Friday, June 18, 2010


The Pennsylvania political establishment seemed nonplussed and even a bit bemused by Republican Congressional candidate Patrick Meehan's awkward attempt to link his opponent to the Bonusgate scandal.

Our response? Well, duh. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, and Republican candidates for office in Pennsylvania gotta tie their opponents to Bonusgate. It's just the natural order.

The scandal's entire raison d'ĂȘtre is so Republican candidates could sputter with feigned outrage. Meehan just happens not to be very good at it.

We pointed this out more than a year ago. While attempts to link Democratic candidates to Bonusgate failed to regain control of the House for the Republicans, they did manage to knock off five Democratic candidates using Bonusgate smears.

Why mess with success?

Even better news for Republicans, Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett should be announcing even more indictments just in time for Election Day.

Democrats can't say they weren't warned, though. But their fear of being targeted by Corbett's investigation kept them silent as Corbett crafted the ultimate campaign issue.

And it's so efficient, too! It slices, it dices, it works for state House candidates, state Senate candidates, Congressional candidates, Gubernatorial candidates, and tough stains ordinary political scandals won't budge.


Bram Reichbaum said...

"Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, and Republican candidates for office in Pennsylvania gotta tie their opponents to Bonusgate."

Whereas Democrats in PA gotta insist Bonusgate is all a Tom Corbett illusion and deny any need to reform anything at all about Harrisburg.

(I'm a Democrat also. And I'm convinced we'd be better off raising the ante instead of trying to convince everyone we're playing a different game.)

MH said...

I'm with Bram. Nobody outside of Harrisburg has forgotten the pay raise thing.

Anonymous said...

Bram Reichbaum said...
"Whereas Democrats in PA gotta insist Bonusgate is all a Tom Corbett illusion and deny any need to reform anything at all about Harrisburg.

(I'm a Democrat also. And I'm convinced we'd be better off raising the ante instead of trying to convince everyone we're playing a different game.)"

Finally, an independent voice who has something worthwhile to say.

Anonymous said...

Wondering when they will start investigating all the others start with TOM CORBETT

One has to treasure the benefit of having a man of the people in office for years.

When you needed Mike, he was there to do whatever he could for his area. Many have asked and received a favor or help from him, without blinking an eye.

Thus far, this conspiracy comes about and now the investigation itself has become a joke!

The disrespect being shown to former Lawmakers that already lost the election is beyond the pale, especially when it was the Judges that demanded an increase in pay and benefits, and Veon fought for them, and now takes a freedom bullet for them, via prison.

Mr. Veon is a kind and beautiful man, husband, and father, with a supportive family...please remember his children when you write this garbage and make unfounded accusations.

I want to see an all-encompassing fair, balance, and thorough investigation and it should include Tom Corbett.

Who is, as we speak doing the same thing (if not more according to the Stetler Motions) Corbett Minions that abused the Grand Jury proceeding as well as misinterpreted the laws has prosecuted Veon for their own political agenda.

If we are going to pay to ruin lives..Ruin them all .

Let us have a statewide political practice audit!

Anonymous said...

Mike is a good man, even though he apparently made some mistakes that cost all of us taxpayer’s money.

I wish him the best, and I hope he doesn't consider his life a failure, he helped many people when he was in office, and I believe he did it out of a sincere desire to help those in need.

The champion of the worker will always be a hero in Beaver County. All union regular members can thank Mike.

It is a sad day when the best friend working folks ever had has to go to jail for a crime that is committed by every one of his accusers.

Mike, the people's champion, will emerge from this American Gulag stronger and more determined than ever.

Gerry LaValle seems to be coated with Corbett Secret Immunity Teflon maybe just maybe Gerry will become company in the form of his partner in crime at BIG. What do you think.....Gerry?

Anonymous said...

Being honest has very little to do with being a lawyer. They're trying to hide the yams so I'll eat them. You don't like the yams, don't eat em. Justice has very little to do with being a lawyer........all one does is find out what the meaning of life is, and what's that you may ask?, It sucks.

Why would they lie? what was their motive for lying? It's just a show! It's a show! It's 'Let's make A Deal'!

The OAG is suppose to stand for something! The OAG IS suppose to protect people, not to go to trials for political campaign purposes.

Where is our Independent Judiciary?

Anonymous said...

DAG Frank Fina points out that the court during bonusgate trial the judge threatened Raynak with contempt for his behavior.

Where is the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board for the unethical and sully behavior of the Prosecutors at the Grand Jury?

Anonymous said...

Veon Attorney Raynak is accusing OAG Prosecutor Frank Fina of calling him a pretty awful name in court during trial.

DAG Frank Fina says that didn't happen. I don't remember it either, but so much happened during trial I may have forgotten.

A forgotten prosecutor is a lying prosecutor, how can one forget such things, especially when they are trained to remember them?

First a denial, second an admission, and third, I cannot Recall?????

Anonymous said...

Judge: "Raynak is one of the best attorneys I've ever seen in action, but when he loses control, he loses control."

Judge: "You can see, there were some control issues with Mr. Raynak."

Sansone: "I'm not an idiot. I know that."

Sansone says prosecution wants to keep Raynak off case because he is effective.

Sansone says he needs Raynak, who is a criminal lawyer. Sansone is a civil lawyer.

Sansone says he does not know criminal law well enough to represent Veon & demonstrated that in juror switch issue.

Sansone said he agreed to the switch because he took Fina's word for it that the move was within court rules when it was not.

Sansone is saying Fina "perpetrated a fraud on the court" by asking to have a sick juror re-seated after dismissal.

Why not one Lawyer took time to read the cases DAG Frank Fina presented to the Judge at the time of replacing the Juror, is something of a mystery to anyone that knows Criminal Law.

This was huge mistake, error, or misjudgemnet!

Anonymous said...

If Brian Nutt and Mike Long ever are brought to justice for teh same thing, I think they now know they better admit giult, or a long term sentence will result.

The problem is Tom Corbett has hired these guys instead of investigating them?

And that is what is unfair about about what is happening, and injustice, that will brand Tom Corbett throughout his career and political rise and eventual fall.

fancynance said...

I would like to make the following statement regarding Mr. Veon and his conduct, demeanor and responses during the last 2 years. He has been nothing short of a compliant gentleman. NEVER has unttered one harsh word to prosecutors, judge, media etc...anyone who is 'agaist' him. Inside or outside the courtroom, he has conducted himself with character, integrity, class and control! He chose to continue with the judicial system, knowing full well a jury could convict on any of the 59 counts agaist him. He heard the verdicts, he heard the sentence and is serving with dignity the punishment levied against him. He has taken the punishment for many....that recieved immunity, and the many who will follow (if the AG's office continues with thier investigations like they proclaimed they would) in similar trials. There have been many battles but the war is far from over. Let the justice system continue, with the appeal process. I was there and witnessed, what I say is fact. A controlled, respectful citizen took the sentence with such dignity and strength it is amazing. Politics is a tough beast, he has known this for his entire political career...
It must be known, he has not uttered a negative remark agaist anyone during this entire ordeal. Many interpret a calm reserved persona as errogant, unemotional, that could not further from the truth.

fancynance said...

The quote the judge said concerning Raynack and 'loosing control' may be true, I beg all that was inside the courtroom, to recall, especially the day of the sentencing, the conduct (or lack thereof) of AG Blessington. The most OUT OF CONTROL and UNPROFESSIONAL attorney I have ever witnessed in action. His conduct was almost, well it was, laughable.

Anonymous said...

fancynance said...
The quote the judge said concerning Raynack and 'loosing control' may be true, I beg all that was inside the courtroom, to recall, especially the day of the sentencing, the conduct (or lack thereof) of AG Blessington. The most OUT OF CONTROL and UNPROFESSIONAL attorney I have ever witnessed in action. His conduct was almost, well it was, laughable. June 20, 2010 2:13 PM

Blessington Conduct and that of Krastek has not gone free from a future investigation.

