Friday, July 3, 2020

Danielle Outlaw: Not On Vacation And Not Into Sound Bites

By Ralph Cipriano

Every few weeks, a new rumor sweeps through the Philadelphia Police Department about new Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

In May, one of the earliest rumors had Outlaw heading back to the West Coast, to take over as police chief in her native Oakland. Other rumors had an unhappy Outlaw negotiating a buyout, and packing her bags for other locales.

This week, the big rumor was that Outlaw was supposedly out of the office on a two-week vacation sandwiched around the July 4th holiday, when all days off for cops have been canceled for Saturday, because a fresh round of protests is expected in the birthplace of democracy. As a joke, somebody sent around a photo of a milk carton with the police commissioner's face on it, under the caption, "Missing. Have You Seen Me? If found, contact Philly Police."

"Bullshit rumors trying to undermine her," snapped Managing Director Brian Abernathy, when asked about the Outlaw on vacation rumor; he referred further comment to the police department.

But today, instead of having a department flack issue a statement, Outlaw decided to address the latest rumor personally. Not true about that vacation, she stated firmly in a phone interview today. "As you know there's rumors that just run amok" at the Philly P.D. But contrary to rumors, Outlaw said, "I'm here and I'll be working this weekend."

The Plot To Whack Columbus In The Dead Of Night

By Ralph Cipriano

On June 15th in Common Pleas Court, City Solicitor Marcel Pratt was trying to assure Judge Paula Patrick that his boss, trigger-happy Mayor Jim Kenney, had no plans to whack the Christopher Columbus statue in the dead of night. 

Even though just twelve days earlier, that's exactly what Boss Kenney had done to the Frank Rizzo statue. But George Bochetto, the lawyer for residents seeking to defend the Columbus statue, had already seen this act before.

"And we were told, Your Honor, in writing --- I have the letter from the managing director -- that they [the city] were going to go through the Art Commission," and not move the Rizzo statue, Bochetto told the judge. "And at 1:00 in the morning, without announcement, without notice, without any warning, that statue was removed. And we are definitely concerned that that's exactly what's going to happen here."

Bochetto was in court seeking an emergency injunction to protect the next target of Kenney's virulent hatred of public monuments to Italians, the Christopher Columbus statue. Bochetto told the judge that although he believed Pratt to be a "wonderful civil servant," "the mayor has certain agendas that may not be shared with Mr. Pratt. And I think that the people, given the Rizzo statue experience, are entitled to some kind of assurance that the mayor isn't going to just declare a public emergency in the middle of the night and remove that statue."

The judge agreed with Bochetto that it was time to take a stand against lawlessness and mob rule in Philadelphia, even if in this case this particular mob was being led by a bully named Jim Kenney.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Where's Big Frank? 'Crumb-Bum' Kenney Won't Say

By Ralph Cipriano

Since Mayor Jim Kenney ordered the toppling of the 9-foot-tall Frank Rizzo statue under cover of darkness on June 3rd, city officials have refused to divulge the condition or whereabouts of the 2,000 pound bronze monument to the Big Bambino.

So George Bochetto, a lawyer for the committee that commissioned the statue, filed an 11-page complaint in Common Pleas Court yesterday seeking an injunction to protect Big Frank against any further harm from an increasingly vindictive mayor and the city.

Bochetto went to court after a passerby snapped a photo of the still-bound statue that had been abandoned and "left in the back of an open flatbed truck," Bochetto wrote.

In his complaint, Bochetto said that his client, the Frank Rizzo Monument Committee, "is entitled to injunctive relief" to prevent Kenney and the city "from intentionally damaging or destroying the statue" through further abuse or neglect.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Lubrano Speaks Out About PSU Cover-Up, Lack Of Due Process

Anthony Lubrano, an outspoken Penn State trustee, opened up about the inner workings of that board during the so-called Penn State sex abuse scandal.

