Thursday, July 10, 2008

An Unconscienable Request By Marcel Groen...

Marcel Groen, head of the Montco dems, has made an horrendous request of D.A. Risa Ferman, calling for the firing of Asst. D.A. Todd Stephens.


Because Stephens volunteers his time to a federally funded program which teaches children to be internet-safe from predators.
Groen cites the Hatch act in asking for Stephens to either bow out of his bid for State Representative (151st district), resign from the D.A.'s office, or be fired by Ferman.

Any person active in politics knows that the Hatch act only provides for employees who's salary is paid by the federal government to abstain from partisan political activity. Since Stephens does not draw a salary from this program, he is (as far as I can recollect) exempt from Hatch.


Catch Tony Phyrillas thoughts about Marcel Groen here.

Here's an article by Margaret Gibbons, Times Herald reporter, on the subject:

Ferman Rejects Request
By: MARGARET GIBBONS, Times Herald Staff 07/10/2008

COURTHOUSE - Montgomery County Democratic Chairman Marcel L. Groen Wednesday called for the ouster of county Assistant District Attorney Todd Stephens, claiming his continued employment in that office could jeopardize federal funds received by the district attorney's office.

At issue is Stephens's campaign for the state House seat in the 151st District that includes Ambler and parts of Lower Gwynedd, Montgomery Township, Upper Dublin, Abington and Horsham. Stephens, a Horsham Republican, is seeking to topple freshman Democratic incumbent state Rep. Rick Taylor of Ambler.

Groen, in a press release, said the county Democratic Committee has asked the federal Office of Special Counsel in Washington to issue an advisory opinion on whether Stephens's candidacy violates the Hatch Act.

That act, according to Groen, prohibits federal employees and employees in programs that receive federal funding from participating in partisan political activities including running for office.

Stephens, who heads the district attorney's sex crimes prosecution unit, works closely with the regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is funded, in part, with federal grant funds, said Groen.

In his relationship with that task force, Stephens makes public presentations that are funded by those grant funds, according to Groen. (Ed. Note-Todd Stephens is not employed by this task force, he just "works closely" (read "volunteers") with the task force. Since he is not an employee, he is free to seek elected office and is exempt from the "Hatch" act.)

"It seems there are three choices here," said Groen. "Either Mr. Stephens ends his partisan campaign, resigns from the district attorney's office or is terminated by Ms. Ferman (District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman). One of these should be done immediately before this critical program supported by federal funds is threatened."
That is not going to happen, said Ferman when asked if she intended to fire Stephens. (Ed. note: Groen is an a$$hole)

"This is why the public thinks politicians are such idiots," Ferman responded. "Todd Stephens is a dedicated public servant devoted to the cause of protecting kids against Internet predators."

"In addition to being a tough-as-nails prosecutor, he spends countless hours educating parents, children and educators on how to protect kids against Internet predators," said Ferman. "And this is the kind of dedication these knuckleheads want us to stop? Give me a break."

Ferman also said she disagrees with some of the "so-called" facts raised by Groen. For example, she said, the regional Internet Task Force that is administered by the Delaware County District Attorney's Office receives federal funds but the county's own Internet unit does not.

Stephens said he has no intention of resigning.

Not only did he put his own presentation together on Internet predators and use his own time to go before interested groups to make those presentations, he solicited funding on his own for materials he provides during those presentations, according to Stephens.

"I can't believe Mr. Groen, for his own political purposes, wants me to stop helping children be safe from Internet predators," said Stephens.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Honestly? Let me understand this: This guy is doing something GOOD as a VOLUNTEER and that is what Marcel Groan (not a typo) wants? Geee, looks like someone is putting parisan BS before what is good for our kids, eh? Is this tit for tat because Risa said no dice to creepy former cowboy deputy constable becoming Magnum PI? Speaking of MAgnum PI, here's a hint: google the former deputy constable's name and his wife and see what comes up, ok? Kinda interesting I thought.

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