Bower Recuses in Fairgate Matter

Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2018 by Pezzonovante in Labels: , , ,
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In a November 14 blog post from Fayette County Commissioner/Fayette County Election Board and Voter Registration Commission Chair Angela M. Zimmerlink, we learn that Fayette County District Attorney Richard E. Bower has recused himself and his office from the investigation (and prosecution, if any) of the Fairgate matter.

Readers of this space will recall that a Right-To-Know law request was made to Fayette County Chief Clerk and Open Records Officer Amy Revak for any record documenting the recusal/transmittal of the Fairgate matter to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

Presently, while this writer is yet to receive a response to the RTK request, the responsive document has been posted by Zimmerlink.

Specifically, DA Bower referred the matter to Jennifer Selber, Executive Deputy Attorney General, Criminal Division, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

Notes:


  • It took 44 calendar days from the September 26 letter from the Voter Registration Commission to the November 9 recusal letter for the district attorney to forward the matter in a three-paragraph letter to the PA-OAG.
  • If the district attorney recused in this matter, why did he not recuse himself here?
  • Why has the PA-OAG -- including EDAG Jennifer Selber, FDAG Michelle A. Henry, and AG Josh Shapiro -- stonewalled an investigation into alleged election fraud and perjuries, into the non-investigation of same, and into the sealed Fifth Presentment of Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2 since 06/14/2018?
  • If the PA-OAG can investigate Fairgate, it can also fulfill its duty to investigate the matters in bullet point three.  It should have fulfilled this duty long ago.


Sealed Fifth Presentment Reaches 47 Months

Posted: Monday, November 12, 2018 by Pezzonovante in Labels: ,
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Today, 11/12/2018, marks the 47-month anniversary of the Order by Presiding Judge Steve P. Leskinen to accept and to seal the Fifth Presentment issued by Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2.


Since 12/12/2014, for 47 months, or for three years and eleven months, or for an unheard of 1,431 days, the Fifth Presentment has remained sealed, and curiously, astute readers will note, the Unified Judicial System database lists the grand jury docket as active, not closed, although jurors were dismissed 47 months ago!  

Investigating grand jury presentments are normally not sealed.  A sealed presentment usually means the target’s whereabouts is not known or a subject has yet to be apprehended. Moreover, the investigating grand jury statute contains language that logically contemplates the eventual unsealing of a sealed presentment.

See:
42 Pa.C.S.A. § 4551:   Title 42 § 4551(b)   Sealed presentment.--The supervising judge to whom a presentment is submitted may, on his own motion or at the request of the Commonwealth, direct that the presentment be kept secret until the defendant is in custody or has been released pending trial. In directing that the presentment be kept secret, the supervising judge shall enter an order requiring that the presentment be sealed and that no person shall disclose a return of the presentment except when necessary for issuance and execution of process.  [Emphasis added.]

The reason why the length of time we are dealing with on the Fifth Presentment is so unusual is because, in law, there exist time limitations by which time criminal charges must be brought, or the person alleged to have committed a crime cannot be charged.

As Fayette Countians paid for the costs of the county investigating grand jury, we have every right to know why the Fifth Presentment has remained sealed for so long a period of time.


There is no doubt that 1,431 days of secrecy is long enough.

The sealed Fifth Presentment was incorporated into the Official Complaint filed by this writer with the Fayette County Election Bureau on September 10, 2018.  It is the mandatory duty of the Fayette County Election Board to investigate the complaint and, thus, the sealed Fifth Presentment.

Fayette County has become Ground Zero on whether we have the rule of law, or the rule of men.  It's high time to restore the rule of law and to punish any criminal corruption, if revealed.  The mandatory investigation is long overdue.  

This space can think of no better way to celebrate on this calendar day on which Veterans Day is recognized than to champion the rule of law and equal justice under it. 



Truth Triumphs in 51st Legislative District Race

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 by Pezzonovante in
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Rep. Matthew Dowling triumphed in his re-election bid over ex-State Rep. Timothy S. Mahoney.

