Monday, March 24, 2014


There is one reason Seth Williams is attacking Attorney General Kathleen Kane's decision not to pursue charges in Frank Fina's Philadelphia sting operation, and it's not because he thinks it's a solid case.

After all, Williams has concurrent jurisdiction and is free to file charges if he sees fit. But as he told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "[confidential informant Tyron] Ali apparently no longer had any legal obligation to testify against those he had taped because the charges against him had been dropped."

The charges were dropped 45 days before Kane took office. The obstacle Williams says he faces is the obstacle Kane faced.

"There's no way I can use him under any prosecutorial theory I can think of," Williams said. So under what prosecutorial theory does he think Kane can?

None, of course. As we said, he's not attacking Kane because he thinks Fina built a solid case.

He's attacking Kane because she revealed that two members of his staff participated in apparent racial targeting. That doesn't look good to voters, especially in a majority-minority city like Philadelphia.

According to Kane, "The OAG Agent who managed the CI was debriefed by current senior OAG executive staff members prior to his leaving OAG for employment at PDAO (to join again with the former OAG Attorneys who had previously directed the investigation). During the debrief, the OAG Agent indicated that he was instructed by his supervising OAG Attorney to focus only on members of the General Assembly's Black Caucus and that when he had information of potentially illegal acts by white members of the General Assembly he was specifically told not to pursue it. The OAG Agent also stated that his supervising OAG Attorney promised him a promotion and cash bonus for working on the investigation."

Furthermore, "Statements about limiting the focus of the investigation to only members of the General Assembly's Black Caucus were also made by the CI to federal law enforcement officials."

Sure, Williams had the option of feigning outrage and making a show of firing Fina and Claude Thomas, the OAG Agent who supervised Ali. But he'd admitted he'd already reviewed the case and he clearly had no problem with the tactics at the time of his review. If he publicly accepts Kane's version of events, it might be interpreted to mean he'd knowingly harbored staffers who participated in apparent racial targeting.

So he can't publicly accept Kane's version of events.

Williams excuses the damning fact that of 113 recordings, white targets appear only twice - because, he said, only black targets circulated in Ali's "immediate realm."

But his statement contradicts "sources with knowledge of the sting," who said "the investigation made financial pitches to both Republicans and Democrats, but only Democrats accepted the payments." There being no black Republicans of note in Philadelphia politics, that statement means financial pitches were made to white targets who turned them down.

Which is it? Were pitches made to white Republicans or were only black Democrats targeted because they were in Ali's "immediate realm?"

And if pitches were made to white Republicans who turned them down, where are the recordings? Of the two white targets, one "is on tape merely because he happens to be in a room with two black targets," Kane said. And the other one is John Galloway, who has every reason to believe he was targeted because he enraged Tom Corbett with his criticism of the "Bonusgate" investigation.

Galloway said,"The idea was to scare the living (expletive) out of anybody who questioned Tom Corbett."

Was, and still is.


Anonymous said...

Seth Williams is an outstanding individual, professional, and caring community caretaker dating back to his youth, college, and early career.

District Attorney Williams should reexamine his vocal actions and not worry about the accusations coming from very good sources, documentations, and informational timeline that has some of his staffers being the subject of their past deeds that have been erased by destruction of emails, notes, hidden memos, and prosecution documentations, no subject to review for criminal justice purposes.

Such controversies from the past do not portend well for the future regardless of merit or substance in the name of trustworthiness.

Mr. Williams should not accept anyone working for him that becomes a contentious symbol since that is the greater distraction that can delay, question, and undermine his own office answerable for impartiality and safeguards for The City of Philadelphia, and its citizen’s well-being.

At the same time, prior distrusted acts, dubious practices, and alleged potential illegal procedures by the preceding Attorney General Office now coming out and in need of an Independent Review is a serious matter especially if alleged misconduct took place.

Frank Fina has brought this upon himself and he should do Seth Williams a professional courtesy of resigning before this leads to more embarrassments that can come out in the potential independent investigations still under way.

Loyalty works both ways, one such as Seth can stand behind another and he may think that is noble, but any appearance of impropriety or hullabaloos controversies that gives his own Office disruptions that affects his own time and duties needs to be addressed professionally as well.

Frank Fina should do the honorable act and resign out of loyalty for the sake of Seth Williams, his Office, and ability to concentrate on his public duties.

As more information continues to come out, this is the only option available right now, and any further last stands of public outrage calling for “Commonwealth and City Law Enforcement Professionals” to have a Public Debate is an humiliation that should not be tolerated by Seth Williams and was a major blunder by Frank Fina.

The Criminal Justice system is about what can be proven to be legal or illegal under constitutional protections for all.

Public opinion will decide what is right or wrong regardless of what happens before, during, and afterwards investigations and no Public Debate can correct that whatsoever.

Someone needs to resign before it is too late for both of them.

Anonymous said...

