I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw your latest Express Times spin over an admitted theft. "My love for Nazareth will never be tarnished," you claim. You say you have had nothing but support, no one has asked you to resign, and point to your Facebook sycophants as proof that you are swell guy. I am telling you, as a Nazareth resident and voter, that I want you to resign. If you refuse, you should be denied ARD, which is what we all know you are trying to get.
You need to resign because, unfortunately, you are both a thief and a liar. You have completely failed to demonstrate remorse. You even think an accused felon can run a police department. This undermines public confidence in government and taints the integrity of every criminal investigation and prosecution being pursued in Nazareth. Nazareth deserves better. Its police department deserves better. If you really do love Nazareth, step down. If not, you should be denied entry into ARD.
Of the 84 votes cast on my online poll thus far, only six persons think you should stay in office. The Express Times call for your resignation was at 81% when I last checked.
You admitted to a Grand Jury that you stole $8,000 from a very worthwhile nonprofit. In reality, you undoubtedly stole a far greater sum, which explains why you go on trips at the drop of a hat and can afford to attend so many professional sports events.
You are also a liar, which goes hand in had with being a thief. You lied to me. Repeatedly. Let's review.
January 2015 Denial
I first got wind of a possible criminal investigation into skimming in January of last year, and I asked you about it. In an email to me dated January 26, 2015, you said:
"You can believe me or not, I did not skim anything. I wasn't brought up that way. I have a very good paying job as a regional Manager of a very large carwash distributorship. But of course, people will say what they want without proving or investigating anything. They only thing I got from the vendor was baseball, hockey or football tickets. Never any money. I do not know what is happening now, because I distanced myself from that to concentrate on being Mayor."We now know that was a lie. But like an idiot, I believed you.
March 2015 Denial
Over that cold 2015 Winter, amid snow emergencies being declared twice a week, I advised you that I was hearing rumors about a Grand Jury investigation, and asked if you had been subpoenaed. On March 3, 2015, this is what you said: "Berne, I have not been subpoenaed for anything. Do not know anything about it. However, If I were, I would cooperate 100% and let them know the value of these machines and why they are needed in private clubs." I had called you the King of Illegal Poker Machines, and you made this request:
"Can you please stop calling me the Illegal Poker machine person. Everyone in town knows about the poker machines and that the Vigilance had them along with other establishments. You never mention the new president who took over for me. I know I am a target in my position, so I am asking you kindly to stop.You went on to say:
"Man to Man.....Please."
"Does it look bad on my part? somewhat. But I never had any conversations with our local police while I was in or out of office. It was just they way it was. Right or wrong, the police stayed away.Once again, you lied. But like an idiot, I eased up.
"According to Vig. Prez.Troy Keenhold, he is not bringing back the machines. He never dealt with the state police and I think he got scared. That is up to him and the Board of trustees of the Hose. I wish them well.
"Personally, I am not a corrupt person. I also think the other municipal leaders thought the same thing. Never even crossed my mind concerning the machines. However, I do get what you are saying. But I think the press has suppressed the poker machine issue and agreed they need to be legalized. This might have taken a little steam or pressure off of who was involved."
January 2016 Denial
As Winter turned Summer and Fall, I discounted most of the rumors until I began seeing Nazareth firefighters going into the Grand Jury. They were obviously not seeking donations. I heard that you had been subpoenaed and asked you about it. On January 14. 2016, you denied you had been in front of the Grand Jury and added, "I have nothing to hide. I have a very good paying job and can prove my investments. The vigilance hose is not the fleas."
This was another lie. In fact, you had been in front of the Grand Jury just three days before, on January 11, 2016, and had admitted to stealing $8,000. But like an idiot, I still believed you. I even agreed to sit down with you at some future date.
That date never came. Instead, the rumors continued to intensify. On March 16, 2016, I wrote to tell you I had heard you were a target of the Grand Jury.. The DA refused comment, but I told you that a former gas station owner had reported you were entering a plea.
You responded by saying "I have not admitted to anything," followed by "I have no comment."
In fact, you had admitted to stealing two months earlier at a Grand Jury at which you denied being present. Once again, you lied.
But I no longer believed you.
It wasn't until I went through my email exchanges with you that I realized that there is little difference between me and your Facebook sycophants or your "friends" in Nazareth. You spun us all. You are quite the manipulator.
Next time you want to tell some reporter that no one has asked you to resign, remember this email. Resign for the sake of the Borough you claim to love. Stop diminishing the integrity of the police department with your continued presence. If you do not resign, I will ask the DA and the courts to deny your application for ARD. I question whether someone like you, who has displayed no remorse, deserves ARD.
You see, I love Nazareth, too.