Thursday, May 24, 2012


Bill DeWese just cannot believe what is happening to him.

He puts on the bluster when tv cameras are around, boasting that he'll make new friends and stay fit behind bars, but behind the scenes, trust us: he is apoplectic with indignation.

This wasn't supposed to happen. DeWeese paid a former Republican prosecutor $1.7 million in taxpayer funds to make sure DeWeese wasn't swept up in gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett's politically-motivated "investigation" of the General Assembly.

Though he initially rebuffed Corbett's efforts, DeWeese in the fall of 2007 abruptly dropped his legal challenges, fired seven staff members and handed over to Corbett documents and emails intended to implicate the fired staffers and a former colleague.

On the jubilant day the colleague and staffers were indicted, DeWeese was sure he was in the clear. And he would have been, but for one tiny email that was leaked to the media.

It's unclear whether DeWeese turned over the email inadvertently, or he was convinced nothing he turned over would have any adverse consequences for him. Although he didn't realize it at the time, DeWeese's fortune turned on March 16, 2009, the day the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review revealed that Corbett was in possession of an email DeWeese sent to a staffer who explicitly thanked him for the bonus she received for campaigning.

U R welcome.

DeWeese, whose signature was on the letter accompanying the bonus checks, claimed he hadn't sent the email. If investigators ever had believed it, the implausibility and sheer idiocy of the excuse finally dawned on them. What's worse, now the entire state knew that Corbett knew DeWeese had acknowledged bonuses were awarded for campaigning.

How would Corbett ever explain why DeWeese hadn't been charged in the bonus scandal? Fortunately for him, no one ever asked. And when Corbett belatedly covered his ass by charging DeWeese with unrelated crimes nine months later, everyone assumed justice had been served.

Everyone but DeWeese, that is. Whatever the actual terms of DeWeese's agreement to turn over evidence and drop his legal challenges, DeWeese clearly believed that agreement covered the crimes for which he eventually was indicted in addition to the crimes at the heart of the bonus investigation.

Why else would DeWeese so carelessly admit to a grand jury that his staffers did campaign work during business hours from their desks in legislative offices? DeWeese felt no need to choose his words carefully; he was sure the law couldn't touch him.

Pennsylvania will have to wait to learn whether DeWeese's interpretation of his agreement with Corbett is legally sound. As long as there is even a shred of a chance DeWeese will triumphantly return to elected office, he will cling to the fiction that lack of evidence is the reason he wasn't indicted in connection with bonuses.


Anonymous said...

This whole matter raises so many questions of corruption, cover up and especially unequal treatment in the justice system. Why no real investigation of the State Senate? How in the sworld no charges for campaign materials on a state website (House GOP), and a legislative staffer advertising his services as a political campaign consultant including his state office phone number to call for his services (Senate GOP)? Why no charge for a huge bonus to a staffer working on a campaign payroll more than half of the year (Senate GOP), or where feds already allege unnamed caucus staffers did mostly or only political work on state time and in state facilities (Senate Dems)?

But this shouldn't surprise if you've followed the Philadelphia Family Court building (not yet built)scandal, Delaware River Port Authority scandal,Harrisburg incinerator financing/loan scandal, or even the Sec. Avilla egg sandwich and procurement interference scandal. Inside players sometimes have amazing leeway.

Anonymous said...

DeWeese is not only one in tyrouble, this was found on Penn State Rival Football Boards at:

Now if Penn State Alumni and Fans are talking this way, and you need only go to the Board to read the Topics below, clearly Corbett may be the First Governor in a long time not winning Re=Election.

