About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, May 02, 2014

Bethlehem Parks Director Visits Grand Jury

Northampton County's Investigating Grand Jury meets on Thursdays. Its proceedings are secret, and though witnesses may discuss their testimony, prosecutors are prohibited from disclosing what goes on. But it's pretty clear that District Attorney John Morganelli is thoroughly investigating the activities that occurred at the Illick's Mill when Bethlehem City Council member Karen Dolan was its Executive Director. I say this because I saw Parks Director Ralph Carp in the DA's office yesterday, waiting to go in.

Carp is the official who advised Dolan, in 2010, that the City would stop providing services to the City unless her debt was settled. Shortly thereafter, utilities were supplied at no cost.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why screw around. JM knows the guy who can provide all the answers is Johnny Casino or Joe Kelly.

Bernie O'Hare said...

With an expert like you, this investigation would be in the tank before it got started.

Anonymous said...

JM won't prosecute Democrats.

Anonymous said...

There is no investigation. The mill is and always has been a city owned property. The City owned it when it was a run down, boarded up, mold ridden place that the city tried to sell for $1. No one was interested in it because of the liability.
The Liberty students along with Mrs. Dolan raised over a Million dollars and refurbished the entire place with hundreds of students hard work. The $127,000 of tax payer money was spent on electrical, plumbing and other needed things to meet code. The building is now on the City of Bethlehem books as a $1.2 Million asset.
The City still owns the property and the Mill is now a beautiful piece of the park system.
Some scandal.LOL. This is a total waste of Grand Jury time and total abuse of power on behalf of the DA.

Anonymous said...

"JM won't prosecute Democrats"


tell that to mike solomon

Anonymous said...

9:34 such a finely crafted statement that puts things into perspective.
It would mean so much more if you would ID yourself.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:34, The greater good argument has always been used to justify breaking the law and violating the rights of others. The simple reality is that Dolan engaged in repeated violations of the Ethics Act. In fact, her latest budget vote, in which she voted for $5,000 in free heating oil for a nonprofit in which she is financially interested, is a blatant violation. When you talk about abusing power, you need to look at Dolan. But she thinks it's OK bc it is for the greater good.

It likely begins and ends with her, but all angles need to be pursued.

Karen is a disgrace to her office and needs to resign.

Anonymous said...

if its such a big violation, why has no one taken this before the ethics board?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Because an Investigating Grand Jury is a much more powerful tool to learn the truth, many of the conflicts have just happened and violations of the Ethics Code can be criminal. That is by no means the only place where these violations can be pursued. Ask the Bonusgate defendants.

Anonymous said...

Donchez and the DA should start looking at all the non-profits in the city.

Anonymous said...

OK That makes sense, i just wasn't understanding why no action was brought before the ethics board, with these clear violations

Anonymous said...

well most non-profits have deals like this with the city that they lease bldgs or rooms to, unwritten ones. I think bernie's investigation will bring out to the light the multiple deals that have been made over the years.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is not my investigation. If it were my investigation, no one would be worried. Also, from what I've been able to gather, it appears to be focused on the conflict of interest provisions of the Ethics Code. If you can point to other Council members or public officials who have a financial interest in nonprofits getting sweetheart deals, please provide the details. Most of the nonprofits on City property have paid no rent, but have paid utilities. I believe they should all pay something. The City is strapped financially. I believe all should be treated fairly and equally.

Anonymous said...

I think that non profits that use city property have benefitted from the largess of the city. I don't know if any council people or department heads who have personally profited from the city's generosity.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dolan has.

Anonymous said...

Valued @ $1.2 Million, too bad they can't generate any property tax revenue out of it.

Anonymous said...

The value of the Mill is that it is no longer a boarded up eye sour in the middle of one of our major parks. It is now a major asset to the City of Bethlehem, the Monocacy Park and to the hundreds of elementary kids who tour it every year.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do not consider it a major asset, nor do I think the people's money should have been spent on those improvements without the assent of Council. They control the purse strings. Reasonable minds, however, can differ on this point. But no matter how many hundreds of kids visit, that's no excuse for the blatant conflicts in which Dolan engaged.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
A majority of City Council did vote 6-1 on last years budget which included the write off of the Mill debt. Donchez even voted for it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Nobody on City Council ever voted to write off that debt. You are mixed up.