Lubrano did his talking on the latest episode of Search Warrant, a podcast hosted by three former cops, and joined by your humble Big Trial correspondent. 

During a two hour interview, Lubrano talked about the lack of due process at every stage of the scandal and the ongoing cover up that the board has engaged in until today. 

Lubrano, who left the board in 2018, when his term was up, but was reelected again and returns as a trustee today, also outlined some unfinished business that he wants to pursue -- a proposed resolution  to go to court and sue former FBI Director Louis Freeh, to recoup the $8.3 million that the university paid for a "fact-free report."

The entire two-hour podcast can be heard here.  But Lubrano wasn't done downloading on Penn State. Part II of the Lubrano interview can also be heard here.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Did Police Commissioner Taking A Knee Violate Dept. Policy?

The Philadelphia Inquirer/Charles Fox
By Ralph Cipriano

Outside City Hall earlier this month, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw knelt in solidarity with protesters angry about the murder of George Floyd in police custody.

"I'm here not only in solidarity, but in collaboration, in the spirit of partnership, in the spirit of fellowship," she told the protesters on June 6th, who hailed from nine black fraternities and sororities. "I appreciate the spirit of peace that you're bringing here, and the spirit of positivity and collaboration. We will get through this together."

To the protesters, it may have come across as a conciliatory stance, but in taking a knee, along with Deputy Commissioner Melvin Singleton,  Commissioner Outlaw appears to have violated the Philadelphia Police Department's written directives for handling demonstrations and labor disputes.

According to the Police Department's Policy Directive 8.3, Section E, "Police personnel of all ranks shall maintain complete neutrality and objectivity at all times." Section G further states, "Under no circumstances shall the department be made subservient to any group."

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Ten Tough Questions The Inky Would Never Ask Mayor Kenney

By Ralph Cipriano

A big problem in this town is that Mayor Jim Kenney, District Attorney Larry Krasner, and the reporters and editors at The Philadelphia Inquirer are all card-carrying Progressive Democrats who share the same values, think the same thoughts, and drink the same Kool-Aid.

And one of the first rules of being a Progressive "journalist" and social justice warrior is that you don't embarrass or hold accountable a public official who happens to be a fellow Progressive Democrat down with the cause.

So in that spirit, Big Trial, which is barred from attending Mayor Kenney's virtual press conferences, and is typically stiffed by the mayor's press office whenever it asks a question that the administration doesn't want to answer, is going to publicly post 10 tough questions for our mayor. 

These are questions that the Inquirer would never ask, and some of these questions Kenney's flacks so far have repeatedly refused to answer. But nevertheless these are 10 questions that demand answers.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Inside The Frank Fina Dirty Tricks Playbook

On the latest Search Warrant podcast, John Zimmerman, a former White House aide, gives some insights into the Frank Fina Dirty Tricks Playbook.

Zimmerman has seen Fina's act up close. In 2009, he was indicted and subsequently cleared by the state attorney general's office in the so-called Computergate scandal in Harrisburg. 

Zimmerman believes the indictment was issued to keep him from appearing as a witness in the case, and giving testimony that did not jibe with the attorney general's story line. When Fina got a chance to interview Zimmerman, his first question concerned the location of a so-called "sex room" in the state Capitol building.

"It seems like he was obsessed with sex," Zimmerman said. Zimmerman also sees some interesting parallels between Computergate and the so-called Penn State sex abuse scandal. The episode of the cop-hosted podcast can be heard here.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Big Trial On Chris Stigall's Radio Show

Ralph Cipriano was Chris Stigall's guest on 990 AM yesterday morning. The topics of discussion included
Philadelphia's two Progressive nightmares, District Attorney Larry Krasner and Mayor Jim Kenney.

Stigall wondered out loud why Krasner acts the way he does. The radio talk show host was also bewildered by Mayor Kenney's hostility to his South Philly neighbors.

A podcast of the two-hour show can be heard here. Stigall introduces Cipriano at the 31.21 minute mark.