As a matter of policy, Team CasablancaPa will not disclose the names of anyone who offers to share information with us.
Not even if that offer is part of a ploy to gain favorable consideration from a prosecutor as part of a plea bargain or sentencing negotiation in the "Computergate" case.
Sadly, both Republican defendants who tried to gain information as to the identity and whereabouts of Team CasablancaPa failed. But we give you an "A" for effort. Did the Office of Attorney General do the same?
We were puzzled, but not overly suspicious, when the first Republican defendant contacted us about a year ago. Neither a plea bargain nor a sentencing hearing appeared to be on the horizon at the time. But as our extensive viewership of television crime dramas has taught us, plea bargains often are kept a secret so defendants can retain the trust of co-conspirators and gather incriminating information on prosecutors' behalf.
As far as we can glean from the media coverage, this tactic was employed to no avail in the Mike Veon case. And we may never know all the factors that led to John Perzel's guilty plea.
In February of 2011, we received the following email:
Sent: February 7, 2011, 12:54 p.m.It was not signed, "Hugs and kisses, Defendant #1," but we were touched nonetheless. Alas, our hopes for a beautiful friendship were dashed when Defendant #1 failed to respond to our suggestion that information could be scanned and emailed. We never heard from Defendant #1 again.
From: [Defendant #1]
To: Signor Ferrari
Subject: No Subject
From time to time, I may have some information to add to the discussion, can you give me an address to which to send?
When the second defendant contacted us, we knew the second defendant was probably involved in discussions with the OAG at the time. And, just like the first defendant, the second defendant quickly ceased communication with us when it became clear that we would preserve our anonymity.
Our correspondence with Defendant #2 was a bit more extensive. In January of this year, we received this email.
Yes, all that was in the subject line. Defendant #2 is maybe not so skilled at using email. We made the same suggestion that we had made to Defendant #1: that documents be scanned and emailed. Defendant #2 claimed an inability to scan (not surprising, given Defendant #2's struggle with email!) After agreeing to send the information through a third party, Defendant #2 also abandoned us.Sent: January 26, 2012, 8:02
From: [Defendant #2]To: Signor FerrariSubject: How can I send documents and information to you regarding Corbett and company?
Corbett's minions have a history of abusing the power of the OAG in an effort to expose anonymous online critics. Their ill-fated and highly improper effort to subpoena Twitter for information about our account made national headlines in 2010.
What concerns us more than protecting our own identity is the idea that prosecutors could offer consideration in criminal matters in exchange for information irrelevant to any criminal investigation (yes, it's still legal to criticize a public official anonymously). If a prosecutor can make a deal for information about our identity, can he offer consideration in exchange for, say, a hand-drawn coupon for one free hug?