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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Panto Dodges Bullet

Sal Panto
On Monday, I told you that Easton Mayor Sal Panto is using at least two sock puppets - "roverfan73" and "tom18017" - to participate in online discussions on LehighValleyLive. This is in addition to comments he posts under his own name. Not only does this violate the posting standards at LehighValleyLive, it's inherently dishonest behavior. Citizens have the right to expect the highest ethical standards from their elected officials, and Panto let them all down. He was actually using these false names to participate in discussions on Easton issues and bully those who disagree with him.

Panto's comments indicate that he has knowledge of misbehavior by former Easton City Council member Michael Fleck and Garret Strathearn, both of whom have been implicated in Allentown's federal pay-to-play investigation. Had he disclosed that knowledge to the proper authorities, it is possible that things could have been stopped sooner. Instead, he kept his mouth shut, depriving the citizenry of their right to honest services. But when the shit hit the fan, he chortled with glee - under a fake name.

I am disgusted by this kind of dishonesty in a man who has just started his fifth term as Easton's Mayor. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior is becoming the norm on a national level, but that's no reason to tolerate it here. So I visited Easton City Council last night, fully intending to blast Panto, who has yet to apologize for his dishonesty.

But I didn't.

I said nothing, and when the meeting was over, I left without a word.

When I arrived, I was getting the hairy eyeball from a woman seated just behind me. My zipper was up and I had just taken a shower about three days before, so I was wondering, "What's her problem?"

Well, there was a young man seated next to her, and it became apparent as the meeting went on that this boy is Panto's grandson. The woman glaring at me must have been his mother. The young boy obviously adores his grandfather.

Panto needed to be taken to task. Reporters were sitting there, and I am sure that my comments would have resulted in a story, since The Express Times in particular already has the details and has been nosing around.  But what message would I send by embarrassing Panto in front of his grandson? He knows he's wrong, and was already somewhat sheepish at last night's meeting.

So I let it go.

I'm no saint. I am a lawyer whose license was suspended for dishonest behavior brought on by alcoholism. I know what it is like to lose integrity. I'll let Panto keep his and will drop this. But I better see no more phony comments from him.


Anonymous said...

Very kind of you. You could always have a tshirt printed with the names of his fake accounts in large lettering on the front. Then say nothing and let Sal stew.

Anonymous said...

oooohhh...I see, you let him off the hook. Why not try being honest for a change and admit that you are the worlds largest gas bag coward? Of course you stayed silent, of course. Its because all you can do it throw potshots from behind a keyboard in your 10 x 10, like all other cowards do. You are the biggest coward there is with the thinnest skin imaginable. A crybaby

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Sal's daughter gave you dirty looks. She probably taught him the art of anonymous posting from behind her computer in the Senator's office.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Sal the Kiddies Pal will resort to any method possible to promote himself. Even using pseudonyms for readers comments on LVL. Next one will be "God#1" who will comment "since my creation of the universe, no human has been a better Mayor than Sal Panto. If I had another son to send to earth it would be Sal. And those who mock or oppose him will feel my wrath in the form of a bolt of lightning up the ass. And that includes blogger O'Hare."

Anonymous said...

I think Panto is inherently a good guy, who cares about his hometown. But, like many politicians and others under pressure to fix things, he goes off the rails at times.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Panto is just a SCUMBAG. Any man that looks for an "atta Boy" by pushing homeless vets further down a path to disparity is a scumbag.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Interesting that Sal's daughter gave you dirty looks. She probably taught him the art of anonymous posting from behind her computer in the Senator's office."

I don't know where this person works or whether she is Sal's daughter or daughter-in-law, but she is entitled to give me the hairy eye ball.

The Central Scrutinizer said...

Honorable move.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Why not try being honest for a change and admit that you are the worlds largest gas bag coward? Of course you stayed silent,"

I like when someone who chooses to remain anonymous calls me a coward. I sign my name to every word I write, and that opens me to attack from trolls just like you. You are blinded by your own personal hatred. I rarely speak at public meetings bc I convey my messages here far more effectively, but I attended that meeting for the specific purpose of admonishing Panto andwould have done so until I saw his grandson. I am not going to slam the guy for dishonesty in front of his grandson.

Anonymous said...

this is one of there many circus trix in there hostel take over tactiks subsects soul sale sector, team elder abuse as well as attacking children and using them as a sack o ins monies for administrational costs¿!)$
This too is ine of many a arena agenda reciepiants thereof¿!)$ The hairy eyeball was like and similar to your hidieyhoe and Angles shit slingging¿!)$
We all know who and whatmayor 1 is from my descrptive yet undescriptive dynamics of the spinkter is, there are yet two others that will need a descrption thereof¿!)$
#1 The inflamed hemrode topped by pussie boilZ¿!)$
redd for regestered Republican
patent pending

Dennis R. Lieb said...

