Tuesday, January 25, 2022

'Woke' Mayor Kenney Loses Another Battle To Christopher Columbus

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

It's not news to the woke Philadelphia Inquirer, but last week a Common Pleas Court judge ripped Mayor Jim Kenney one more time for "singlehandedly" taking the law into his own hands in his failed attempt to evict the 20-foot high marble statue of Christopher Columbus from South Philadelphia's Marconi Plaza.

During the George Floyd riots of 2020, Kenney had issued an emergency executive order that called for the immediate removal of the more than 140 year-old statue in the dead of night, allegedly because the inanimate object supposedly posed an imminent threat to the public health and safety.  

But last August, Judge Paula Patrick reversed Kenney's "baffling" emergency order by stating that "the city's entire argument and case is devoid of any legal foundation." The city appealed that ruling, but in a 28-page opinion issued last Thursday, Judge Patrick ruled against the mayor and the city one more time.

According to Judge Patrick, the city was guilty of "clear violations" of the city's Home Rule Charter as well as the city's Managing Director's Directive 67 that specifies a long but orderly process for removing historic art from the public square.

That directive calls for consulting the Public Art Director, the Chief Culture Officer, the Department of Public Property [or the Department of Parks and Recreation], and the Public Art Advisory Board. The directive also calls for allowing public input, and requires the city to notify the original artist and donor, which would have been the Italian government that donated the statue to the city during Philadelphia's centennial celebration of 1876. 

But in Kenney's mad rush to take out Columbus, the city "failed to meet several of the requirements contained in the directive," Judge Patrick wrote. "The record shows that the process of approving removal was extremely rushed, and not in compliance with multiple provisions of the directive."

And who was responsible for breaking the law? According to Judge Patrick, at every turn, it was Mayor Kenney: "The record shows that the entire removal process was initiated and controlled by the Philadelphia mayor starting in June of 2020," the judge wrote. 

Is our mayor chastised in any way? Nope. A spokesperson for the mayor, Kevin Lessard, said the city has already appealed the case to state Commonwealth Court. Meanwhile, the Inquirer, Kenney's official partners in all woke political crusades, has responded to Kenney's most recent defeat in the courts by pretending that it didn't happen. 

In her opinion, the judge took pains to say that the case she was ruling on "has nothing to do with the legacy of Christopher Columbus as a person, or any of the historical connotations that might be attributed to him."

Instead, the judge wrote, "this case solely concerns whether there was adequate evidence to support the decision of the Philadelphia Board of License and Inspection Review and whether there was sufficient evidence of compliance with applicable laws relating to the removal of public art" as specified in the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, and the city managing director's Directive 67.

The judge's only concern, she stated, was "to make sure that the law and orderly process is followed."

There was nothing lawful and orderly about the city's emergency plans for Marconi Plaza. It was more like a lynch mob.

The original plot to topple the Columbus statue in the dead of night was outlined in a June 14, 2020 conference call during an emergency hearing held before Common Pleas Court Judge Marlene Lachman.

Fran Kane, the business agent for Iron Workers Local 405, told the judge that he got a tip from an anonymous city employee that the Columbus statue, which weighs several tons and was extremely fragile, was "going to be taken down by a non-union rigging outfit" some time between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. the next morning.

The statue's defenders had every reason to take the threat seriously. Just 20 days earlier, city workers had taken down the Frank Rizzo statue in the middle of the night, but in the process, they botched the job, by dropping the nine-foot-high 2,000-pound bronze statue and severely damaging it. 

At a June 15, 2020 hearing the city solicitor testified that when it came to Columbus, it was "wholly the mayor's office who would be spearheading and initiating the removal process through an emergency executive power."

"So the mayor has the authority in the event that there is an emergency to remove a piece of public property," the solicitor claimed. "So the statue belongs to the city, it's city property, and if there is a period of unrest or the mayor needs to protect public safety, the mayor can remove it."

Regarding the city's Managing Director's Directive 67, the city solicitor told the judge that "this same directive is not binding law," and that the  emergency powers granted to the mayor allowed him to "disregard the directive or the Philadelphia code."

