Monday, July 17, 2017

Penn State Candidate For Chairman Carries Plenty Of Baggage

By Ralph Cipriano

As a Penn State student, Mark Dambly wound up in jail for five days in 1979 after he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. Then he got mixed up in an infamous multimillion dollar cocaine ring, a retired investigator says, but beat the rap by wearing a wire and cooperating with the government.

These days, Dambly is campaigning to become chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees, an election scheduled for Friday.

But Dambly's most recent legal problems include getting hit with a subpoena last year in the federal probe of Allentown Mayor Ed Pawloski. Pawloski's being investigated for bribery and kickbacks; Dambly's connection is he's the Allentown mayor's top financial contributor.

With all the problems at Penn State, the question is, do they really need a guy with as much baggage as Mark Dambly as board chairman?

No, says Maribeth Roman Schmidt, executive director of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship.

"I think it's common sense," she wrote in an email, to favor candidates "who haven't been associated with scandal or illegal activity."

Blogger Ray Blehar agrees.

"Mark Dambly, if elected chairman of the board, will do nothing but perpetuate the poor university governance that the Penn State community has experienced since November 2011," Blehar wrote in an email.

Dambly, the president of Pennrose Management, could not be reached by email or telephone for comment on this story. A spokeswoman this afternoon said that Dambly had been in meetings all day and might be able to respond in a week.

Presumably after the election on Friday.

The Dambly file begins in 1979, on the weekend of a Penn State-Temple football game, with an incident where three students got beaten up during a fight in the Pugh Street parking garage.

Dambly was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. If convicted, he faced a fine of $2,500 and a year in jail. That's when Dambly hired R. Bruce Manchester of Bellefonte, PA as his lawyer.

On Nov. 17, 1979, Manchester sent Dambly a letter telling him that he had been offered a plea bargain by the Centre County District Attorney's Office that included pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, spending five days in jail, and paying a $200 fine.

"By pleading guilty you will have a police record which may have to be disclosed on various occasions in the future," Manchester wrote Dambly. "You stated to me on Wednesday the 28th that your career goal is to be a real estate broker."

Manchester informed Dambly that he would have to disclose his criminal record in order to apply for a real estate license. But Dambly wasn't forthcoming about the arrest when confronted in recent years by a TV reporter.

In 2012, Dambly was a Penn state trustee who had supported criminal background checks for university employees.  Reporter Gary Sinderson of WJAC Johnstown Channel 6 confronted Dambly in a video posted on and asked if Dambly had been arrested in 1979.

"I'm not aware of that," Dambly responded twice on camera. As he was walking away, in unreleased video recorded by the TV station, Sinderson asked Dambly about his alleged association with members of the cocaine ring.

"I don't recall that either," Dambly said.

When asked by his fellow trustees during an executive session about the disorderly conduct arrest, Dambly replied that it was "undocumented."

In 2013, Dambly filed an application in Centre County to have his 1979 guilty plea for disorderly conduct expunged.

TV reporter Sinderson also asked Dambly about the infamous "Dr. Snow" yuppie cocaine ring run by Larry Lavin, then a student at the University of Pennsylvania dental school, that operated between 1978 and 1984.

In 1986, a judge sentenced three dentists to jail for their roles in the ring that the FBI said was then the largest known cocaine distribution enterprise in the history of the Philadelphia area, grossing up to $5 million a month.

A retired investigator who worked the Lavin case and sought anonymity said that former FBI Agent Leo Pedrotty, who died last year, was Dambly's handler after Dambly decided to wear a wire to get himself out of a legal jam.

"Pedrotty was responsible for placing the recording equipment on Dambly and monitoring the results as Dambly secretly recorded conversations about the massive drug operation," the investigator wrote. "In exchange, Dambly would not be prosecuted and there would be no asset forfeiture action."

In the Dr. Snow case, Lavin, convicted of not paying $545,000 in taxes, served nearly 20 years in prison before he was released in 2005.

The judge also sentenced Brian Cassidy, like Dambly, a graduate of Conestoga High School and Penn State, to 12 years in prison. The other Conestoga/Penn State alum implicated in the cocaine ring was Kenneth J. Kasznel, who pleaded guilty and became a cooperator.

One of Dambly's former customers wrote TV reporter Sinderson a letter, saying that Dambly "used to supply me and dozens of others with pot and cocaine."

"Mark graduated from PSU a mid level pot and cocaine dealer, then went back home in the Phila burbs and got his masters degree in large quantity drug dealing," wrote the former customer, who was subsequently interviewed by the investigator.

"If we needed a 1/4 or half pound of the white . . . Dambly was our guy," the former customer wrote.

Dr. Snow himself did not remember Dambly.

"I really do not recall a Mark Dambly," Lavin, the star of a recent National Geographic channel documentary about his Dr. Snow days, wrote in an email.

But people keep asking him about Dambly, Lavin said.

"This is the third time over the years that someone has asked this," Lavin wrote. "Obviously there is always the possibility he [Dambly] did things under someone involved with me, but I have no knowledge of him."

