Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Progressive New D.A. Larry Krasner Off On Wrong Foot

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Attention Philadelphia: your newly-elected District Attorney, Progressive Larry Krasner, is already getting started on his new job, but it may not be a good thing.

According to a Nov. 29th mass email sent out to hundreds of employees in the D.A.'s office, Krasner sought and was granted permission by interim D.A. Kelley Hodge to have his transition team review the personnel files of those hundreds of employees, presumably to help decide who's going and who's staying in a  Krasner administration. The review,  according to the mass email, was supposed to be conducted last week, but one union official, FOP President John McNesby, said he did not believe that any of the reviews had actually been done yet.

That may be because of an ongoing ethical problem. Krasner, a longtime civil rights lawyer who's sued the city's police department 75 times, and provided pro-bono representation for the likes of ACT UP, Black Lives Matter, and Occupy Philly, isn't officially the D.A. yet, and he won't be until he's sworn in on Jan. 2nd.

Krasner, who could not be reached for comment, apparently has tasked a lawyer from the firm that he is now of counsel to, Patricia Pierce of Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores, to help review those personnel files at the D.A.'s office. Krasner also has been seen visiting the D.A.'s office at Penn Square a few times, along with members of his transition team, who supposedly have been given office space by the interim D.A. The reaction among some employees at the D.A.'s office has been paranoia.

"People were freaking out," said one source familiar with the process. "I think everybody's worried about being fired."

But Krasner, who got elected with nearly $1.7 million of billionaire George Soros's money, may have jumped the gun with his request to review those personnel files.

"I don't think he has a right to do that yet," said Samuel C. Stretton, a criminal defense lawyer who has tried hundreds of cases, and lectures and writes frequently about legal and judicial ethics.

According to Stretton, Krasner's transition team can't legally review the personnel files at the D.A.'s office without a court order, or the consent of the employees. But from the way the Nov. 29th mass email to the employees was written, saying no to Progressive Larry did not appear to be an option.

On Nov. 29th, a mass email went out from First Deputy District Attorney John Delaney, addressed to all "D.A. domino users." Under the subject line "transition," Delaney wrote:

"D.A, Elect Krasner has asked that his transition team review the personnel files of office employees. The District Attorney has agreed to his request, and that review will begin next week. If you as an employee of the office would like to inspect your personnel file, in accord with the office policy, you may do so tomorrow or Friday. The files are in the small conference room 1840, at the end of the middle hallway on the 18th floor, opposite the large conference room. A member of the human resources department will be present and will provide the file to you. You may not add to or subtract from the file . . .

"To enable an orderly inspection, the following times are strongly suggested. If you can not make your suggested time, you may appear at another time. If you wish to inspect your file but cannot do so tomorrow or Friday, please contact Kathy Martin."

That's kind of funny because Martin, a former first assistant district attorney under former D.A. Seth Williams, before Williams was indicted and sent to jail, has already turned in her resignation, and will be leaving next month.

The files, according to the email, were viewable from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday Nov. 30th and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday Dec. 1st.

Stretton says he understands Krasner's desire for expediency.

"He's not the D.A. yet, but he will be shortly," Stretton said. "I'm sure he [Krasner] has the best intentions," Stretton said. "But, he's coming into an office with a lot of dissension so let's do it the right way."

The right way, Stretton said, would have been to either wait until he's sworn in, or to seek the consent of the employees, and give them the option of saying no to a personnel file review.

"The new district attorney doesn't want to start off by breaking the law," Stretton said. "His job is to uphold the law. It's a little disappointing to me that Larry Krasner is off to a bad start."

When told some employees had complained about the review of their personnel files, Stretton said, "I think people have a right to be offended."

Asked about how this development bodes for the new Krasner administration, Stretton said, "This is not a good omen."

Neither is the way Krasner has handled Big Trial's request for an explanation of what Krasner is up to down at the D.A.'s office. Cameron Kline, a spokesperson for the D.A.'s office, did not respond to a request for comment last week.

Lawyers at Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt & Flores also did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did the folks at krasnertransition.com, the website set up by Progressive Larry that promises "a new era in criminal justice."

So the newly-elected D.A. isn't talking; neither is Interim D.A. Kelley Hodge. But former District Attorney Lynne Abraham, who served as the city's top law enforcement officer for 20 years, said she didn't set foot in the D.A.'s office until the day she was sworn in.

"You can certainly quote me that I didn't handle it that way, and you can bet your boots Seth Williams  didn't set foot in that office until he was sworn in," Abraham wrote in an email.