Directive 67 also calls for 90 days of public input, Judge Patrick noted, which didn't happen. Directive 67 also requires the city's Public Art Director to oversee an approved plan that calls for removal of the artwork by "sculpture conservation professionals, qualified riggers."

"No such approval or assessment was ever given or received from the city of Philadelphia's chief culture officer in compliance with the parameters of the directive," the judge wrote. "Instead, the record shows that the entire removal process was initiated and controlled by the Philadelphia mayor starting in June of 2020."

"The record is also devoid of any efforts by [the city] to properly contact either the donors, the artist or any relevant representatives as required by the directive," the judge wrote. 

The city "very clearly failed to comply with multiple provisions of the directive," the judge wrote. "It was error and clearly arbitrary action for the Board and the PHC [Philadelphia Historical Commission] to approve removal in the absence of compliance," the judge wrote.

In her opinion, Judge Patrick wrote that Margot Berg, the city's public arts director, claimed that the statue posed an imminent threat to the public safety, but had no facts to back up her position.

"Notably despite the 'extensive threats' to public safety testified to by Ms. Berg, [the city] did not present any first hand testimony to either the PHC or the board from police officers, emergency responders, other security personnel or anyone that was present during the occurrence to any alleged disturbances around the statue," the judge wrote. 

"Berg only presented information and evidence obtained from second-hand sources," the judge wrote. Berg never indicated that she "possessed any specific personal or specialized knowledge of the events and unrest that occurred around the statute."

"She also didn't disclose what methods or machinery would be used for the removal process or what precautionary measures would be taken to prevent damage, and harm to statue," the judge wrote.

The judge didn't buy the mayor's claim that the statue posed an imminent threat to the public safety.

Since the George Floyd riots of 2020, the judge wrote, "There has not been one single act of violence, protest or period of public disorder in the area immediately surrounding the statue," which, due to the city's orders, remains enclosed in a plywood box. 

As far as the judge was concerned, the mayor's decision to whack Columbus had nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with woke politics.

"In fact, based on a review of the record it appears that the City of Philadelphia Mayor singlehandedly acted upon such evidence to remove the statue based upon uncorroborated claims regarding negative historical connotations associated with Christopher Columbus rather than because of any properly presented public safety issues," the judge wrote.

Judge Patrick concluded the city's decision to approve the removal of the statue was "based on temporary and transitory events of disorder" and "clearly constituted arbitrary action" by the city. "Accordingly, the judge wrote, [the city's] claims should be dismissed."

After whacking the Rizzo statue and attempting but failing to take out Columbus, a vindictive Mayor Kenney then decided to eliminate Columbus Day as a city holiday, and replace it with Indigenous Peoples' Day, as well as declare a new woke holiday of Juneteenth. 

“The reality is that Philadelphia, this country, and the world are still in the midst of a deep reckoning with regards to the legacy of systemic racism and oppression,” the enlightened Mayor Kenney lectured all of us.

“We respect those who feel these statues are part of history and/or their culture," the mayor continued to pontificate from his pulpit. "However, acknowledging someone’s role in history does not mean we need to celebrate them or give them a venerated position in our public spaces, where all Philadelphians and visitors must be exposed to them and the pain that comes with it.”

The Inquirer was all on board with Kenney's woke sermon and righteous crusade against Italian-American statues and the Columbus holiday.

"Dozens of cities across the country have changed the holiday’s official name to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, citing Columbus’ racist views and the genocide against Native Americans," the Inquirer lectured in a headline over an alleged news story about a legal challenge to the mayor's actions. 

Then, the Inquirer's columnists of color took over.

"The Columbus Day holiday is based on a lie. Yet, some people don’t want to let it go," was the Inquirer's headline over a Jenice Armstrong column. 

The subhead: "Columbus Day is no longer an official city holiday. The sooner people accept that, the better."

Ok, then. Oh how authoritarian the enlightened can be. 

In her column, Armstrong declared that she was "pleased" with the mayor's decision to dump Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples' Day.

"When you know better you do better," a smug Armstrong wrote about the woke mayor. 

Not to be undone, Inquirer columnist Helen Ubinas dismissed Columbus as a "poor genocidal colonizer" and she described the toppled Rizzo statue as the "city's perennial racist lighting rod."

