Thursday, February 04, 2010

We Republicans Don't Need No Stinkin' Justice

William Keisling. Maybe Four Steps: or, The Shame of Our Cities: The Politicalization of Our Criminal Justice System. State College, Pa.: Yardbird. 1991.

The author alleges that the son of Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh used cocaine, even in the Governor’s mansion, and that the Governor used his influence with the U.S. Justice Department to keep his son out of trouble.

Ironically, Richard Guida, who was in charge of prosecuting drug cases for the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office had his own drug problem. Guida was indicted and claimed, in a deal with prosecutors, that Henry Barr, an assistant to Governor Thornburgy, used cocaine.

Meanwhile, Auditor General Don Bailey questioned a Pennsylvania Transportation Department contract where it turned out that the purchased trucks from this contract had smaller engines that ordered and had tampered serial numbers. The U.S. Attorney’s office decline to look into the matter.

The author claims some state government administrators awarded jobs in return for 5% of salaries being returned to their political campaign committees. Auditor General Al Benedict was convicted of doing this.

A Federal prosecutor claimed Auditor General Bailey continued to employ a number of people suspected of engaging in Benedict’s jobs scheme. Bailey replied he had no proof these people had been involved in wrongdoing. Bailey did not fire them. Barbara Hafer used this as a campaign issue to defeat Bailey for reelection. Hafter fired these employees. The employees suied and an arbitrator ruled for the employees.

When Dick Thornburgh was U.S. Attorney, he prosecuted John Torquato, Sr., Cambria County Democratic Party Chariman. Joseph O’Kicki told the author how he contributed 5% of his salary as Assistant County Solicitor to the Cambria County Democratic Committee, but that only 2% was expected to be contributed. O’Kicki also claimed one committeeman had a system where he filled out all the ballots counted in his election district.

U.S. Attorney Thornburgh prosecuted Allegheny County District Attorney Robert Duggan, alleged he received $137,416 in unreported income. Some of this money allegedly came from collections from criminals in return for not prosecuting them. Duggan died from a gunshot, which was ruled a suicide.

John Torquato, Jr. had a business in California, the Computer Technology Associates (CTA). CTA sought a contract to collect overpayments from state employees. State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer negotiated and receive for the state better terms. Dwyer also insisted CTA incorporate in Pennsylvania and that 25 Pennsylvanians be hired for basic CTA operations. Dwyer also required CTA to provide a contract of approximately $55,000 to the School Board Association to handle mailings to School Districts. Dwyer still balked at signing a final agreement. Robert Asher, Republican State Committee Chairman, told Dwyer that the Republican State Committee would deny funds to Dwyer’s campaing unless he approved the CTA contract. Torquato then contributed $300,000 to Dwyer’s political campaign, to which the author states Dwyer replied “fine, but no quid pro quo.”

Attorney General Leroy Zimmerman was requested to offer an official opinion concerning the CTA contract. William Smith, Dauphin County Republican Party Co-Chairman, stated he told Zimmerman that Zimmerman’s election campaigns would receive $100,000 if Zimmerman’s decision favored CTA. Zimmerman learned there was a Federal investigation into the contract and decided he was unable to issue an opinion.

Dwyer, as State Treasurer, questioned travel vouchers submitted by First Lady Ginny Thornburgh. This upset the Governor. The author theorized the Governor’s office was aware of the CTA scheme and acted to set up Dwyer in revenge. Dwyer, Asher, and Smith were convicted in the scheme. Dwyer committed suicide before sentencing.

The author claims Republican legislators and staff deliberately increased state spending to force the next Governor, Democrat Bob Casey, into raising taxes.

The author writes how a former Judge told him how justice could be bought. The Judge claims he took $10,000 to an Attorney General on behalf of narcotics dealers.


Post a Comment

<< Home