4/8 Ups & Downs

Polls, fundraising and petitions. See who made this week’s list!

Down ArrowTom Wolf. One of the biggest questions in the aftermath of the budget battle was what effect this episode would have on Tom Wolf’s political standing. Well, the first set of numbers are in and it’s not good news for the Governor. The latest Quinnipiac Poll puts his approval rating at just 35% with 52% disapproving of his job performance. It’s fair to say that Wolf is now officially in a sophomore slump. The only question is whether he can get out of it.

 

Up ArrowPat Toomey. Speaking of the latest poll results, Senator Pat Toomey performed much better in that Quinnipiac survey. The Republican incumbent leads both of the leading Democratic candidates in a general election match-up. Sure, the national atmosphere may be turning against him but so long as he can hold onto those leads over Sestak and McGinty he should be alright.

 

Up ArrowSteve Santarsiero. It was quite the week for the Democratic Congressional candidate. His campaign revealed a massive first quarter haul of $400,000. This was a particularly impressive number given that Santarsiero struggled in the money race last year. Additionally, he scored endorsements from a trio of influential high-profile organizations: Sierra Club, AFL-CIO, and SEIU. His team will try to build on this momentum as the primary showdown with Shaughnessy Naughton nears.

 

Down ArrowLindy Li. The 25 year-old jumped into PA’s political scene with both feet and full of optimism. Unfortunately for her, it seems she was just too green to succeed. After the puzzling decision to switch contests last December, Li was forced to drop out after experiencing petition troubles. Ultimately, her reach exceeded her grasp and she alienated quite a few rank-and-file party members. The real test, however, for Li and anyone else in the political area, is whether they have the ability to learn from their mistakes.

 

Down ArrowKathleen Kane. Speaking of second chances, Attorney General Kathleen Kane was surely hoping the public would give her one after she announced she wasn’t going to run for re-election. She even notched some victories as Michael Eakin was pushed out and found guilty plus she was able to name her own Solicitor General. Nevertheless, her popularity numbers didn’t get any rebound. Her approval rating is a putrid 25% and 47% still think she should resign. Looks like Kane will have to seek vindication in the courtroom.

The tweet of the week goes to Philadelphia Magazine’s Dan McQuade for an A+ vine.

99 Responses

  1. Now, that’s better, Bob!!

    Fina’s conduct is indefensible. So don’t waste your time. I think the poster you are arguing with (Ha3) has stated many times that he thinks everyone (including Ms. Granahan) who mis-used their State computers should be relieved of their duties as prosecutors.

    Fina is a tad different, though – as he has personally prosecuted people for mis-using their State computers. You can see how that is what is REALLY “hypocritical,” right?

    Not sure who Sheetz and Ryan are. But, if they were prosecutors who went after others for mis-using their Stste computers and then used their own State computers on racist (or otherwise hateful) e-mails, then I am sure Ha3 would want them held accountable as well.

    Also – you do know that Fina once challenged the duly elected AG of PA to a “televised debate” right? You must be able to see how that might set him apart in the eyes of critics. And once his e-mails became public, he dropped his “televised debate” nonsense and started saying “No Comment.” Not even an apology from Fina.

    He is more than just an “ass.” He is a corrupt racist who started this smear campaign against the duly elected AG of PA. Kane and Fina voluntarily stepped into a circular firing squad. No way only one of them gets shot!!

  2. See, how difficult was that for you. Excellent point about the lawsuit but where is the fervor for Bill Ryan, Rick Sheetz and the others who ran the show during the time when the lawsuit was filed. They have all been named as people on the exchanges but you fixate on Fina. Does anyone really dispute that Fina is an ass who should not collect a government salary? I don’t think anyone from either side would argue on that. But to so blindly give a free pass to Kane for abusing her power at the same type of level Fina did just makes you a hypocrite.

  3. Does anyone know if Seth Williams has spoken on this yet?

    I’m sure AG Kane knows that Seth Williams is regularly a “guest” of the Eagles on the field during games. Does Seth Williams pay for those Field Passes? Does he get them from someone connected to the NFL? The Eagles? Shady himself?

    AG Kane needs to find out. Or the FBI needs to. Those injured Officers have a right to know. And Philadelphians have a right to know what motivates their elected D.A. We already know that, when it comes to violent criminals who attack non-union workers, it is $$$ that motivates our elected D.A. Would not surprise me if it is Field Passes in the Shady McCoy case.

    Though it is rare, McNesby is right on this one:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20160409_FOP_wants_replay_on_McCoy_decision.html

  4. “Gee, When I Google ”'”

    What a fucking ASS-CLOWN !!

    I’m telling you R (etard) — Do not feed the trolls!! This particular troll LIVES FOR any response he gets from strange men online. It’s what he lives for.

  5. I am starting to think you really are a RETARD!!! Here are the relevant excerpts:

    HARRISBURG — The first legal document tied to reputed pornographic emails shared by state prosecutors shows the Attorney General’s Office agreed to settle with a female agent who claimed “racy pictures” were part of the culture in an office where men held the power.