Anonymous said...

Mike Veon has always been a quiet worker and devoted public servant for the people.

He will handle everything thrown at him, and come back in ways others cannot imagine.

Anonymous said...

Corbett's department is rife with conflicts of interest. Since PA law permits politicians to run for higher office without resigning, he gets to "investigate" the same pols he's soliciting for money and support.

Notice how he didn't find a speck of corruption in the Republican leadership caucus - even though they were awarding bonuses to staff members for work they did on their campaigns?

Also, Corbett (a former Waste Management Inc. lobbyist) recently sued a PA town for enforcing regulations against sludge dumping. What a sweetheart!

Anonymous said...

Well, well. Just look at all the "fiscally conservatives" lining up to defend a Republican who is wasting taxpayers' money to advance his own political agenda.

Anonymous said...

"As Attorney General, Corbett awarded a taxpayer funded no-bid contract to Jennifer Branstetter to “consult on development and maintenance of OAG outreach projects; provide advice on brochures, media handouts, videos and promotional pieces."

This contract runs throught June 30, 2011. (Contract #4000013722) --- Yep - gave a no-bid contract to his friend.

And Corbett's friend Branstetter is also working on the Corbett Campaign - how cozy. "Branstetter also has been on a monthly retainer with the Corbett for Governor campaign since October of 2009...for the very same type of work she's doing at the OAG."

Corbett is so corrupt as AG and candidate.

Anonymous said...

Anticipating what commenters are going to argue, I don't see an analogy here between Rep. Anthony Weiner and Goldline and Corbett's actions.

As I noted yesterday, Goldline is a corporation that appears to be shortchanging consumers in a way that warrants more investigation.

I cannot imagine happening would be ludicrous, just like what Corbett is doing here is ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

Despite continued claims by the attorney general’s office that accusations, court motions and lawsuits against Corbett are baseless or “bogus,” it remains to be seen whether he can demonstrate to voters that he didn’t abuse his prosecutorial power in the semblance of cleaning up public corruption.

Additionally, a federal lawsuit filed against Corbett in 2008 alleges that thousands, perhaps millions, of public dollars were “illegally paid out to vendors.”

The case alleges “pervasive wrongdoing” in the collection of accounts receivable amounting to upwards of $300 million to $500 million. It gives details of alleged fraudulent payouts to no-bid vendors and claims there was a “cover-up by Mr. Corbett and the other defendants.”

Beginning in April 2008, when Corbett was running for re-election, Kimmett — who had already expressed concern internally about the collections practice inside the financial enforcement section — went “outside the chain of command” at the attorney general’s office, Charles Kimmett said. “He had spoken to the U.S. attorney’s office because he was concerned that they were going to pin what was going on on him when the Department of Revenue had backed down from doing anything that would embarrass the AG’s office,” Charles Kimmett said.

In November, Corbett signed off on Kimmett’s termination, but two years later the case continues.

Anonymous said...

financial enforcement section — went “outside the chain of command” at the attorney general’s office, Charles Kimmett said. “He had spoken to the U.S. attorney’s office because he was concerned that they were going to pin what was going on on him when the Department of Revenue had backed down from doing anything that would embarrass the AG’s office,” Charles Kimmett said.

Where is the US Attorney on this case? It at least deserves an investigation?

Anonymous said...

Corbett does have a reputation for being irascible and kind of weird.

Besides, his Bonusgate prosecutions famously were directed against Democrats until people started asking whether any Republican officials might also be guilty of corruption.

Suddenly Corbett found he was able to indict a Republican, too.

The anonymous bloggers whose identity Corbett wants to uncover really has the goods on his corruption and hypocrisy.

Coming soon, but the timing has to be just right, I would not want to be an employee of the AG or CORBETT'S CAMPAIGN.

bobguzzardi said...

Pat Meehan is an embarrassment, to be polite, to the Republican party and to anyone who supports him.

I am a Constitutional Tea Party Conservative convinced the both the country and Pennsylvania are headed toward Greek style bankruptcy and feel I have to vote Republican, reluctantly, because the Democrats seem to have one answer to all fiscal and budget shortfalls, raise taxes. Instead of talking about the issues, he attempts to smear his opponent with false accusations. Sickening. I am not alone in this opinion.

Pat Meehan's accusations that Bryan Lentz were an outrageous attempt at a smear an innocent person and which backfired on the false accuser. Pat Meehan did not offer a single scintilla of evidence that Bryan Lentz was connected to Bonusgate in any way. With the voluminous amount of evidence adduced, Pat Meehan could not find a single line linking Rep. Lentz to Bonusgate. And I am sure Republican Corbett would have shown him any evidence that might have existed. Pat Meehan, an attorney, could not produce evidence because there wasn't any.

Disgracefully, former US Attorney, Pat Meehan did not name any names or present any evidence whatsoever that Bryan Lentz was linked to Bonusgate. There is no mention of Bryan Lentz in the Attorney General’s Presentment against the Democrats. When confronted by Bryan Lentz, Pat Meehan ran away. Bryan Lentz, Army JAG officer and litigator, who served in Iraq, a hostile fire zone. It is unlikely he would be intimidated by unsubstantiated allegations. Pat Meehan, and his campaign and the DelCo Republicans act like fools and Bryan Lentz acts like a leader. GOP Establishment Groupthink has, again, given us a real winner, hasn’t it.

bobguzzardi said...

PS I think Brett Cott and Mike Veon deserve to go to jail. It would be even better if The Forgotten Taxpayers of Pennsylvania, workers, savers and investors and small business which create jobs and produce goods and provide services we want and need were repaid the MILLIONS of DOLLARS that were misused to enhance personal political power and which undermined the process of free and fair elections. Sorry, Mike Veon is no hero and no example for young people interested in politics.

I do look forward to what happens to John Perzel and Brian Preski. They can't be happy. I wonder which one will sell out the other?

Anonymous said...

Regarding Veon - What kind of man sneaks into the capitol building at 2am and votes himself a double digit raise while the people he "represents" are asleep?

That is a sneaky weasel that cannot ever be trusted again. Such a petty, self dealing, freeloader clown. He's right where he belongs.

PS - Corbett is a loser too, I agree. Sketchy republicrat antics are all we can expect from a two party monopoly. Expensive mediocracty

Anonymous said...

A majority of legislators voted for that pay raise. Do they all belong in jail?

(Make no mistake; I do believe Veon is in jail indirecty as a result of his pay raise vote. But by now you'd think he somehow passed the pay raise all by himself!)

Anonymous said...

Looks like we now know why the Pennsylvania Judges have not checked out the Grand Jury Abuses....They seem to have their own problems and they called Veon, Cott, and Rosepink crooks???

Attorney Jeffrey B. Rotwitt, the lawyer who earned fees on both sides of a deal to build a new Family Court building in Center City, was fired Thursday by his law firm.

Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP announced the firing a day after Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille killed Rotwitt’s deal to develop a $200 million Family Court tower at 15th and Arch streets.

The project is still moving forward, with the state serving as developer. But there is no way of telling whether the state will recover any of the millions in fees already paid out to Rotwitt and his partner, Conshohocken developer Donald W. Pulver.

“We have to figure out who got paid what,” Castille said in an interview Thursday. “Our lawyers are going to get to the bottom of that. We will take the appropriate action when we learn the facts.”

Rotwitt has spent 35 years at Obermayer, a Philadelphia-based firm with 125 lawyers that has long been a big-money player on Pennsylvania’s political scene. Last year, the firm contributed a total of $175,000 to statewide campaigns.