Yes, on this crusade, the mayor and the city's paper of record were in intellectual lockstep because of their shared sense of moral superiority. 

As in, "When you know better you do better."

But when a judge found that the mayor's woke crusade to whack Columbus was in repeated violation of city law, the Inquirer's official response was to ignore it.

It's just not news that instead of acting as the duly elected mayor of a city of more than 1.5 million people of all races and ethnicities, the Inky's beloved woke Mayor Kenney decided to take the law into his own hands and act like a vindictive banana republic dictator.

This is how it goes in the progressive utopia of Philadelphia under Mayor Kenney, Police Commissioner Outlaw and D.A. Krasner.

Where the paper of record, instead of holding public officials accountable, mindlessly supports its progressive heroes.

Murderers are on all-time rampage; so are armed and dangerous carjackers. 

Criminals arrested with guns routinely go free or are let off with lenient sentences. 

Rioters, looters and anarchists who assault cops routinely get the charges dropped against them.

Cops, more than 50 of whom have been arrested by the D.A., are afraid to do their jobs and stick their necks out. That's because they know they'll be stabbed in the back and hung out to dry by Outlaw and Kenney, at the same time they're being indicted by cop-hating Krasner.

The result --- the destruction of the criminal justice system and complete lawlessness.

But in our progressive utopia, there's one thing we can all feel good about.

And that is that the dangerous Columbus statue remains trapped in a plywood box. So that no one can possibly be hurt just by looking at it.


  1. Krasner released all of the prisoners arrested by the police and accused two police officers of assaulting people. Mayor wanted to destroy the Columbus statute like he did Rizzo statute. Outlaw emasculated police officers from responding against an aggressive crowd with gunfire which would have been justified to protect officers. Left unsaid was the extreme coolest of police officers who saved the lives of hundreds by holding their fire

    1. And Kenney lied about gassing peaceful protesters.
      He is hiding it all.
      The city wont release the tapes or other evidence of that day.
      Outlaw haughtily refuses to report to Internal Investigations to tell what she knows.
      All that nail polish has affected her brian.

    2. Poor, underserved communities of color, who are dying by murder by the hundreds, wish Kenney would act with such force to thwart the murder, crimes, car jackings, rapes, assaults and other horrific crimes which afflict the community.

      But no.

      Such efforts would call attention to Kenney et al gross incompetence and willful neglect.

      Kenney, with help from the Inquirer, wishes to hide it all, cover it it up, like Lenfest did to the victims of child sex abuse while he was Pope of the Curtis Institute of Music.

    3. "So the mayor has the authority in the event that there is an emergency to remove a piece of public property," the solicitor claimed. "

      Yet, surprisingly, all of the dead Blacks do not an emergency make.

      The priorities in this town are crazy.

      Kenney DOES have the power to ask the Gov to bring in the National Guard to stem the death rate, but Kenney chooses to do little.

  2. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Kenney tries to remove the Rocky statue at the Art Museum and replace it with one of Apollo Creed to further pander to his voting base.

    1. I wouldn't be surprised if Kenney erected a statue of himself.

  3. Jim Kenney has moved on from Catholic-bashing and Columbus issues.
    He's moved on targeting Jews.

    Kenney was righteously "slapped up" by the Supreme Court for his attempt to impose his will on Catholic Social Services. All SCOTUS justices ruled against Kenney. He is the shame and the embarrassment of the city.

    Local judge "slapped up" Jim Kenney on Columbus, stating that he violated the city charter. Did Kenney ever eve read the Charter?

    Now, on to the Jews. I, Albert, warned you all. No you see how Albert is 100% correct:

    Philadelphia mayor, criticized for hosting pro-Palestinian rally, addresses event to counter antisemitism

    A day after hosting a rally that marked the United Nations’ day of solidarity with Palestinians, an event at which organizers called for Palestinians’ right of return to Israel, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney defended his participation in the event and, in an address to Jewish leaders, called out hate generally.

    “When we see any form of hate or discrimination we must speak out and condemn it,” the mayor said. (All this while Kenney incites racial unrest and anti-Catholic and anti-American Italian sentiment.)

    “It is up to us not to repeat the mistakes of the past,” he added. (Kenney is innovative! Making new mistakes, to promote himself shamelessly.)

    Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney at a ‘Shine a light on antisemitism’ event marking the holiday of Hanukkah at the Municipal Building on Nov. 30, 2021

    Kenney didn’t mention antisemitism in his one-minute speech, nor did he express support for Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

  4. Not to be undone, Inquirer columnist Helen Ubinas dismissed Columbus as a "poor genocidal colonizer"

    The Israel next....wait and see. Albert is 100% correct.

  5. Hey Jimmy! Did u disclose all those times u watched Eagles games from the Novacare box all those years??? Drinking and eating for free? Huh????? Eagles jersey tucked into your jeans!

    1. That's nothing. Kenney helped hide the massive fraud at the Visit Philly Tourist Bureau to protect socialite Meryl Levitz and the fast fingered Joyce Leavitt. But that was a few years ago. I doubt he would help these two now, knowing what we know now.

  6. The 2nd Streeter, Irish Kenney, Hates Italians !

    1. Yes! And Catholics. Most recently, he's testing Jew-hate.
      See how that trends. Such whimsy.

  7. What's wholly objectionable and immoral is that Kenney and others like him, have developed a persecution complex, and he and they will take the slings an arrows while crying like the saints they have deluded themselves to be.

    Kenney is the poster boy of white privilege's with no accountability and while HE incurs no cost or pain, he amply visits it on oythers.

    1. IMHO - white 'privilege' is just another myth concocted by institutional welfare recipients

  8. Ralph, when will Bookmakers post the Odds on which of Your Favorite Law Firms, Beasley or Bochetto, will represent Members of Penn's Women Swim Team who have suffered by Penn's Policy and Egregious Decision to allow Lia Thomas, a penis waving transgender fraud, to unfairly compete and leave Women Athletes in a putrid wake.

  9. All three of them must go Kenny krasner and Outlaw are three freaking loser and have destroyed our City!!! But I live here for 64 Year's now I'm leaving!!! They made our City and destroyed it!!!; Mayor Nutter was 100% great compared to all three of you!!! How dare you take our taxes and pay $350,000 a year for you to be protected around the clock!!! Mayor Nutter only had one guy during the day he wasn't afraid of nothing!!!; You all should be afraid??? Because you are cheaters and liars and you are not doing your job!!! You're never out there you never on the Streets, you never go to anybody's home and give anybody sympathy for the lives that have been lost because of you!!! But you know you are a disgrace and you'll have to pay your karma because you know you have done nothing and have no sympathy but to make money!!! Shame on you you destroyed Philadelphia

    1. Well said and from the heart. We feel your pain.

  10. Here's another sad Philadelphia tale and it involves the inner-city punks who have apparently 'graduated' from hub cap theft to carjackings and murder. https://www.yahoo.com/news/philadelphia-mayor-says-residents-apos-000154279.html

    As noted, Mayor Kenney finally blurted out that 'residents SHOULD be concerned about their safety because there are too many guns. Kenney tried to sidestep the real issue. It's not so much the guns that are the problem …….. its the thugs who are using them - - - with apparent impunity.

    Kenney opined that "I wouldn’t hide in the basement, but I would be concerned about my surroundings. Be concerned about, in a car, what’s around me. It’s what you do in the city." What?? What??

    In the same article, Kenney touted the arrest of an individual named Jonathan Abuku (long rap sheet) who is alleged to have killed two Philadelphia residents while carjacking them and seriously wounded another. He may be linked to a carjacking network.

    On February 8th, the Inky quoted Captain Matt Gillespie who said that a group of two to four armed young black men have been targeting Toyota RAV4s and Highlanders. Of the nine armed carjackings in the district since mid-December, six have targeted RAV4s or Highlanders, but the police claimed they didn't understand why at the time.

    An officer from Captain Gillespie’s detail just told me that high end carjacked vehicles are most likely being transported out of the country and sold elsewhere.

    So, ask yourselves this question: ‘Is it safe to come to Philadelphia bundled up in your scarves and mittens to enjoy all that the City of Brotherly Love has to offer?”

    Maybe…...but only of you drive a Sherman tank and / or have the same level of police protection as Krasner, Kenney or Outlaw.


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