    Agent Dianne M. Buckwash complained to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the Office of Attorney General discriminated against women. She will receive a salary of $100,001 annually, according to documents released in response to a Right to Know Law request by the Tribune-Review. …

    “There was a culture which discouraged advancement of women who were not attorneys and the people who held power were men. … The Criminal Law Division executives were also known to share racy pictures and make derogatory comments against women,” Buckwash said in her complaint about events during the administration of Tom Corbett, who was attorney general from 1995 to 1997 and 2005 to 2010, and his successor, Linda Kelly, who served in part of 2011 and 2012.

    You’re welcome!

  6. Gee, When I Google for the suit you mentioned I only find the dozen or so people suing the joke of an AG that we have and her woman hating Chief of Staff, although I did also find how her hate emailssending sister is being sued multiple times also. Thanks but I don’t think I need y0our help. It’s pretty clear that Fina did bad things to you and your head is in the sand about anything that our illustrious AG does.

  7. Don’t waste your time, R(etard). Just sing along with me:

    Who lives on his knees and drinks lots of TEA?
    “SpongeBob RETARD”
    Stupid and yellow and troll-like is he!
    “SpongeBob RETARD”
    If Repervlican nonsense be something you wish
    “SpongeBob RETARD”
    Then drop to your knees and suck like a fish!
    “SpongeBob RETARD”
    READY?
    “SpongeBob RETARD”
    “SpongeBob RETARD”
    “SpongeBob RETARD”
    SPONGEBOB RETARD !! AH AHH AHH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHH…
    I just can’t get enough of that song!!!

  8. You wouldn’t know “clever” if it slapped you in your chubby face. I was just trying to help you. Anyone can file a lawsuit any day they please. It means NOTHING. And you can look up the female Agent’s successful lawsuit yourself. I take it you know how to use Google.

    While you are at it – check out this other successful lawsuit:

    http://articles.philly.com/2016-01-27/news/70093323_1_former-prosecutor-city-prosecutor-racial-discrimination-suit

    Has AG Kane ever been successfully sued? Like Seth Williams has? Like Fina & The Corbett Pervs have?

    Just give it up, Dude. You look like almost as big a loser as these sue-happy perverts!! Actually – doesn’t David believe that you are a pervert?

  9. And by the way I don’t believe Claude Thomas has been linked in any way to the emails that were sent. I think because he works for Williams you are looping him in but you might want to check your facts there.

  10. Clever way to avoid actually answering anything. So the HR guy is as you put it “racists/perverts/misogynists”? I also love how you give me advice on credibility yet you avoid the real topic of my comment. A person who actually committed indecencies against female coworkers was not only not reprimanded but promoted and fired the person who dared suggest they be reprimanded. This isn’t sending emails with inappropriate images. This is actually doing something wrong. And I could care less about a suit filed against Fina. If he did something wrong and was sued and found guilty great….that’s what’s supposed to happen. Was the person who sued Fina someone worthy of being called names? Based on how you comment on the HR person suing I guess so. Also the difference here is I can point to actual suits filed. Where is you info on the Fina suit other than what you type here?

  11. Bob – You don’t listen/read too well. Give it up. A lawsuit filed means NOTHING. Anyone can file a lawsuit any day of the week. They mean abdolutely nothing until something is proven or until the plaintiff wins.

    Now – if you want to talk about a lawsuit that was successful, lets talk about the one filed when Fina and Costanzo and Claude Thomas were at the OAG sending their disgusting e-mails (degrading women and Blacks and immigrants and homosexuals … …).

    A female Agent filed a civil lawsuit based on the HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT that Fina and the other perverts caused. That female agent won that lawsuit.

    See – that one is over. The female Agent won. The taxpayers had to fork over $$$ because of the conduct of Fina & The Corbett Pervs.

    Some advice for you if you want to have any credibility: Wait til one of the racists/perverts/misogynists actually wins one of their plethora of money-driven lawsuits before you read too much into them.

  12. I like how you people who hate Fina so much try to group together people in the lawsuits against her as a conspiracy. How about this one. The guy from HR who was fired because he suggested they fire someone who ACTUALLY harassed women. Not sent emails. Actually did it. Kane promotes the guilty party and he promptly fires the HR guy. Explain how that guy is part of Finas crew and explain how you justify a person who actually demonstrated his lack of respect for women and didn’t just send emails about it

  13. What has he been saying about me?!?

    Don’t believe it. He is a pathetic loser with ED. He is fat. He has diabetes. And I think he likes men.

  14. The stalker troll (SpongeBOB) has also threatened peoples’ businesses an posted a commenter’s home address. He should be BANNED immediately.

  15. Bob – Do you really think that posting something a dozen times makes people more likely to read it? Get a hold of yourself, man!!

    You do know that lawsuits like this can be filed by anyone – at any time? They mean abdolutely nothing until something is proven.

