Official Complaint Filed

Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 by Pezzonovante in Labels: , ,
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On Monday, September 10, 2018, in the immediate aftermath of the Voter Registration Commission hearing, an Official Complaint was filed with the Fayette County Election Bureau(FCEB)/Board.  The complaint and a follow-up letter sent to the attention of FCEB Director Larry Blosser asks the board to fulfill its duty under 25 P.S. § 2642(i) to conduct an investigation into the alleged election fraud and perjuries of the current 51st Legislative District Democrat Nominee and ex-State Rep. Timothy S. Mahoney.


25 P.S. § 2642:The county boards of elections, within their respective counties, shall exercise, in the manner provided by this act, all powers granted to them by this act, and shall perform all the duties imposed upon them by this act, which shall include the following:

(i) To investigate election frauds, irregularities and violations of this act, and to report all suspicious circumstances to the district attorney.


The complaint informs the election board of the yet-sealed Fifth Presentment of Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2  which may pertain to one of the election-related referrals made by a 3-0 unanimous vote of the board on May 24, 2012 and referred to then-District Attorney Jack R. Heneks, Jr.  Subsequently, then-DA Heneks incorporated the three referrals into his Application to impanel Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2.

As with the two other complaints filed this year, this space expects nothing less from the Fayette County Election Board than a full, fair, and impartial investigation of the matter and for equal justice under law.

Sealed Fifth Presentment Reaches 45 Months

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 by Pezzonovante in Labels: , , ,
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Today, 09/12/2018, marks the 45-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 45 months, or for three years and nine months, or for an unheard of 1,370 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 45 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.

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?  

Question:  Fayette Searchlight, why the long series of "Why?"?  Isn't that a bit redundant?  

Answer:  There are 45 of them -- one for each month the Fifth Presentment has remained sealed.  So, that long series of "Why?" is no longer and no more redundant than Judge Leskinen's Order to keep the Fifth Presentment sealed. 

Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2 Presiding Judge Steve P. Leskinen has many questions to answer, and the public deserves answers.


  • Why has the Fifth Presentment remained sealed for 45 months?
  • Why have you not issued an order to unseal the Fifth Presentment after the passage of 45 months?
  • Why has the subject of the Fifth Presentment not been indicted?
  • Why is the alleged crime to which the Fifth Presentment refers not being treated as equally under the law as the other presentments?
  • Why are you not concerned about the statute of limitations timing out?
  • Why has every other presentment from Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2 been dealt with by the court system, except the sealed Fifth Presentment?
  • Why does the sealed Fifth Presentment remain shrouded in secrecy 45 months after you sealed it?
  • Why do you think Fayette Countians -- who paid for the costs of the grand jury and who pay your salary -- do not deserve to hear answers from you on why the Fifth Presentment remains sealed? . . . .




Fayette Searchlight Calls For DA Bower's Immediate Recusal From VRC Referral

Posted: by Pezzonovante in
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Fayette Searchlight calls for the immediate, public, and swift recusal of Fayette County District Attorney Richard E. Bower from the Fayette County Voter Registration Commission (VRC) referral of September 10, 2018 due to conflicts of interest.


As recently as four weeks ago, Bower was a listed sponsor of "The Democratic Radio Hour" heard Fridays on WMBS 590AM radio at 3:15 p.m. and hosted by Fayette County Democrat Party Chairman George Rattay.  The Committee to Re-Elect Tim Mahoney also sponsors (see bottom of Page 11) Rattay's program.

Mahoney as well as Fayette County Commissioner Vince Vicites have been guests on Rattay's program.  Both Mahoney and Vicites and their political signs (as well as one of Bower's political signs) have featured prominently in the photographs of the Democrat booth at the Fayette County Fair where two, pre-printed inducement signs hung and listed prizes on offer to win for those who registered Democrat or changed party affiliation to Democrat.  Many of these photographs were incorporated as exhibits in the state Republican Committee complaint. 

