Saturday, January 7, 2012


Finally, one of the defendants in Tom Corbett's politically-motivated investigation of the legislature has officially charged what we at CasablancaPA have been saying all along.

Caucus-paid lawyers, hired by legislative leaders, actively steered witness testimony away from the leaders who hired them.

Not a single legislative leader was charged in the original investigation.

In a lawsuit, former House Republican staffer Al Bowman claims caucus-paid lawyers blocked his efforts to give prosecutors testimony against caucus Leader Sam Smith.

What a surprise.

It doesn't take a genius to see the overwhelming conflict of interest presented by allowing the ostensible targets of an investigation to choose, hire and pay the lawyers for the witnesses in that investigation.  In fact, in any other instance, Corbett's office would have objected to such an arrangement.

In a case involving the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, former Deputy Attorney General Patrick Blessington, who prosecuted the "Bonusgate" case, was outraged by such an arrangement:

"Blessington told Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina that the request posed a conflict because the lawyers, Robert Welsh and Catherine Recker, were being paid by the archdiocese while advising potential witnesses whose testimony could hurt the church and its leaders.  He said the lawyers want to sit in on all meetings between the employees and law enforcement. 'You don't have to stretch your imagination to see the chilling effect that will have,' Blessington said."

Last year a judge, too, noted the conflict in a case where the Archdiocese agreed to pay an accused priest's legal bills, but only if the case turned out the way Archdiocese officials wanted. It was obvious to Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes that the Rev. James Brennan had a financial incentive not to incriminate the people paying his legal bills.

But even though Team Corbett objected to the arrangement in other cases, they had no problem with allowing caucus leaders to foot the bill for legal representation for the very witnesses who might testify against them. And that's because they had no interest in hearing testimony against any of the legislative leaders.

Even when Corbett was accidentally presented with evidence against legislative leaders, he never acted on it. Evidence in the  "Bonusgate" case implicated not only then-Whip, former Leader Bill DeWeese, but also Leader Todd Eachus and Speaker of the House, Keith McCall,  Evidence in the "Computergate" case implicated Leader Smith. A former legislative intern implicated former Senate Republican Whip Jane Orie. Corbett responded to exactly none of it.

Barring his ass-covering belated indictment of DeWeese, Corbett targeted only two sitting legislators, both rank-and-filers.  He had no intention of antagonizing the very legislative leaders who would be acting upon his agenda when he became Governor.


Anonymous said...

Very accurate blog exposing Corbett and the Republican Caucuses and nothing has been done to date from US Attorneys?

Anonymous said...

us attorneys are in the same game - locking up criminals - and usually are not known for running to the aide of people committing crimes who think their treatment is unfair.

Anonymous said...

If US Attorneys are after criminals, then I guess we can expect them to investigate/bring charges against current and former Pennsylvania State Senate members and staff.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous attorneys are in the same game - locking up criminals - and usually are not known for running to the aide of people committing crimes who think their treatment is unfair.
January 7, 2012 2:51 PM

Hmmmmnnn, where were both of them on Child Molestation investigation of using one lone state trooper instead of a Ten Person Child Predator Unit all to protect AG Corbett run for Governor?

If this is what you call noble prosecutors, well, it does not pass the smell test in any jurisdiction.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, Corbett indicted just two rank-and-filer legislators to cover his deliberate ignorance to the actions of legislative leaders, (and the state senate entirely). So far only one of those two legislators has gone on trial and was acquitted of all charges, right?

If that's accurate, how disturbingly WEAK Team Tommy looks (for losing and ignoring the "big fish"), especially when you realize he and his ilk sat on evidence of much more disturbing crminal activity, so they would not rock the PSU boat.

Anonymous said...

The Prosecutors in the DeWeese Case have been searching Greene County for more witnesses as late as last week.

They already changed Grand Jury Testimony in the DeWeese case, and they will be confronting Experts, Republicans, and Character Witnesses that will pose a difficult problem for them.

At the same time, their current Witnesses and Immunity Witnesses were destroyed at the Preliminary hearing, and more is coming out on how they were handled by the OAG.