In unofficial results with 78 or 78 Fayette County precincts reporting, in the 51st Legislative District:

Dowling -- 7,947, or 51.20%
Mahoney --7,576, or 48.80%

In unofficial results from Somerset County, with 11 of 11 precincts reporting, in the 51st Legislative District:

Dowling  -- 2,813, or 72.46%
Mahoney -- 1,065, or 27.43%

Total:

Dowling -- 10,760, or 55.46%
Mahoney --  8,641, or 44.54%

Margin:        2,119

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Fayette County Chief Clerk and Open Records Officer Amy Revak today requested a 30-day extension on the Right-To-Know law records request made by this writer on 10/30/2018.

The records request seeks any record which documents the recusal of Fayette County District Attorney Richard E. Bower from the Voter Registration Commission referral (i.e., alleged violations of the Voter Registration Act in the matter popularly referred to as Fairgate) made to his office by unanimous vote of the commission on September 10, 2018.  The records request also seeks any record documenting the transmittal of the referral from the Fayette County Office of District Attorney to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General for investigation.

Although the Right-To-Know law spells out a procedure for an extension request wherein a determination under which one of seven items an extension may be requested is made by the open records officer, and where the officer provides notice of that determination to the requester, and where the officer provides a reasonable date by which time the requested record will be provided, Revak's e-mail merely made a request for a 30-day extension.

Therefore, a follow-up e-mail pointing to the law and asking Revak to provide this information was sent this afternoon.

What is astonishing is that a record was not provided within the five-day time frame for a response.  Ms. Revak and DA Bower work in the same building.  The recusal/transmittal records would be very brief records which likely are no longer than one or two pages in length -- if the records even exist at the present time.

And that's the rub, isn't it?

Why hasn't a district attorney (prone to holding press conferences) held a press conference to publicly announce the referral of this important voter registration matter to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General?

This space is on record for calling for DA Bower's immediate, public, and swift recusal in the matter in the interest of impartial justice and laying out the reasons why.

See:  Fayette Searchlight Calls For DA Bower's Immediate Recusal from VRC Referral


The Republican complaint referred to DA Bower's office for investigation alleges violations of of the Voter Registration Act under 25 C.S.A. § 1711(a)(3).


25 C.S.A. § 1711(a)(3)
(a) Prohibition.--No person may do any of the following:
(3) Intentionally give or promise or offer to give money or goods to an individual as an inducement for the individual to enroll in a particular party or for a registrant to change political enrollment.

The Republican complaint contained an exhibit with photographic evidence that the Democrat booth at the Fayette County Fair had a sign offering inducements to registrants to either register Democrat or to change party affiliation.  At the top, the inducement sign reads, "REGISTER HERE TO VOTE AND WIN!"  At the bottom, the inducement sign reads, "must register democrat or change your party to democrat."

Other photographs also surfaced.  Among those pictured with the inducement signs at the Democrat fair booth are Fayette County Commissioner Vincent Vicites, write-in Democrat Nominee for the 32nd Senatorial District Pamela Gerard, Democrat Nominee for the 52nd Legislative District Ethan Keedy, and Democrat Nominee for the 51st Legislative District Timothy S. Mahoney.

In Mahoney and Rattay Become Central Figures in Fairgate Allegations/VRC Referral, we saw where Fayette County Democrat Party Chairman George Rattay invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination numerous times at the September 10 hearing, and we saw where current 51st Legislative District Democrat Nominee Timothy S. Mahoney testified that a stay at a condo he owns was one of the prizes on offer on the pre-printed inducement signs which hung at the Democrat's Fayette County Fair booth and which read "REGISTER HERE TO VOTE AND WIN!" and "must register democrat or change your party to democrat."

Recently Julietoye.com shed light on DA Bower's non-recusal/non-referral status in "Why no referral to AG yet in Fairgate matters?".  

As a whole host of prominent Democrats, including executive committee members and candidates, are implicated in alleged violations of the Voter Registration Act, it is a travesty that Fayette Countians will have to wait until after today's election to find out whether DA Bower has recused himself and whether he has referred the matter to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General for investigation.





Mahoney's Innuendo and Drivel

Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 by Pezzonovante in Labels: ,
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From the article, "Attorneys for 51st District candidates to file motions over false statement allegations," Herald-Standard, Nov. 2, 2018, we find these little gems.
Turturice said other than being a paid consultant for a short time, Dowling has never been involved with the transactions of the business in terms of making contracts, paying bills, writing checks or depositing money.