It's bizarre that Seth Williams apparently lives in a fantasy world of segregated lobbying where black lobbyists only lobby black lawmakers. But is Williams only motivated by appearances of harboring staff who practice selective prosecution? This commenter thinks it is remarkable that Ali first became active in making large payments to political candidates and incumbents in early 2009 at just the same time that he was being investigated for welfare fraud. Ali violated state and Philly campaign finance laws by using straw donors to circumvent maximum contribution limits and contributed to Dan McCaffrey's campaign for DA. Seth Williams was McCaffrey's opponent. OAG arrested Ali ' in April 2009 and McCaffrey returned the money, reported the violation to OAG and cooperated in getting a straw donor to admit on tape. OAG has never prosecuted Ali for the campaign violation. And Williams who has jurisdiction for a Philly campaign finance law also isn't prosecuting. Why not? Might a prosecution of Ali divulge that the cozy relationship between Fina and Williams goes back to 2009?

Anonymous said...

Williams and Fina both need to formally apologize to Kane in a new OpEd column in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Kane will spend her entire first term dealing with the abuse of the Corbett OAG.

If Williams is a competent elected official, then the next step is up to him. He must admit the flaws in the case and fire Fina and Thomas.

If you examine the work of Fina since being hired by Corbett, he leaves a "scorched earth" along his path.

Destruction of Witness and proffer notes, destruction of emails, pulling the OAG Child Protection Office away from the Sandusky investigation, manipulating the judiciary.

The Feds need to step in and investigate the entire Corbett OAG operation. There is a reason PA has a high prison population, there are innocent people being placed there by a corrupt system.

Anonymous said...


Corbett should be more open with Penn State involvement

Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 12:00 am

Ryan Bagwell, one of the many people seeking the alumni-elected position for the Penn State Board of Trustees, recently revealed through a series of emails he obtained that Louis Freeh was not the initial person wanted by the university to investigate Penn State’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.

These emails also suggest Gov. Tom Corbett talked with former Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly about who should be the investigator.

It is unknown, however, what Corbett and Kelly actually talked about. Bagwell says he wants to know.

Bagwell often gets lumped in with the rest of the Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship advocates who make unreasonable requests from the university.

But what he is asking for is not unreasonable.

It’s fair to ask about Corbett’s involvement with the hiring of Freeh — he is a public official and he has been wrapped up in the Sandusky case from the beginning.

The public does deserve to know Corbett’s involvement at all levels of the investigation.

It not only makes sense in general terms for Corbett to be more open, but it makes practical sense as well.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane is still in the process of doing her own investigation into how the Sandusky case was handled. Knowing Corbett’s involvement would lend more information to Kane’s investigation, and make it more all-encompassing.

With Corbett’s reelection coming up, releasing the information Bagwell wants could sway people’s opinion on whether they want Corbett still in office.

People should take Bagwell’s intentions with a grain of salt — he is running for an office himself and his motivations can be political. But he has raised a lot of good questions other people can benefit from getting the answer to.

The interest in Penn State’s handling of the Sandusky case is not going away any time soon. There is constant interest in people’s involvement, and Corbett shouldn’t be exempt from revealing what he knows.

Anonymous said...

Corbett's paws are everywhere. If this is true, Linda Kelly as the investigator would have had no credibility. Corbett needed an outsider to do the investigation in order to spin his story away from The Second Mile and on to PSU. Have to protect those campaign dollars. $$$$$

Anonymous said...

The Patriot News Editorial attacking AG Kane has a memory problem.

The Editor was bias, laughable, and ignorant.

Bias because The Patriot News never took on Tom Corbett not prosecuting one senator on Bonusgate as promised. Not one Senate Employee went before any Grand Jury.

Laughable, because it calls for a Public Debate between Fina and Kane instead of a Federal Investigation into Corbett, Fina, and Ryan of destruction of PAOAG notes, documents, and emails that is Prosecutorial Misconduct.

Ignorant, because the best way to capture the truth about Frank Fina's actions is not a Public Debate, but under oath on a Deposition in a Defamation Action.

These two faced opinions descriptions of the PENNLIVE/Patriot News fleckless naked charges in his Editorial removes his own claim of being a cat afraid of many things he failed to talk about under the Corbett Reign of OAG Misconduct.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding us of the obvious. Corbett allowed the Senate to walk and he allowed The Second Mile to walk.

Great post.

Anonymous said...

Another Example Well Researched Hoe Corbett And Frank Fina Misused The Grand Jury System And Why An Independent Prosecutor Needs To Be Appointed To Investigate Corbett, Fina, Kelly, And Ryan’s Prosecution Misconduct.


Law Review Excerpts Minus The Citations:

Arkansas Law Review Article Mocks Pennsylvania Grand Jury System!

In federal court and many state
courts, strict secrecy rules governing grand jury activity would likely have ensured that Paterno would never have had to respond—publically or legally—to a presentment issued by an
investigating grand jury that investigated someone else.

Secrecy rules aside, federal grand jury targets, defendants, and/or witnesses never have to respond to grand jury presentments because presentments have been disallowed in the federal criminal justice
system since 1946.

Federal courts, and the majority of state courts, also disallow so-called grand jury reports—documents that, historically speaking, report on matters of public concern or the
conduct of public officials.

