Saturday, March 20, 2021

Inky Covers Up Prosecutorial Misconduct In D.A. Krasner's Office

By Ralph Cipriano

We all knew The Philadelphia Inquirer was in the tank for District Attorney Larry Krasner.

For the last couple of years, the Inquirer has gone out of its way to censor all negative news about our progressive D.A. and his lenient, criminal-friendly policies that have resulted in scores of armed and dangerous criminals being released from jail, so they can reek more mayhem. 

Ever wonder why Philadelphia every day is setting new records for shootings and murders? Look no further than the disastrous policies of Larry Krasner.

But don't expect the Inquirer to ever tell you that. Especially since Krasner faces a tough reelection battle in the May 18th Democratic primary against Carlos Vega, who happens to be a real prosecutor. 

This morning, however, the Inquirer committed a few new crimes against journalism. First, they printed a story that said the district attorney's office was withdrawing three sexual assault charges against Carl Holmes, a former chief inspector in the police department. 

But in reporting that news, the Inquirer deliberately omitted the main reason why Common Pleas Court Judge Karen Simmons tossed those charges -- on Jan. 7th, the judge caught Assistant District Attorney Rachel Black lying about an alleged victim's availability to appear in court. 

The Inquirer not only refused to report Assistant District Attorney Black's prosecutorial misconduct, but they also presented ADA Black's big lie in print as a true fact. And then for the topper, the newspaper printed a new alibi from the D.A.'s office to explain why the alleged victim didn't show up in court, an alibi that ADA Black, as well the alleged victim herself, had never previously made. 

It's called slanting the news, and that's what the Inquirer is deliberately doing to ensure that Krasner gets reelected, so that his progressive policies can result in more shootings and more murders.

As Big Trial has previously reported, Judge Simmons caught ADA Black telling a bald-faced lie -- that a former female police officer 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 Elisa Diaz, the former police officer who had accused Holmes, in one Facebook post after another, had dismissed the pandemic as a hoax and a sham. 

Diaz had previously driven from Pennsylvania down to Florida in a fully equipped RV, and so she was physically capable of driving back up to Philadelphia to testify in court.

But when Judge Simmons confronted ADA Black in court over Diaz's Facebook posts, Black immediately tried to pull another fast one.

ADA Black told the judge that she wasn't really concerned about Diaz coming down with the virus by traveling to Philly. No, what she was really concerned about was that Diaz, who doesn't believe in face masks, might infect Philadelphians if she showed up in court.

That only served to further anger the judge. 

"Miss Black's actions were inappropriate, they were wrong, they were intentional," Judge Simmons lectured two of ADA Black's supervisors on Jan. 13th, according to a court transcript that the Inquirer apparently never saw.

Black, who did not respond for a request for comment, has since resigned in disgrace from the D.A.'s office. 

In today's story, however, the Inquirer failed to report that the judge tossed those charges against Holmes because she caught the ADA lying. 

The Inquirer also failed to report that on Jan. 13th, the day she dismissed the charges against Holmes, the judge once again publicly admonished ADA Black a second time from the bench for lying, this time in front of two of Black's supervisors. 

The Inquirer also failed to report that ADA Black had subsequently resigned in disgrace.

The charges against Holmes regarding the allegations made by Diaz had previously been dismissed by Judge Simmons in January, but were refiled by the D.A.'s office in February, because Larry Krasner has a vendetta against cops.

 On Friday, however, the D.A.'s office formally withdrew the charges, and needed to explain why. And so whenever the D.A.'s office is in a situation where it has to save face, Larry Krasner always turns to his progressive friends at the Inquirer.

And they never let him down.

What did Krasner's official apologists at the Inquirer report?

The newspaper stated that the reason the D.A.'s office withdrew the charges was that Diaz failed to show up at a preliminary hearing to testify against Holmes at the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia. 

That was true. But when it came time to explain why, rather than deal with the prosecutorial misconduct in the D.A.'s office, the Inquirer took a page from former ADA Rachel Black's playbook, only they printed Black's lie as thought it were true.

