How did I break the law this time? Eckert Seamans, the law firm hired to help Northampton County sell Gracedale, was secretly behind my lawsuit challenging the number of valid signatures for a referendum on Gracedale's sale. We were all part of a vast conspiracy. Union lawyer Larry Otter blabbed he was reporting me to the DA, AG, FBI, IRS, DEA, ATF and League of Women Voters.
He wanted a grand jury investigation, too.
This was just like Bonusgate, damn it!
In April, I was on WFMZ's most wanted list again. Once again, the Otter swam up and accused us all of acting criminally and wanted an investigation by the DA, AG, etc.
The newspapers joined in the fun, too. All told, there are about 7 stories in the local papers, WFMZ and even Patch. I write for Patch as a columnist from time to time, so they already know I'm a crook. Come to think of it, so do the newspapers. Online readers had their pitchforks and torches out, ready to string me up.
But Otter had no interest in vigilante justice. What he was really wanted was money. And the unions wanted to the Sell-Gracedale crowd in the days leading up to a vote.
Now Otter's motions for attorney fees had already been denied twice, but he filed a new one in April, demanding a gazillion dollars. Then in early May, he amended that motion to add Executive John Stoffa and Director of Administration John Conklin as targets. Accused of personal misconduct, they both had to retain private counsel.
It took practically no time at all for Stoffa and Conklin's lawyers to file preliminary objections to Otter's frivolous demand for money. Judge Baratta scheduled an argument, but guess what? Otter decided to get around that with a second amended motion for attorney fees.
The preliminary objections were simply renewed, and argument was scheduled again for this Friday.
The Otter has blinked.
In a letter to Judge Baratta on Monday, Otter now claims his motion against Stoffa and Conklin is a "bit premature" and he is withdrawing his "Second Amended Motion for Surcharge."
So much for Bonusgate.
Now don't you worry. He's still pursuing his claim against me for the "unauthorized practice of law." Apparently, while Eckert Seamans was secretly representing me, I was super secretly representing the County.
Otter tells the judge he's available for a hearing in August or September.
Funny thing. I filed preliminary objections, too, and am ready to go this Friday.
I got Otter's letter on Tuesday, but found out about it on Monday, the date it was sent. That's another interesting story. I was speaking to Barron von Footinmouth's Solicitor, Tim Brennan, about subpoenaing records I had sought from the Controller under the RTKL.
Brennan blurted out, "Well, Otter dropped the case today."
"How do you know that?"
It's very obvious that these guys are all acting hand in hand and the Controller has allowed his office to be politicized.