    Now – when Fina and Costanzo and Claude Thomas were at the OAG sending their disgusting e-mails (degrading women and Blacks and immigrants and homosexuals … …), a female Agent filed a civil lawsuit based on the HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT that Fina and the other perverts caused. That female agent won that lawsuit.

    So – wait til one of the racists/perverts/misogynists actually wins one of their plethora of money-driven lawsuits before you read too much into them.

    GO TRUMP!!

  16. Or you could read the article I posted multiple times and see that the people suing are doing so because they are being forced to by a crazy person who is running the office with scare tactics. Or We could listen to your thoughts and believe that all these different people just decided to band together even though they are from different areas and different roles in the office. Sure that’s totally believable that the scope of this conspiracy extends that far…

  17. AVD – so true. I have never seen a group of men so sue-happy. They file a new one every day, it seems. Gotta wonder if they realize how this looks!? HINT – nobody likes people looking for free money when they are to blame for the predicaments they are in. Kane did not force Frank Fina to laugh at racist e-mails and then make up a distribution list that included only other white men. She did not force him to use his Government computer on derogatory, sexist e-mails. And she was not even AG yet when Fina acted unethically on the Penn State 3 case. The Court called his behavior “highly improper.” And that was before he started his smear campaign against Kane.

  18. Below, the commenter who has repeatedly spammed these boards admits that it was indeed he who posted the same very long article over and over. Regardless of his excuse – which is quite silly – this admission should be sufficient for PPS to permanently ban this commenter- by IP address. I have written same to Mr. Snyder.

  19. Smokescreens: Seth Williams can’t continue to protect the person who committed crimes at his house, can he? He will eventually have to explain why he did not report those crimes. He will have to tell us who, at his Office, he tasked with investigating those crimes (LOL – I’ll give you 3 guesses!!). He is going to have to tell us what made that young lady so angry that she slashed the tires of those City cars … and why he made the taxpayers pay for the damage she caused. This can’t last forever, can it?

  20. SpongeRETARD has posted the same article 22 times. Poor thing. He is coming unglued … again.

    And, meanwhile, AG Kane is still standing. LMAO

  21. I see at 4:52 someone was trying to post as me. Looks like some of the offending posts have been deleted so far. Hope they keep deleting them.

  22. My attorney will be in touch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have him on retainer. His name is Saul. And you better call him. We like to sue !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Almost like Fina & The Corbett Pervs – but not as bad.

  23. ADV says:
    So, another prick has adopted/stolen my name (ADV)…. I have complained to “Sy”, about allowing fake names and stolen identities about this B.S. before. I will stop adding my 2 cents into this bull shit blog altogether! Make us all use our real names or jam this blog up you know where. This message is being sent to my ATTORNEY so they know WTF you guys allow at this pathetic site. RE: April 11, 2016, 7:14 PM I’d advise all commenters here to suspend their comments since anyone can steal your identity and say what they want—even libel and more—-PoliticsPA is really sucking big time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. It’s funny that HaHaHa who regularly posts under so many names accuses me of the same. Honestly my repeat posts are just reinforcing the idiocy of HaHaHa and alter ego’s constantly posting the same things over and over. The only posts of mine to ever be deleted have been when I posted someone’s mailing address. Unlike HaHaHa who has had numerous posts deleted. I won’t be posting any more links and excerpts from the article for today at least.

  25. garet – you need to reach out to Sy Snyder. The troll using “SpongeBob” today has 78 screen-names and regularly takes a dump on these comment boards. He is a pathetic FOXtard troll looking for attention from (strange) men on the internet. He posts under my name all the time. I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t going back and forth with himself below. He has no job and no friends. Seriously – reach out to Sy Snyder. He will take down all his comments. Sy has done so many times before.

  26. Why do these idiot posters feel the need to repeat verbatim articles about Kane and Williams? This is politics Pa. I’m sure those of us who follow politics in Pa have already read the article. What is the need to constantly parrot the articles? We get it. You don’t like Williams or Kane. Breath in. Breath out. Move on.

  27. Speaking of blowing, look at how Kane blew it in running an office with honor:

    The leadership of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General uses fear, paranoia and retaliation to keep staffers in line and punish dissenters, according to lawsuits and sources familiar with the office.

    In the past six months, a series of lawsuits against state Attorney General Kathleen Kane and her office have alleged ­various forms of retaliation against employees. The lawsuits and interviews with numerous members of the OAG, both current and former, describe a persistent culture of intimidation in which those close to Kane are protected, regardless of their transgressions, while other OAG employees who run afoul of Kane or her confidants are disciplined, demoted or fired.

    Sources described an OAG run by a Nixonian administration bent on minimizing dissent. Multiple sources said employees strongly suspect that OAG leadership has searched their personal work space and computers. They described an environment in which employees at all levels are concerned they could lose their jobs at any time.

    OAG spokesman Chuck Ardo denied any allegations regarding improper discipline or searches of employees’ space. He stressed that the OAG holds its employees to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism.