"The District Attorney's Office alluded to ongoing difficulties with getting the former officer who had moved to Florida, to travel to Philadelphia," the Inquirer wrote.

And then, after covering up the D.A.'s blatant prosecutorial misconduct, and passing off Black's lie as truth, the Inquirer gave Krasner's official disinformation officer, Jane Roh, a platform to float a new alibi.

"In pre-pandemic times, sexual assault trials were already challenging for victims and witnesses due to the re-traumatizing impacts of court testimony," Roh told the newspaper in a written statement. "Since the pandemic, these challenges have only intensified."

This is a new alibi for Diaz not showing up in court. And it's one that during the previous year, ADA Black, who had to resort to making things up, never made the argument that Diaz wasn't showing up in court because she was afraid of being re-traumatized. 

In remarks from the bench, Judge Simmons made it clear that she believed ADA Black had deliberately lied to Her Honor.

At a Jan. 13th hearing, Judge Simmons told Black's supervisors that as soon as she learned about Elisa Diaz's Facebook posts, "as quick as I could snap my fingers" ADA Black "started making argument that, well, it's really not about the complaining witness, Miss Diaz, it's about the citizens of Philadelphia."

As the judge recounted the story, she said that Black had argued in court that she didn't want to have Diaz "go through the airport and come through Philadelphia and put us all at risk."

"And at that point," the judge told Black's supervisors, "I realized I had had enough because if I can't trust Miss Black or anyone else from the District Attorney's office who are prosecuting these cases . . . then I don't know what to do with you, actually, I really don't."

"Because as a judge, I cannot, I will not, I do not go out and investigate every comment and statement that's made from the attorneys that appear in front of me," the judge said. "That I have to and I must rely on the authenticity and the honesty of the lawyers that appear in front of us. All of us judges must."

The judge told Black's supervisors that she had concluded "Miss Black's actions were inappropriate, they were wrong, they were intentional."

"They do rise to the level of prosecutorial misconduct," the judge said, but she decided that it didn't reach the level of misconduct required to dismiss the case with prejudice, which would have prevented the D.A.'s office from refiling the charges.

But the judge advised Black's supervisors to "seriously take an honest, clean-slate view of what's been going on [with this case] since October of 2019," when it was first filed, before the D.A.'s office decided what to do next. 

One of the supervisors who came to court on Jan. 13th 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, which is investigating. But the Inquirer hasn't gotten around to reporting either case of prosecutorial misconduct to its readers.

That's because the Inquirer, the official house organ of the corrupt Democratic party, will do whatever it  can to protect Krasner, and get him reelected.  

Holmes still faces more than a half-dozen sexual assault charges stemming from allegations made by two other former Philadelphia police officers, Christa Hayburn and Michele Vandegrift. The allegations from the two women are at least a dozen years old, and have been previously been investigated and found wanting by both the police department's Internal Affairs Unit, and the D.A.'s office itself under former D.A. Lynne Abraham. 

In today's story, the Inquirer declined to mention Diaz by name, sanctimoniously declaring that "the Inquirer doesn't typically identify people alleged to have been sexually assaulted."

But for the past ten years, the Inquirer has had no problem vilifying Carl Holmes. The resulting damage to the former chief inspector has been incalculable, his lawyer said.

"Mr. Holmes has endured, and will continue to endure, significant damages as a result of the presentment and charges," Pagano wrote. "He is married 15 years and has two children 15 and 12. He is an attorney and licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

"Mr. Holmes lost his job as Chief Inspector and was employed by the Philadelphia Police Department for 29 years," Pagano wrote in a May 27, 2020 motion to compel discovery.

"His reputation and career are irreparably damaged," Pagano wrote. "He is unemployable as a result of the pending charges. Mr. Holmes was required to post bail in the amount of $800,000, 10% as a result of the pending charges."

Reached this morning, Pagano was upset with the Inquirer's latest distortions.

"They've selectively reported the facts of the case, and they failed to report that there was a lack of candor in the case by the lead prosecutor," Pagano said.