Rotwitt has said in recent interviews that he has done nothing wrong. He said he became a codeveloper of the Family Court building with Pulver only after his work find sites for Castille had ended.

He said he has been up-front and open about his involvement in the project and is now being made a scapegoat. He has also said that he was not paid as a lawyer by the courts, but as a broker.

Rotwitt was hired in 2006 by-then Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman to find a site for a new courthouse to consolidate Family Court operations in Philadelphia. Originally, Rotwitt was supposed to be paid a commission, after a deal was done.

But after Newman left the court, Castille in 2008 signed off on a $3.9 million fee for Rotwitt, and the courts started making $55,000 monthly installment payments to him. Obermayer has already received a total of about $1.3 million.

But Rotwitt also has earned around $500,000 in additional fees as a codeveloper on the same project, in a handshake deal with Pulver, who now also wants to distance himself from the attorney.

Pulver sent Rotwitt a letter Thursday ending his partnership with Rotwitt’s Deilwydd Property Group FC L.L.C.

Obermayer’s partners say Rotwitt never told them that he had a deal with Pulver to codevelop the Family Court building.

“The management committee had no knowledge of Mr. Rotwitt’s involvement as a developer of the proposed Philadelphia Family Court Facility until the investigation by the Philadelphia Inquirer,” the firm said in a brief statement.

Castille also said he never knew Rotwitt was a codeveloper until The Inquirer reported it.

“If he’s collecting money on the side, I don’t think I’d be too happy,” Castille said of Obermayer’s decision to fire Rotwitt.

“The guy’s grabbing a half-million dollars that should have gone to the law firm,” he said.

But Rotwitt said that everyone knew about his deal with Pulver - Castille, other court administrators, the court’s lawyers, major development firms and particularly his partners at Obermayer.

“The record is clear,” Rotwitt said in an interview last week.

“The world of the city knows it … the realty community, the construction community, the design community, minutes of meetings, drafts of documents, signed documents, it goes on and on and on,” he said.

Continued below....

Anonymous said...

Continued from above....

Rotwitt, 59, is owner of the Kixx indoor soccer team and a partner in a $85 million deal - backed by $10 million in state funding - to build a movie studio in Chester Township.

Involved in number of other high-profile real estate transactions, Rotwitt was a member of Obermayer’s management committee and was its biggest earner, said his spokesman, Kevin Feeley.

“I think Jeff’s view is, in light of all the publicity over the past week he understands the firm’s decision,” Feeley said.

Rotwitt has provided copies of documents that he sent to the courts stating that his firm, Deilwydd Property Group FC L.L.C., was codeveloper of the Family Court building. He also acknowledged he was codeveloper in an interview with The Inquirer last month that triggered the current controversy.

Rotwitt and Obermayer in 2003 were involved in another unusual real estate deal - this one the subject of a critical state grand jury report.

In early 2003, Haverford Township commissioners were looking for help in finding a developer for the 212-acre site of the old Haverford State Hospital. A faction of the board, meeting in secret, decided to hire Rotwitt and Obermayer, according to the grand jury report.

The terms: Obermayer would receive $7,500 a month and 6 percent of the sale when the deal closed. Rotwitt sent developers requests for proposals, and the board eventually made a deal for $30.6 million.

That meant Obermayer and Rotwitt were due for a fee of $1.8 million. But Obermayer chairman Martin Weinberg, a onetime mayoral candidate in Philadelphia, didn’t want to wait for the money, the report says, and told Rotwitt to press for an advance payment before the end of 2003. Without any public vote, commissioners decided to pay Obermayer $600,000.

After the payment surfaced, Rotwitt and Obermayer gave the money back. Rotwitt says that money was not an advance on the fee, but payment for other legal work on the project; the grand jury report calls that “a ruse.”

Weinberg did not return requests for comment.

Weinberg and former Justice Newman began dating five months after she hired Rotwitt in 2006. They were married at the beginning of 2007, and the marriage was annulled later that year.

Newman says her personal ties to the firm had nothing to do with her decision to retain Rotwitt.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...A majority of legislators voted for that pay raise. Do they all belong in jail? (Make no mistake; I do believe Veon is in jail indirecty as a result of his pay raise vote. But by now you'd think he somehow passed the pay raise all by himself!) June 20, 2010 11:05 PM....

Here is the real tragedy, the Republicans were in control of House and Senate, 4 of the last 5 Payraises and the Senate 5 of the last 5 Payraises....but so far Brian Nutt and Mike Long (Former Aides & Advisors To Republican Senators) and no Senator has been investigated, by Tom Corbett, as they have been hired by him for his Republican Campaign and Fundraising.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...Regarding Veon - What kind of man sneaks into the capitol building at 2am and votes himself a double digit raise while the people he "represents" are asleep? That is a sneaky weasel that cannot ever be trusted again. Such a petty, self dealing, freeloader clown. He's right where he belongs. PS - Corbett is a loser too, I agree. Sketchy republicrat antics are all we can expect from a two party monopoly. Expensive mediocracty June 20, 2010 9:37 PM

The difference is Mike Veon was often working at 2 AM in his Office even when the Legislature was NOT IN SESSION.

He often slept their and was working by 8 AM.

You can attack Mike Veon for hiring some creeps, but he was always a hard worker all his life.

It is now known Tom Corbett has been asking for Campaign Contributions within his office and hat is against the Campaign Laws, and the Kimmett Case will prove it.

They had Investigators watching the entire time, it is alleged.

Anonymous said...

bobguzzardi said...PS I think Brett Cott and Mike Veon deserve to go to jail. It would be even better if The Forgotten Taxpayers of Pennsylvania, workers, savers and investors and small business which create jobs and produce goods and provide services we want and need were repaid the MILLIONS of DOLLARS that were misused to enhance personal political power and which undermined the process of free and fair elections. Sorry, Mike Veon is no hero and no example for young people interested in politics. I do look forward to what happens to John Perzel and Brian Preski. They can't be happy. I wonder which one will sell out the other? June 20, 2010 6:03 PM

Bob, I agree with you on masny points, however, even Mike Veon said he was never a Hero, he admitted mistakes.

However, Bob, if Mike Veon is guilty in your eyes and that is a fair judgment, you have to be just as fair, in knowing many others are guilty of the same thing, and none of them is in prison or being investigated by this corrupt OAG.

If you are happy about Veon then you must be very unhappy about others not even being charged.

This is why it is wrong, and Corbett costs more taxpayers dollars than anything he tried to recover because it did it politically not for justice.

If you are a fair man Bob and I appreciate your comments, you know what I said is true.

Fumo guilty on 137 Counts and got 4 years, Veon on 14 Counts and got 6 to 14 and Cott got 5 years?

Sorry that is more wrong than the verdicts.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

DirtyLAWndry reader - “Melissa” - emailed me this interesting tidbit regarding Lance David Lewis. Apparently, Lewis was padding time during a document review project at Pepper Hamilton. He worked from November 12, 2007 to December 4, 2007 on the project at an average of 32 hours each week. However, he decided to continue submitting timesheets to his staffing agency, HireCounsel, after his project ended. He gradually increased his hours from 32 hours per week to about 80 hours per week. He did this until August 2008 when he was finally confronted by HireCounsel. By then, he was paid a total of $79,353 by fraudulently logging 2605.10 hours on his timesheets that he actually never worked. He even received an additional 40 hours for bonuses and holiday pay that he didn’t deserve.

Additionally, Lewis also stole settlement funds belonging to a former client in the amount of $12,500 by forging both his name and his client’s name on the settlement check.

And as if that weren’t scandalous enough, in August 2008, Lance David Lewis was arrested and facing six criminal charges: 1) Attempted Murder, 2) Aggravated Assault, 3) Simple Assault, 4) Possession Of An Instrument Of Crime, 5) Reckless Endangerment, and 6) Conspiracy. By September 2008, the attempted murder charge was dismissed for lack of evidence, but he eventually pleaded guilty to remaining charges.