Corbett's approval rating 37%, disapproval 50% - PA college fan 5/27 3:51 PM (show all) Views 2115
Repubs would be smart to distance themselves as dems would be with Obama - PSUfan98 5/28 9:48 AM

Re: Corbett's approval rating 37%, disapproval 50% - lionlurker 5/28 9:18 AM

His real audacity is a balanced budget - Lattner 5/28 2:47 AM

This longtime Republican will NOT vote for this jerk - LionsandBear 5/28 12:23 AM

At 2 seats per state, how does a guy lose a US Senate seat - Western PA 5/27 10:37 PM

A lot will depend on this Sandusky trial. If and when JS gets what - SRATH 5/27 7:18 PM

You would have to go back a long damn ways... - Victor E. Bell 5/27 6:51 PM

Don't forget... - Dr. Spalding 5/27 5:48 PM

If Republicans didn't support the cuts, they would not have been passed in - Roar More 5/28 7:31 AM

Who do the Democrats have to run against him? - Western PA 5/27 4:28 PM

Who cares?? Run Donald Duck. - BUFFALO LION 5/28 8:16 AM

I'd support a zombie Democrat Nixon if he ran against that scumbag* - Zenophile 5/27 8:02 PM
I hope so (nm) - Western PA 5/27 4:44 PM

Anonymous said...

Both Corbett and Obama are failures that have hurt their constituents.

Republicans campaign on that governmnet does not work, and then after the their election the Republican prove it!

Anonymous said...

Not surprising IMHO because the guy has been pure politician (i.e., pure hypocrisy) - he was elected into the AG's Office on a "clean up the State politics / Anti-corruption" platform.

Corbett then proceeded to politicize and corrupt the AG's Office using it as his own personal political machine and leveraging its resources and abusing its considerable power all the way to the Governor's Mansion.

Corbett is not the first Pennsylvania Governor (especially Republican Governor's) to abuse the AG's Office in this fashion, but just because he was not the first does not make it "right" in any way, shape or form.

The Governor's who abused the AG's Office in this fashion did not let their own arrogance spin as far out of control as Corbie has IMHO, which is why Corbie is getting political backlash that many of his predecessors who used this strategy never got.

Corbett is now learning the problems that may cause his own investigations to backfire on him and senate Republicans in cahoots.

Anonymous said...

Yeah the JoePa thing irked me but what he's doing to education in this state is disgusting.

If he was in my face I'd have a hard time not knocking him on his a--.

You mess with me that's one thing but when you screw with my children's future, that's another!

I will never ever vote for corbett again, never!

Somebody has to run against him. I think Onorato would be a good candidate again, but Jack Wagner could do it, as well. Onorato is not the type of guy to do a lot of verbal attacking, but Wagner's got no such qualms.

Corbett is not that popular in Allegheny County, which is his home base. A local guy could really make hay here. Both Wagner and Onorato fit the bill.

Anonymous said...

Corbett’s 188 public appearances outside Harrisburg in his six years as attorney general.

And they point to the combined $30 million in campaign contributions that he raised during that time, on state time that no one else could prosecute because he ran teh OAG.

Corbett never even tried to hide how he ignored the shuttling of several top aides between executive-office and campaign duties and all of them working for the Republican Senate when they were suppose to be under investigation by his own Satte Attorneys?

Then, there are the advertisements on television, radio and the Internet that promoted the attorney general (and future gubernatorial candidate).

Corbett ability to fill the office with his own appointee upon election defeats the very purpose of having an independent voice in the office.

Anonymous said...

Right. Because there are others out there that might be guilty of crimes, that means that Veon & Co. are not guilty. You are so full of sh*t.

Signor Ferrari said...

Exactly where in this blog did you read anything close to that assertion? The fact that DeWeese is guilty means only that DeWeese is guilty, and that Corbett was happy to overlook his crimes - and the crimes of others - for reasons of political expediency.

Anonymous said...

No one said because someone else was also guilty it made Veon not guilty, or even less guilty. But it does raise the question of whether the Attorney General investigation really "followed the evidence where ever it may lead."

For example, at trial and under oath AG witness PJ Lavelle specifically testified he continued to do the very same political fundraising as a job assignment, on state time and in state offices, for Rep. Keith McCall as hed did and was charged with and pled guilty to for Rep. Veon. But no charge was brought.

AG witness Mike Manzo testified his boss, Bill DeWeese knew about the bonus scheme (which DeWeese testified to the grand jury he did not); but DeWeese wasn't charged either in the bonus matter or for perjury.

Then there are the Senate GOP issues and for that matter the Senate Dem issues.

Doesn't make anyone less guilty, but it makes who wasn't charged very curious.