Anonymous said...

Donchez voted for it? Figures, they are all in it together.

Anonymous said...

I'm a tight-fisted bastard these days. Taxes and the cost of everything going up and money is being used to support shit buildings like Illicks Mill. Let the sumbitches sink or swim on their own. If these non-profits need to be subsidized with taxpayer money, drop them.

Anonymous said...

$1.2 million asset??

Really, they might as well said it is a $5 million asset since it can never be sold as it is in the park. What a crook.

It isn't even a real working mill on the stream, it is an old building.

Ah, Bedlam. the smell of ego and superiority.

Anonymous said...

"$1.2 million asset??

Really, they might as well said it is a $5 million asset since it can never be sold as it is in the park. What a crook."

It is still an asset that needs to be insured and can be borrowed against. Just because it is in a park does not mean it lacks value.

Anonymous said...

City Council knew all about it. Ask Donchez if they/he knew about it. The debt write off was part of last years budget. Everyone of them voted for last years budget except DiGiacinto.

Anonymous said...

Illusionary value, the kind taxpayers pay for and politicians toast each other over.

Anonymous said...

"City Council knew all about it. Ask Donchez if they/he knew about it. The debt write off was part of last years budget. Everyone of them voted for last years budget except DiGiacinto."

Delusional Anon, debts are not written off as part of the budget process. Digiacinto voted against the budget because he hates Callahan, and never voted for a budget in his four years on council. I guess those other three wrote off debt too.

Anonymous said...

This is all the norm from the Callahan Clan.

Anonymous said...

I agree, what would it hurt to ask Donchez and City Council if they knew about the write off of the bad debt? The press should ask the question to all of them at the next City Council meeting.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The write off was disclosed in the independent audit, over which City Council has no say. They never agreed to it.

Anonymous said...

It's ridiculous to say that Dolan was acting in her own financial interest since her salary of $22,000 was approved only in October, after all of these monetary issues happened. Before then she was working a full time job for free. She's put a lot more into that place than she's gotten out.

Bernie O'Hare said...

In August 2011, she gave an interview to the ET claiming she expected to be a paid Executive Director the very next month. Thus, what she was doing for the Mill then was for her own financial benefit. In 2013, by her own admission, she was being paid and had a conflict as a matter of law when she voted for s City budget that included $5000 in free heating oil for her enterprise. A few weeks ago, when she emailed the Mayor and threatened to keep a new lease from Council, that was another conflict of interest. I would argue she's been conflicted since 2011, but there is no dispute she was conflicted when she voted for r that city budget.

She knew what she was doing, too. Just a few months ago, it is Karen Dolan who was so concerned that Cunningham was conflicted on the Parking Authority bc of her job on the chamber.

Dolan is a disgrace to her office. She has not represented the people of Bethlehem, but her own interests. She needs to resign.

The more you try to explain this, the worse she looks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bernie for your information on dolan. somehow she was connected enough to be hired by BASD has taken advantage it for years. In ALL her changing of positions she was always looking out for herself. just go back to her "declining" her BC/BS coverage as a city councilwoman, at the time she had coverage from her BASD job and her husbands job. She took her BC/BS coverage back since she left BASD with NO announcement.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do not think medical benefits should be provided to Part-time elected officials.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, who paid for and ordered the audit? Was it City Council's Auditor?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The City is audited every year as per state law. Keep looking for wiggle room.

Uncle Remus said...

Does Dolan post anonymously here?

Bernie O'Hare said...

This kills me. One anonymous Coward is asking whether another person posts anonymously..

Anonymous said...

"Uncle Remus" is the nom de hood of a racist.

Bernie O'Hare said...

He's a troll with nothing constructive to say. Just a nasty person who hates others.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Remus is Joe Kelly

Bernie O'Hare said...

Uncle Remus is a jerk too cowardly to say who he is in his incessant hatred for all things from Bethlehem. Yet he's quite indignant that an anonymous commenter won't admit who she is. Too bad.

Uncle Remus said...

Boonie has Bedlam nostalgia but he can't cut it here, for works for the Bedlam Press which I buy to shred and use as kitty litter.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's good to know. You're buying it, and that helps pay for me. Thanks.