"They've also invented a story that the victim did not want to be re-traumatized, that the victim never said," Pagano stated. "Where did that leave us with the Inquirer? How can you trust what you read?"

Both the reporter who wrote the story, David Gambacorta, and Gabriel Escobar, editor of the Inquirer, did not respond to a request for comment. 

As far as the prospect of Diaz being re-traumatized by having to testify in a Philadelphia courtroom, Pagano dismissed that as fiction. He described Diaz as a "complainant who never had a problem with complaining."

"Miss Diaz was not afraid to go to the grand jury," he said. "There was extensive litigation by this complainant in federal court and in police administrative hearings and in the Court of Common Pleas with regard to two other officers" that Diaz had also accused of abuse.

And Diaz was the opposite of a credible witness.

"We had proof that she [Diaz] perjured herself and that she lied in front of a police administrative board," Pagano said.

According to Pagano, Diaz waited 15 years before making her allegations of abuse against Holmes. And, Pagano said, the story she told was a real stretch. 

As Pagano recounted the facts of the allegations, in 2004, Diaz, on the advice of her mother, went to see Carl Homes in his office at the Police Academy to make a complaint about alleged sexual harassment involving another officer, Sgt. Randy Davis.

According to testimony, Holmes assisted Diaz in defusing the situation. At a subsequent meeting arranged by Holmes, he and a deputy police commissioner met with Davis and basically gave him an admonishment to "cease and desist," Pagano said.

In testimony, Diaz's mother credited Holmes with helping her daughter resolve her problems with Davis.

Then, 15 years later, in 2019, Diaz revealed that during her 2004 meeting with Holmes, where she showed up on the advice of her mother to make a complaint about sexual harassment by another officer, Holmes chose that occasion to allegedly "violently and physically assault her during business hours," Pagano said.

"Stuff gets knocked around, she fights back, and she runs out to her car and calls her mother screaming and crying," Pagano said.

Pagano said his investigation revealed that Diaz had a less than stellar record in the police department. According to Pagano, Diaz disobeyed orders, crashed a car, got into a fight with another female officer, and fraternized with drug dealers. 

On top of that, Pagano said, while she was out on disability leave from the police department because she had allegedly been traumatized, Diaz appeared in an episode of Bad Girls, a British TV show, where she was filmed naked in a hot tub kissing another woman. 

"She's a train wreck," Pagano said about Diaz. "I'm disappointed that I didn't get a chance to try this case."

Pagano said the lack of candor from the lead prosecutor in the case against his client amounts to a damning indictment of the D.A.'s office under Larry Krasner. 

"It shows that the D.A.s office is not out for justice in this case," Pagano said. "They're promoting their own political agenda, and that's wrong."


  1. Posted this on their Facebook page. Maybe they can learn from real journalism but somehow I doubt it.

  2. Wow! Another well - written example, as if we need any more, that the Stinkquirer has slanted the news for years. They only tell us what they want us to believe, indoctrinating minds, but as they lose their grip on reality, more and more, they become more blatant in their efforts to control - not report - the news. Yes, folks, those riots and terrorism last summer were 'unceasingly peaceful' Tell that to the store owners and shop keepers who lost millions. Torched police cars, NO, that's your imagination. The Inquirer will be out of business soon. Maybe the rumor is true, their boy George Soros will ride to their rescue and give this failing business a bailout.

  3. You would have to be out of your mind to support in any way the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER...what a travesty and what a betrayal to the principles of objectivity, impartiality and integrity in the field of journalism....but, as we witness over and over again in city departments, other than the PPD, when their is no oversight and accountability for one's conduct and decision-making, the arrogance, arbitrariness and duplicity shines bright as the sun. And that is exactly what is happening at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

  4. Ralph,

    Another fine piece.

    I'm proud to have been an Inquirer contributor (from 1999 to 2017), so I'm sorry to see a once great newspaper come to this.

    Thankfully, we have you to expose the Inquirer's bias.

    Keep up the great work.



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