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.