Williams, of course, could not be reached for comment as he was last seen riding a "Con Air" bus wearing a jumpsuit, handcuffs and chains, on his way to a federal prison in Oklahoma. There Williams, who also once promised to deliver a new and smarter brand of justice to our city, will serve out his five-year prison sentence for taking bribes from, as the judge in his case put it, "the parasites you surrounded yourself with."

Meanwhile, our shining new hope of a D.A., Progressive Larry Krasner, is busy conferring with members of his transition team, such as Patricia Pierce. She's a law partner at the firm that Krasner is now part of.

On Sept. 6, 2017, Krasner merged his firm of Krasner and Associates with the Greenblatt firm and "will be joining the firm on an Of Counsel basis," according to the Greenblatt firm's website.

"We are so proud to have Mr. Krasner and the other members of Kranser and Associations join our firm," the announcement said. "We are thrilled that he has selected us to be the firm he wishes to transition his clients to while he pursues his goal of becoming Philadelphia's next District Attorney. We look forward to working with Mr. Krasner in these upcoming months and to easing his transition back into public life. As importantly, we also look forward to serving his clients."

John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said he was aware of the review of the personnel files, but he did not think the reviews had been done yet.

"The transition team was granted access to review the attorneys' files for any discipline or negative performance info," McNesby said. "Each had to sign a confidentiality waiver that they do not discuss it."


  1. Even though she's gone to work for the SNAPPERS, Liberal Larry should take a good long look at both Sorensen's old personnel file and her 'intellectually dishonest' Grand Jury report - - - that is, if he's really interested in cleaning up the filth and duplicity in the DA's office.

    Time will tell.

    Hopefully Ralph's excellent Newsweek article is gathering some traction somewhere.

  2. Ralph, has the Justice Dept. or any Prosecutor ever provided you or leaked to you a story that may influence public opinion?

    If not, why not?

    Watching the testimony of the Deputy Attorney General today, it is clear that they admit that policy is followed.

  3. Don't recall it happening. Why would they bother with me when they have a much better deal at the Inquirer.

  4. Why didn't I read this in the Inquirer? Oh, that's right, they only print stories that are favorable to prosecutors.

  5. If he sought permission and was granted that permission and none of the interviews have been started and gave the employees a chance to review their files, I don't see any harm.

    Who could muster the strength to even raise an eyebrow on this, if he jumped the gun, or did something that may have stretched or overreached, Good .The prosecution should know how the rest of us feel since we have lived under their reign of overreaching .

    The Inky can not bite the hand that feeds, they need to make nice. I am looking forward to him ruffling feathers and making prosecutors feel very uncomfortable, it will be a nice change.

  6. What we really need to see, if there is to be reform, is a prosecutors' office that does not use the media to influence public opinion. Possibly the media could take this opportunity to stop condemning defendants on the accusations of the prosecutors offices.

    I would want to stop the leaking from the prosecutors office to the Inquirer, its the only way to give defendants a chance in court. There has to be a way stop the negative press for defendant's, let the courts work it out not the angry mobs who now inhabit our juries and sit on the benches.

  7. A Denver man who spent 28 years in jail for a rape he did not commit is suing the City of Denver, a former District Attorney and Police Investigators for malicious prosecution, destruction of evidence, manufactory false evidence, mishandling evidence, conspiracy to violate his civil rights and fundamental unfairness of prosecution.

    We need to see more of this type of lawsuit, there are so many people that can say this is what happened to them. The prosecutors are being sued in their individual capabilities as well.

    Article can be read on The Marshall Projects newsletter today or at The Denver Post.

    1. Still waiting to see Shero and Fr Englehardt cleared. Justice delayed is justice denied

    2. It is a liability issue for the Inky, they can't admit that they too have finally come to the realization, like the readers of bigtrial, that there was no crime, they were used to inflame the jury and judge to ensure a guilty verdict for the prosecution.

      The Inky should assist and employ the same resources in helping the defendants regain their lives as they did in destroying these individuals.

      Would panic ensue, would the public no longer believe the prosecutors office or the information provided by the Inky on criminal matters.

      Would people start to believe that the prosecutors can and do manipulate public opinion through the press, as well as benefit themselves by inventing or inflating crimes.

      Would justice eventually prevail, would prosecutors think twice before defrauding the public ? Imagine if journalist held prosecutors responsible for faulty information instead of playing dead when the find out the truth.Reporters have a duty to inform the public of new found information.

      If questioned the general public would never believe that people go to jail in America not because there was a crime but because a prosecutor said there was a crime.

      The Catholic Church would not want anyone to know that they too were manipulated by prosecutors/Inky into settling a 5 million on a bogus claim.

      We would have never known the truth if we depended on the Inly or the prosecution .

      Just keep denying the truth and sticking to the "facts" is what the Inky does so well, regardless of the toll on defendants ,their families and communities.