Once this is over and DeWeese is Acquitted, they will be brought into a civil lawsuit of Prosecutors Misconduct from the Jerry Spence legal consortium.

The US Supreme Court has been waiting for such a case, and this will be occurring smack into the National Media Sandusky/Penn State Scandal. As well as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

There is no need for US Attorneys, the PAOAG is in for a woe of trouble, and will affect the Attorney General Election, with Rafferty tainted with Republican Caucus and Zimmerman Son In Law Freed over Hershey.

They made a big mistake going to Trial on a weak case, and it will be atoned, and Prosecutors held accountable. Once this happens Veon. Cott, and Rosepink will have good grounds for APPEALS and Vacated convictions.

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Anonymous said...

Darryl Hazelwood was fired by the Democratic Caucus today.

Anonymous said...

Interesting about Hazelwood. Always surprised House Dems didn't make those who admitted guilt in court but weren't charged, or implicated by evidence in court, to either pay back bonuses or resign. Like Caton, Pronesti, Steiner, Andrews, Haines, Patton, and many others.

Anonymous said...

Because, Anonymous 11:15, if the Dem Caucus got rid of everyone that campaigned on state time, there'd be no employees left.

As far as the bonuses go, I've wondered that myself...there are some rather large numbers involved.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, if most any PA office fired everyone who campaigned while at work, there would be no one left. The computergate presentments showed that the office of district operations in the House republican caucus rivaled anything going on in the House D caucus. We know what all those Orie staffers were doing in the Senate now. And, finally, it looks like Judge Melvin's staff was a campaign machine, too. Does anyone seriously believe the Senate Dems and the Senate GOP didn't have just as much political activity going on?

Anonymous said...

The Employees that admitted they worked on campaigns and took bonuses are At-Will employees, and should be required to pay back the Bonuses by the Democratic Caucus itself.

This would put pressure on the PAOAG to have to investigate Republicans Senate and House for the same reason to return such money to the Treasury.

They also should be fired in order to add new blood without the taint of those employees that PAOAG allowed to have Immunity with no strings attached to recover taxpayer’s money.

This way, Democrats’ have passed reforms, return the bonus money, and lost their jobs, but Republicans kept their money, bonuses and jobs, as allowed by Corbett and the PAOAG without even an investigation.

If used properly in campaigns it could defeat many Republicans House and Senate members when ask why did you not protect, return, and decided to allow a cover up instead of accountability.

Many Republican Senators newly elected would ask for investigations on the Incumbents Leadership too.

Nevertheless, Democrats remain deaf, dumb, and lack the balls to do the right thing for the Party, Office Holders, and the Taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

So employees that were coerced into campaigning for fear of reprisal should be fired...that's what you’re saying?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... So employees that were coerced into campaigning for fear of reprisal should be fired...that's what you’re saying?
January 10, 2012 9:17 PM

No, employees that admitted under oath that they broke the laws in exchange for Immunity should be fired.

As well as, return their bonuses on a pay plan, and many admitted they were hired for campaigning with no coercion, and when told to do it on vacation, comp, or personal time often refused to obey the work rules.

The Commonwealth should be reimbursed and many of these positions were for campaigning not working for the Caucuses, so what are they doing now????

Therefore, you want the Commonwealth Taxpayers to keep paying them and add to their pensions for work no longer allowed, and made up work to keep their jobs.

If the Democratic wants to reform it, begin here, with employees that admitted they broke the work rules.

Anonymous said...

No, they should go to jail, is that what you're saying?

Anonymous said...

This talk of "coerced" to work on campaigns isn't based on reality. Not sure anyone being honest would say they ever feared for their jobs if they didn't work on campaigns. Think about it...can anyone remember anyone being fired ever for nearly any reason? It used to be that if someone lost a caucus job it was a huge deal. Would love to have even one name of a person fired for not working on a campaign. Corbett had all that grand jury testimony and all those trials and never brought that up. Of course, a staff person might not advance in the caucus as quickly, but again, be honest. Everyone knows there was a direct correlation between good employees in general and those that worked on campaigns. Not a 100% correlation, but there was one. Those that cared about accomplishing things legislatively knew that being in the majority was what mattered so they worked on campaigns. In the Supreme Court, it was a different matter. The Zappala grand jury presentment from last month had a witness say unequivocally that she was fired for not working on Justice Melvin's campaign.