You can find the PA Disciplinary Board’s Opinion here. From his website,, he seemed to be pursuing a successful career. I wonder how everything went so wrong.

Dirty LAWndry Blog:

Anonymous said...

Pa. representative calls for probe of Philly Family Court deal
By Joseph Tanfani

Inquirer Staff Writer

A Republican state representative, not satisfied with Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille's internal investigation, called Wednesday for the state auditor general to probe a failed Family Court development deal.

Rep. Curt Schroder (R., Chester) said an independent agency was needed to figure out the Family Court "fiasco" overseen by Castille.

The courts spent $12 million in public money on a deal that blew up after The Inquirer reported that Jeffrey B. Rotwitt, a lawyer hired by the courts, was also being paid by the project developer.

The state has taken over the $200 million project, planned for 15th and Arch Streets, and the FBI has opened a criminal investigation.

Castille, meanwhile, hired lawyer William G. Chadwick to review the deal. Chadwick was Castille's second-in-command when Castille was Philadelphia's district attorney in the 1980s.

Castille previously retained Chadwick this year under a $150,000 consulting contract to review the Philadelphia court system.

Schroder noted that Chadwick was the second lawyer Castille had hired to review the Family Court project.

"I think the public is right to be concerned about these things," he said, referring to questions raised about Rotwitt's potential conflict and Castille's oversight.

"I don't think it's adequate to do more self-policing, more internal reviews, and declare everything's fine once that is over," he said.

Schroder sent out a memo inviting other House members to cosponsor a resolution that would require Auditor General Jack Wagner's office to investigate the deal.

Another possibility, Schroder said, would be an independent commission, like the one looking into corruption in Luzerne County courts.

Chadwick, who runs Chadwick Associates, a Washington consulting firm, said he had begun reviewing documents in the transaction. He has also been hired by the House Democratic caucus to research legislative practices after the Bonusgate scandal.

"In the end, transparency and the work product will speak for itself," he said. "We will certainly cooperate with any legitimate investigation by anyone."

Castille could not be reached for comment.

In a hurry to get a new Family Court building, Castille in 2008 authorized millions in payments to Rotwitt, architects, and developer Donald B. Pulver without bids or a final development contract.

Castille has said he was relying on Rotwitt's advice on the payments and had no idea that Rotwitt was also getting a cut of Pulver's development fees. Rotwitt insists that Castille knew all along about his role as codeveloper.

Pulver and Rotwitt have since been kicked off the project, and Castille has said he might seek to get some of the $12 million back.

Castille first appointed Henry E. Hockeimer Jr., a lawyer with Ballard Spahr, to investigate. But that arrangement drew criticism because Ballard has also been working on the Family Court deal since 2008.

Schroder said Castille's decision to replace Hockeimer with Chadwick had failed to assure the public that all the facts would come to light.

"There's a perspective out there that sometimes the court likes to keep itself shielded from public accountability," he said. "My point is, that cannot continue."

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Anonymous said...

A Walk Down Memory Lane For Bobguzzardi....

Judge Worries About 'Pay Raise' Backlash At Polls

(KDKA) The state's top Superior Court judge is speaking out. President Judge Kate Ford Elliot is worried that some experienced judges may be tossed out because of the continuing backlash against the judicial pay raise.

"I've been a judge for 18 years, and I have never seen this kind of attention placed on the retention elections," she said. She says the public has the right to vote however they want, but: "What I would hope, though, is that the citizens will judge the records of the judges who are standing for retention this year and determine whether they have faithfully fulfilled their oath of office."

In the “uncut” version of the interview, Judge Elliot references the Oath of Office several times, but never once mentions adherence to the Pennsylvania Constitution. She talks about keeping politics out of the judiciary, but never mentions Supreme Court Chief Justice Cappy’s involvement in the infamous pay-raise debacle. The damage done to the Pennsylvania judiciary was largely self-inflicted. It would have been nice to have the judge at least acknowledge this in the interview.

The fact that that Supreme Court Chief Justice Cappy announced his resignation earlier this week, as opposed to facing a tough retention vote in 2 years, speaks volumes.


Anonymous said...

Today the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reinstated pay raises for 12-hundred elected and district judges. The court ordered the judges' pay returned to November's levels, when the pay-raise law was repealed.

The full gory text of the opinions, guaranteed to knock you out quicker than most hypnotics, appears at these links:

Majority opinion:

Concurring and Dissenting opinion:

Say It ain't so Bob say it ain't so! Mike Veon went to bat for the Judges because Veon felt the pay raises were needed to get good lawyers to serve on a court.

So, Mike Veon went to bat and got hit by a pitch in a Republican controlled Senate and House, and then investigated by a Republican Attorney General that has not investigated any Republican Senators, under a Supreme Court now controlled by Republicans and involved in a bigger scandal than Bonusgate?

Only Democrats are in jail far beyond what they deserve based on the shoddy cases brought forth by Prosecutors that were out of control, but the Supreme Court refuses to bring them to discipline?

Bob, If you are counting, there are 7 Super Court Justices, One Republican Joan Orie Melvin is under investigation only because Republican AG Corbett refused to investigate her, so it was done properly by DA Zappalla.

The other Republican Supreme Court Chief Justice The Honorable Ronald Castille has been asked to resign by the Philadelphia Editorial Board.

Therefore, now we know why the Courts are not responding to AG Corbett’s abuses and alleged illegal acts and no action taken by the Judicial Conduct Board or Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board and there is an election for Governor coming up.

And to add even more damage to these damaging Appearance of Impropriety and not all US Attorneys have been even confirmed.

THEREFORE, we do need a SPECIAL PROSECUTOR now, but some of this goes back on Fast Eddie OLD LAW FIRMS the current Governor, so when is the Tea Party going to stand up for Justice and not FORGET about the Republican Justices alleged doing wrong because they are Republicans Bob, explain that to us Bob?

Anonymous said...

I believe the judge was merely being polite if he said Raynak did a good job because Raynak did a horrible job . His behavior was confrontational and he made numerous frivolous challenges and arguments . And telling the press before sentencing that the judge is going to be reversed is beyond stupid .
Having this idiot handle the appeal is not going to benefit his client , who now faces a minimum 50 months ( not 60 ) . He should get paroled 10 months early under something called RRRI , which is available to non-violent defendants . I am sorry former Rep. Veon did not negotiate a guilty plea , if he did he probably would be serving a house arrest sentence but with the same restitution .
I have nothing but contempt for Raynak.

Anonymous said...

It appears Pennsylvania judges aren't the only ones whining about their pay.

Federal judges are now making noise about their paychecks.

Maybe they should learn from Pennsylvania judges' experiences when it comes to asking taxpayers to shell out more money.

If you'll recall, the infamous July 2005 middle-of-the-night pay raise for Pennsylvania politicians and judges was hatched up by Gov. Ed Rendell, legislative leaders (most of whom have been voted out of office or indicted except one democratice state senator and no republicans state senators) and Ralph Cappy, chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Cappy's court eventually ruled that the way the legislators took the pay raise (something called unvouchered expenses) was unconstitutional, but restored the 10 percent pay raises for themselves and 1,200 other state and local judges.

And they also tied future pay increases to salaries of federal judges.

The backlash against Pennsylvania judges began in 2005 when Russell Nigro failed to win his retention re-election for another 10-year term on the state's highest court, but it is time to bring it back.

The other judge on the ballot that year, Sandra Schultz Newman, narrowly won her retention vote, but she ended up resigning from the court in 2006, citing the constant criticism of judges by Pennsylvania residents, now she has been named in an alleged Family Court Real Estate Scandal along with Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille.

