Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Township Seeks Contempt Ruling in Streetlight Scam

Following a nearly week long trial in January, a Northampton County jury convicted two Scranton area businessmen - Robert Kearns and Patrick "P.J." McLaine - of stealing nearly $832,000 from Bethlehem Township. Instead of buying street lights from PPL, as promised, this duo spent large sums of money on themselves.

This streetlight scam, as some have called it, is by no means unique to Bethlehem Township. Over the past five years, thirty Pennsylvania municipalities bought into the Kearns and McClaine proposal to buy streetlights from PPL, and then get big discounts on the electricity used. For 11 municipalities, the plan worked. But for the rest, including Bethlehem Township, it's been a disaster.

In addition to the criminal prosecution, Bethlehem Township has civilly sued both Kearns and McClain. On March 25, Township Attorney John Harrison, asked Northampton County Court to hold Kearns in contempt for refusing to produce documents after being ordered by the Court to do so.

A ruling from Judge Edward Smith is imminent.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting side note... Concord Financial arranged the financing for this deal for Bethlehem Township. They also did the swap in Northampton County. Oh and guess who just used them to refinance bond debt in Bethlehem... Yep John Callahan. He has not gotten the hint and is using the guys who ripped of the taxpayer of Bethlehem Township and helped Bank of America collect $27 million from Northampton County.

Bernie O'Hare said...

So Glenn Reibman used Concord and got ripped off. Bethlehem Top used Concord and got ripped off. Callahan used Concord and did not get ripped off on any streetlight scam or swaption. You just made Callahan look good. Better try something else.

Anonymous said...

The crime I'm sure just hasn't been realized yet! Or worse yet Callahan is a co-conspirator.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I see.

Cuckoo.

Better go back to talking about the wrestling match ejection.

Anonymous said...

Since you brought it up...

The better story is him getting thrown out of Emeril's the same night.

At least that's the word on the street.

Thanks for going there Bernie!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Whenever "word on the street" is used, you can be sure it is going to be an anonymous bullshit claim.

Anonymous said...

Ask around Bernie... I heard the same story... There may be some truth to it!

Bernie O'Hare said...

So you admit that you are just passing along ridiculous rumors and don't have the guts to identify yourself. What a piece of shit you are! I heard a rumor that you were drink out of the toilet bowl at the courthouse and pick your ass. It is the word on the street.

Anonymous said...

Well now Bernie... Let's not bring up courthouse bathrooms. Given your history and all.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, now, just drink your water, take your drug cocktail, and go to bed.

Anonymous said...

did you say "wrestling match erection"?

cause now THAT would have been a scarey headline

Anonymous said...

Bernie? Why is nobody placing blame on the Commissioners, Solicitor or the manager? It still comes down to handing over $850K of tax money.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Are you kidding me That's what this next election will be about. Weiss and Hudak will be branded as morons who let crooks walk away with the township's money. That's already been mentioned a few times.

The reality is that criticism is unfair. At the time BT started working with MEM, it was successful and the plan was working. MEM deceived BT, and financial manager Concord was deceptive as well. The attorney who drew the agreement, and did not have enough in there to protect BT, has been replaced by the Broughal firm. Both MEM and the financial firm have been sued as well.

But I don't care what precautions are taken. Human nature being what it is, people sometimes steal.

Blaming BT for what happened is like blaming a bank because some crooks robbed it, claiming it must be the bank's fault.



Anonymous said...

Bernie:

You are incorrect. The municipalities in PA, including Bethlehem Township, often require posting of a bond or performance bond that essential states you will get a percentage of your money when a percentage of work is complete. Do you think Allentown handed over $200 million to Butz to build the arena? Of course not. Lord, it's not like the Township has a bad credit rating or anything. Contractors get in line to work with the municipalities because they are virtually guaranteed payment unlike in the private sector where they have to chase money all the time.

And if the-then attorney for the Township did something improper, why isn't the Township suing the attorney?

Sure, people rob banks all the time. That's why you never leave the vault door open which seemingly is what the Commissioners did in this case.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, I believe I am correct. The project was successful at the time BT considered it. They have fired the Solicitor who did not insert a performance bond and may be pursuing other remedies. They did sue the financial advisers. And they are pursuing the actual thieves. Instead of blaming the victims of this robbery, you should focus on the robbers.

Anonymous said...

@9:23 What are the names of the people that were in those positions?