Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Another Judge Admonishes Another Krasner ADA For Lack Of Candor

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

A couple of overzealous prosecutors who work for District Attorney Larry Krasner have a documented history of being untruthful to judges.

In January, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Karen Simmons admonished Assistant District Attorney Rachel Black for a lack of candor regarding the ability of one of the complainants to show up in court to testify in a sex abuse case against former Chief Inspector Carl Holmes. 

Judge Simmons caught ADA Black telling a bald-faced lie -- that a complaining witness who had accused Holmes of sexual abuse couldn't appear in a Philadelphia courtroom because she had serious health problems and was supposedly hiding out in Florida, in fear of catching COVID. 

The truth was that the witness herself, in one Facebook post after another, had dismissed the pandemic as a hoax and a sham. She had previously driven from Pennsylvania down to Florida in a fully equipped RV, and so she was perfectly capable of driving back up to Philadelphia to testify in court.

"Miss Black's actions were inappropriate, they were wrong, they were intentional," Judge Simmons stated in court to two of ADA Black's supervisors on Jan. 13th. One of those supervisors who came to court to defend ADA Black was her boss, Assistant District Attorney Patricia Cummings, head of the D.A.'s Conviction Integrity Unit.

And according to a federal judge, ADA Cummings has the same problem that ADA Black does.

On Feb. 11th in U.S. District Court, Judge Mitchell Goldberg issued a formal 23-page "memorandum opinion" that constituted a formal admonishment of ADA Cummings for violating her "duty of candor" to the court. Judge Goldberg wrote that Cummings should have informed him that she had parallel litigation going in state court in her crusade to get Antonio Martinez out of jail, who was serving a life sentence after he was convicted in a 1985 double homicide.

“While I will not impose sanctions, an admonishment of the District Attorney, as set forth in this Opinion, is appropriate,” Judge Goldberg wrote on Feb. 15th. The judge said he would henceforth require the Philadelphia DA to submit status reports on future cases, adding, “I typically do not impose requirements of this nature on counsel, but such oversight of the District Attorney is now unfortunately warranted.”

The misconduct of both ADAs, Black and Cummings, has been reported to the Disciplinary Board of the state Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.  

Yesterday, rumors circulated through the Philadelphia legal community that ADA Black had resigned. Black, however, did not respond to a request for comment; neither did her boss, District Attorney Krasner, nor his official spokesperson, Jane Roh.

ADA Patricia Cummings, however, is still at large.

Last October, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge vacated Antonio Martinez's 31-year-old conviction because his constitutional rights had allegedly been violated.

Martinez, at 73, was a free man. But the judge's decision in state court blew out a parallel case that the D.A. had going in U.S. District Court to free Martinez in Judge Goldberg's courtroom.

In his 23-page admonishment, Judge Goldberg said he had arranged a hearing in federal court where the D.A. would have had a chance to question one of the original prosecutors in the Martinez case about shocking allegations of prosecutorial misconduct made in federal court by Cummings.

In his memorandum opinion, the judge cited many concerns about the crusade that Cummings was on regarding the facts in the original Martinez case, and the many allegations that Cummings had made  against the original prosecutor in the case: 

First, the City of Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office (the “District Attorney”), through Patricia Cummings, Supervisor of the Conviction Integrity Unit (the “CIU Supervisor”), has continually and forcefully advocated that convictions for a double homicide, occurring thirty-five years ago, reviewed and affirmed by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, should be vacated.

Although a Post Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”) petition was pending in state court, which would normally preclude my involvement, the CIU Supervisor articulated numerous, specific reasons why the District Attorney was waiving state court exhaustion and affirmatively represented that she and Petitioner’s counsel had agreed to litigate this matter in federal court.

The reason given for the request that I vacate Petitioner’s homicide convictions was disconcerting: a veteran former Assistant District Attorney (the “Trial ADA”) or the assigned detectives had knowingly and intentionally withheld substantial evidence pointing to another suspect. Then, according to the CIU Supervisor, the Trial ADA prosecuted a potentially innocent person, obtained a first-degree murder conviction, and stood silent as a life sentence was imposed. 

But according to Judge Goldberg, in federal court, ADA Cummings had shown no interest in questioning the original prosecutor to determine whether any of the allegations she had made against him were actually true:

Yet, before making these remarkable allegations, the CIU Supervisor made no effort to obtain any type of explanation or information from the Trial ADA or anyone associated with the original prosecution. The CIU Supervisor has also never offered a plausible reason or motive as to why the Trial ADA would engage in such unethical, reprehensible conduct.