Pennsylvania is different; it continues to authorize both
presentments and reports but, in doing so, does not regulate with
precision what and who is permissibly included in those

Its failure to do so allows the grand jury to name anyone, such as an uninvestigated third party like Paterno, in a presentment or report without correspondingly providing that third party with the ability to defend himself meaningfully.

The Supreme Court’s historic emphasis on the grand jury’s
independence is to blame; the Court has long characterized the
grand jury as a body “acting independently of either prosecuting attorney or judge,” a position that Pennsylvania has taken to an extreme.

More below....

Anonymous said...

More from above....

We Know The Penn State Sandusky Grand Jury Report Did Not Follow Secrecy Laws And The Leak Was Admitted To By AG Kelly But Never Fully Investigated.

We Know Judge Feudale Appointed Deputy AG Reeder To Investigate His Own Colleagues And Buddies At The PAOAG But That Has Never Been Completed And Is An Example Of Prosecutorial And Judicial Abuse Too!

Accordingly, this Article argues that the Pennsylvania grand jury
system and its use of a presentment needlessly and unfairly included Paterno, practically accusing him of a crime.

An important job of the grand jury is to investigate crimes, but by naming Paterno in the Sandusky presentment it implicitly said that Paterno committed a crime without having gone through the appropriate steps to establish probable cause that he did commit a crime.

Doing so abuses the grand jury system and would not happen in the federal system or in most other states.

Paterno’s involvement may certainly have become public absent his being named in the Sandusky presentment, but a grand jury investigation into someone else—in this case Sandusky—should
have no role in that eventuality.

It may likewise be the case that
what appeared in the Sandusky presentment about Paterno is
absolutely true.

Indeed, Paterno may well have protected a child molester for a decade for the most selfish of reasons—but his personal guilt is not the point.

Paterno’s story simply makes for an outstanding illustration of the problem: a grand jury presentment investigating one person may not explicitly or implicitly accuse an uninvestigated third party of impropriety.

The problem of naming third parties in a suspect’s presentment is not limited to Pennsylvania.

Like this Article’s discussion of
Paterno, Pennsylvania is merely an illustration of the broader
problem that allows for naming uninvestigated third parties in a
grand jury presentment.

Indeed, any grand jury that names an uninvestigated person in a presentment or report subverts the grand jury’s investigative purpose and abuses the grand jury system.

That problem, as it has played out in Pennsylvania, has historically been exacerbated by those sensitive and inflammatory grand jury documents appearing in public.

Pennsylvania’s doing so undermines the fact-finding mission that is central to our jury system.

Indeed, allowing the public to view sensitive grand jury documents—untested by a proof beyond a reasonable doubt
standard—harms the reputation of any named third party and
unduly prejudices the suspect’s potential jury pool.

More Below.....

Anonymous said...

Finally, it inappropriately allows for a trial by media that can ensnare third parties, like Joe Paterno, who are not the subject of the grand jury’s

Part I tells the fascinating backstory of Paterno’s life, almost Forrest Gump-like in his wealth of historical experience.

Doing so in this piece is necessary for two reasons.

First, Paterno’s sudden and dramatic overnight downfall—despite his coaching and
teaching legacy—powerfully illustrates how dangerous it is for jurisdictions to publish so-called “findings” in an investigative grand jury presentment and/or report.

Anonymous said...

More From Above But Limited To Excerpts Due To Space Here...

...powerfully illustrates how dangerous it is for jurisdictions to publish so-called “findings” in an investigative grand jury presentment and/or report.

Paterno’s downfall illustrates the importance of grand
jury secrecy—both during and after its investigation.

That secrecy, present in all federal grand jury proceedings, prevents collateral damage—like job loss—to unindicted criminally
innocent third parties.

The absence of that secrecy in
Pennsylvania’s investigative grand jury proceedings took Paterno’s job, tarnished his legacy, and perhaps even shortened his life.

Part II thereafter carefully explains the inner workings of the
federal grand jury process—a process that of course must abide by the Fifth Amendment’s Grand Jury clause. In contrast, and as Part II details, Pennsylvania is not bound by the Fifth Amendment and has accordingly constructed a charging system that deviates
substantially from its federal counterpart.

Not unlike a handful of other states,Pennsylvania’s “presentment” system bypasses many of the procedural protections provided by the federal criminal law.

Part III contends that the Supreme
Court’s desire for grand jury independence does not equate to or
permit the investigative grand jury recklessness so prevalent in
Pennsylvania’s system.

When the Sandusky grand jury’s Findings of Fact became public,
the court of public opinion took that document as precisely that:

Problematically, however, grand jury proceedings are not governed by a proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard and, moreover, Paterno was not under investigation.

The possibility that an innocent third party could be ensnared by the grand jury investigation of someone else is precisely why grand jury proceedings at the federal level disfavor presentments and reports and, in any event, remain secret.

Anonymous said...

Such a sad bunch of freeloaders - Williams, Kane and the bribe taking Philly crew. Yuck.

Anonymous said...

According to the Philly Inquirer, Corbett and Fina's chosen confidential informant stole close to a million dollars in exchange for an $18,000 sting. Such a deal!!!!