Dambly rankles many Penn State loyalists because of the way he ripped Joe Paterno in a TV interview after the Jerry Sandusky scandal hit, and Paterno was fired.

"Although legally, I believe he [Paterno] did what he had to do," Dambly said, "Morally, I don't believe the standards he set for his own student athletes, he didn't live up to those standards for himself."

As far as Dambly's critics are concerned, he doesn't live up to the standards for chairman of Penn State's board of trustees.

"His apparent failure to recall a five-day period of incarceration in the Centre County prison for a violent crime casts great doubt on his credibility, and appears to be just the tip of the iceberg," wrote former NCIS Special Agent John Snedden, another Penn State alum.


  1. Only one T in Conestoga. Why would they even take a chance on this guy. Unreal.

    1. Crazy in a crazy world is as good as sane. Corruption, financial entanglements, and the good old boys watching each other's back rules. You don't expect logic, ethics, or morality to have any sway, do you?

  2. Thanks Ralph for carrying this torch. We've been trying to blow the whistle for nearly 6 years. Appreciate you.

  3. Interesting and important. The ways of the BOT are set, however, and will continue with the appointment of Dambly.
    The sky has truly fallen on Penn State.

  4. Sounds like he is morally bankrupt, but maybe easy for the Bot to control. Thanks, Mr. Cipriano.

    JUNE 2016


    Under the leadership of Lynne Abraham, who has been dubbed the “Queen of
    Death” 90 and “The Deadliest D.A.,”91 the Philadelphia County District Attorney’s office obtained 108 death sentences.92 Abraham exhibited the same personality
    quirks that Britt, Macy, and Myers shared. She described herself as “passionate” about the death penalty. “I truly believe it is manifestly correct,” she said. After overseeing her first execution, she described the killing as “a nonevent for me” and emphasized, “I don’t feel anything.” Since Abraham’s departure from the office in 2010, her successor, Seth Williams, has overseen the imposition of just three death sentences in the last six years.

    Abraham was equally unfazed by death row exonerations, going so far as to interpret a Philadelphia man’s release from death row as proof that “the system worked.”

    Indeed, before leaving office, Lynne Abraham was asked whether she ever secured a death sentence against a person who did not deserve to die. She answered, “No,I have not seen that.” However, at least two Philadelphia death row prisoners who had their convictions overturned were retried during Abraham’s tenure and acquitted.98

    Abraham drew criticism for her apparent insensitivity to the complexities of race.

    # OF DEATH
    OFFICE 1991-2010 (19 YEARS)

    A reporter once noted that 85% of the inmates in the city’s
    prison were Black, and asked Abraham whether she believed 85% of the city’s crime was committed by African-Americans.“Yes, I do. I really do,” Abraham responded.
    Unlike Britt, Macy, and Myers, Lynne Abraham did not try many death cases herself.She entrusted that role to her assistant district attorneys, particularly Roger King.

    King tried more capital cases than any other prosecutor in Pennsylvania history.He ultimately put at least 20 people on death row and personally claimed a number of sentences in the “high 30s” by 1995. A wall of Roger King’s Philadelphia office was papered with pictures of people he prosecuted who had been sentenced to death. Each person’s face was circled in the picture with a line through it, and the word “death” was written on each image.

    King was known to engage in specious trial tactics. Once, in urging the jury to return a death sentence against a 16 year-old, King told jurors that mitigating evidence about the defendant and his background was a mere “relic” of the “great society [that has] failed” and should thus be ignored.106 In another case, King asked jurors to vote for a death sentence in order to send a message to a judge who had
    previously sentenced the defendant in a prior matter. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that it was “extremely prejudicial for a prosecutor to exhort a jury” in this fashion. And across his death penalty trials, King was two times more likely to strike potential Black jurors compared to other potential jurors who were not Black.

    1. What's the correlation between Mark Dambly & Lynne Abraham in regard to this article?

    2. Absolutely none with regard to the authors post.

  6. None. I thought posting it here, rather than commenting on the Inky articles about Abraham, was to reach a wider audience, especially by Inky reporters.

    1. Whose this, Rodney Muhammad?

    2. Those were her words and her statistics.

  7. In my Opinion,

    Real estate development in NYC and Philly is traditionally dirty as hell. Our President, a NYC real estate tycoon with heavy television coverage during 9/11, knows this all too well.

    The Italian Mafia and now the Jewish Zionist Mafia are inextricably woven into the whole dirty process of permits, contract awards, public relations, demolition, taxes, etc. In 2013 Mark Dambly's Pennrose Properties was awarded huge development contracts for Prospect Plaza in NYC by the "mass shooter hoax king", Jewish billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro made it happen again for Mark Dambly's Pennrose Properties in Montgomery County with a 34 million dollar contract.

