Wednesday, May 31, 2006
In the Lehigh Valley, It's How Much Justice Can You Afford?
He's at it again. John Morganelli, Northampton County's DA for the past 7653 years, is frothing at the mouth over undocumented workers. Recently, he rounded up a bunch of them doing construction work at a future Holiday Inn Express in Hanover Tp. He was tipped off by unions, who contribute heavily to his campaigns for DA and state attorney general. Now, as usual, he's railing at federal immigration authorities for letting things get out of hand. This should get him a few votes in his next election.
Well, John has no trouble rounding up thousands of illegal aliens at pallet companies, Walmart and construction sites. But he's never arrested any of the real criminals - the people who hire them. Of course, those people have money and connections, and undocumented workers can't even afford to go to Mayfair.
John's not alone. His counterpart in Lehigh County, Jim Martin, has determined he won't prosecute an Allentown cop who shot another officer with a plastic BB gun. His reasoning? The gun's only a harmless toy. Why, then, was it confiscated in the first place? And why was a kid, who was caught messing with it, placed under arrest and taken to HQs? Well, this cop has plenty of connections and dough while the juvenile is part of Allentown's large low-income population.
In the Lehigh Valley, like the rest of the US, it's always a question of - how much justice can you afford?