discipline Ben Roethlisberger, team president Art Rooney said today, and the quarterback is willing to accept the "consequences."

But no discipline for Tom Corbett, because we gave him campaign contributions.

Anonymous said...

In time, this will catch up to Corbett, trust in the truth, when someone attempts to crush it into the earth, it only rises again more dirty than before.

Anonymous said...

If Tom Corbett had conducted overall fair investigations into all 4 Caucuses.

Had the OAG investigated the Judicial Races of County, and Statewide Judges from 2004 to 2009, and been fair on applying the O'Kicki and Habay Rulings.

If Tom Corbett had resign as AG in 2008 before his run for Governor while campaigning on Commonwealth OAG time and having a new Ag continue the investigations.

It would be clear from the evidence and and behavior of Tom Corbett, he was absolutely trying to be fair, unbiased, and following the same laws he preached in Press Conferences and I would contribute and vote for him.

But Tom Corbett chose the path of ruining people's lives to rise to a higher power, and by doing one sided investigations, wasting 800 state employees, misusing immunity witnesses by bribing them to keep their jobs, bonuses, and pensions, to testify against others, and ignoring the violations of Republican Senators Jubelrier, Brightbill, and Orie and Republican Judges, as well as Republican House Staffers now working on other Republican Campaigns including Corbett's one with any sense of decency should vote for Corbett.

Mike Veon and all the defendants deserveds a fair investigation, trial, and on the level of all involved and not just a few as Corbett selected.

This is why Mike Veon and many others coming up for Trial, and good men in the Commonwealth must stop Corbett's corruption of the laws to protect the Commonwealth Citizens misused for his own personal campaigns.

This is how tyranny starts and must be stopped.

If it is all about the guilt and innocence of one, it must be applied to the guilt and innocence of all!

Anonymous said...

An honest Attorney General is all the people of Pennsylvania ever need or want, instead Tom Corbett goes arrogant and practices corruption and political opportunity within his own office.

Shame on him and staffers at OAG!

Anonymous said...

Several defendants joined together in a court motion asking to have charges dropped or Mr. Corbett's office removed as prosecutor because they say he has engaged in the same activities for which they are being prosecuted.

Harrisburg attorney Joshua Lock, who represents former state Reps. Brett O. Feese and Stephen Stetler, initiated the motions that are being argued before Dauphin County Judge Richard A. Lewis.

He said Mr. Corbett, the leading Republican running for governor, has used state resources to run political campaigns even as his office prosecuted others on allegations of similar transgressions.

"It is clear that disqualification must occur ... and the sooner the better for everybody," Mr. Lock argued this morning.

Prosecutors from Mr. Corbett's office will have a chance to respond this afternoon.

It will be up to Judge Lewis to decide whether to hold a formal hearing on the motions. He is expected to announce his decision Monday or Tuesday.



BB said...

Now is it clear enough that Tom Corbett needs to drop out of the governor's race immediately? Come on, please stop insulting our intelligence, Mr. Corbett.
Have SOME dignity and drop out of the race. Pa. residents/taxpayers simply can't afford to have a gubernatorial candidate such as yourself on the ballot either in May or November.

Anonymous said...

I am going to miss this website on the evening of May 18 , when two of its regular contributors become unavailable .

Anonymous said...

"With reasonable men I will reason; with humane men I will plea; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost."

William Lloyd Garrison
US abolitionist & editor (1805 - 1879)

Anonymous said...

From the grandjury presentment re Orie on page 39 (

"Meeder also testified at that time that the second floor of the La Casa Blanca building [Orie's McKnight Road district office] contained boxes, materials, and campaign signs for both Orie and Orie Melvin."

Ah, the irony of it all.