    Mark Dambly gave very large donations to Josh Shapiro's recent campaign. And Michael Bloomberg gave a quarter million to Josh Shapiro's campaign! So an astute observer might gather that there's a strong triangular connection between these wise guys, Bloomberg, Shapiro, and Mark Dambly. And if you want to do a little more research and make it a perfect square, you can add NYC real estate mogul, Donald Trump to that connection.

    These four men are textbook examples of organized crime participants posing as leaders of civilized society. Until we expose them and put them on trial for their crimes against us, we will continue to be deceived while we endure more of their atrocities committed against us.

    And Penn State University, an institution of higher learning, most certainly does not need members of organized crime (former or otherwise) sitting on its board of trustees. Academia in every one of our states should be completely insulated and protected from the infiltration of wealth and influence derived from suspicious business practices.

  8. The future for honest government is intrinsically connected to eliminating LLCs and the layers of disguising participation by parties dedicated to hiding criminal activity and money laundering.

    If Seth Williams pursued the criminal billionaire cartel players with the same energy he chased pervert clergy, he would be hailed a hero and not a world class pariah.

  9. Dambly also had this 1987 arrest for DUI and Possession expunged...



    Docket Number: CP-15-CR-0001326-1987

    Court Case


    Page 1 of 3

    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania


    Mark H Dambly


    Cross Court Docket Nos:

    Judge Assigned: Gavin, Thomas G. Date Filed: 05/27/1987 Initiation Date: 05/27/1987

    OTN: B6877581 Lower Court Docket No:

    Initial Issuing Authority: Final Issuing Authority: John F. Anthony

    Arresting Agency: Other Arresting Officer: Affiant

    Case Local Number Type(s) Case Local Number(s)

    Case Reference Number 436560

    Legacy Docket Number CR-01326-1987


    Case Status: Closed Status Date Processing Status Arrest Date: 04/22/1987

    05/27/1987 Completed

    Complaint Date: 04/22/1987


    Date Of Birth: 05/17/1958 City/State/Zip: Wayne, PA 19087


    Participant Type Name

    Defendant Dambly, Mark H


    Dambly, Mark H Nebbia Status: None

    Bail Action Date Bail Type Percentage Amount

    Bail Posting Status Posting Date

    Set 01/01/1900 Unsecured $500.00

    Posted 05/27/1987


    Seq. Orig Seq. Grade Statute Statute Description Offense Dt. OTN

    1 1 M2 75 § 3731 §§A1* Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol 04/22/1987 B6877581

    2 2 S 75 § 3301 §§A Fail To Keep Right 04/22/1987 B6877581

    3 3 S 75 § 3361 Driving At Safe Speed 04/22/1987 B6877581

    4 4 M 35 § 780-113 §§A31 Poss Of Marijuana 04/22/1987 B6877581

  10. Mark is good man. He loves Penn State. That infraction was almost 30 years ago.

  11. I think George bush had a dui as well and that changed his life. My dui changed my life as well. Mark is a good man and a brilliant business man. He has created an industry providing homes for the underserved and under privileged. He has served penn state through its most turbulent period in history. Like me, he loves Penn State. I wish him the best

    1. If Mark is a good man why isn't he honest? Why doesn't he answer any questions?

    2. Sullio,

      I find it astonishing that you would use George W. Bush as an example of a "changed" person. Most Americans are waking up to the fact that Bush was the weak link in our country's leadership that allowed organized crime to bring down the 3 WTC towers. Come on, it's 2017, do some research on that demolition!

      So you're right about comparing Mark Dambly to George W. Bush. They are both weak men that were "helped" into leadership positions. And both were heavily involved in brain damaging substance abuse in their younger days. Holding a title such as "Chairman of the Board", or "President of the United States" doesn't make a person better than they used to be if the conscience is still weak.

      Currently, Mark Dambly is deeply entrenched in the billion-dollar, mob-controlled real estate development "business" in NYC, Jersey, and Philly. I'd like to see Eugene Depasquale begin to audit Dambly's cozy "business" relationship with Josh Shapiro, Ira Lubert, and Michael Bloomberg. Your idea that Mark Dambly is a "good man" would crumble into dust under such financial scrutiny. But your belief that Dambly is a 'brilliant business man' would hold up if one accepts criminality as being synonymous with business.

      But I think most of America is getting sick and tired of corrupt businessmen running and ruining our country.

  12. I have posted on here a few times about this so you'll know its me. Guess whose name keeps popping up?!!?! Frmr Gov Tom Corbett. I've been saying for the past few years that Gov Tom Corbett not only had a lot to do with this PSU Debacle but could also tell you what happened to Former DA Ray Gricar. The writing is now on the wall folks and I'm no conspiracy theorist. Gricar was known as a tough, straight line guy... he was likely going to take down Sandusky. But... that would have taken the power away from Corbett. As Corbett and PSU negotiatiated and allocated the millions in state funding and budgets; he wanted to have an ace in his pocket over PSU. Guaranteed... look at the facts. Who else would have the ability to hold back the arrest/announcement of an arrest like Sandusky's was??!?! Only one person in a state... the Governor. But who would look into that?!?


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