    THE INNER CIRCLE

    Kane’s close group of trusted OAG ­employees includes her chief of staff, Jonathan Duecker, who has also led the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation; Kane’s sister, Ellen Granahan, who runs the office’s child predator unit; and Renee Martin, who briefly acted as the OAG’s spokeswoman and is now its director of education and outreach. Kane aide Patrick Reese, once one of the closest members of her circle, was sentenced last month to three to six months in jail for violating a protective order.

    A current OAG attorney said Duecker is the “spider at the center of the web.” Sources said Kane and Duecker consider whether an individual is “on the team” when determining which members of the office receive harsh treatment and which benefit from their support.

    One former OAG employee, who was fired shortly after Kane took office in January 2013, was simply told upon dismissal, “You’re not on the team.” That employee had ongoing friction with a member of Kane’s inner circle, the individual said.

    “Unless you’re bending down and kissing the queen’s feet, they don’t want anything to do with you,” said one person familiar with the office.

    OAG agent Kevin Wevodau filed a lawsuit April 4 that alleged Kane retaliated after he confronted her about an allegedly false statement she made. Kane had publicly stated that Wevodau assessed a sting investigation initiated by her predecessors and found it to be racially motivated. Kane had decided not to prosecute the officials implicated in the sting, but Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams took up the prosecutions, which have since resulted in four guilty pleas and one no contest plea.

    A May 2015 newspaper article made public that Wevodau contradicted Kane’s allegations regarding his findings. In June, Wevodau’s complaint alleged, Kane summoned Wevodau to her home, where she threatened his reputation and family life if he did not resign. Wevodau, who led the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, did not resign. He is currently on administrative leave.

    Much of the retaliation alleged in complaints and discussed by those familiar with the office can be traced to Duecker. In May 2015, Kane made Duecker, who she hired in 2013, responsible for all personnel decisions.

    A complaint by former narcotics agent Charles Horvath described a chain of events in which he blew the whistle about an alleged cover-up of a botched controlled drug purchase and encountered retaliation that culminated in his firing. The defendants are the OAG, Duecker and two other office employees.

    After Horvath detailed the incident in two union grievances, the complaint alleged, two of Horvath’s superiors began “a pattern of antagonistic and harassing behavior,” and Duecker ultimately fired him.

    Duecker also allegedly disseminated a notice of Horvath’s termination that said he was “Giglio impaired” as a result of his actions, and included the term in Horvath’s termination letter. According to Horvath’s complaint, “A Giglio impaired agent is one against whom there is potential impeachment evidence that would render the agent’s testimony of marginal or no value in a criminal prosecution.”

    Sources said Duecker has labeled OAG employees as Giglio impaired on multiple occasions, and has also wielded the designation as a threat against those with whom he has had disagreements. One former OAG employee said Duecker uses the term “to damage careers.” Sources said Giglio impairment is typically a federal designation not often applied in the state context. But including the term in personnel files is nonetheless damaging, sources said.

    Despite the OAG’s alleged attempt to label Horvath as Giglio impaired, an unemployment compensation referee declared him eligible for benefits, finding that the OAG failed to show any of his actions ­demonstrated dishonesty.

    Another former OAG employee said the term is a “kiss of death” for a law ­enforcement officer, and that Duecker unsuccessfully attempted to label at least two employees besides Horvath as Giglio impaired.

    A complaint brought by former human relations analyst George Moore alleged that Duecker targeted Tim Deery, a narcotics agent who was demoted and berated in front of OAG employees, without cause, and whom Duecker investigated without following protocol. Sources said Deery was among those whom Duecker attempted to label as Giglio impaired.

    Renee Magnotta, a narcotics agent in the OAG’s Wilkes-Barre office, was fired in November 2013 and labeled as Giglio impaired, but she won her job back through arbitration.

    In a July 27, 2015, opinion, arbitrator Walt De Treux said evidence was insufficient to support the OAG’s characterization of Magnotta’s misconduct, which involved a warrant presented to a district justice without prior approval from a district attorney. De Treux wrote that Magnotta’s actions “do not implicate her credibility or integrity,” and that the OAG’s decision to terminate her rested on her alleged Giglio impairment. Finding no evidence of deliberate dishonesty, De Treux reduced Magnotta’s discipline to a 30-day suspension without pay. She was reinstated without loss of ­seniority and with back pay.

    The OAG appealed the arbitration award to the Commonwealth Court. Argument was held in February.

    Asked about Duecker’s use of the term “Giglio impairment,” Ardo said, “The OAG holds its employees to the very highest standards of conduct. Any unwarranted questions about their integrity would be embarrassing and counterproductive to the office’s mission. Our employees are held to a high standard of honesty and credibility because of the need for public trust and confidence in the work we do.”

    Moore’s complaint, in detailing Duecker’s pattern of behavior, also alleged that Duecker demoted narcotics agent Jerome Smith to the role of “administrative agent,” a role created by Duecker without human resources approval.