Anonymous said...

Read the grand jury testimony and reports of the trial testimony...their supervisor, who was nicknamed the "Grim Reaper" used to go desk to desk...and he returned again, and again, and again, until the answer was yes...about a dozen people testified to this on two seperate occaisions, under oath each time...that is the very definition of coercion.

Anonymous said...

Help share this link. There's more to come:

Busted: Behind the Sandusky arrest
Narcotics agent nabs Jerry Sandusky
'Tom didn't want to do it'

and study this timeline:

Anonymous said... will have more about this shortly. from the timeline:

December 10, 2009: Acquittal in "Bonusgate" trial of former state Rep. Sean Ramaley. Corbett fears for his election prospects. AG Corbett orders all the agents in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to drop whatever they are doing to perform background checks on approximately 350 potential jurors in the "Bonusgate" jury pool. Corbett says he suspects jury tampering by his political opponents. The Sandusky investigation continues to languish.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... Read the grand jury testimony and reports of the trial testimony...their supervisor, who was nicknamed the "Grim Reaper" used to go desk to desk...and he returned again, and again, and again, until the answer was yes...about a dozen people testified to this on two seperate occaisions, under oath each time...that is the very definition of coercion. January 11, 2012 12:41 PM


First off, the AG Office has admitted that they have removed Grand Jury Testimony to suit their needs to bring charges.

They ignored all Exculpatory Evidence that could prove the Targets of the Grand Jury could show evidence o0f there innoceence.

In the U.S. judicial & Pennsylvania system a grand jury investigation is how we get to indictments.

Said another way, a grand jury report very often precedes a not guilty verdict.

One of the most entertaining quotes is judicial history is judge Sol Wachtler’s comment that prosecutors have so much control over Grand Juries that they could persuade them to “indict a ham sandwich.”

A Grand Jury investigation is not a balanced view of events—its very nature is biased toward bringing charges. Every hear of the Duke LaCrosse Case.

When you are on a Grand Jury you hear a LOT of cases over a number of days/weeks. The last time I served an a GJ we heard, on average 4-5 cases per day for 2 weeks straight. Only once out of all of those cases did the GJ NOT recommend trial – the process is skewed for that to be the case. As a GJ member your job is not to weigh guilt or innocence or debate and analyze a lot of facts. You are given limited evidence from the prosecutor/witnesses and what amounts to rebuttal from the defense.

There is no judge present, there is no attorney for the accused, all you have is the prosecutor putting forth their evidence to try and convince 16-23 people that there is probable cause and that they should indict.

There is no defense and the proceedings are secret. So you can make a judgment, sure, but be more measured in the weight you give to GJ report.

It must be remembered that this is a grand jury presentment. This isn't the jury that decides guilt or innocence.

This is the jury that provides two things, and two things only:

1) has there been a crime committed and

2) is there reasonable suspicion to believe that the defendant committed that crime. That's all.

As much as the gruesome details appear to be more than enough information to determine guilt, the presentation is only scratching the surface.

It's possible that the prosecutor decided not to have certain information included in the indictment so that they wouldn't tip his lawyer to what said.

Moreover, in a Grand Jury a witness is asked questions by the Prosecutor and is not free to ramble on and tell his story.

There is no re-direct from or by another attorney to get at the second side of the story. Thus the Grand Jury findings do NOT purport to be a detailed timeline of what occurred in the specific instance.

Given the incomplete nature of the Grand Jury Report, much circumspection regarding what defendants did or did not do is called for, particularly by somebody like a candidate for higher office with a poltical platform.

Any employees of any organizations that admit they broke work rules UNDER OATH can be dismissed anytime, and no court will reverse such a firing.