The answers to these pressing questions and others were about to be explored through the testimony of the Trial ADA at an evidentiary hearing scheduled before me on November 10, 2020. Although the District Attorney had unilaterally pre-determined that this veteran prosecutor’s testimony would not be credible, I viewed, and continue to view, his testimony as indispensable information that any responsible prosecutor and/or judge would want to carefully consider before agreeing to overturn a double homicide state court conviction.

Answers to many unasked questions were especially important when the only information before me about the Trial ADA’s version of events was a report from the CIU Supervisor, advising that the Trial ADA believed the District Attorney had made several critical misstatements to me. 

Yet, two weeks before the Trial ADA’s testimony was to be heard, and unbeknownst to me, at a hearing in state court, which had been scheduled and fully prepped, complete relief was granted and Petitioner released.

When Judge Goldberg questioned Cummings about her lack of candor, it didn't go well:

In an effort to provide the CIU Supervisor with every benefit of the doubt, I gave her an opportunity to explain her conduct. Unfortunately, the Supervisor of the District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit believes that what occurred in this case was perfectly acceptable. The CIU Supervisor stated that she “absolutely believed” that she had no obligation to inform me of the state proceeding . . . These statements reveal the poorly informed thought process that led us to where we are today in this case.

Judge Goldberg also rejected an argument put forward by the D.A.'s office that Cummings didn't have to disclose to the judge what she was up to in state court because her involvement in the litigation in state court to free Martinez was "short-lived."

The judge then listed seven bulleted items detailing past actions by Cummings that refuted that argument, and showed that she was heavily involved in the state litigation to free Martinez.

Those actions included:

-- Cummings voluntarily turned over more than 3,400 pages of the D.A.'s files in the case to a defense lawyer for Martinez;

-- Cummings "directly communicated" with the state judge when the petition to free Martinez in state court was in danger of being dismissed;

--- Cummings emailed the state judge to set up a conference between herself, Martinez's lawyer, and the judge before an Oct. 23 hearing was held in state court that led to the release of Martinez.

That led Judge Goldberg to conclude:

Based on these facts, I cannot accept counsel’s arguments that they had no duty to inform me of the state court proceedings because their involvement in those proceedings was so brief. Over the course of approximately a year and half, and after a PCRA petition had been filed in state court, counsel were both engaged in substantial discussions regarding relief for Petitioner, thousands of pages of documents were exchanged, state court Orders were issued, and status conferences in state court were scheduled.

In a statement from the D.A.'s office that was published by the the D.A.'s official apologists at The Philadelphia Inquirer, D.A. Krasner didn't offer any apologies on behalf of Cummings; instead he implied that Judge Goldberg was actively engaged in a conspiracy and an ongoing cover-up of past prosecutorial misconduct:

In my opinion, it is no surprise that when you do the work of undoing institutional wrongs, there is resistance from people who want to make excuses for those wrongs. On behalf of all Philadelphians, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office will not be cowed or deterred from our duty to seek justice in the future.

In Philadelphia, the Inquirer and other media outlets continue to cast Cummings as a reformer engaged in rescuing the innocent and wrongly convicted from jail cells that they were unjustly confined to. 

 But Cummings's unethical conduct in a past case back when she was working as a criminal defense lawyer in Texas has drawn a national audience.

As Big Trial has previously reported, Cummings has been portrayed as the villain in a five-part Showtime series, "Outcry," that ran last June. It's the story of Greg Kelley, an 18-year-old high school football star in Texas who in 2014, was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole for sexually assaulting a four-year old child in a day care.

Only Kelley was falsely convicted. Patricia Cummings was Kelley's defense lawyer at the time, whom a judge found, was not only ineffective, but she also had an undisclosed conflict of interest. Cummings had as a former client the woman who owned the day care where the attack took place. And that client had a son who not only lived at the day care where the attack took place, but he was suspected of being the real child abuser. 

But Cummings kept quiet about her conflicts for three years while Greg Kelley, an innocent man, rotted in jail. [The picture at top is of Cummings in a Texas courtroom selling Kelley down the river]. 

The Showtime series, completely ignored by Krasner's official apologists at the Inquirer, does not paint a pretty picture of Larry Krasner's crusader. 

But the Inquirer ignores it because Krasner's official apologists are deliberately slanting the news so that their fair-haired boy gets reelected in the May 18th Democratic primary for D.A. 

Cummings has another role in the Philadelphia D.A.'s office that the general public is not aware of.

Every month, her unit goes through the personnel jackets of police officers. And every month, Cummings' unit voluntarily turns over materials from those personnel files to defense counsels, to aid them in their efforts to impeach the credibility of those officers. The net effect is to disqualify cops from testifying at trial against criminal defendants.