    Moore, who filed his suit late last year, has his own allegations of retaliation. He alleged he was fired for recommending Duecker be terminated because of sexual harassment allegations.

    In answers to Moore’s complaint, Kane and Duecker said they are protected by qualified immunity and sovereign immunity. Duecker also said Moore did not make a good-faith report of wrongdoing under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law and that his firing was for legitimate reasons.

    In addition to complaints filed by Moore, Wevodau and Horvath, Kane is facing three other lawsuits that allege retaliation.

    James P. Barker, the former chief of the OAG’s appeals unit, alleged he was fired shortly after a newspaper article revealed he testified before the grand jury investigating Kane. Kane filed a motion, which was granted in March, to stay that case while her criminal case is pending. She’s facing charges in Montgomery County for ­allegedly leaking grand jury material and lying about it.

    OAG agents Michael Carlson and Michael J. Cranga alleged that Kane and Duecker denied them promotions and selectively released emails linking them to the an ongoing scandal while protecting others, such as Granahan, in retaliation for their testimony before a Philadelphia grand jury in the corruption case stemming from the investigation that Kane alleged was racially targeted, as described in Wevodau’s complaint.

    Frank Noonan, a former state police commissioner, filed suit alongside four former OAG employees, including Frank Fina and E. Marc Costanzo, alleging Kane violated their First Amendment rights by retaliating against them after they spoke out against her.

    Kane has filed motions to dismiss in the Carlson and Noonan cases and those ­motions are pending.

    The defendants have not yet filed answers to Horvath and Wevodau’s complaints.

    Ardo said the OAG does not comment on ongoing litigation.

    SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL

    In his complaint, Wevodau said he ­discovered within the first few months of Kane’s term that she was “extremely paranoid” of her activities being monitored. Wevodau, who previously worked for the FBI, said in his complaint that Kane seemed suspicious that he might be working with the FBI to investigate her. She once plainly accused him of being a mole for the FBI, the complaint said.

    Multiple sources have said employees of the OAG are worried about their office phone records being examined, with fear of retaliation if the records show calls with certain parties. They said it is widely believed that employees’ office phone records were checked and their offices searched. Multiple sources said they believed their office emails were searched or monitored.

    But the office searches and other “covert investigations” have been done “pretty clumsily,” one source familiar with the ­office said.

    One former OAG employee said that on two occasions they sent an email about a specific document and were confronted by senior management employees very soon afterward who mentioned details contained in those messages.

    In response to a question about allegations of improper searches, Ardo said, “There is not a scintilla of evidence to support any of the allegations and even less evidence of Mr. Duecker’s involvement.”

    Sources said Duecker effectively controls the office’s internal affairs unit, which was renamed to the Office of Professional Responsibility. According to sources and lawsuits filed against the office, Duecker seems to use the OPR to investigate ­employees in order to retaliate or remove them from the office.

    Multiple sources said the OPR has been used to selectively discipline employees for violations of policy. Ardo denied the allegations.

    “The Office of Professional Responsibility is charged with ensuring that the Office of Attorney General personnel perform their duties in a professional manner and in accordance with the expectations of the commonwealth’s leading law enforcement agency,” Ardo said. “That is exactly what they do.”

    Violations by people in Duecker’s “in-group,” such as the controlled-buy incident alleged in Horvath’s complaint, would not lead to discipline, sources, including a former OAG employee, said. But violations committed by those in the “out-group” that sources characterized as minor or common would result in discipline, the sources said.

    Duecker’s resume is filled with experience in intelligence, analysis and counterterrorism. Before Kane hired him, Duecker worked as director of the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security and served as a senior counterterrorism adviser to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security. He has also worked in the Philadelphia office of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    He was a member of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, and during his time there he reportedly implemented a system for sharing intelligence analysis and civilian law enforcement reporting between the Department of Defense and federal, state and local law enforcement. In written testimony for the Pennsylvania Senate committee that investigated Kane last year, Duecker touted his nearly 30 years of experience in signals intelligence, counterterrorism intelligence, counterintelligence and counterdrug intelligence collection and analysis.

    A source with knowledge of the office said surveillance and office searches do not seem to have lightened up after Kane’s announcement that she would not run for re-election, even though she and her closest staffers now have a shelf life.

    PROTECTION OF A FEW

    Duecker remains in his post, despite ­sexual harassment allegations brought against him. Two women who alleged he harassed them were named in Moore’s lawsuit.

    Deputy attorney general Michele Kluk said Duecker physically assaulted her three times on Feb. 18, 2014, while they were at Damon’s Bar & Grill in Hazleton, running his hand through her hair and running his finger up her calf and thigh after she made clear that she didn’t want him touching her, the complaint alleged. The complaint noted that Kluk’s allegations were corroborated by agents who witnessed the assaults.

    Narcotics agent Cynthia Pugh alleged that Duecker “hit on her” at an office Christmas party at a house rented by the OAG for an assignment, then came into her room while she was sleeping. She awoke to Duecker standing over her bed, which was “creeping her out,” the complaint alleged. Duecker said he wanted to tell Pugh he was leaving, according to the complaint.