Bower's campaign contribution to Mahoney in 2016, Bower's recent past sponsorship of "The Democratic Radio Hour"(which is also sponsored by Mahoney's campaign committee and hosted by Rattay), Bower's utter failure to conduct the mandatory investigation into the Fayette County Election Board's unanimous Third Referral of May 24, 2012 (allegations of election fraud against then-State Rep. Timothy S. Mahoney), and Bower's permitting of the general statute of limitations on Mahoney's alleged perjuries to lapse on August 9, 2016 and August 22, 2016 respectively, all manifestly demonstrate Bower's conflicts of interest in the VRC referral within which Mahoney and Rattay have become central figures.

The citizens of Fayette County are owed an impartial, unbiased investigation of the allegations of violations of the Voter Registration Act made by the state Republican Committee and forwarded yesterday by a unanimous 3-0 vote of the VRC to the district attorney's office.  An unbiased investigation would be an impossibility with a conflicted district attorney leading the investigation.  DA Bower's recusal from the Voter Registration Commission referral should have been immediate, public, and swift. 

It was not.

In reiteration, in the interest of impartial justice, this space calls for the immediate, public, and swift recusal of Fayette County District Attorney Richard E. Bower from the Voter Registration Commission referral of September 10, 2018. 

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With the testimony of Fayette County Democrat Party Chairman George Rattay and ex-State Rep. and 51st Legislative District Nominee Timothy S. Mahoney at yesterday's hearing before the Fayette County Voter Registration Commission, the two men have become the central figures in the PA Republican Committee allegations of violations of the Voter Registration Act and in the referral to the district attorney made by a unanimous 3-0 vote taken by the members of the Voter Registration Commission (VRC) -- Attorney Herbert Mitchell, Jr., Attorney Mark Rowan, and Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink.  

In multiple instances under questioning, Rattay invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate.

During Mahoney's testimony, it was revealed 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."

Mahoney averred that prizes were not purchased (i.e., an attestation showing intimate personal knowledge of what did and did not happen as it pertains to prizes) and that no transactions took place (i.e., there was no transfer of prizes to registrants).

However, the law is clear.  

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.

Inducements do not have to transfer for there to be a violation.

In the Herald-Standard article on the hearing, this point was summed up masterfully and succinctly by the attorney representing the PA GOP.

The fact that you ultimately don’t give it doesn’t negate the violation itself, because you, in fact, promised and offered to give it,” said Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., an attorney representing the state Republican Committee.

Put simply, the offer of an inducement to an individual for the individual to enroll in a particular party or for a registrant to change political enrollment -- to which offer Mahoney and Rattay already have admitted took place -- is the violation.

The law classifies a violation of under 25 C.S.A. § 1711(a)(3) of the Voter Registration Act as a misdemeanor of the first degree.  

A person who violates subsection (a) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.

In testimony offered yesterday, Mahoney characterized the allegations being made by the state Republican Committee as a game.  He said it was okay; it was a game he was willing to play.

With yesterday's unanimous 3-0 VRC referral to the district attorney, and in consideration of the very real penalty outlined above, that "game" looks like it has taken a very serious turn, indeed. 



Public Notice Given to Hear Election Complaints

Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2018 by Pezzonovante in Labels: , , , , ,
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Public Notice has been given that the election complaints filed respectively by PA GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio and by Fayette County Democrat Party Chairman George Rattay will be heard on Monday, September 10, 2018 beginning at 9 a.m. with the Republican complaint and continuing at 10 a.m. with the Democrat complaint. 

The Voter Registration Commission, comprised of Angela Zimmerlink, Mark Rowan, and Herbert Mitchell, Jr., will hold a hearing on the Republican complaint which 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 have 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.

The Democrat complaint alleges former Fayette County Republican Party Chairman Dave Show, a current committee member, violated the Local Option Small Games of Chance laws by selling illegal raffle tickets.  While the Democrat complaint alleges possible violations of the election code and also seeks a thorough investigation of current Senator Pat Stefano, current State Representatives Matthew Dowling and Ryan Warner, and other Republican committee members to determine any illegality and the extent of any participation, conspicuously absent from the Democrat complaint is any allegation of a direct violation of the Pennsylvania Election Code or a specific citation of the law in the election code alleged to have been broken.