Sunday, April 6, 2014

"A WEALTH OF INFORMATION"

When Mike Manzo, former Chief of Staff to the House Democratic Leader, was sentenced to prison in 2012, prosecutor Frank Fina said Manzo had provided "a wealth of information" on other cases.

"In his own statement to the judge, Fina said Manzo had helped with a 'large number of investigations that have yet to be revealed… entirely separate from what the court has seen.'"


According to the Patriot-News, "The sentencing of Manzo, one-time chief of staff to former House Minority Leader Bill DeWeese, was delayed because he continued to be a key prosecution witness used by the state attorney general's office.
Manzo was "definitely at the tip of the spear in terms of cooperation," Fina said.

Fina would not elaborate. As the years went by and no new cases were brought against House Democrats, we often wondered just what the heck Fina meant.

Then we learned about Fina's botched sting operation targeting African-American members of the House. And then we learned that shortly after Manzo's sentencing, Fina urged then-Attorney General Linda Kelly to "expand the inquiry," in an effort to snare even more legislators.

Were these the investigations for which Manzo had provided  "a wealth of information?"  Did Manzo spend months telling prosecutors about the proclivities and foibles of House Democratic members in an effort to have them arrested, only to emerge from prison and secure employment lobbying those very members?

It seems obvious, given that the Office of Attorney General has brought no other cases against House Democrats since Manzo's sentencing.

When asked about the cases on which Manzo was cooperating, Fina said, "We don’t do these things for public notoriety.  And we can’t effectively do them if there is public notoriety.  The only way we can really do our job is if we do these investigations in secret in a very careful way.”

While Fina's "Bonusgate" investigation leaked like a sieve, he was incredibly concerned about secrecy in the Philly sting operation. In his memo to Kelly, he worried "the integrity of our secrecy efforts" may have been compromised. His concern over secrecy where Manzo is concerned - given his total lack of it during "Bonusgate" - points to a sting.


Kelly never acted on Fina's suggestion to expand the probe. Had she, it's likely that we'd have seen mugshots of at least a few current members of the House Democratic Caucus. Instead, Mike Manzo, a contract lobbyist, spends his days schmoozing the very legislators his cooperation might otherwise have landed in prison.

Several news organizations have filed a request to have records in the sting operation unsealed, a move supported by Attorney General Kathleen Kane.  How will legislators react if they discover they were targeted by a prosecutor armed with the insider information Manzo provided?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting comparison: Manzo vs. Ali. Manzo provides a wealth of information on other public corruption investigations, testifies as a star witness in multiple trials, and AFTER THAT he is sentenced to prison, ordered to make restitution of $70K and loses his pension. Ali steals $430K, NEVER TESTIFIES, AND HAS ALL CHARGES DROPPED COMPLETELY, before he is ever asked to testify and actually refuses to cooperate with the FBI and the Dauphin County DA. How does that happen?

bobguzzardi said...

Like convicted felon, Joe Loeper, convicted felon Mike Manzo has found gainful employment.

Can you give us some details? What is the name of his lobbying firm and has he filed lobbying disclosure. It would be interested to see who hires a convicted felon to lobby for it. I would like to post this information on my Facebook page and, perhaps, circulate an email.

Good point, though. Why didn't Linda Kelly prosecute the sting?

Anonymous said...

Section I. Prosecutors Misconduct?

It is required law that Wire Tap Surveillance of Home, Business, or Cell Phones letters must be sent to people informing them that they were picked up on a wiretap while speaking under a court warrant sanction investigation.

This type of legal eavesdropping will provide the dates when the wiretaps occurred sometime after a certain date and when it ended.
It shocks Attorneys, Consultants, Politicians, Businesspersons, and any person of Interests, turning them cold to their bones.

It may be reprehensible and unconscionable and a gestapo tactic, but it is legal when rules are followed and the US Attorneys, Special Strike Investigators, State’s AGs, or District Attorneys’ way of operating.

The letters were sent out pursuant to a federal law that, requires us to notify people whose communications were intercepted.

They will not disclose how many letters were sent out or how many conversations were recorded and can happen even in if the investigation is ongoing.

The one-page letter does not refer specifically to the case being investigated.

It usually states, “texts and conversations to and from the “Target Telephones” were intercepted and “all original recordings have been sealed by order of a Judge."

Lawyers received such letters, leading them to worry that attorney-client privilege had been breached.

One thing a person should be confident in is that privileged conversations between the client and their lawyers are confidential, but if it happens there is not much one can do when Prosecutors and Investigators decide not to follow such constitutional rules.

Often The Wire Taps Files do not fully show up in discovery or a single recording in discovery.
The letters serve another purpose too, it panics anyone that got the letter and makes them speculate and attempt to estimate how many people have been contacted and got a letter making them consider cooperation when asked questions again by Investigators.