    After Kane was provided with the reports on Duecker’s case, she asked Chad Ellis, chief inspector for the OPR, what Kluk and Pugh “‘would need to make this go away,’” Moore’s complaint alleged. Kane told Ellis she “‘needed’” Duecker and would not ­terminate him, the complaint said.

    In April 2015, Moore recommended Duecker be terminated, his complaint said, but within a day, Duecker was promoted to chief of staff and was made Moore’s ­supervisor. In June 2015, Moore was fired.

    Meanwhile, Reese has been convicted of a crime, but he remains a paid employee of the OAG. Reese was found guilty of criminal contempt in December for violating a protective order during the grand jury investigation that led to the filing of criminal charges against Kane. Judge William R. Carpenter sentenced him in March to three to six months’ jail time. Reese has appealed the conviction.

    One attorney in the office said the perception among some OAG employees is that Reese’s relationship with Kane is the only reason he is still employed there. In a ­statement issued the day Reese was sentenced, Kane said he “was doing the job he was sworn to uphold,” adding that she expects Reese to win his appeal.

    During Reese’s criminal proceedings, Carpenter made a disclosure in open court that he was followed and his house was under surveillance in the fall of 2014. Carpenter said he did not know who had followed him, but he said he felt it appropriate to disclose that someone had followed him.

    Regarding Duecker and Reese, Ardo said Kane has “ultimate authority to make ­personnel decisions.”

    As for Granahan, sources said she is ­unlikely to show up for work on any given day. She was promoted to lead the child predator unit of the OAG in 2013.

    “I can say with certainty that the people who do work for her say she’s basically an absentee figure,” one source with knowledge of the office said.

    Another source, formerly an OAG employee, said Granahan seems to be “hidden.”

    “Granahan reports to work regularly,” Ardo said.

    When Granahan and Kane herself became linked to the offensive-email scandal that has embroiled the OAG for more than a year, Kane stated publicly that her sister’s emails were not offensive and did not raise concerns. The OAG released the emails after a prosecutor from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office received emails linking both sisters to the scandal. Granahan received emails containing what were seemingly intended to be jokes about domestic violence and race, for example, and sent an email containing innuendo about male genitalia.

    Granahan was not disciplined regarding the emails.

    “Although some of Ms. Granahan’s emails were inappropriate and in poor taste, none were pornographic and she wasn’t part of the offensive email chain that existed at the OAG,” Ardo said.

    Forty-six OAG employees involved in the scandal received some form of ­discipline, Ardo said. Twenty-seven were ­reprimanded; 13 were suspended; and six were terminated.

    Read more: http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202754555327/Retaliation-and-Intimidation-Persist-in-AG-Kanes-Office#ixzz45WoQibY9

  28. I am just happy that someone is paying attention to this very important issue. Remember – it was Senator Williams who called for Seth Williams to remove the racists and woman-haters from the Government Payroll in Philadelphia.

    “Senator Williams calls for new ethics legislation for state judges”
    Posted: Friday, March 25, 2016 12:00 am

    State Sen. Anthony Williams, renewed calls this week for greater accountability for state judges and said that punishment must still be meted out against those embroiled in the “Porngate” scandal.

    “Pennsylvania cannot continue to have a system that allows — and shields — its jurists and prosecutors from punishment for unethical behavior,” said Williams (D-8). “The Court of Judicial Discipline must be free from conflicts of interest like those which arise naturally when disciplining their own appointing authority.”

    To effect even more change, state Sen. Judy Schwank and Williams have co-authored a bill to remove the state Supreme Court from the judicial discipline process.

    “The inappropriate handling by the Judicial Conduct Board in recent cases against sitting state Supreme Court justices show how vulnerable our current investigative and disciplinary processes are to inappropriate influence by the Supreme Court,” said Schwank (D–11). “To restore confidence in the courts and our judicial process, we need now to deal effectively with judicial misconduct at all levels.”

    Williams was among the very first legislators to call for Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin to resign, which he did last week.

    Eakin’s resignation was the latest fallout since embattled state Attorney General Kathleen Kane began releasing hundreds of emails in 2014 to the media and ethics agencies. Kane has since been indicted on perjury and other charges that she claims were trumped up because she took on Pennsylvania’s law enforcement establishment.

    Former Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery abruptly retired after being suspended by the court for his role in swapping the controversial emails. Eakin was cleared at that time, but in September, Kane reignited the investigation by releasing more exchanges that included photos of naked women, sexually suggestive themes, gender and socioeconomic stereotypes, and content that was anti–gay and made light of violence toward women.
    Williams said he received a pro–forma response to a Dec. 4 letter that he mailed to Peter J. Smith, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District in Harrisburg. That letter asked Smith to reprimand or terminate the assistant U.S. attorneys under his charge involved in this matter. No such action has been made public in the nearly three months since that initial response.

