Thursday, August 14, 2008

DA Creates Corruption Unit

Margaret Gibbons writes, in today's Times Herald:

COURTHOUSE - Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman Monday announced the creation of a new investigation unit designed, with the help of the public, to ferret out public corruption.

Generally, the unit will probe complaints from the public regarding elected officials or people in positions of trust who may have violated the public trust for their own financial benefit or simply for power, according to Ferman.
The unit will investigate theft-based crimes, abuse of authority and ethics violations, she said.

While the office has always investigated public corruption, a specific unit has not been assigned to the task.

Citing the public outrage stemming from the results of public corruption investigations in Washington, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, Ferman said, "The public has lost confidence in many of their elected leaders and in government as a whole. We want to do what we can to help restore that confidence in government at the local and the county level." (read the rest of the article here)

I'm wondering which of the "d" row officers will be the first to spill the beans on the others come forward in return for immunity from prosecution. I'm also wondering which of the commissioners feels like there's a target pinned to his back now. My bet is both King James and Prince Joe.

The immediate future is beginning to look very interesting!

1 comment:

bobguzzardi said...

Have you seen this story in The Bulletin. As expected, Democrats are unionizing Montgomery County which will with Project Labor Agreements and Prevailing Wage on municipal contracts drive up cost of government meaning the homeowner on fixed income will get hammered and business will have less to save and invest and even pay employees. Union wages are not commensurate with productivity gains and thus raise cost of production meaning fewer goods and services for the rest of us. County unionization is first step.

Unionizing Montco Government?

It seems that Democratic Montco Commissioner Joe Hoeffel has plans to organize Montgomery County employees, and is doing so with the support of Commissioner Chairman Republican Jim Matthews. This should come as no surprise, since Mr. Hoeffel was successful in his effort to unionize county employees when he was commissioner in the late 1990s.
After several years being represented by AFSCME, however, the county employees voted to scrap the union. Republican Commissioner (then District Attorney) Bruce Castor was opposed to the union as not being in the best interests of the county's employees, and remains opposed.
Mr. Hoeffel's activities put Mr. Matthews in a tight spot since Mr. Matthews previously opposed unionization, but he now depends on Mr. Hoeffel's vote to remain commissioners' chairman.
If Mr. Matthews refuses to support Mr. Hoeffel in any major initiative, he runs the risk that he will lose Mr. Hoeffel's support and thus be unable to remain chairman.
One wonders when Mr. Hoeffel will require something of Mr. Matthews that he is unwilling to provide. Or if there is anything Mr. Matthews will not agree to in order to remain on Mr. Hoeffel's good side now that he has burned his bridges with Mr. Castor.

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