For that little stunt, McClure was awarded a coveted Express Times turkey. But Perrucci remained first choice of Northampton County machine Democrats. Lame duck council member Diane Neiper asked council members to appoint Perrucci. So did then Council Prez Ann McHale. They needed five votes, but could only get four. So sad.
Why were they so hot for Perrucci? Is he a municipal law expert? Home rule scholar? Nah. Much better than that, he's a pay-to-play specialist.
Pennsylvania campaign finance records place Perrucci very solidly in the "pay to play" camp. In just three years, this young lawyer has already contributed $14,550 to state office candidates. This includes $4,000 to convicted state house Democratic whip Mike Veon, who was sentenced last month to 6-14 years in prison for his involvement in Bonusgate. Another $1,000 found its way to former state house Democratic whip and payjacker Bill DeWeese, who has also been charged.
Did I mention that Perruccis just love Don Cunningham? In the last two years, he's picked up $7,800 from John and Christian. To be fair, Christian also gave $1,000 to Pay to Play Pawlowski. I'm sure King Edwin will remember this loyal vassal.
Perruccis like John Callahan, too. Christine Perrucci has already maxed out, with $4,800 for Callahan's Congressional bid against Charlie Dent.
Perrucci is part of a "pay to play" family. He practices law in a firm started by his father, Phillipsburg attorney Michael Perrucci, and former NJ Guv' Jim Florio. Like his son, Michael is very generous to Democratic candidates for state office, and has contributed at least $25,730 over the years to Governer Rendell, John Morganelli and others. His law firm represents the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Authority, rest home for political hacks. As a Director of ClearPoint Business Resources in 2007, his total compensation was a paltry $54 million.
Who knows just how much money Christian has given to local candidates? I do know that Christian's sister, Bonnie, has contributed $200 to Lamont McClure. But it's harder to follow the money in local races.
Yesterday, Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham finally rewarded Perrucci for all those contributions with an appointment as Lehigh County’s Chief Public Defender, a part-time job that pays $53,288. Benefits, too!! Perrucci will replace current Chief Public Defender Chuck Smith, who is stepping down today.
According to a County news release, Perrucci "has extensive experience in litigation and criminal law." Really? I spoke to one of the Lehigh Valley's best criminal defense attorneys, who tells me he's never seen him in a courtroom. Now according to his biography, Christian does have some experience in Alpha, N.J., prosecuting speeders and jaywalkers, so he's got that going for him. But I have to wonder what the hell he'll be advising indigent defendants. That they should learn to pay peoplwe off like he does?
Perrucci’s nomination now goes to the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners Intergovernmental Committee for confirmation on July 28.
Maybe he should write out a few checks for them, too.