But Davis contended Thursday that bankruptcy filings for the funeral home list Dowling as the funeral home’s chief operating officer.

“He likes you to think he was just a hand-shaker,” Davis said of Dowling.

Let's hone in on the unquoted statement written by Mark Hoffman and ascribed to Mahoney attorney James T. Davis (above in bold).

"But Davis contended Thursday that bankruptcy filings for the funeral home list Dowling as the funeral home's chief operating officer."

This is a true statement.  However, this is not a truth statement.

Analysis:  As an attorney, James T. Davis can contend all he likes for his client, however, his contentions do not necessarily equate to blanket truth.  If Dowling were listed in the bankruptcy filing (i.e., not filings plural) as the funeral home's chief operating officer, then questions about whether Dowling knew about alleged criminal fraud at the Kezmarsky Funeral Home would be valid questions, and Davis would not have to contend about anything at all (now would he?) as it pertained to Dowling's role at the funeral home.

However, as addressed by Dowling's attorney above and by Dowling here, this question has already been answered by Dowling.  The extent to which bankruptcy filings (plural) list Dowling as the funeral home's chief operating officer ends at Dowling's proposed business plan.

In the event the business proposal and the bid by investors to take over the business were successful, Dowling would have been running funeral home operations.

If the H-S reporter were doing his job, his follow-up question to Davis would have been "Which filing or filings, specifically, list Matthew Dowling as chief operating officer of the Kezmarsky Funeral Home?"

That this question was not asked demonstrates journalistic malpractice.

""He likes you to think he was just a hand-shaker," Davis said of Dowling."

Davis' statement here can be reversed.  Mahoney and his attorney James T. Davis like you to think Dowling was more than just a hand-shaker.  For his campaign's part, Mahoney likes the electorate to think Dowling was involved in or knew about the alleged fraud. 

In his interview on WMBS on Thursday with Phil Michael in a paid political ad, Mahoney disgracefully yammered on about Dowling listed as a chief operating officer for the funeral home -- a property Mahoney admitted on-air that he had designs on purchasing -- and how Dowling had better be concerned about the DA.  

This innuendo and drivel is from a man alleged to have committed election frauds and multiple perjuries in the most brazen case of alleged election fraud ever perpetrated against the electorate of Fayette County -- which DA Heneks and DA Bower refused/refuse to investigate, though they were/are mandated by law to do so, and though Mahoney is yet subject to investigation and prosecution for his alleged crimes. 








Mahoney's Rabidly Poor Judgment

Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2018 by Pezzonovante in Labels:
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One day prior to the Masontown shooting incident, on 09/18/2018, the preliminary hearing for Edward Harris scheduled before Magisterial District Judge Daniel C. Shimshock was continued for the seventh time.  A preliminary hearing is now scheduled for 11/19/2018 before Magisterial District Judge Nathan A. Henning.


Harris is charged with 23 felony counts of owning/possessing animal for fighting, 23 misdemeanor counts of possession of animal fighting paraphernalia, and 23 summary counts of cruelty to animals.

In June 2007, Harris was apprehended after fleeing police and leading them on a high-speed chase after shooting at two people in a vehicle with a .45-caliber Glock in Uniontown's East End (while being a convicted felon in illegal possession of a firearm). 

See:  Fayette man indicted on firearm charges February 26, 2008 (As confirmed by highbeam.com, the date for the article is wrong on the triblive.com link.  This error probably stems from the changeover from the pittsburghlive.com to the triblive.com domain.)

Infamously, Harris gained even more notoriety when then-State Rep. Timothy S. Mahoney testified for him as a defendant witness seeking his release on 02/28/2008.

Mahoney carried with him to federal court letters of support written on official letterhead by Uniontown Mayor Edward R. Fike, then-Fayette County Commissioner Vincent Zapotosky, and South Union Township Supervisor Robert Shiffbauer.

See the letters here.





See also:  Fayette officials defend support for felon facing new charge Saturday, July 19, 2008, with its most powerful excerpt.

U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond last month denied bail for Harris, ruling that there was "no condition or combination of conditions that will assure the safety of others or the community" if he were released.


