Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Upstairs Downstairs At The Inquirer

Mr. & Mrs. Egger visit the newsroom
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

At Philadelphia Media Network, they're staging an Upstairs Downstairs revival with no end in sight.

In the newsroom of the Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com, members of the NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia have posted signs commemorating the grim fact that they've gone more than 3,500 days without a raise. And now management wants 30 union members to take a buyout next month, or else more layoffs may be on the way.

But for the independent contractors and officers of the fat nonprofit that owns PMN, the cash bequeathed by the late philanthropist, Gerry Lenfest, never seems to run out.

Even when management's grand plans for reviving the hometown papers don't pan out, nobody who lives upstairs has to worry about taking the hit.
Sunday, May 12, 2019

Former Federal Agent Details Political Corruption In PSU Investigation

On this week's Lions Of Liberty podcast, former NCIS Special Agent John Snedden outlined the extensive political corruption that plagued the so-called Penn State sex scandal.

Snedden dissects the flawed, "agenda-driven" investigations done by Attorney General and Louis Freeh. He talks about a "blatantly fictitious" grand jury presentment, and an "appalling" lack of judgement displayed by the Penn State Board of Trustees.

Then, Snedden takes on the "corrupt" Pennsylvania judiciary which signed off multiple times on the unconstitutional prosecution of Graham Spanier, and the "vindictive" former governor who "slow-walked" the Sandusky investigation to a preconceived conclusion.

The entire 40-minute broadcast can be heard here.
Sunday, May 5, 2019

Former Assistant Football Coach Confronts PSU Trustees

On Friday, Dick Anderson, a former Penn State assistant football coach, spoke to the Penn State Board of Trustees and told them something they didn't want to hear.

Here's what Anderson had to say:

On Nov. 9, 2011, Joe Paterno was fired by the Board of Trustees without due process, despite his 61 years of unparalleled service to this university and this community. The board, confused and conflicted, was influenced by a vengeful Gov. Corbett and a trustee with a personal vendetta that hijacked its leadership. In addition, there was a bold-faced lie written by Pennsylvania Prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach.

[Editor's note: The bold-faced lie was that Mike McQueary had witnessed Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy in the showers. After 18 years, no alleged victim has come forward; prosecutors claimed  the identity of the boy was "known only to God." A previously undisclosed federal investigation determined that the alleged facts of the incident didn't make any sense, and that the only alleged witness, McQueary, wasn't credible.]

The board, fearing the NCAA, and lacking experience from within, jumped outside the university for counsel. They neglected to seek advice from PSU Professor John Coyle, an internationally recognized logistics expert, who was the faculty representative to the NCAA for 30 years, and John Bove, who served as Penn State's compliance coordinator for 14 years. Both men had intimate knowledge and personal relationships with the NCAA.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Mayor Kenney On Controller's Voting Machine Objections: "I Don't Know What Her Problem Is"

By Ralph Cipriano
for Philadelphia magazine

Mayor Jim Kenney has come out swinging in defense of the city's looming purchase of more than $50 million worth of new voting machines that critics say are too expensive, susceptible to hackers, and the product of a tainted procurement process.

On Monday, the City Commissioners' Office, which oversees elections, took delivery of 83 new ExpressVoteXL machines worth about $8,000 each, or some $664,000, without benefit of a contract, public vote, or any money appropriated to pay for it. City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart has publicly pledged to block the purchase of the machines because she's "deeply concerned about the legality of this process."

"We believe we're right," the mayor insisted in a brief interview following a press conference on economic development at City Hall on Thursday. "We think she's wrong, we did our due diligence. I don't know what her problem is."

The rest of the story can be read here.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Graham Spanier Beats The Rap; Will Ruling Help Msgr. Lynn?

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Graham Spanier was scheduled to report to the Dauphin County Prison this morning at 9 a.m.

But last night, a federal judge threw out Spanier's 2017 conviction on one misdemeanor count of child endangerment. In a brief, two-page order, U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Mehalchick ruled in favor of the former Penn State University president's writ of habeas corpus, basically a legal request to "produce the body" of a convicted person before a judge, to decide if there's a lawful reason for that person to be detained.

In the case of Spanier, scheduled to go to prison today for two months, the judge decided that there wasn't a lawful reason to jail him, no matter what prosecutors said. So the judge wrote that Spanier's writ of habeas corpus "is GRANTED with respect to the first two grounds raised in the petition, namely that the application of the 2007 child endangerment statute to his 2001 conduct, and the jury instruction based on the 2007 statute, as applied to Spanier, are unconstitutional."

The simple concept at work in the federal magistrate's decision is something that Big Trial and some state appeal judges have been arguing for years, with mixed results. Namely that's it's unconstitutional for prosecutors to try a person ex post facto, or after the fact, under the standards of the state's original child endangerment law, if that law originally didn't apply to him.