Pennsylvania voters failed in their chance to send a clear message to greedy judges when they get to pick three new judges for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this November.

They actually chose Joan Orie Melvin whose sister Jane Orie is now indicted over campaigning for Judge Joan on state time and 15 of Jane Orie staffers turned over evidence without immunity.

Now Voters can send a strong message to Corbett by not electing him Governor for his failure to investigate all of the legislature, senate, and Judges especially teh Judicial Conduct Board that robbed children of their Civil Rights for Kids for Cash by two currently indicted Judges.

Greed is not a virtue when you rob the Commonwealth Taxpayers and the Attorney General refuses to investigate you.

Pennsylvania taxpayers are tired of being fleeced by politicians, whether they are members of the executive, legislative or judicial branch.

At the same time Pennsylvania judges have been whining about their pay, members of the U.S. Supreme Court have been lobbying for bigger paychecks.

Chief Justice John Roberts has made several public pleas for higher pay, calling the lack of a big payday for federal judges a "constitutional crisis."

On Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy told members of a Senate committee that Congress has disregarded judicial pay, creating morale problems among judges and threatening to undermine judicial independence.

Judicial Independence, look at how Pennsylvania Chief Justice Castille handled building a Family Courthous in Philadelphia, instaed of using time honored and well regulated state procedures?

There's no argument that lawyers can make a lot more money in private practice than they can serving on the bench.

And who says the highest paid person is always the most qualified person?

Whatever happened to the concept of public service?

There's nothing in the Constitution that says a Supreme Court justice has to stay on the court into their 70s or until they die in office.

They are welcome to step down any time they want and I guarantee there will be thousands of other applicants waiting in line to take their place on the court.

Anonymous said...

There is good news and bad news about the budget for the judiciary.

The good news is that the Supreme Court is talking openly about its budget problems.

The bad news is that the justices apparently don’t recognize this as a problem partly of their own creation.

In 2006, the judges ruled that the Pay Raise of 2005 was unconstitutional – except for themselves.

Now they lament a $20 million budget shortfall that arises entirely from the higher salaries they decided to pay themselves.

The raise of about $15,000 per judge is going to 1,058 judges. That’s $15,870,000.

Since they have all received the higher amount for four years, compounded by annual COLAs (except last year)…well, you get the picture.

In a pithy editorial, the Altoona Mirror takes justices to task for seeking more money without being willing to cut costs.

One idea that Justice Max Baer rejected in budget hearings was for judges to pay 1% of their health care costs.

Senators and staff currently pay 1% while Representatives, like the judges, pay nothing toward their top-of-the-line health care benefits.

As the Mirror points out, there are many people making far less money than judges who pay far more for health care that isn’t nearly as good.

Anonymous said...

Rather than making threats about suing, Pennsylvania's judges should dip slightly into their pockets to help the state through its budget crisis.

In pressing for more funding for the judiciary, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Max Baer repeatedly told members of the House Appropriations Committee last week that he didn't want to have to sue the state in an effort to get the court's requested funding, Capitolwire reports.

We understand Baer needs to stick up for his branch of government and make the case for getting the level of funding the courts believe are necessary. But even veiled threats to sue unless legislators and the governor give into his demands leave a sour taste in our mouths.

The Supreme Court is requesting $321 million for the judiciary in the next fiscal year budget and $20 million to cover an expected shortfall this year, Capitolwire reports.

Some senators last week encouraged Baer to have members of the judiciary pick up a small piece of their health care costs to help the state weather the current financial turmoil. Senators and their staff pay 1 percent of their health care coverage.

Baer told the senators that the court is reluctant to do that because the justices are worried it will be harder to keep good judges on the bench if they have to pick up part of their health care costs.

Give us a break.

One percent of health care costs is practically nothing. There are lots of employees earning much less who are paying much more for health care coverage that likely is less generous than that enjoyed by the judiciary.

Think about it: If the monthly health insurance premium is $500, a 1 percent copay by an employee is $5. One percent of a $1,500 monthly premium is only $15. How many people in the private sector - and increasingly in the public sector - enjoy such low co-pays?

Bellwood-Antis teachers just ratified a new contract under which they will contribute an average of $575 - nearly $50 a month - toward their health care costs.

And the 1,058 judges in the state will flee to the hills if they are asked to pay 1 percent?

We don't think it would be unfair to ask public officials and judges to pick up an even bigger share than 1 percent, especially those who are earning substantial salaries and generous pensions. Why should taxpayers, who often are contributing toward their own health care costs, have to pick up the entire tab for the judiciary?

Baer and his fellow justices should reconsider their threat to sue the state and their refusal to pick up a minute portion of their health care costs.

Otherwise, they risk stroking the fires of voter revolt, as we saw in 2005.

Anonymous said...

2010 salaries for judges in Pennsylvania. Senior and president judges earn slightly higher salaries.

Supreme Court justice $186,450

Superior or Commonwealth Court judge $175,923

Common pleas judge $161,850

Magisterial district judge $80,927

Senior judges $497 a day*

*Senior judges cannot earn in daily pay and retirement benefits more than the annual salary of an active judge of the court.

Source: Pennsylvania Bulletin

Federal district court judges are paid $165,200 annually;

Appeals court judges make $175,100;

Associate justices of the Supreme Court earn $203,000;

The chief justice gets $212,100.

fancynance said...

Responding to inncorrectness AGAIN, Mr. Veon did not 'sneak' into the capital @when the pay raise 'vote' was passed, he was there was all the 'other' legislators that voted for it. ALSO, remember Mr. Veon has NOT been in office and a legislator for 4 years. His constituants spoke loud and clear to him in Nov. of '06 when they voted him out of office, due to his vote on the paise raise issue. Just the facts mam, just the facts.

fancynance said...

To buzzgardi?, ok fine you agree Veon, Cott need to be in jail, well you need to contact the AG's office and tell them to march right over to our capital today, (once everyone reports to work) and then lock and bolt the big front doors! Because all our elected officials are STILL conducting business, doing campaign work on 'legislative time'. Just make the capital building one big 'jail'. It's a shame, yes, agaist the law, if many were accused and convicted, they all need to be convicted, just because it's done, does not make it right, the law must be 'enforced', yes?

Anonymous said...

What is the reason for Judges thinking they need more money? I was in the jury room for 5 or 6 days, the judge’s job was not that big a deal.

I think life is not fair.

So it does not matter if this seems fair to me or not.

THEY have the power; THEY can do whatever they want.

Voting is a joke because when someone gets the power they will just screw us over anyway.

What happens happens.

To hell with them all. THEY have the brains, power, and money and get to do what they want.

These people nagging at me to vote are joke. I cannot stop the crooks from robbing me when they get in office, but I can stay out of the bunch of suckers that vote these bastards in.

So far, 29% of the Supreme Court Of Pennsylvania is now under investigation or being asked to resign, and only .0048% of Legislators have been convicted and .0048% Legislators have been Acquitted and .0097% on deck for a trial and 0% Senators have not even been presented to the Grand Jury, and 0% of Supreme Court Justices either?

Anonymous said...

It is ok when you create a Business because you are a DAV, everyone should respect that without a problem.

It is quite another to do it as front for your In-Laws.

Now the Former Steelers are grabbing the Taxpayers pies as they go out the door for being on the dole.

Can you say, Pay & Play?

Rival companies miffed by deal with ex-Steeler Rocky Bleier
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Monday, June 21, 2010

Rival companies complain a federal contract awarded to former Steeler running back Rocky Bleier's firm will cost taxpayers twice as much as their proposals.

The $2.09 million award to Bleier's RBVetco LLC of Mt. Lebanon for site preparation work is under challenge from one bidder, who claims Bleier's company is a front or pass-through for a firm owned by his in-laws.