See also:  What Were They Thinking? Saturday, July 26, 2008


In this excellent report by Tribune-Review reporter Liz Zemba -- s
ee: Pleas for leniency don't help Uniontown man in weapon case Friday, March 19, 2010 -- we learn in the sentencing hearing that Harris' defense attorney compared Harris to George Bailey -- actor Jimmy Stewart's beloved character in Frank Capra's 1946 Christmas classic "It's A Wonderful Life."


However, what Zemba's story did not include was a link to the sentencing memorandum where Harris' defense attorney made this claim.  Appended to the sentencing memorandum was a host of character witness letters.  In addition to the aforementioned letters written by public officials on official letterhead, there were letters written by clergy, heart-rending letters written by Harris' daughters, and letters written by a coterie of Mahoney-affiliated individuals.

Thus, in the warped worldview of Mahoney's "proven leadership," Edward Harris equals George Bailey.


For those of us with a more realistic worldview, more recently, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Edward Harris was indicted by a grand jury on federal firearms charges on March 29, 2017.


"Edward Harris, age 58, a resident of Uniontown, Pennsylvania was indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on March 29, 2017, and charged with possessing:
·         an UZI submachine gun with a partially obliterated serial number;
·         a magazine with thirty-one (31) Winchester 9mm cartridges;
·         fifty (50) PMC 9mm caliber full metal jacket ammunition;
·         forty-four (44) .38 caliber ammunition and
·         thirty-two (32) Winchester 9mm cartridges.

Chief Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab arraigned Harris on April 4, 2017, and determined he should be detained pending trial. The Honorable John E. Jones, III will preside over Harris’ case, and he has scheduled jury selection and trial for June 5, 2017."

The updated criminal docket sheet for USA v. Harris shows multiple continuances.  Absent a plea agreement, trial will commence with jury selection on 01/08/2019 with the Honorable United States District Judge John E. Jones, III presiding.

In light of the local dog fighting and federal firearms charges Edward Harris now faces, Mahoney's "proven leadership" of using the power of his office back in 2008 to do a favor for his childhood friend and former employee (who, Mahoney assured the community, had turned over a new leaf) has been revealed to be nothing more than rabidly poor judgment and an endangerment to the community.

In a Thursday, November 1, 2018 paid political ad in interview format on WMBS, Mahoney was asked by interviewer Phil Michael whether he was ashamed of his support for Harris and whether he would do it again.

Mahoney replied that he was not ashamed of anything he had done while in office, that he would do it again, and that he could not be held responsible if a person he helped re-offended.  

Left unsaid by Mahoney was that he bears tremendous responsibility because he used the power of his political office and the political offices of others to support the release and leniency in sentencing of a violent, convicted drug dealer illegally in possession of a firearm who shot at two people with a .45-caliber Glock in Uniontown's East End, who is currently up on local animal-fighting charges, and who has re-offended and has been indicted by federal authorities in the Department of Justice's "Operation Gun Grabber" for being in illegal possession of ammunition and an UZI submachine gun with a partially obliterated serial number.

Electors beware!  


On November 6, Mahoney's rabidly poor judgment could come back to bite you.







Official Right-To-Know Law Request Seeks Recusal/Transmittal Record

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 by Pezzonovante in
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Yesterday, 10/30/2018, a Right-To-Know law request was made to Fayette County Open Records Officer Amy Revak for any record documenting the recusal of Fayette County District Attorney Richard E. Bower in the referral made by the unanimous vote of the Fayette County Voter Registration Commission on September 10, 2018.  The records request also seeks any record documenting the transmittal of the referral to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General for investigation.

Here reproduced is a copy of the RTK request:

Attn. Amy Revak,
Fayette County Chief Clerk and Open Records Officer

Pursuant to the Right-To-Know Law (Act of Feb. 14, 2008 No. 3, P.L. 6 and 65 P.S. §§67.101  et seq.), I am making a records request for any record documenting the recusal of Fayette County District Attorney Richard E. Bower and/or the transmission/referral of the September 10, 2018 referral made by the Fayette County Voter Registration Commission by DA Bower to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

The record was referred to by DA Bower in an e-mail exchange with a local blogger at the following link.

See:  http://www.julietoye.com/Bower_To_Recuse_From_Dem_Fairgate_Voter_Registration_Investigation.html

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.