  29. Fuck Sy Snyder. And fuck you too!! I am sick of my comments being deleted. And for what? For being stupid? I am not retarded. Don’t listen to HaHu when he calls me a RETARD. I repeat: I am not retarded!!!

  30. I wonder if the person who slashed Seth’s tires has seen this:

    The leadership of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General uses fear, paranoia and retaliation to keep staffers in line and punish dissenters, according to lawsuits and sources familiar with the office.

    In the past six months, a series of lawsuits against state Attorney General Kathleen Kane and her office have alleged ­various forms of retaliation against employees. The lawsuits and interviews with numerous members of the OAG, both current and former, describe a persistent culture of intimidation in which those close to Kane are protected, regardless of their transgressions, while other OAG employees who run afoul of Kane or her confidants are disciplined, demoted or fired.

    Sources described an OAG run by a Nixonian administration bent on minimizing dissent. Multiple sources said employees strongly suspect that OAG leadership has searched their personal work space and computers. They described an environment in which employees at all levels are concerned they could lose their jobs at any time.

    OAG spokesman Chuck Ardo denied any allegations regarding improper discipline or searches of employees’ space. He stressed that the OAG holds its employees to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism.

    THE INNER CIRCLE

    Kane’s close group of trusted OAG ­employees includes her chief of staff, Jonathan Duecker, who has also led the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation; Kane’s sister, Ellen Granahan, who runs the office’s child predator unit; and Renee Martin, who briefly acted as the OAG’s spokeswoman and is now its director of education and outreach. Kane aide Patrick Reese, once one of the closest members of her circle, was sentenced last month to three to six months in jail for violating a protective order.

    A current OAG attorney said Duecker is the “spider at the center of the web.” Sources said Kane and Duecker consider whether an individual is “on the team” when determining which members of the office receive harsh treatment and which benefit from their support.

    One former OAG employee, who was fired shortly after Kane took office in January 2013, was simply told upon dismissal, “You’re not on the team.” That employee had ongoing friction with a member of Kane’s inner circle, the individual said.

    “Unless you’re bending down and kissing the queen’s feet, they don’t want anything to do with you,” said one person familiar with the office.

    OAG agent Kevin Wevodau filed a lawsuit April 4 that alleged Kane retaliated after he confronted her about an allegedly false statement she made. Kane had publicly stated that Wevodau assessed a sting investigation initiated by her predecessors and found it to be racially motivated. Kane had decided not to prosecute the officials implicated in the sting, but Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams took up the prosecutions, which have since resulted in four guilty pleas and one no contest plea.

    A May 2015 newspaper article made public that Wevodau contradicted Kane’s allegations regarding his findings. In June, Wevodau’s complaint alleged, Kane summoned Wevodau to her home, where she threatened his reputation and family life if he did not resign. Wevodau, who led the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, did not resign. He is currently on administrative leave.

    Much of the retaliation alleged in complaints and discussed by those familiar with the office can be traced to Duecker. In May 2015, Kane made Duecker, who she hired in 2013, responsible for all personnel decisions.

    A complaint by former narcotics agent Charles Horvath described a chain of events in which he blew the whistle about an alleged cover-up of a botched controlled drug purchase and encountered retaliation that culminated in his firing. The defendants are the OAG, Duecker and two other office employees.

    After Horvath detailed the incident in two union grievances, the complaint alleged, two of Horvath’s superiors began “a pattern of antagonistic and harassing behavior,” and Duecker ultimately fired him.

    Duecker also allegedly disseminated a notice of Horvath’s termination that said he was “Giglio impaired” as a result of his actions, and included the term in Horvath’s termination letter. According to Horvath’s complaint, “A Giglio impaired agent is one against whom there is potential impeachment evidence that would render the agent’s testimony of marginal or no value in a criminal prosecution.”

    Sources said Duecker has labeled OAG employees as Giglio impaired on multiple occasions, and has also wielded the designation as a threat against those with whom he has had disagreements. One former OAG employee said Duecker uses the term “to damage careers.” Sources said Giglio impairment is typically a federal designation not often applied in the state context. But including the term in personnel files is nonetheless damaging, sources said.

    Despite the OAG’s alleged attempt to label Horvath as Giglio impaired, an unemployment compensation referee declared him eligible for benefits, finding that the OAG failed to show any of his actions ­demonstrated dishonesty.

    Another former OAG employee said the term is a “kiss of death” for a law ­enforcement officer, and that Duecker unsuccessfully attempted to label at least two employees besides Horvath as Giglio impaired.

    A complaint brought by former human relations analyst George Moore alleged that Duecker targeted Tim Deery, a narcotics agent who was demoted and berated in front of OAG employees, without cause, and whom Duecker investigated without following protocol. Sources said Deery was among those whom Duecker attempted to label as Giglio impaired.

    Renee Magnotta, a narcotics agent in the OAG’s Wilkes-Barre office, was fired in November 2013 and labeled as Giglio impaired, but she won her job back through arbitration.