"I thought we had a good bid," said Art Dupont, head of ADDVetco of Bethel Park, which submitted a $1 million bid. "And it was substantially lower than $2 million."

Dupont said he decided against filing a protest to focus on pursuing other contracts.

John Kliethermes of Concorde Wall Systems Inc. of Saint Paul, Minn., a subcontractor of ADDVetco, remains miffed.

"It doesn't make sense," said Kliethermes. "We submitted a bid for half the cost of the company that got the job."

Also submitting a bid was JC Cross of Weirton, W.Va., which has protested the award. The Cross firm offered to do the work for $1.19 million.

The disputed contract was awarded under a federal program for companies owned by disabled veterans.

Bleier has stated that the protest has no merit and expects the Department of Veterans Affairs to reject the protest.

The contract, which was awarded last month, is to prepare a site near the VA's University Drive campus in Oakland for construction of a Fisher House, a facility to provide temporary housing for relatives of veterans undergoing medical treatment.

In its protest, JC Cross charges RBVetco was a pass-through for JG Contracting, a Scott firm owned by John and James Gyurina, both of Mt. Lebanon. They are Bleier's brothers-in-law.

The protest noted the two firms share the same address and charged that JG Contracting actually pays most of RBVetco employees.

VA officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Kliethermes said he has attempted to get an explanation of the bid decision, but VA officials declined to respond because he was only a subcontractor.

He charged that the VA did not follow proper contracting procedures when it narrowed the field to two firms, including RBVetco.

"They were supposed to notify us immediately," he said.

Bleier was severely wounded in combat in Vietnam in the late 1960s.

But lets give Cott & Veon 5 to 6 years?

Anonymous said...

When Ron Castille and Rocky Bleier fine names, reputations, and outstanding public service can be ensnared with scandal it only goes to show that the society has become too regulatory, and it is time things need to change.

It was easy to go after only a few in the name of protecting many, but Castille and Bleier are by no means too far from what happen to Veon, Cott, and Rosepink.

What was once consider normal practices and ok sloppy campaigning, all of sudden became criminal for a few but not state senators close to Corbett.

And does not apply to anyone, except those chosen by the AG and his Prosecutors, even though they know people at the OAG did the same things.

Now Newspapers are asking for Castille resignation but not prosecution for wasting $12 million to well connected Law Firms not $2 million in bonuses?

What does the AG Corbett do?

Permits millions to be spent on Immunity Witnesses to stay in jobs they admitted were campaign jobs, lets them keep their pensions, and hires former state senator aides FOR CORBETT'S CAMPAIGN that got the highest bonuses from state senators never investigated?

Now that is what I call a misuse of office or negligence prosecutions of the highest order all approved by the highest court in Pennsylvania due to well-connected Law Firms.


Anonymous said...

Editorial: Castille must resign

Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille's sloppy - at best - handling of the process to build a new Family Court calls into question his ability to manage the state court system.
The latest revelation is that the double-dealing lawyer Castille paid to spearhead the project also represented the Foxwoods casino in cases before the state Supreme Court. That raises serious conflict-of-interest issues that undermine trust in the chief justice's impartiality surrounding legal matters.

The combination of these two troubling events should prompt Castille to resign as chief justice. He should step aside in the interest of restoring public trust in the state's highest court. Castille does not have to leave the court. But the current perception of collusion disqualifies him to lead the court during this dark period.

Castille's actions surrounding the Family Court deal and the Foxwoods case are troubling enough. But Castille's public response to these revelations show he doesn't fully grasp just how badly he has tarnished the court.

Even before this scandal, the court was not held in high regard. But it has reached a new low.

At issue is the relationship attorney Jeffrey B. Rotwitt had with Castille. Rotwitt was hired to represent the Supreme Court's effort to build a new $200 million Family Court in Philadelphia. Somewhere along the way, Rotwitt went from representing the court to codeveloper of the project.

Rotwitt has been paid for his roles on both sides of the deal. He says there was no conflict because one job ended before the other began, and he disclosed his roles to Castille and others.

Castille claims he learned Rotwitt was the codeveloper only by reading about it in The Inquirer. Following the newspaper reports, Castille ended the development deal. Rotwitt was subsequently fired by his law firm, Obermayer Rebmann Maxell & Hippel.

The chief justice has since hired a second lawyer to determine where the $12 million spent on the project to date has gone. Castille controlled this money.

While Rotwitt was working with Castille on the Family Court project, he also appeared before the Supreme Court on issues involving the Foxwoods casino. But Castille never disclosed Rotwitt's ties to the court, and never recused himself from voting on matters surrounding Foxwoods.

Castille didn't always vote in favor of Foxwoods, but that doesn't make his failure to disclose the conflict proper. Castille says he never pays attention to the names of lawyers in cases. Even if you accept that, it makes no sense. How can he avoid conflicts if he doesn't know who is involved?

In addition, Castille and Rotwitt played golf together. Castille's response: "I play golf with tons of lawyers." Whoa! This just went from bad to worse. What better way to influence the most powerful judge in the commonwealth than to host him for several hours at a posh country club? One must assume the chief duffer and his lawyer friends don't hack around Cobbs Creek Golf Club.

It's amazing that Castille doesn't see a problem in hiring a lawyer to work for the courts, play golf with him, and then allow the same lawyer to appear before him in court. In a nutshell, that's why Castille should step aside.

Read more:
Watch sports videos you won't find anywhere else

Anonymous said...

"Truth is treason in the empire of lies."

Anonymous said...

This is very clear many elected officials rely on the goodwill, reputations, and honesty of those they entrust to do the right thing.

From Presidents to Chief Justices, Governors, Speakers of the House, Majority Leaders, Senate Pro Tem, to Attorney Generals.

When Staff, or retained Counsel, or people appointed to oversee one's operations, projects, or campaign fundraising do other actions that make you look stupid or worse even corrupt, and then turn to immunity to save themselves or become fired from law firms after the damage is done, it is not always easy to explain why, how, and you are innocence.

From BP in the Corporate World to many Political Figures it does not matter once the details come out, and you are standing there looking like a crook even though you never were in anyway.

Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille was out to build a new Family Court badly needed and now they are asking for his resignation, because he should have known, how to handle it, when he depended upon others to advise him.

This goes for many in Harrisburg and Washington, it is not easy and hindsight is 20/20, but Ron Castille is as honest as they come, and yet he has been brushed with grime from others greed!

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. Edward G. Rendell (A trustee of Lincoln Univ. who is supposed to be defending The Barnes in Merion) can hand over $30,000,000.00 to the unpopular NO-BID Barnes On The Parkway scumfest with $100,000,000.00 more coming from Fumo's unpublicized eleventh hour appropriation in SB 1213 of 2002 and a newpaper wants Castille to resign?

Leave it to Philly to get it wrong, the families of Philly need a new Family Court, Philly doesn't need a new Barnes - but the Family Court will be delayed with investigations while the Barnes On the Parkway crew will hoover the taxpayer until our eyes our sucked so far out of our skulls that we won't be able to see their damned art at $35.00 a ticket.

The new Barnes is such a joke: taxpayers will be paying for that mess for years & years to come, it is unsustainable to build this behemoth in this time of financial crisis.

The Barnes Move is an outdated idea whose time has past. There are modern ways to move people effectively to The Barnes, and now they even let black people North of City Line Avenue.

In my opinion, these Barnes supporters are a bunch of misguided old people fighting their parents' race & class war against Albert Barnes, a poor kid from Kensington who wouldn't dance to their tune, and we're letting them do it with taxpayer dollars - unbelieveable.

In many ways, Doc Barnes was the father of Modern Philadelphia as racially tolerant and ruggedly individualistic City - and all we say is F-You Doc, we're stealin' your art.

Anonymous said...

