Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Rookie Judge Says Joe Bologna Must Be Tried For Simple Assault

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

"Play it again," Judge Crystal Bryant-Powell said.

Five straight times, the prosecutor played the 36-second cell phone video that showed former Staff Inspector Joe Bologna striking Evan Gorski, then a 21-year-old protester, with a single blow from his foot-long extendable metal baton known as an ASP.

On June 1, 2020, Gorski was one of approximately, 1,500 protesters who were headed eastbound on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway toward Interstate 676. As the leader of the city police's vastly outnumbered bike patrol, Staff Inspector Bologna's assignment was to keep the protesters from posing an imminent danger to themselves and to motorists by illegally shutting down I-676 traffic during rush hour.

As the judge admitted, the scene on the Parkway that day last summer was "mayhem." Protesters were throwing rocks and frozen water bottles and spraying urine at the cops. When Gorski attempted to interfere with another cop who was attempting to arrest another protester, Bologna swung his baton at Gorski, striking a backpack on Gorksi's left shoulder. As Bologna pinned Gorski on the ground and placed him under arrest, a woman can be heard on the video repeatedly screaming "Fuck you" at Bologna.

The D.A. had claimed that Bologna's baton had struck Gorski in the head, causing a blow that required a dozen staples to close. But a slow-motion replay of the video clearly showed that Bologna's baton struck Gorski's backpack on his left shoulder. That's why in Municipal Court last January, Judge Henry Lewandowski threw out all the charges that cop-hating D.A. Larry Krasner had filed against Bologna.

But Krasner refiled the charges against Bologna. And so in Judge Bryant-Powell's courtroom today, the D.A. got lucky. As Bologna's wife and fellow cops watched in dismay, a rookie judge behaved as though she was a TV rules analyst at a football game. She did it by going under the hood and replaying the cell phone video of the protest a total of at least nine times in the courtroom, and many more times in chambers, before she finally emerged to give her expert analysis.

And when she got through, former staff Inspector Joe Bologna was being held over on $10,000 bail for a criminal trial scheduled next March 15th in Municipal Court.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Chuck Peruto: That Lying Coward Larry Krasner Won't Debate Me

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Chuck Peruto says that Larry Krasner refuses to debate him.

Why won't Krasner debate his Republican opponent before the Nov. 2nd election for D.A.?

"He's a coward," Peruto said. But in February, when he first got into the race, Peruto says, he predicted that Krasner wouldn't debate him one-on-one.

Why not? Because "I would slaughter him," Peruto said last week. "He [Krasner] needs to come down from his ivory tower and answer questions  that deal with public safety that the public has a right to know about."

It's a sad situation here in the cradle of democracy, where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by a nearly 7-1 margin, and general elections are as meaningless as the ones held in Putin's Russia.

On top of the lopsided voter registration problem, there's the issue of money. Krasner has raised $1.3 million in campaign cash, although the city's top law enforcement officer did it by trampling on  Philadelphia's campaign finance laws.

Peruto, another defense lawyer who wants to be D.A., says he has no money. And, he concedes, he has no chance of raising any before the election. 

After Carlos Vega got trounced by a 65% to 35% margin in the May 18th Democratic primary, Peruto says, the state and national Republican party have shown no interest in investing any money in a Peruto campaign for D.A. 

"They believe I'm a bad investment because I have no shot," Peruto said of his fellow Republicans. "They've abandoned Philadelphia." So, the candidate says, he's going to spend $80,000 of his own money on some last-minute campaign ads. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

When It Comes To Campaign Cash, Is Larry Krasner Above The Law?

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

For the past two years, the Real Justice PAC of San Francisco and the campaign committee for District Attorney Larry Krasner have teamed up to brazenly violate Philadelphia's campaign finance laws. 

Meanwhile, the city's Board of Ethics, which oversees the sanctity of local elections, has said and done nothing about it publicly.

The city has an annual limit of $12,600 on contributions that a political action committee can donate to a particular local candidate. But after Krasner won the May 18th Democratic primary for D.A., the Real Justice PAC bragged online about pouring $1.3 million into Krasner's reelection campaign. 

And when I asked J. Shane Creamer, the executive director of the city's Board of Ethics if he was going to do anything about it, he declined comment. 

That surprised Mark Zecca, a former senior attorney in the city's law department who has previously represented the city's Board of Ethics in litigation.

"I think he [Creamer] owes the public more than that," Zecca wrote in a email. "I don't understand why he [Creamer] can't say anything more than that."  

"The Board should report to the public on this," Zecca wrote. "Otherwise it gives the appearance that the D.A. is above the law."

