|Phony Preacher Mario Martinez|
In Chattanooga, a 1906 tyranny of the majority decided that the honor of a white woman meant more than the guilt or innocence of some black man. So while the local Sheriff looked the other way, a gang broke into the County jail, and dragged an innocent man into the night, where they hung him and riddled his body with bullets. Not long after that, demagogue Joe McCarthy ruined careers and lives in a witch hunt for those deadly Commies. More recently, Fave Rev Jim Jones, another demagogue, led over 900 people to their death when he had them drink the kool-aid.
In Northampton County, the lynch mob has been a small collection of so-called Gracedale supporters, who actually first formed in an attempt to get an employee fired. They are not County employees or union members. With one possible exception, their Gracedale family members have passed on. At their head is Fake Rev Mario Martinez, who likes to refer to himself as "We the People" and thinks he speaks for them and Jesus Christ.
Although they've won their battle to keep Gracedale in County hands, that was not good enough for the Fake Rev and his minions. They had to make Executive John Stoffa, former County Council member Ron Angle and yours truly, pay. You see, we had the temerity to challenge their referendum in court, and nearly succeeded.
Witch Hunter Larry Otter
Their mouthpiece, Bucks County lawyer Larry Otter sued for attorney fees as the successful party and lost. Then he sued again based on "new evidence" that County funds had been used improperly to fund the referendum challenge. He also attempted to surcharge the County Executive. For week after week, I was called a criminal. Larry Otter told WFMZ that we could be going to jail. On several occasions, he demanded the District Attorney to investigate. At the same time, he'd tell us he'd go away if we paid him off.
John Stoffa had to hire his own lawyer to represent him because he had been accused of personal misconduct. Amazingly, he was somehow dragged into a lawsuit in which he was not even a named party. I was accused of perjury. We were all called liars.
Eventually, the matter made its way to Judge Stephen Baratta. Uh oh. I had just argued, the previous year, that voters should not retain him as a judge. I'm sure that crossed his mind because it certainly crossed mine. Judge Baratta had just ruled against me on the referendum, and ruled against the County in a separate lawsuit. I disagreed with him, but his rulings were well-reasoned and withstood appeals.
He dismissed this second attempt at attorney fees, as he had the first.
Otter appealed Baratta's ruling to the Commonwealth Court and eventually to the Court of Final Error, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He lost along every step of the way.
But the witch hunters were far from finished.
Witch Hunter Steve Barron
Controller Steve Barron decided that he would now open his own investigation. He told Council he might need their help in getting subpoenas.
On December 5, in a written memo to Council, Barron closed his inquiry. Although he slimed us by suggesting that criminal charges have been filed in other cases, he was magnanimously agreeing to take no further action. Along the way, he claimed that some private law firm told him they had spent one or two hours working on the case, and charged the County. That firm was doing exactly what it had been authorized to do by a County Council resolution. They could have spent 1,000 hours and it would have made no difference. Their work was authorized by Council itself.
After Barron disclosed his findings, I challenged him to do something. If he was so convinced that criminal charges were warranted, why was he not running to the DA as Otter had done? In fact, I suggested he do just that. But he sat there silently, staring at a wall.
It was never anything more than a witch hunt. His goal was never to convict us, just convict us in the press and appease the lynch mob.
Witch Hunter Mario Martinez
But the lynch mob wanted more. Fake Reverend Mario Martinez began haranguing Council, week after week, to do something. He began threatening individual Council members on his blog that "We the People" would make sure they were never elected again. Lamont McClure, who would like to remain on their good side, bent to the mob and suggested to Executive John Stoffa two weeks ago that he should cough up $700. Stoffa, who was trying to discuss a human services lease, said he'd give the County $700 if that would make McClure happy.
Right after this, the lynch mob was in a frenzy. Fake Rev Martinez began demanding Stoffa to resign and wanted a public apology. He was now sure that Stoffa has admitted his guilt..
Stoffa had done nothing of the sort.
Moreover, under our Home Rule Charter, gifts have to be accepted by County Council. So Stoffa sent in the $700 as promised, with this little letter:
By way of a hard copy of this email, I am forwarding a check to County Council for $700 as a personal gift from me to Northampton County. During last week's Council meeting, I made that pledge. But at the same time, I must point out that the accusations leveled against me by the Controller, at least one member of council and members of the Gracedale group are ridiculous. I did nothing other than abide by the mandate at the time to sell Gracedale, and one that was approved by County Council resolution.By a vote of 8-0, Council refused to accept this $700. Most Council members, to their credit, refused to be bullied by Martinez and his lynch mob. McClure voted No because he wanted an act of contrition from Stoffa. Well, he's no priest, and he's not getting one because Stoffa did nothing wrong.
This is a matter that has been submitted to the District Attorney. It was the subject of private litigation and an attempted surcharge which required me to hire and pay for a private attorney. It went through the Court of Common Pleas. It went to the Commonwealth Court. It even went to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The charges were dismissed at every level. They are completely unfounded.
The proof of this is Controller Barron's memorandum to you dated December 5, 2012, in which an attorney at a law firm admitted that he did exactly what he was hired to do. After hinting at some type of criminal behavior, Mr. Barron decided to recommend no further action.
In hind sight, we can certainly question the wisdom of authorizing a private law firm to do all things to expedite Gracedale's sale. But to suggest, for even a moment, that this administration was ever interested in anything other than the best interest of the County, is personally insulting.
I am donating this as a gift in hopes that I can use my remaining time in office to discuss more important issues. A centralized human services building awaits your decision. We need to focus on deteriorating bridges, capital improvements at Gracedale and repairs around the Courthouse.
If paying Northampton County $700 will help us focus on these issues, it is money well spent. If you, the Council, can in good conscience take this money for doing what was authorized by your own resolution, please do so. But the Home Rule Charter, Section 202, (10) requires that any gift to the County must be accepted by you.
Instead of government by lynch mob and demagogue, it's time for a real government by the People. Those people are the nine members elected to sit on County Council, as well as the Executive. They are not some whacked out fraud who thinks Jesus talks to him through his TV.
Last night, Martinez demanded Council to censor Stoffa and called on him to resign. He repeatedly called the Exec a liar, getting angrier and angrier. Then he said, "God bless you all."
His God must be into whips and chains.