Castille releases letter assailing critic of Pa. court

By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG - State Supreme Court Justice Ronald D. Castille has released a letter he wrote last month lambasting a vocal critic of his court, and says he may yet pursue disciplinary action against that critic.

Castille suggested he might ask the court's Disciplinary Board to act against Duquesne University law professor Bruce Ledewitz for what Castille called "unfounded and baseless charges of criminal conduct towards this court."

"I am leaving it open," he said yesterday in a telephone interview.

Castille noted that the Disciplinary Board, appointed by and controlled by the Supreme Court, could initiate action against Ledewitz on its own.

This week, that board got a new chairman: Bryn Mawr lawyer Jonathan Newman, the former chairman of the Liquor Control Board and son of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman, who quit last year to join a law firm.

In Castille's letter, the full contents of which were made public yesterday, the justice wrote that Ledewitz should face possible sanctions for violating rules of professional conduct that forbid lawyers from making false statements.

As the letter noted, Ledewitz, in an February 2007 interview with the Beaver County Times, called the high court "even more corrupt than the legislature" for rulings arising from the controversial 2005 legislative pay raise. Ledewitz said the justices' decision to strike down the legislators' pay hike while upholding raises for themselves and other judges was "a swindle."

Last week, the Castille letter sparked controversy when Ledewitz revealed parts of it during his testimony at a hearing of the Senate state government committee in Harrisburg.

Some senators accused Castille of trying to stifle dissent; the panel voted unanimously to use subpoena power if necessary to get the letter.

Castille initially refused to release the letter but said he relented when asked by Stephen MacNett, general counsel to the Senate Republicans, whom Castille said he has known for years.

The letter, dated March 22, 2007, was sent to Ledewitz's colleague, law professor Ken Gormley. In it, Castille declined an invitation to attend a reception held last night at Duquesne for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., saying he did not want to "lend the prestige" of the state's highest court to an event hosted by a school that gave Ledewitz a forum.

"It is disgraceful that Duquesne Law School continues to provide the professor a forum to make these charges," Castille wrote.

The ACLU has offered to defend Ledewitz before the Disciplinary Board if necessary. Ledewitz said in an e-mail yesterday that thus far, he knew of no complaint filed against him.

But hostile words between the Senate committee chairman, Jeffrey Piccola (R., Dauphin), and Castille, a fellow Republican and former Philadelphia district attorney, were still flying yesterday.

"I hope the release of the letter serves as a deterrent for future conduct of intimidating a witness," Piccola said. "It's a crime to intimidate a witness who comes before the court. Shouldn't that apply to the legislature?"

"He's hallucinating," Castille said of Piccola. "That assumes I knew [Ledewitz] was going to testify. I have more important things to do."

Castille's letter provides a glimpse into the lingering effects of a scandal that tarnished the state Supreme Court more than a decade ago.

Referring to the impeachment of Justice Rolf Larsen in 1994 following his conviction on a drug-related charge, Castille wrote that the seven justices had "struggled to overcome the problems caused by a former justice of this court."

"We've worked 10 or 12 years doing great things," Castille said yesterday. "But, like in politics, it's hard to lower your negatives."

Anonymous said...

Whay AG Tom Corbett Missed And Would Not Prosecute A Fellow Republican Senator Or High Judge, Tsk, TSk, TSK!

Where were Blessington, Fina, Costanzo, and Krastek back then?

Read On:

The Pennsylvania Progressive

Orie's Accused of Dirty Politics
by: John Morgan
Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 08:38:01 AM EDT

I found this video while further researching the Orie family. This is a clip from a former staffer for Senator Jane Orie describing the dirty politics used by the Orie sisters. called Joan Orie Melvin's claims against her opponent last year "Pennsylvania Slime."
Orie Melvin sought to implicate Judge Jack Panella in the Luzerne County "Kids For Cash" scandal though everyone involved said he was not responsible. In fact everyone said he did everything he was supposed to do to insure it was investigated. Orie Melvin ran these commercials anyway and incessantly to win the Supreme Court seat. The sisters seem to think they can do anything, steal signs, make harassing telephone calls or accuse opponents falsely and they did for years with no one holding them accountable. No wonder Jane Orie and Joan Orie Melvin thought they could run the 2009 Supreme Court campaign from State Senate offices with State Senate staff and resources and not be held accountable.

Their history also shows they mercilessly attack their attackers when caught just as they are doing now. Of course whatever motives DA Stephen Zappalla has are irrelevant because the evidence speaks for itself here. Fifteen current or former staffers cooperated and produced considerable evidence and documentation for the Orie crimes. In fact it seems they couldn't run to the courthouse fast enough to tell their tales and produce their evidence. The Ories have run roughshod over people for a decade and now it is payback time. They are getting their just desserts.

Anonymous said...

Governor Rendell Freezes Judicial Appointments
June 1, 2010
In response to a request by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille, Governor Rendell has agreed not to make any more vacancy appointments to the state bench.

The reason for the decision, announced at the beginning of this month, is budgetary. In a letter to the Governor, Chief Justice Castille recommended not filling any more seats to “achieve some short term savings” to help alleviate the court’s “precarious financial position.”

The other reason more than $12 million has been spent on the court project, in a no-bid fashion.

The payments had been approved by Pennsylvania state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille.

As a result, 28 judgeships will remain vacant.

More seats could go unfilled if judges die or retire.

Normally, a governor fills judicial vacancies by making interim appointments, subject to confirmation by two-thirds of the state Senate, or a majority vote for district judges.

Now, some seats may not be filled until after the general election next year.

Governor Rendell’s spokesperson, Gary Tuma, confirmed, “He will make no new appointments to vacancies unless the local county court can convince the chief justice that it is warranted by the backlog of cases in that county.”

In the Luzerne County, PA, Kids for Cash scandal, in which bribes were given to two Pennsylvania judges in return to sending some 6,500 minors to private detention facilities, Chief Justice Castille’s court similarly said they had lost track of a complaint letter sent to the court about the matter in 2005.

The co-owner of that facility was the son of former Pennsylvania state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Zappala.

Castille's minions on the state Supreme Court have also said they knew nothing of an influence peddling, case fixing, prostitution and pedophile ring concealed by York County President Judge Richard Renn.

It is clear Judges not allowed to participate in political campaigns or decisions, have apparently been doing just that and all are SHOCKED SHOCKED when they find wrong doing by Judges?

Yet, Judge Lewis has sent a warning for anyone campaigning or misusing state resources but that only applies to certain people these days.

Anonymous said...

The Auditor General’s Office of Taxpayer Advocate provides a hotline #1-800-922-8477. The Advocate does not offer financial rewards, but asks, “If you know of or suspect waste, fraud or abuse in a state program, agency or other endeavor, please contact the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate.”

The Attorney General has several outlets including hotlines for consumer protection #1-800-441-2555 and health care #1-877-888-4877, but only if your a Democrat.

The Department of Revenue also enlists citizens to report fraud to a Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate (717)-772-9347. The Department allows for anonymous tips, but “does not offer monetary rewards for reporting tax evasion crimes.”

Anonymous said...


A Pair Of Lawsuits ...... filed against Attorney General Tom Corbett have the potential to become issues in his gubernatorial campaign against Democrat Dan Onorato because they put his management style in a bad light.

The suits, one brought by a former employee and one by a current worker in the office, portray Corbett as a hands-off executive who depends on a military-style chain of command to tell him what he needs to know about the workings of his department, the Inquirer reports this morning.

For instance, Corbett answered "I don't know" to numerous questions in a March deposition on how his office was run.

He also said he could not remember whether any claim of mismanagement had crossed his desk.

A spokesman for Corbett, Nils Frederiksen, has described the allegations as "baseless" and "without merit."