Monday, August 23, 2021

D.A. & West Coast PAC Obliterate Philly's Campaign Finance Laws

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The city of Philadelphia used to have a limit on annual donations that a political action committee could make to a local candidate.

But not any more.

Thanks to the dark alliance between D.A. Larry Krasner and the Real Justice PAC of San Francisco, Philadelphia's local campaign finance laws apparently are no longer in effect. At present, there appears to be no legal limit on how much money a PAC can drop on a local election here in Philadelphia. 

Krasner, the city's top law enforcement officer, and the Real Justice PAC have a history of lawless behavior when it comes to local limits on campaign contributions. 

In 2019, the city’s Board of Ethics levied a total of $23,000 in fines and forfeitures against both the Real Justice PAC and Krasner's campaign committee. That's because when Krasner first got elected D.A. in 2017, Real Justice gave him donations over and above the city's legal limit for annual contributions from a PAC, a spending limit that in 2017 was $23,800.

But that didn't stop Krasner and Real Justice from continuing to thumb their noses at city campaign finance law. Last year, the city imposed an even lower limit on annual contributions from a PAC, as in $12,600. But that didn't stop the Real Justice PAC last year from pouring more than $100,000 into Krasner's reelection committee. 

Those contributions included $75,000 in cash; $29,450 in rent money for an office at 1221 Locust Street co-owned by Krasner that's currently in arrears on taxes to the tune of $44,131; and $10,375 in in-kind contributions for Krasner’s campaign staffers supplied by Real Justice. 

But that's nothing compared to what they did this year. Over the first five months of 2021, when the legal limit on annual PAC donations was still at $12,600, the Real Justice PAC pumped some $100,000 a month, or a total of nearly $500,000, into Krasner's campaign coffers before the May 18th Democratic primary for D.A. 

And nobody in Philadelphia did anything about it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

In Court, Christopher Columbus Triumphs Over 'Tyrant' Kenney

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick has just reversed a city order to evict the 20-foot-high marble statue of Christopher Columbus from South Philadelphia's Marconi Plaza.

In the process, the judge blasted the Kenney administration for lawless behavior. In a seven-page order, the judge pointed out seven errors of law committed by city officials. At the time, the servants of the woke Mayor Kenney were trying to give the more than 100 year-old statue the bum's rush for the sole benefit of political expediency, without engaging in any due process for removing a historical monument, as mandated under the City Charter.

But yesterday afternoon, Judge Patrick called Kenney and crew on it. 

"It is baffling to this court how the city of Philadelphia wants to remove the statue without any legal basis," Judge Patrick wrote in an order issued this afternoon. "The city's entire argument and case is devoid of any legal foundation."

Under the leadership of Mayor Kenney, who was pandering to social justice protesters, the city tried to justify its unlawful eviction of Columbus by saying the statue posed an imminent threat to public health and safety. The imminent threat?  Alleged "civil unrest" associated with last year's George Floyd protests.

But Judge Patrick found that the city was basing its witch hunt against Columbus on a few "transient and isolated incidents." In the city's legal arguments, the judge found that "no evidence of a history of civil unrest surrounding, and with respect to the statute existed, nor has any been present since June 23, 2020." 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Ten-Year-Old Sex Abuse Case Against Msgr. Lynn Headed For Retrial

Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

It's the case that won't die -- the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. William Lynn.

Why? Because a couple of corrupt Philadelphia D.A.s in a row, Rufus Seth Williams and Larry Krasner, love headlines.   

And when you're a corrupt D.A. seeking headlines, nothing plays better with the media than taking on the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of the sexual abuse of children. 

Even if the alleged abuse never really happened, as in the Commonwealth v. Lynn.

So last week in state Superior Court, the appeals court taking up the Lynn case for the fourth time in ten years ruled in favor of the defense, as they have in all four appeals. 

Specifically, the Superior Court upheld the trial court judge's decisions to limit the amount of Msgr. Lynn's prior voluminous prior court testimony that can be presented to the jury during a retrial. While the trial judge, Gwendolyn Bright, wanted to limit the testimony presented in court to the single case against Msgr. Lynn, the D.A.'s office was hellbent on putting the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on trial for covering up decades of sexual abuse of children by pedophile priests. 

It's a great idea, only a couple of decades too late. It would also help to have a credible victim of sex abuse to put on the witness stand, of which there are thousands. Instead of hanging your case, as former D.A. Williams did, on a lying, scheming altar boy dubbed Billy Doe who's a complete fraud.

