In a series of emails Tuesday night, Gracedale legal gunslinger Larry Otter told me to withdraw my appeal. He claimed "taxpayer funds where [sic] used for partisan political purposes in mounting the petition challenges by O'Hare / Angle and Stoffa." I had no idea that the Gracedale initiative was a "partisan" political matter, but Larry the Otter says so. I had no idea that taxpayer money funded my petition challenge, but Larry the Otter says so.
He claims this is just like Bonusgate.
"I am referring this to District Attorney Morganelli for further action," he warns me. "I also plan to file a motion to reconsider the fee question in light of this news. You may want to consider WITHDRAWING YOUR APPEAL forthwith."
Apparently, Northampton County Exec John Stoffa, Council member Ron Angle and I are hardened criminals. I'm not quite as evil as Stoffa and Angle, but I'm still pretty bad. "You may be collateral damage," he tells me.
Yesterday, the Otter engaged in a bit of litigation by news conference, telling Channel 69, that he's calling on the DA, Attorney General and even the frickin' Spanish Inquisition to break out the thumbscrews.
That's bad news for Stoffa, who already is missing a finger or two.
"This is the same case. People went to jail. I think the same thing might happen here."
There 'ya have it.
Reporter Bo Koldcrow dutifully laps it all up, too, claiming that Bonusgate "set a legal precedence [sic] that taxpayer dollars couldn't be spent on petition challenges." Of course, that's nonsense. The County most certainly has every right to spend taxpayer dollars to defend the Home Rule Charter, even from an initiative petition. It also has every right to spend its resources in a nonpartisan matter like the Gracedale initiative that directly affects the County, especially when there's pervasive election fraud.
There's another little hole in Otter's theory. Not one cent of taxpayer money ever funded my petition challenge. That litigation actually saved taxpayers many thousands of dollars because it spared the County the need to file its own signature challenge.
But the hounds are loose, howling away. Yesterday, 69's hound dog Bo Koldcock barged into Stoffa's office, cameras whirring, demanding to know why the County had given me copies of the Initiative Petition for free. Fortunately, he had a cameraman with him to tell him which way to go. Taxpayer money must have been used to finance my litigation, Bo charged, claiming that the elections office was unable to produce a single receipt to me for copies of all those nomination petitions.
This sounds damning, doncha' think? Believe it or not, the Chief Exec of a $300 million operation was unable to answer Bo's charge about receipts for what would have amounted to $126.75.
The reason Bo was unable to get those receipts is because I never asked for copies. I spent 2 weeks scouring the originals, which are easier to read, and when it was time to file suit, I subpoenaed the records.
Sorry, Bo. By the way, who the hell names their kids Bo, anyway? He sounds like he's a Shih Tzu.
Larry Otter's motive is pretty clear. He wants me to drop the Gracedale appeal. My brief must have him concerned. He also seems to have forgotten that threatening criminal prosecution to gain advantage in a civil matter, is a violation of the Pa. Rules of Professional Responsibility. It's also funny how investigative reporter Bo never asked Election Law Expert Otter about a Commonwealth Court finding that Larry the Otter was "disingenuous." In an election case. He was ordered to pay attorney fees, too.
Marlin Perkisn, Esq., reminds me that otters are part of the weasel family.
Speaking of unethical behavior, Northampton County Controller Steve Barron, censured by County Council last year for his threats to nonunion T-Mobile, must be worried as all hell about Steve Salveson's challenge. In addition to his usual union pandering, he's now doing audits by news conference. Instead of disclosing his findings to the administration or County Council, he's going right to the press with ridiculous and unfounded complaints.
He did that with The Morning Call's Jenna Portnoy earlier this week, insinuating that my litigation was funded, directly or indirectly, by taxpayers.
Late yesterday afternoon, there was a Finance Committee meeting and I demanded that Barron produce his findings. When the Northampton County Bulldog sunk his teeth into him, Barron ran away from the podium with his tail between his legs. Funny how all these accusations can be made when our backs are turned, but when we face our accuser, he runs away like a girly boy.
You can read about that in the post below.