About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nick Englesson to Remain on Ballot For MDJ (Updated)

Nick Englesson with Malta Ortiz and Olga Negron
In a ruling handed down late Tuesday afternoon, Judge Craig Dally has dismissed a nomination petition challenge against Bethlehem Attorney Nick Englesson, who is running for the Magisterial District Judgeship in Northeast Bethlehem, part of the south side and Freemansburg. Judge Dally's decision follows a lengthy hearing on March 17 in a case that was well-tried by Allentown Attorney Ron Clever and Bethlehem Attorney Vic Scomillio. Barring an appeal by rival candidate Jon Whittington through his proxies, Englesson will remain on the ballot.

The challenge against Englesson was premised primarily on his circulator affidavits. He executed 16 affidavits attesting that he had obtained the signatures to his nomination petition, but in fact, signatures were obtained by numerous other circulators. He attempted to cure this defect by having each circulator file an affidavit. Judge Dally stuck all signatures that Englesson failed to obtain himself.

During the hearing, Englesson frankly admitted that he failed to have his individual circulators execute an affidavit, calling it an "oversight." "There was nothing nefarious about it," he assured Judge Dally at least three times. "There was no intent to deceive anybody. Nobody was harmed by it and I had nothing to gain by it."

As finder of fact, Judge Dally concluded that "any error in the completion of the Circulator Affidavits was purely accidental, and not done for some fraudulent purpose." But following the dictates of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, he refused to accept any signatures that Englesson failed to obtain himself. Judge Dally also struck several signatures from people who previously signed the nomination petitions of other csndidates, as well as several signatures that were defective for other reasons.

In the end, Attorney Englesson was left with 121 valid signatures on his Republican petition and 111 good Democratic signatures. He exceeded the 100 minimum needed to get on the ballot.

Throughout this ordeal, Englesson has been besieged by anonymous comments on this blog, suggesting he be disbarred or charged with "purjury."

I felt bad for Nick, so before the hearing got started, I tried to calm him down.

"Nick, I just want you to know that being disbarred is not as bad as it's cracked up to be. I can teach you how to search titles."

"Go away!"

Later, during a break, I decided to comfort Nick again.

"Nick, I just want you to know that I'm sure Morganelli would seriously consider ARD if you apply."


Later that night, I sent him an email telling him that I could help him get his passport renewed almost immediately.

He never answered.

At one point, Nick told me that before this challenge, only one person had ever questioned his integrity.


"You! You always were filing motions accusing me of prosecutorial misconduct."

"Well, prosecutorial misconduct is not really unethical, Nick."

The Whittington camp has hinted it intends to appeal. That's his right, and i understand him being upset. But it would be unwise. Other than this blog, there's been very little coverage of this challenge. If Whittington appeals, he is inviting more scrutiny. He will look like a bully and will almost certainly lose the appeal and his race.

Let the people decide, just as Judge Dally ruled.
(Blogger's Note: Originally published on 3/21/17 at 5:27 pm)


Anonymous said...

Good! The lifers will have to work for it.

Anonymous said...

Case law clearly shows that when a candidate affirms or swears to an affidavit that he circulated a petition and a flaw is found in that petition that the whole petition is stricken. He clearly admitted to signing these sworn affidavits and his witnesses affirmed that in their testimony that he didn't circulate them fully. So if the witnesses are considered credible but Mr. Englesson isn't then his signatures should of been stricken. What is the purpose to swearing and affirming if you can change your mind? He was an Assistant District Attorney, Master in Northampton County and a Lawyer so tell me this man did not know what he signed? He ran 3 times for District Judge and lost. Maybe the system believes in him but NOT the public and it has shown in the past election results. No excuse for his actions. He clearly understood what he signed. I see an appeal is coming.

Anonymous said...

Nah. Judge Dally did the right thing. Strick the signatures that were not witnesses by the named notarized circulator. I guessed that would be the outcome and wrote it on the other Engleson blog, but Bernie never published it.

There is no intent to deceive either. If Englesson testified that he was the sole circulator, then there would be a problem. The complaining party should save their money and move on. May the best candidate win.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you submitted a comment claiming that and it was not published, it is bc you don't know how to post or anonymously attacked someone.

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for Judge Dally. Thank you your honor. Let the people in the district have a choice.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Case law clearly shows that when a candidate affirms or swears to an affidavit that he circulated a petition and a flaw is found in that petition that the whole petition is stricken"

That is not what case law says at all.

Anonymous said...

Amen. drain the Bedlam swamp!

gsmith said...

Bethlehem is lucky to have a decent and honest person on the ballot, for MDJ, which he could probably do in his sleep. Good for Dally, he did the right thing.