Last week's ruling, however, clears the way for the case against Msgr. Lynn to be retried sometime later this year. It also sets up a showdown between a D.A.'s office that has shamelessly pressed forward with a corrupt prosecution, and Judge Bright, who for the record, isn't too happy with the D.A.'s office.

Friday, August 13, 2021

At D.A.'s Office, Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Today, beginning at 2:45 p.m. on the mezzanine level of the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, they'll be holding a little party, featuring "pizza and beverages" for departing Assistant District Attorney Patricia Cummings.

"As we wrap up another long week here at the DAO, I would like to invite you all to a small gathering to celebrate the work and wisdom of our very own, beloved, Patricia Cummings," ADA Dana Bazelon wrote in an email yesterday afternoon to a few select employees at the D.A.'s office. 

Cummings, as chief of Krasner's Conviction Integrity Unit, has been responsible for springing 26 convicted murderers and rapists out of jail that the D.A. arbitrarily decided had been falsely accused and convicted. Cummings, who had a reputation for being an "untouchable" in the D.A.'s office answerable only to Krasner, was also responsible for waging a secret war against police.

For the past four years, using complaint files and personnel records, Cummings has sought to discredit some 750 cops by putting them on a misconduct register, according to the Inquirer. Dozens of those cops also wound up on a "Do Not Testify" list. 

If a cop can't testify against a defendant, the defendant goes free. And that's a prospect that warms the heart of Krasner, the former ponytailed, radical defense lawyer who defended accused drug dealers, murderers and rabble rousers for 30 years while famously suing the police department 75 times.

This week, the D.A.'s war on cops spilled out in public when Krasner and Cummings went to Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and Municipal Court, seeking a contempt order against the Police Department, for not turning over personnel files and complaints regarding cops involved in a half-dozen ongoing criminal cases. 

At a 41-minute press conference, Krasner disclosed that his office has dropped some 4,000 subpoenas on the police department, which he claimed has routinely been stonewalling when it comes to handing over documents that they are constitutionally required to disclose.

"The only people being helped by the system are a small number of dirty cops," Krasner charged, with the soon-to-be-departed Cummings at his side.

Monday, August 9, 2021

How D.A. Set Up Cop To Be Sued By Man Who Tried to Kill Him

Illustration: Philadelphia Weekly
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

On the night of Jan. 13, 2018, Officer Timothy Stephan of the Philadelphia Highway Patrol saw a car with Jersey plates going the wrong way down a one-way street in Kensington.

Stephan and his partner, Officer Anthony Mooney, pulled the car over on Kensington Avenue under the El. When Stephan searched Stefon Crawley, a 22 year-old passenger inside the vehicle, he felt a Glock in Crawley's waistband that was loaded with an extended foot-long magazine. 

"Gun," Stephan yelled to his partner.  The officer who drew his own gun, tried to retrieve the Glock while restraining Crawley, to prevent him from getting out of the car. But while Crawley was fighting back, he looked the officer in the eyes and told him three times, "You're gonna have to fucking kill me." Then, while he was trying to pull his own gun out of his waistband, Crawley overpowered the officer, and grabbed the officer's gun.

While the two men struggled over control of the officer's gun, Officer Stephan fired a single shot that struck Crawley in the left leg. The wounded man bolted out of the car but fell down on the ground, while Officer Stephan ripped Crawley's gun away from him. Next, Crawley got up and tried to run away. But Officer Jason Reid showed up. Believing Crawley was still armed, and worried that the one gunshot he just heard might have struck Officer Stephan, Reid opened fire, shooting the fleeing suspect four more times. 

Crawley was a gang member with a rap sheet on parole for armed robbery who was not supposed to leave the state of New Jersey; the gun he left behind turned out to be stolen. Crawley was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, plus three weapons charges. An internal investigation conducted by the Philadelphia Police Department's Officer Involved Shooting Investigation [OISI] Unit cleared Stephan after Crawley's DNA was found on Stephan's gun.

But this being Philadelphia, what happened next amounted to perverted justice emanating from the office of District Attorney Larry Krasner. When the D.A. refused to clear Officer Stephan, he was unable to testify at Crawley's criminal trial. The D.A.'s office subsequently dropped all charges against Crawley.

Next, Crawley, represented by Greenblatt, Pierce, Funt And Flores, LLC, the law firm that Krasner was formerly a member of, sued Officers Stephan and Reid in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court for damages.

What Crawley and his lawyers were seeking was a pay day. And according to a new federal lawsuit filed by a veteran police detective, instead of seeking justice for Officer Stephan, the D.A.'s office under Larry Krasner manipulated the criminal justice system to aid Crawley's civil claim against the cops.