The law requires investigators to “minimize” the amount of time listening in to calls or conversations not pertinent to the investigation. Those whose phone calls are intercepted are supposed to be alerted within 90 days unless prosecutors get a judge’s approval to extend the notification, Gillen said.

The wiretaps ceased just before the special grand jury finish.

Anonymous said...

Section II, Prosecutors Misconduct Is Seldom Investigated And Thus Never Accountable:

The Grand Jury Report is then sealed but yet leaks often happen to give the Prosecutors an advantage to make those targeted look guilty even while the leaks are Prosecutorial Misconduct and illegal too.

The Prosecutors then say the leaks are one thing that do not have anything to do with the other, and if asked about the complaints that the attorney-client privilege may have been violated, the Prosecutors will say it can hash that out in a court injunction, but they seldom investigate the Leaks properly since it their own staffers and when they do, it never produces the Leakers, but the Public Damage is done to many innocent people.

When Defense Attorneys show up and call it an improperly lured into forcing people into testifying before the special grand jury not knowing that they had been secretly recorded, and it is Prosecutors improperly using the special purpose grand jury to find evidence that is used in the criminal investigation?

The special purpose grand jury report is often redacted and whole pages are blank throughout the Report, without referencing whether those were wiretaps where neither party speaking knew they were recorded or if those are cases with secretly recording of someone wearing a wire, and no one can tell when such recordings are made?

While there is no official accounting of the number of calls intercepted, it is always huge. Just imagine all the conversations you have in 30 days? Such secret recordings cause widespread consternation and Prosecutors know anyone that learns they been tapped will have an unsettled feeling.

But some Prosecutors build their careers using such tactics just so they can win at trial and Attorney Discipline and Prosecutorial Misconduct is seldom to none investigated in spite of the prosecutors breaking the laws on destroying evidence, dumping emails, notes, and purposely leaking information from records that are supposed to be sealed????

Anonymous said...

Bobguzzardi, The biggest Lobbyists in the Republican Party is none other than Bob Asher and he is a Convicted a Felon who did his time and paid hid debt to society.

Yet, when AG Corbett won the Election for Governor, the main person he thanked publicly on election was Bob Asher?

Strange but get Corbett's Election Night Victory Speech and you will find it is true.

Anonymous said...

Manzo works for Triad Strategies

Anonymous said...

And while locked behind bars he (Manzo) was still getting a pay check from them. Must be nice to be a rat get caught in a trap and still get to eat the cheese... And why has Todd Eachus still not been spoke of?????.

Anonymous said...

Bobby, your buds on this blog are convicted felons. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Say what you will all of you, attack each other, point the fingers, blame the other guy or gal, but in reality all of you were targeted for prowling for power by one man and his band of minions willing to do anything.

All I know is Veon, Deweese, Cott, Feese, Stetler, Rosepink, Piroli, Lavelle, and many more were victims of Prosecution Misconduct that was selective and malicious with machinations so Machiavellian that it has rarely been seen in the Halls of Justice.

Yet, some of them has combatted them stoically by this blog peeling the truth back ever so slowly and selflessly, without remorse because you are not convicted felons, but wrongly convicted good people!

May the Angels and Ministers of Grace, defend all of you, by a proper investigation that Corbett and Fina now fear.

As they continue to destroy reputations, lives, by being sanctimonious hypocrites and constitutional criminal violators and now trying to cover their tracks of violations by public preemptive attacks on those investigating their conduct by their destructions of notes, emails and evidence.

The truth to come out has been slow and hurtful as you await a new dawn for Justice and my heart goes out to all of you even during these moments of reflections on the injustices to all.

If only one Judge, Investigator, Staffer and Employee would be brave to stand up what has been a complete misuse and abuse of the Commonwealth Criminal System.

Anonymous said...

All were convicted by a jury of fair minded Pennsylvanians. Please stop lying. Please tell us all how these so called innocent people were convicted.

Anonymous said...

All were convicted by a jury of fair minded Pennsylvanians. Please stop lying. Please tell us all how these so called innocent people were convicted.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...All were convicted by a jury of fair minded Pennsylvanians. Please stop lying. Please tell us all how these so called innocent people were convicted.
April 9, 2014 at 11:31 PM

Why did the OAG under Acting Ryan destroy all notes, emails, and other Documents?

If you say fair-minded why destroy such evidence?

Why were there Grand Jury Leaks under Fina?

Why were senate staffers that got the largest bonuses were working on Corbett's Campaign and not called before the Grand Jury by Fina?

During his time in PA, Fina has abused the law in several cases and continues to leave destruction in his wake.

It is about time the Feds step in and stop him.

An investigation of all of Fina's cases during the 8-year Corbett Administration at OAG should be reviewed and corrected.

AG Kane needs to expand her Sandusky review to review Frank Fina's entire investigations and why would Frank Fina be upset if that happen since he conducted a fair-minded investigation?