Thursday, February 21, 2013


"If we’d found anything, we’d have prosecuted." -- Tom Corbett, during a Feb. 20 meeting with the Patriot-News editorial board, on his "mind-boggling" failure to prosecute any Senate Republicans during the apparently six-year-long investigation of the General Assembly (the grand jury still meets).

The problem is that there was something to find. We know, because Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala found it. And he didn't even have to look. Intern Jennifer Knapp Rioja called him up to tell him so.

Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, sister of convicted former Senator Jane Orie, today was convicted of illegal campaigning as a direct result of a tip that Rioja tried to give to Tom Corbett, but was turned away.

Former Sen. Orie was convicted nearly a year ago of the very same type of illegal campaign work for which Corbett prosecuted House Democrats and (belatedly) House Republicans. Evidence of her crimes was stored on Senate Republican hard drives until late spring of 2009, a year after Corbett supposedly subpoenaed the Senate Republican caucus for evidence of illegal campaigning. Not a single Senate Republican member or staffer was subpoenaed to testify before Corbett's grand jury.

In 2008, when Corbett's widely-publicized investigation of the legislature was in full swing, a hacker-fearing Orie - knowing full well that evidence of illegal activity was stored there - asked Corbett's office to examine her computers.

Was a guilt-stricken Orie subconsciously trying to get caught? Or was she merely supremely confident she had nothing to fear from Corbett or his investigators?

The question, dear Governor, isn't whether you would've prosecuted if you'd "found anything." It's how you managed not to find what was staring you right in the face.


Anonymous said...

I would like to know if Kane would investigate Mr. Corbett letting this get by his investigtation.

So what if Zappala's prosecution was retaliatory. Now they know
how it feels and if they have something concrete on the Zapps, start squeakin! I say let them beat each other into the ground then haul all their bloody @ss's off to jail.

I can't sleep. Did you have to use that picture?

Anonymous said...
/ AG KANE should ask some questions about Cambria County and PAGOP Chair Rob Gleason. I know Chairman Gleason is a Knight at the Round Table of Mr. Corbett and thus he deserves to be entitled. AG KANE: TRAMPLE OUT THE VINTAGE WHERE THE GRAPES OF WRATH ARE STORED!

Anonymous said...

This is gubernatorial politics at its worst. AG Corbett was planning to run for Governor, "the next step," and wanted a Republican majority in both chambers so he could control the agenda.

Corbett, with Fina's Grand Jury experience, was handed a silver platter to investigate the House Democrat Caucus due to the Patriot News exposure of the state paid campaign bonus scandal. At the time, the Democrats controlled the PA House of Representatives.

The Senate was firmly in the hands of the Republicans, so he ignored all the obvious signs.

Corbett received pressure from the press to investigate the House Republican Caucus. He did not want to jeopardize the Republican efforts to take back the House, so he attacked Perzel, who lost the Speakership and had the pay raise hung around his neck.

All of the prosecutions were highly political because the central legal arguments were attacks on elected officials and staff doing things that all elected officials do, including Corbett.

Corbett needs to be impeached for misbehavior in office, both as AG and Governor.

Anonymous said...

Sad Day for everyone, lawyer, Judges and the public..the good lawyers and judges try every day to do the right thing and then this....the public trust took a real hit.

What the Orie's did was minimal & common practice,in Pa. politics.
This case should not have been tried in Allegheny County, very sorry for the sisters!

None of what she was convicted was bad enough to merit all of the time, money & consquences spent for these trials, AND I'm sure they were not & will not be the last who do the same.......You can't tell me this was not all about politics!

Anonymous said...

Gov. Tom Corbett's statement echoed that sentiment.

"The conviction of Justice Melvin shows that no public official is above the law," he said.

Except those Republicans that are friends of mine such as the Senators, Sam Smith, and Second Mile Corbett Campaign Contributors.

Anonymous said...

We won't try to tell you it's not about politics. It is, and thats ok. We should use politics on all of them. Then they will turn against eachother and implode!

Anonymous said...

Corbett and crime seems to run in his family?

Tom Corbett's son-in-law's job as a Philadelphia police officer is in jeopardy over allegations of misconduct.

A police spokesman said Gerold Gibson today was suspended without pay and "with intent to dismiss" by Commissioner Charles Ramsey as the result of an internal investigation. The spokesman, Lt. John Stanford, says that is normally the first step when officers are fired.

Officer Gibson, 43, a narcotics officer, has not been charged with any crime, but the case has been referred to the Philadelphia district attorney's office.

Lt. Stanford confirmed that Commissioner Ramsey has said the internal investigation was prompted by fellow officers' suspicion that Officer Gibson was stealing items from crime scenes.

The governor's office declined to comment on the latest developments.

Officer Gibson and Mr. Corbett's daughter, Katherine, married in 2010. The couple have a 1-year-old son, but have been separated for a few months, sources told The Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this month.

Katherine Corbett Gibson was hired by the office of attorney general in 2012. She is a deputy attorney general assigned to the Philadelphia office.

Anonymous said...

To understand why Corbett went after John Perzel, consider another reason.

Despite the pay raise debacle,which was actually Rendell's idea,Perzel was mulling over a run for governor. He was actually well-liked by many members of both parties and he was one of the few representatives who knew how to write a budget.

Because of his wife's MS, Perzel was probably not going to run, but he still played coy when Corbett did ask him if he was going to run.

Corbett went after Perzel because he could kill two birds with one stone.He could satisfy the presses desire to nail a Republican and get rid of a potential rival. So he made up a bunch of charges against Perzel, who was actually one of the most prolific fundraisers in the country. It was easy to convince people that he was guilty. Perzel had money,so he must have done something wrong.

Instead of fighing the charges, spending millions of dollars, and having his fate in the hands of 12 people too stupid to get off of jury duty, Perzel took the easy way out and pled guilty. If you talk to any lawyer close to this case, no matter what party, they will tell you that it was a hit job.

Corbett is a slime and a coward. I am a partisan of the right, but I actually voted for Kane with the hopes she goes after this lying filth.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that since Judge Orie and her sister have been convicted, we haven't seen anything in the news about it. The right wing controlled media has been silent on it since the verdict but they kept pounding DeWeese, Veon and others. Also, what is Sean Remaley's justice - wrongfully prosecuted by Corbet causing the Senate seat to go Republican, then he was vindicated with a NOT GUILTY VERDICT. When will the public get it - Republicans are bad - they will say and do anything to get elected then do what they want without regard to the public needs.