Monday, April 22, 2019

Philly Screws Up $50 Million Voting Machines Purchase

With these two guys in the mix, what could possibly go wrong?
By Ralph Cipriano
for Philadelphia magazine

Philadelphia's city commissioners, who oversee elections, say they've purchased the best -- and most expensive -- new voting machines out there just in time for the Nov. 5th election.

The ExpressVoteXL features a 32-inch touch screen that displays the full ballot, a familiar feature of the old machines the city is replacing, as well as a new safety measure mandated by Gov. Wolf: a verifiable paper trail.

The ExpressVoteXL costs about $8,000 each, and by the time the city gets through buying, servicing and maintaining all 3,735 new machines, as well as purchasing ancillary equipment, the total bill, according to official estimates, may be between $50 million and $60 million.

If the city picked the right machines, however, they went about it the wrong way, say some elected public watchdogs and knowledgable critics. And now it's up to city controller Rebecca Rhyhnart to decide whether she's going to use powers granted to her under the city charter to try to block the purchase.

The rest of the story can be read here.


Monday, March 25, 2019

Will Slippery Frank Fina Beat The Rap Again?


By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In oral arguments today before the state Disciplinary Board, Amelia C. Kittredge urged a panel of judges to "simply apply some common sense" and finally reign in former Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina, whom she accurately pegged as an "overzealous prosecutor."

Kittredge, a lawyer for the state's Office of Disciplinary Counsel, has been stalking the ethically-challenged Fina for a couple of years now. She told the Disciplinary Board that Fina broke "the most revered" and "sacred" legal privilege of them all, the attorney-client privilege, and for that he deserves to be publicly censured.

Fina does have a proven track record of leaking grand jury secrets, trampling on constitutional rights of the accused, and blowing off legal ethics, but for years his brazen conduct been protected in the courts by what some would describe as the old-boys network. But Kittredge pummeled away at Fina today, saying the Disciplinary Board cannot allow Fina to basically use a loophole to "obliterate" a longstanding rule of professional conduct that's the only defense against an overzealous prosecutor like Fina who seeks to subvert the most basic protection afforded by the criminal justice system, by turning a defendant's own lawyer into a witness against him.

Monday, March 4, 2019

An Unscrupulous Prosecutor's Best Friend: A Stooge In The Media

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

At the Feb. 25th press conference in Happy Valley, reporter Gary Sinderson asked me a leading question about prevailing narratives in the media that turn out to be wrong.

Sinderson and I were both lamenting how in high profile sex abuse cases, the media often gets it wrong. It was Sinderson who pointed out that the prevailing narrative in the Penn State case has become the permanent narrative. Because the mainstream media stubbornly refuses to reexamine what they originally got wrong. Even though that involves having to join an official ongoing cover up by the trustees at Penn State. And having to willfully ignore reams of startling new evidence that's finally seeing the light of day.

If you want to see the exchange, it happens at minute 15:30 in the clip below about an X-rated comic book. That's my term for the accusations of the 36 alleged victims in the so-called Penn State sex abuse scandal that would merely be laughable if that X-rated comic book hadn't cost Penn State a total of $118 million.

The reporter's question gave me an opportunity to sermonize about how a prosecutor wins a high-profile media case before it ever comes to trial. This is something I can give a seminar on, sadly, because I've watched it successfully practiced over and over again in Philadelphia, as well as at Penn State.

It's called controlling the narrative. And prosecutors are very good at it. All they need is a little help from their friends.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Former Federal Agent On Attorney General & Louis Freeh: 'Two Politically Motivated, Agenda-Driven & Collusive Reports'


Cipriano: 'An X-Rated Comic Book' That Cost Penn State $118 Million




Dick Anderson: 'The Cat Is Out Of The Bag'


Sandusky's Lawyer: 'This Is Not Going To Go Away'


Jeff Byers: 'The Truth Of The Entire Story'


 

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