Monday, May 11, 2015
Repyneck Meets Bottom-Feeding Blogger, Face to Face
"Be a man and meet me face to face," Repyneck told me last week, after I posted stories that raised some questions about his candidacy.
So I did. On Friday, I met him at the Hellertown Diner. He told me to be a man and talk to him face-to-face, but brought his wife. One of his supporters, Lanita Lum, also crashed what I thought was supposed to be an interview with the candidate. Both had lots of negative things to say about Tidd. But I was there to hear from the candidate, not them. Eventually, we had to consign them to another table. Here's what I learned.
1. Repyneck agrees he should be at Tuesday's debate. - On Tuesday, the League of Women Voters will host a debate for the three candidates at the Hellertown Library, 7 pm. Repyneck had declined because he was meeting a potential donor at that time. But if my series of blogs about this race has done nothing else, it has convinced him that he owes it to voters to be there. he reportedly is clearing his schedule to do so, though it's still unclear whether he will attend.
2. Allegations made by Repyneck's ex are a nonissue. - Although I felt it was important that Repyneck respond to serious allegations made about him by his ex-wife in several police reports, his simple denial is good enough for me. He has never received so much as a parking ticket.
3. Repyneck running on his last name. - He is a second cousin to Diane Repyneck, who held office before Tidd took over. She has made no endorsement, preferring to be Switzerland in this race. But he's running on his last name. His web page even includes a "Repyneck Family in Criminal Justice" section. If this were a Kingdom, I could see him claiming some sort of right to the throne. Theoretically, it should make no difference what his last name is, but the Repyneck family is well known in Hellertown and Lower Saucon. That alone will get him votes and might even win the race.
4. Repyneck is scheduled to take Magistrate's course. - Tidd and Kurecian, by virtue of their law degrees, are automatically certified to become magisterial district judges if they win the election. Nonlawyers like Repyneck must be certified. He lacks that certification, but is enrolled in the four-week course commencing June 1.
5. Repyneck prejudges. - During the interview, he would say things that, on further questioning, appear to be untrue or questionable. Let me give you an example. He accused Hellertown Mayor Richard Fluck of destroying a Repyneck sign near Fluck's home. When I asked him if he was sure Fluck destroyed that sign, Repyneck stated, "In my opinion, yes. I believe he did."
There's absolutely no physical evidence to support that opinion. Nobody saw Hizzoer out in the middle of the night, ripping out his signs. But Repyneck is willing to prejudge Fluck because Fluck supports Tidd.
6. Repyneck has filed ethical complaints against Tidd. - In an email confirming our interview, Repyneck claimed that "your boy TIdd is currently under investigation for Judicial Misconduct. Did you know that ??????" I didn't. That was one of the first things I questioned.
At first, Repyneck was evasive, calling it "word on the street." Then it was anonymous sources he was unable to reveal . But as I pressed, he finally acknowledged that he filed one complaint and his wife another. He filed a complaint against Tidd because he did not like the way Tidd spoke to his wife when she was circulating a petition on her husband's behalf. That's obviously frivolous.
A second complaint against Tidd, filed just last month, concerns Tidd's representation of Repyneck's wife in December 2012. She was being sued in a collection matter, and Tidd was recommended as a good bankruptcy lawyer. Neither he nor she was aware that he was the judge in the collections matter.Once he became aware, the matter was transferred to another magisterial district judge. There is nothing improper here. Had Repyneck really thought so, why did she wait until April 2015 to make a complaint?
7. Repyneck's troubling views about PFAs.- During our interview, Repyneck displayed contempt for Protection From Abuse Act (PFA) Orders, even though a magisterial district judge has the authority to grant or deny an emergency PFA. "When women want to screw with a man, thy play the PFA card," he insisted. "It clogs up our judicial system." It appears that his own negative experience has made it questionable whether he can be fair and impartial.
Pennsylvania's Protection From Abuse Act (PFA) was adopted because our criminal law is inadequate for dealing with the violence that sometimes arises in a domestic environment. Police are reluctant to get involved, especially when battered wives drop charges only days after they are filed. So this domestic, non-criminal law was adopted. It includes a temporary protection order, which can be issued based on the testimony of just one person, to provide some basic protection from violence, as well as a cooling off period.
It can be abused by parties seeking a keg up in a divorce or custody. But anyone who sees the women walking into the courthouse, day after day, beaten and bruised, will quickly agree it is a much needed tool.
I have done my own research on these actions, and know the following. First, contrary to what Repyneck claims, PFAs have actually decreased in Northampton County over the past dozen years. Second, over half of the temporary PFAs issued are later withdrawn or dismissed. This could mean that the parties were able to cool down and sort things out. But what's disturbing is that, in many of the withdrawn cases, the files contain photographic evidence containing proof that there was violence.
Tomorrow, I will write about some of the claims Repyneck has made about Tidd.