Every month, cops receive letters like the following that refer to so-called Giglio information, material used to impeach the character or testimony of a prosecution witness at a criminal trial:

Dear Officer .  . .

The DAO has received Giglio information regarding you as reflected in the summary below . . . 

Pursuant to the law and the DAO's policy regarding police misconduct disclosures, the misconduct will be disclosed to the defense in all cases where you may be called to testify as a witness and said disclosure may also be made if required in closed cases where you were a critical witness.

Also, if required by law, supporting documentation in our possession regarding the misconduct will be disclosed to the defense.

Please note, if you believe our information is incorrect, feel free to communicate to us in writing through counsel.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.


Patricia Cummings
Assistant District Attorney

For an accused cop, there is no forum to defend one's self, other than the unfriendly confines of the D.A.'s office.

The net effect has been that hundreds of police officers in the Philadelphia Police Department, if not thousands, are now prohibited from testifying against criminal defendants, thanks to the under-the-radar anti-cop campaign being waged by ADA Patricia Cummings, with the full support of cop-hating D.A. Larry Krasner.

Against this backdrop of yet another possible witch hunt against cops being conducted by the D.A.'s office under Larry Krasner, I'd like to offer any accused officer a means of recourse, one that has actually been successful in the past.

[I kid you not.]

Step one: print out the following Big Trial story about Cummings's own ethical lapses, as portrayed in the Showtime series.

Step two: mail that copy back to ADA Cummings at the D.A.'s office and "respectfully" inquire how ADA Cummings can make any charges of possible misconduct against police officers when she herself has engaged in some glaring acts of misconduct and ethical lapses of her own, as showcased in the Showtime series.

Step three: email ralph@bigtrial.net and let me know how you made out.


  1. Thanks Ralph
    Any more information on the Msgr Lynn case. Your articles on ADA miscounduct eerily copy the actions of ADAs Sorenson and Blessington duirng the Fr Englehardt and Mr Shero cases. And it looks like they got away with it

  2. I like your plan to offer the police some measure of redress in the kangaroo court previously known as the Philadelphia District Attorneys Office. The deliberate subterfuge exemplified here is just another underhanded move by Komrade Krasner to kick as many cases out of the system as possible while pulling the wool over peoples all too willing to be deluded eyes.

  3. Ralph over the last 2 years I have spoken to several Police Officers and Detectives and learned that many defense attorneys are telling their clients to contact Internal Affairs Bureau and make false complaints against the Police. They are being told to complain about being physically assaulted, evidence being planted, and money being stolen, along with other accusations of Police misconduct. IAB must investigate every complaint. When the complainant is found to be a lie or a false complaint and untrue, or unfounded, a copy of the complaint and the results of the investigation are placed in the Officer's file. This information is contained in the Giglio files given to the defense attorneys by the District Attorney's Office. The information is then used against the Officer when they testify, even though it was found to be untrue. This practice has been occurring more frequently since Krasner is the District Attorney. By being able to use this information a judge or jury might believe it to be true and not believe the Officer or Detective.

  4. The George Floyd Case is a Prime Example and a Frightening Chapter of the Derailed Criminal Justice System.

    Officer Chauvin will never have a Fair Trial where State AG Ellison operates from the Krasner Playbook.

    Prosecute and Convict a Police Officer involved in the Arrest of a Violent X Felon and Career Criminal who dies from a drug overdose during an Arrest and they want to persecute the Cop???

    BLM and ANTIFA are threatening Jurors outside the Courthouse supported by the Prosecution-Judge and the Media before the Case is litigated.

    This is the Future of the Criminal Justice System under Biden.

    Jason Brando

  5. Ralph earlier today a Detective I know well called me and told me he had read my comment from yesterday. He wanted to tell me what happened to him. Last year before Covid-19 and the courts closed, he had a jury trial. After reading a statement, given by the defendant when he was arrested, he was crossed examined by the defense attorney. During the cross examination the defense attorney asked the Detective "Isn't it true that there are a number of complaints filed against you alleging misconduct?" Before he could answer the defense attorney asked "Isn't it true that there are a total of nine (9) complaints made against you?" As he tried to answer the defense attorney cut him off and said, "No further questions". He told me that all of the complaints had been investigated by IAB and every complainant were found to be false or unfounded. But this is how the information, being provided willing by Krasner is being used against Police Officers and Detectives who must testify. The defense attorney also used the complaint information in his closing argument.

  6. Thanks, Detective Walsh. Krasner won't be happy until every criminal is out of jail and every cop is either indicted or put on the do-not-call list, or both.

    Would love to hear from more cops about this. Either in this space or I can be reached at ralph@bigtrial.net.


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