Friday, August 24, 2018

Should AG's Catholic Grand Jury Report Run On The History Channel?

By Ralph Cipriano

Wading through the state attorney general's thick grand jury report on the Catholic Church is like wandering through a graveyard.

Of the 250 or so accused predator priests whose alleged perverted exploits are chronicled in 1,356 pages, I counted at least 117 confirmed dead bodies. Another 13 of these ancient men of the cloth who were born before 1940 had the dates of their deaths listed in the report as "unknown."

Some of these codgers were born back in the 1920s; the birthday of the most ancient alleged pervert was way back in 1896, seven years before the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane.

The most ancient predator priest whose death could be confirmed was born in 1869, four years after the Civil War ended. Another alleged predator priest laid out in the report had been dead since 1950, before Eisenhower was president. The crimes these priests allegedly committed against children in six dioceses around the state were from the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. One alleged victim, identified as Bob from Reading, was 83.

Was this really news? Or something that should have run on the History Channel?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Easy Money In The Sandusky Case; Penn State Not Minding The Store

By Ralph Cipriano

On Oct. 1, 2014, Brett Swisher-Houtz, "Victim No. 4" in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case was called to testify as a witness in a civil case.

In Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, Penn State University was being sued by its own insurance carrier. The Pennsylvania Manufacturer's Association had taken issue with the large multimillion payouts the university was awarding to 36 young men like Victim No. 4, payments to date that have totaled $118 million.

Steven J. Engelmyer, the lawyer representing Penn State's insurance carrier, had a simple question for Swisher-Houtz, who just a year earlier, on Sept. 12, 2013, had collected a confidential settlement from Penn State of $7.25 million.

“Has anybody from Penn State ever spoken to you?" the lawyer wanted to know.

“Not that I’m aware of,” the witness replied.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

What Conflict, Judge Says

By Ralph Cipriano

After a lengthy examination of his own conscience, State Superior Court Judge Victor P. Stabile has concluded that he doesn't have a conflict of interest with former Penn State President Graham Spanier.

And so yesterday, the judge in a one-sentence order denied a petition by Spanier's lawyers for recusal.

In June, Judge Stabile was the author of a 2-1 Superior Court decision that upheld Spanier's conviction last year on one count of child endangerment in connection with the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

Spanier's lawyers had filed the motion for recusal, saying that years before he was a judge, Stabile had testified in a civil case filed against Spanier and Penn State over the fate of the Dickinson School of Law. At the time, Stabile was a graduate of DSL and a member of its alumni association who was  opposed to Spanier and Penn State's plan in 2003 to relocate the law school from Carlisle to State College.

In his order issued yesterday, Stabile stated that Spanier's application for the judge's recusal and request for a re-argument on Spanier's appeal before a new panel of state Superior Court judges or the entire court was "DENIED."

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Slime-Fest At The D-Board

By Ralph Cipriano

To make his closing argument today on behalf of Frank Fina in an ethics case, lawyer Joseph McGettigan sunk to the occasion by applying a fresh coast of slime to many of his client's perceived enemies.

At the end of a three-day hearing before the state Supreme Court's disciplinary board, McGettigan started out by attacking the  investigation of Fina as "dishonorable and shameful."

The disciplinary board, McGettigan said, had gone out of its way to "smear a man and mischaracterize his honorable conduct."

McGettigan was just warming up. By the time he sat down, he had implied that the two women who filed the original ethics complaint against Fina were Penn State "truthers" possibly acting in consort with lawyers for any or all of five criminals that crime-buster Fina had previously put away. McGettigan also attacked the disciplinary board's counsel for supposedly siding with those "five convicted criminals" in a campaign to "defame, denigrate and criticize a hard-working public servant."


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