Once a proper investigation begins by either a Special Prosecutor or US Attorneys, his military style minions will come apart just like Nixon's Gang of Confidents, Conspirators, and Con Men!

CCC-Corbett's likes “C’s” going back to his grades at a lowly College and Law School!

Anonymous said...


He said he hadn't paid much attention to the lawsuits, which he regarded as the sort of personnel disputes that often come up in a big office.

"It comes with the territory of being the head of the agency," he said.

Asked about his management style, Corbett, a former captain in the Pennsylvania National Guard, defended his strict reliance on a chain of command. He said he depended on "the judgment of the management team" to keep him informed.

Kevin Harley, spokesman for Corbett's gubernatorial campaign, said Corbett exhibited the leadership required of an attorney general - and of a governor.

"I think it speaks well of his management style," Harley said. "Tom Corbett is not a micromanager. You cannot be a successful head of a large agency if you are a micromanager."

Though Corbett gave his deposition in the middle of the GOP primary for governor in the spring, his party foe, State Rep. Sam Rohrer, did not bring up the cases during the race.

But some of Rohrer's tea party supporters did seek to call attention to the cases, saying they were evidence of neglectful management.

Jim Billman, chairman of the Berks County Patriots, one of the largest tea party groups in the state, said he was troubled by "all the 'I don't knows' " in Corbett's all-day question-and-answer session with the plaintiffs' lawyers.

"He's got a lot of convenient memory loss," Billman said.

On Friday, Billman launched a lawsuit of his own against Corbett in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. It alleges that Corbett's bodyguard "grabbed" Billman when he tried to ask Corbett a question about the Kimmett case at an event the day before the May 18 primary. The suit says Corbett "shook his finger angrily in Billman's face."

Don A. Bailey, Billman's lawyer, also represents Bellaman and formerly represented Kimmett. He is seen within the Attorney General's Office as an old nemesis who has filed other suits against the office.

G. Terry Madonna, a political analyst at Franklin and Marshall College, said that, depending on the merits of the Kimmett and Bellaman cases, they could be fair game in the fall campaign.

"When it comes to an executive position, you've got to show a measure of competent leadership," Madonna said. "You have to convey that you can be in command. So anything that tends to weaken that view can be a very important concern to voters."

Whether the cases become campaign fodder might depend on the timing of court action. Charles Kimmett, nephew of Thomas Kimmett and his current lawyer, said the cases could come up for trial in Harrisburg in October. But they could also be delayed until after the election.

The cases also could be settled, although Harley said no negotiations were going on.

In his deposition, Charles Kimmett asked Corbett: "If there are problems or issues in a specific unit [of the Attorney General's Office], does that reflect on you as someone who is ultimately responsible, or does it really reflect on those underneath and below you?"

"It reflects upon the office," Corbett answered.

"The office includes you," Kimmett noted.

"That's right," Corbett said.

Contact staff writer Tom Infield
at 610-313-8205 or

Anonymous said...

Two lawsuits allege Corbett has mismanaged Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office:
Posted on Mon, Jun. 21, 2010
By Tom Infield

Inquirer Staff Writer

Two little-noticed lawsuits that have been slowly working their way through a federal court raise questions about the management style of Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Corbett - and contend that Corbett squelched evidence of mismanagement in the state Attorney General's Office for political reasons.

The suits, brought by one former employee and one current worker in the office, paint a picture of Corbett as a hands-off executive who depends on a military-style chain of command to tell him what he needs to know about the workings of his department, which has about 800 people.

In a March deposition, Corbett answered "I don't know" to numerous questions about how his office was run. He said he could not remember whether any claim of mismanagement had crossed his desk.

Nils Frederiksen, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, described the allegations in the two lawsuits as "baseless" and "without merit."

The cases, which are being handled as one, are moving toward the trial stage only now. They have the potential to become an issue as Corbett heads toward his fall campaign for governor against Democrat Dan Onorato.

The first suit arose while Corbett sought reelection as attorney general in 2008; the other was filed in 2009. Pretrial motions by lawyers are due July 16.

In his suit, Thomas D. Kimmett, a former senior deputy attorney general, contends that he tried in vain to get higher-ups to pay attention to what he saw as the waste of hundreds of thousands of dollars in the attorney general's Financial Enforcement Section.

He says private collection agencies were improperly paid large commissions for work that the attorney general's in-house staff had done to recover taxes and other money owed to the state.

Also, he says, some cases were settled for a small fraction of the money that the state could, and should, have been able to collect.

His suit says those actions amounted to gross mismanagement, perhaps even fraud.

Kimmett, who is a certified public accountant and lawyer, says the agency ignored his findings to avoid drawing negative attention during the 2008 fall election. Soon after the election, he was fired.

Kimmett's contentions, contained in a legal complaint he filed in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, are echoed in the second lawsuit, filed by Sherry E. Bellaman, a collections analyst in the Attorney General's Office who worked a subordinate to Kimmett.

Bellaman says she was "harassed and intimidated" within the agency because of her support for the mismanagement allegations Kimmett was making.

She says workers in the office illegally destroyed some documents. She, too, alleges a political motive.

Kimmett and Bellaman have filed whistle-blower actions, alleging that they were wrongfully punished for doing their jobs.

An e-mail sent by Kimmett's immediate boss to another agency official in May 2009 - obtained by plaintiffs' attorneys during pretrial investigation - lends at least some credence to Kimmett's assertion that something was amiss in the Financial Enforcement Section.

"We found gross mismanagement, but no fraud," the e-mail said.

Corbett, in his deposition, said that he didn't believe there was any mismanagement, but that he couldn't remember what, if anything, he had discussed about Kimmett's allegations with his top aides before the suits were filed.


Anonymous said...

Guess who wrote these words.....???....???.....

It is of the utmost importance for any individual who faces any judge in a courtroom to have confidence he or she will be treated fairly, and for all Pennsylvanians to have that same sense of confidence, because a sound court system is essential to our system of government -- and to our very freedom.

How do judges earn the confidence of the citizens? We expect judges to be fair and impartial.

We expect judges to be unaffected by either side or by outside influence. We expect that judges will not favor the strong over the weak or the rich over the poor.

Above all, we expect judges to adhere to their oath of office.

American essayist Henry Ward Beecher emphasized the point when he wrote: "Take all of the robes of all of the good judges who have ever lived on the face of the earth and they would not be large enough to cover the iniquity of one corrupt judge."

Any guesses anyone?????

If this is true, why are Brett Cotta and Mike Veon in Prison, while many State Senators and Staffers are working on Campaigns for Tom Corbett after being given the largest bonuses without an investigation?

Why is the Disciplinary Board not investigating Prosecutors abuses?

If the Judicial Conduct Board failed us in Kids for Cash, how can we have confidence in it for wasted Cash for Family Courts?

Why are the largest Law Firms that contribute money to Elected officials and Judges allowed never to be investigated and keep running Harrisburg?

Convicted Felon Vinny Fumo worked for Dilworth Paxson, no investigation there?

Who recommended Obermayer?

Why are Judges building courthouses are they Engineers too?

How can someone waste $12 million of Satte Money and not be investigated by the OAG and Tom Corbett?

Where is the Grand Jurors now?

Anonymous said...

Rahm Emanuel to the rescue. Once the Republicans win some elections in the fall, the US Attorneys will strike to correct years of abuse of power.

The scandals now just being reported will become a reality not seen in politics since the 1950's.

The Republicans have walked into a trap set up by themselves, about time too.

Anonymous said...

I think you are to something here. No question if State Corruption continues and it is not being investigated, the US Attorneys now being appointed will have to step in and anyone that destroyed evidence or thinks they got away will be held accountable.

This is not over by along shot. It is going to take down some big people in power.

Anonymous said...

You keep looking at that thing as if it weren't kosher.