I don't want to over-dramatize this too much but it is tough today for any citizen to speak truth to power as I attempted last night in my questioning of Panto on his phony screen name antics. As I expected, I was the only Easton resident who seemed to have enough indignation to show up and vent that fury (in as controlled and polite a manner as possible) over being lied to in various online forums by someone hired by us to represent the best aspects of our city.

I can not begin to explain why so few in Easton will not speak up these days - whether it is out of fear of government reprisal, peer pressure from colleagues who just don't want to rock the boat or outright defeatism. All I know for sure is that the continuation of business-as-usual; the failure of the public to take seriously their responsibility to govern themselves (that's right...it is about more than voting for demagogues every four years) will lead to the downfall of whats left of this city, state and country.

Nothing less than a local revolution in self-governance is needed. The people sitting behind that desk last night aren't the answer...we are. We fail to accept that fact and to act on that knowledge at risk of our own demise.


Anonymous said...

I cant believe all of this over the candle. The drug dealing and gang activity that is destroying Eastons neighborhoods needs this much attentions. Newspaper articles, council meetings, votes, etc all over this. Let's keep our eye on what is important to everyone, and not just those who choose to do business in the city's cherished downtown and college hill.

George Ruth said...

There is never any push back in any one-party city. Pseudonyms are hardly cause for bringing in the FBI but does anybody really think this will matter to Easton Democrats? They don't even care that their presidential candidate deliberately diverted national security communications in order to avoid any Congressional or even White House investigations. Sad!

Anonymous said...

DRL - You got that right. Even at the national level, there seems to be a movement afoot in the Presidential race to bring in outsiders and stop business as usual. However, no sitting Senators are being primaried and they are all going to be re-elected back into office. This is strange considering Congress is as much the source of the problems as anyone but it's only the President that is being challenged. To affect real change, we need to start voting out the incumbents - on principle alone,

Anonymous said...

People should get to know their elected officials and community activists better. At least as much as they possibly can by attending meetings and community events. Too many individuals and people who comment on this online forum only believe in absolutes without any gray. But there's a lot of gray in governance and attempting to help shape a community. Knowing Panto, I know he's not a good guy personally but he has good intentions. Knowing Lieb, he also has good intentions but completely goes about his presentation the wrong way. I've spoken to both these gentlemen before. Sometimes I've felt uncomfortable talking to both because if you don't agree 100% with their viewpoint you're cast aside by them. Everyone from public officials to blog commenters needs to stop thinking in absolutes and realize there's a lot of gray out there.

Dennis R. Lieb said...

Anonymous @ 2:18

I'm sorry you feel that way. If you want to talk again sometime let me know. Saying uncategorically that I "totally go about my presentation the wrong way" is a pretty black and white position to take by someone who claims to believe in gray areas, especially considering that you've most likely not been present at the literally hundreds of interactions, meetings, conferences and seminars I've had with officials, bureaucrats, citizens and every other possible player - both locally and nationally - over the past 16 years.

I spent five years on Easton's Planning Commission and listened politely and intently to everything the applicants and other commenting citizens ever had to say and never had a blow-up or even a minor issue with any of them...even when some of the more elusive and recalcitrant ones refused to answer simple questions. As for Easton's series of mayors and city council members, I've tried every possible approach over the years but there comes a point (like Wednesday night) when you just have to challenge them directly.

The mayor doesn't want to answer hard questions or legitimately debate anything he has already decided unless - like this week on the candle lighting issue - he can be embarrassed into action. If you were there you noticed he completely side-stepped my main question, which was not which way he would vote but by what process: How are we as citizens to beleive decisions are made that represent our best intentions when the mayor uses false identities online to misrepresent himself and the opinions of the public and skew perception to his way of thinking.

I got involved in activism not because I enjoy speaking at meetings (I don't) or because I want the limelight. I was involved because my neighborhood was falling apart and I didn't have a voice in its future. When people don't listen to their constituents and treat them like ignorant children there is no alternative but to get in their face. I did that when necessary. I will not apologize for it.


Anonymous said...

Can't believe he did this and the express didn't do a story. Maybe there's a story there since the city is building the new police station at the old express building... Bernie you did a good job but the kid can't go to all the meetings to safe his grandfather

Anonymous said...

This guy needs better tech people so he can do the sock-puppet thing like the pro's do.