  8. If years later a sexual abuse claim can be made about an abuser, a defendant should be able to speak openly about the abuse by prosecutors and have some means of recourse to fight back, other than what we have to endure now, to suffer in silence.

    Real reform would mean, in addition to a conviction review unit, a unit that deals with complaints against overzealous prosecution, defendants would be able to go on record,for public review,detailing their complaints and any harm unfavorable press did to their chances of a fair trial.

  9. Hi Ralph,

    I posted a reply to Anonymous' Dec. 16th, at 2:39 comment. My reply was made on the 17th of Dec. and it's not published yet. I see two other new comments from Anonymous have been posted today, the 18th of Dec. Was my comment(opinion)given on the 17th overlooked for publication? If so, should I try again to repost it?

  10. Hi Truthseeker, getting a little tired of your Zionist conspiracy theories. I wouldn't suggest reposting it, because as part of my fallen Catholic conspiracy theory, I'm already plotting to reject it.

    1. Okay Ralph, thanks for your honesty. Now we know where you stand--- opinions are objectionable and are "conspiracy theories" if they offend the moderator? I use no profanity in my comments and I'm civil to those that want to refute my assertions. So my words must only be offensive if they have an element of truth in them?

      Instead of ignoring my opinions and not posting them when you don't like them, why don't you refute them? You do seem to be a man that possesses the gift of journalistic integrity. Is this a forum that respects the 1st Amendment or not?

      Until now, you have allowed me to freely comment here, and I want to thank you for that.

    2. It is a First Amendment forum for sure but typically, commenters should refrain from issuing blanket condemnations of one particular religious group or another. They should also try to be relevant. I honestly don't see where the vast Zionist conspiracy you're attacking has anything to do with Larry Krasner going through personnel files.

    3. Ralph,

      Well it's almost Christmas, so I won't continue my points in any lengthy fervent fashion. But I certainly do respect that you answered my First Amendment question.

      Quickly, I think conflating Zionism with religion gives rise to the faulty belief that criticizing Zionism is a criticism of Judaism---it is not. And I don't fancy myself to be Anti-Semitic at all. Zionism is a political ideology whose proponents use Judaism as a shield---screaming Anti-Semitism when fascist Zionism is attacked.

      Sorry I drifted away from the content of your original article---just giving an opinion to Anonymous' ideas of judicial reform.

      Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Peace on Earth to all who abide by God's commandments.

  11. Thanks for all that you have done. Merry Christmas

  12. We need to discuss tavonia love who krasner got her crazy killer a continuance in court so he could kill her 3 days later . That’s not a DA we need . Get him outta here

  13. The assertion that Soros donated 1.7 million to Krassner's Campaign and Soros has been supportive of anti-Israel and Pro-Palestinian causes, should not we conclude that Krassner and Soros are two self hating Jews that share similar views towards Zionism.

    Perhaps Krassner's early examinination of personnel files was an attempt to weed out any Lubavitchers embedded in the Office.
    Happy Holidays to all who seek the truth.

  14. Now that Al Franken has walked away from the Senate in disgrace, he should consult with incoming DA Krasner. Franken will need more security now then ever before, as a perk and he could write copy for the Marxist Socialist incoming DA.

    They both project an image of molesters.

    Not only do they look like twins, but their view of the Criminal Justice System weighs heavy for the rights of the criminal at the expense of the victim.

    Krasner and Kenney will make this city a Crime Haven Sanctuary for criminal fugitives worldwide. What a great program, and isn't it refreshing that this DA won't be owned by the Gay Mafia.

    1. If you call the cops and when they come they check for back taxes and tickets, missed child support,housing code violations etc, then fewer would call the cops like is now beginning to occur in immigrant communities.

  15. The Innocence Project helped to Exonerate its 199th client.

    Yesterday, Mark Denny, who was just 17 when he was arrested, walked out of a Brooklyn courtroom a free man at the age of 46, after serving nearly 30 years for a rape and robbery that prosecutors now agree he didn’t commit.

  16. Philly is united in standing up to Trump. Arguing over Larry Krasner can give the Trump an opportunity to shatter our resolve.

    The second most progressive candidate was Beth Grossman. Heavily anti-Fascist and once a campaigner for John Kasich against Trump in the Republican primary. Philly needs Beth Grossman on Krasner’s transmission team.


    1. TYPO: Philly Needs Beth Grossman on Krasner's transition team. Donating both $50 before November doesn't give me direct access to urge them to work together. Someone with access to them, please forward this request!

  17. Evidently, West Coast journalist Nina Agrawal thinks that Krasner is some sort of liberal Messiah. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-philadelphia-larry-krasner-20171231-story.html

  18. Apparently Larry just got rid of 30+ ADAs


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