Sunday, August 21, 2016
For the past five years, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has been given two complimentary all-access sideline passes to Philadelphia Eagles games.
This is the same District Attorney who last month decided that Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor wouldn't be prosecuted for the alleged sexual assault of a dancer at the Cheerleaders Gentlemen's Club.
Anyone see a problem?
For the past six years, D.A. Williams has accepted $160,000 in unreported gifts, including $45,000 in free roof repairs, and more than $20,000 in free airfare and lodging for vacations in Key West, Las Vegas and the Dominican Republic.
This is the same District Attorney who prosecuted Thomasine Tynes, a 71-year-old former Traffic Court judge, on a bribery charge for accepting the unreported gift of a Tiffany bracelet from a lobbyist worth $2,000. [She got up to 23 months in prison.]
Anyone see a problem?
It's great that a federal grand jury and The Philadelphia Inquirer are investigating the finances of Seth Williams. As bad as how the D.A. has flouted campaign finance laws, however, what he has done to Lady Justice is far worse.
As a grand jury report in this town once said, it's like comparing inappropriate touching with rape. And the rapist, a large bald man who wears bow ties, is still at large.
While the federal grand jury and the Inquirer are hot on the trail of Seth, it's a great time to look into his prosecution of the Catholic Church.
This is a district attorney who decided back in 2011 to prosecute Msgr. William J. Lynn for endangering the welfare of a child. Even though Williams knew that his predecessor, former District Attorney Lynne Abraham and a 2005 grand jury, had already decided -- and put it in writing -- that the state's original 1972 child endangerment law didn't apply to the monsignor.
The original child endangerment law, D.A. Abraham and the 2005 grand jury stipulated, only applied to people who had direct contact with children -- parents, teachers and guardians -- and not supervisors like Lynn, who had no direct contact with children.
And then Abraham led a successful state-wide campaign to get the state Legislature in 2007 to amend that child endangerment law so it did apply to supervisors like Lynn.
So why did D.A. Williams, with no public explanation, go after Msgr. Lynn under the original 1972 state law that a previous D.A. and a previous grand jury had already decided didn't apply to him? As did the state legislature, which went ahead and amended the law retroactively so that it would apply to supervisors?
Seth Williams was planning to stage a state-sponsored witch hunt aimed at putting Catholic priests in jail, because he knew it would be raw meat for the media, so-called victims advocates, and the rest of the Catholic-hating rabble.
A grand jury and the city's paper of record should investigate how Seth Williams went about staging his state-sponsored witch hunt. By rounding up two drug addicted criminals who were transparent, non-credible liars and frauds, and passing them off as victims solely because their fables fell under the statute of limitations.
Star Witness No. 1 was Danny Gallagher, AKA "Billy Doe," alias the "lying, scheming altar boy," as described by Newsweek.
Gallagher was a drug addict who'd been in and out of 28 different hospitals, clinics and drug rehabs, and had been arrested six times, including one bust for possession with intent to distribute 56 bags of heroin.
This is the guy who told doctors and numerous drug counselors that he was a paramedic and a professional surfer. And that he'd been sexually assaulted five times between the ages of 6 and 9 by suspects that included a couple of friends, a neighbor, a teacher, and an older boy.
And then he admitted all of it was lies.
This is the same guy who told one set of fantastic rape stories to a couple of archdiocese social workers. And then he told a completely different set of fantastic rape stories to the police and a grand jury. And when questioned in a civil deposition about all the staggering factual discrepancies in his twisted tales, he solved the problem by stating that he didn't remember MORE THAN 130 times.
Star Witness No. 2, Mark Bukowski, was another drug-addicted criminal who went AWOL as a Marine, and who had pleaded guilty to charges that included filing a false report, furnishing authorities with false information, forgery, identity theft, two counts of filing a false statement, and possession of a controlled substance.
His own mother accused of him stealing from her and her husband, and she told police she was suspicious of her son's claim to authorities that he had been the victim of a violent home invasion.
How did Seth Williams pass off these two drug-addicted criminal frauds as victims? By rewriting sworn grand jury testimony so it would conform with story lines the D.A. cooked up in his fraudulent 2011 grand jury report.
Danny Gallagher's mother, Sheila Gallagher, a registered nurse, told a grand jury she noticed a behavior change in her son's personality at age 14, when he entered high school as a freshman, and got busted for having pot and brass knuckles.
But that didn't fit the official story line. So the D.A. rewrote the mother's testimony to say she noticed a "dramatic change in her son's personality that coincided with the abuse," back when he was a 10 and a 11-year-old parochial school student and altar boy at St. Jerome's parish.
Mark Bukowski told the grand jury that he had his boxer shorts on when he was 14-years-old and got into bed with Father James J. Brennan. And then he felt the priest's erect penis pressed between his buttocks.
But as bad as that incident was, it didn't fit the D.A.'s even more outrageous story line. So the D.A. wrote in the 2011 grand jury report 11 times that the priest anally raped Bukowski.
To pour more gasoline on the situation, the grand jury report stated that Bukowski cried himself to sleep that night asking himself over and over again, 'Why is this happening?' as Father Brennan anally raped him."
Even though at Father Brennan's first trial, which ended in a hung jury, Bukowski admitted on the stand that there was no anal rape, and that he and the priest were wearing T-shirts and boxer shorts the night they shared a bed.
While the grand jury is still hearing testimony, why not call in Lynne Abraham's former top prosecutors? Then ask if Danny Gallagher was actually raped in separate savage attacks by two priests and a Catholic school teacher, as he had claimed, why did they let that spectacular victim's report of alleged sexual abuse sit for a year and do absolutely nothing about it?
Was it because they knew Gallagher's claims were transparently ridiculous and that he had no credibility?
While we've got a grand jury investigation going, why not bring in Detective Joseph Walsh? He's the retired detective who led the D.A.'s investigation into Danny Gallagher's claims.
In a civil deposition, Walsh testified that he repeatedly questioned Gallagher about nine different factual discrepancies in his testimony. And that Gallagher's response was to either sit there and say nothing, say he was high on drugs, or tell a different story.
Why did Detective Walsh keep questioning Danny Gallagher years after the D.A. had already run with Gallagher's lies in that 2011 grand jury report?
Was it because Detective Walsh knew that Gallagher's story didn't check out with every witness he had interviewed? Was it because Detective Walsh came to believe that Danny Gallagher was a complete liar? And that the D.A.'s office shouldn't be in the business of putting innocent men in jail?
Another big question: Why didn't the D.A.'s office turn the record of Detective Walsh's continued questioning of Danny Gallagher over to defense lawyers in two previous criminal trials? As they were required to, according to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brady v. Maryland?
But hey, we're just getting started here.
While the grand jury is in session, why not dredge Danny Gallagher out of the sewer and ask him who in the D.A.'s office hooked him up with a civil lawyer, as Gallagher has previously stated in court. This is the same civil lawyer who was able to procure a $5 million civil settlement from the Catholic Church, a subject the archbishop of Philadelphia, "Checkbook Charlie" Chaput, refuses to talk about.
None of these subjects are dead topics. The D.A. has already announced that he will retry the Father Brennan case, starring Mark Bukowski, on Oct. 24th, as well as the Msgr. Lynn case, starring Danny Gallagher, on May 1st.
How many more taxpayer dollars have to be wasted on these two fraudulent cases? Four men innocent of an imaginary crime spree have already been sent to jail, one of whom died there. Isn't it finally time to call off the witch hunt? And put the witch hunter out of business?
By the way, if the grand jury does investigate these topics, wouldn't it be great if somebody leaked all that information to the Inquirer? So they can pursue it as relentlessly as they've pursued Seth Williams' undisclosed campaign gifts?