    In a July 27, 2015, opinion, arbitrator Walt De Treux said evidence was insufficient to support the OAG’s characterization of Magnotta’s misconduct, which involved a warrant presented to a district justice without prior approval from a district attorney. De Treux wrote that Magnotta’s actions “do not implicate her credibility or integrity,” and that the OAG’s decision to terminate her rested on her alleged Giglio impairment. Finding no evidence of deliberate dishonesty, De Treux reduced Magnotta’s discipline to a 30-day suspension without pay. She was reinstated without loss of ­seniority and with back pay.

    The OAG appealed the arbitration award to the Commonwealth Court. Argument was held in February.

    Asked about Duecker’s use of the term “Giglio impairment,” Ardo said, “The OAG holds its employees to the very highest standards of conduct. Any unwarranted questions about their integrity would be embarrassing and counterproductive to the office’s mission. Our employees are held to a high standard of honesty and credibility because of the need for public trust and confidence in the work we do.”

    Moore’s complaint, in detailing Duecker’s pattern of behavior, also alleged that Duecker demoted narcotics agent Jerome Smith to the role of “administrative agent,” a role created by Duecker without human resources approval.

    Moore, who filed his suit late last year, has his own allegations of retaliation. He alleged he was fired for recommending Duecker be terminated because of sexual harassment allegations.

    In answers to Moore’s complaint, Kane and Duecker said they are protected by qualified immunity and sovereign immunity. Duecker also said Moore did not make a good-faith report of wrongdoing under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law and that his firing was for legitimate reasons.

    In addition to complaints filed by Moore, Wevodau and Horvath, Kane is facing three other lawsuits that allege retaliation.

    James P. Barker, the former chief of the OAG’s appeals unit, alleged he was fired shortly after a newspaper article revealed he testified before the grand jury investigating Kane. Kane filed a motion, which was granted in March, to stay that case while her criminal case is pending. She’s facing charges in Montgomery County for ­allegedly leaking grand jury material and lying about it.

    OAG agents Michael Carlson and Michael J. Cranga alleged that Kane and Duecker denied them promotions and selectively released emails linking them to the an ongoing scandal while protecting others, such as Granahan, in retaliation for their testimony before a Philadelphia grand jury in the corruption case stemming from the investigation that Kane alleged was racially targeted, as described in Wevodau’s complaint.

    Frank Noonan, a former state police commissioner, filed suit alongside four former OAG employees, including Frank Fina and E. Marc Costanzo, alleging Kane violated their First Amendment rights by retaliating against them after they spoke out against her.

    Kane has filed motions to dismiss in the Carlson and Noonan cases and those ­motions are pending.

    The defendants have not yet filed answers to Horvath and Wevodau’s complaints.

    Ardo said the OAG does not comment on ongoing litigation.

    SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL

    In his complaint, Wevodau said he ­discovered within the first few months of Kane’s term that she was “extremely paranoid” of her activities being monitored. Wevodau, who previously worked for the FBI, said in his complaint that Kane seemed suspicious that he might be working with the FBI to investigate her. She once plainly accused him of being a mole for the FBI, the complaint said.

    Multiple sources have said employees of the OAG are worried about their office phone records being examined, with fear of retaliation if the records show calls with certain parties. They said it is widely believed that employees’ office phone records were checked and their offices searched. Multiple sources said they believed their office emails were searched or monitored.

    But the office searches and other “covert investigations” have been done “pretty clumsily,” one source familiar with the ­office said.

    One former OAG employee said that on two occasions they sent an email about a specific document and were confronted by senior management employees very soon afterward who mentioned details contained in those messages.

    In response to a question about allegations of improper searches, Ardo said, “There is not a scintilla of evidence to support any of the allegations and even less evidence of Mr. Duecker’s involvement.”

    Sources said Duecker effectively controls the office’s internal affairs unit, which was renamed to the Office of Professional Responsibility. According to sources and lawsuits filed against the office, Duecker seems to use the OPR to investigate ­employees in order to retaliate or remove them from the office.

    Multiple sources said the OPR has been used to selectively discipline employees for violations of policy. Ardo denied the allegations.

    “The Office of Professional Responsibility is charged with ensuring that the Office of Attorney General personnel perform their duties in a professional manner and in accordance with the expectations of the commonwealth’s leading law enforcement agency,” Ardo said. “That is exactly what they do.”

    Violations by people in Duecker’s “in-group,” such as the controlled-buy incident alleged in Horvath’s complaint, would not lead to discipline, sources, including a former OAG employee, said. But violations committed by those in the “out-group” that sources characterized as minor or common would result in discipline, the sources said.

    Duecker’s resume is filled with experience in intelligence, analysis and counterterrorism. Before Kane hired him, Duecker worked as director of the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security and served as a senior counterterrorism adviser to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security. He has also worked in the Philadelphia office of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    He was a member of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, and during his time there he reportedly implemented a system for sharing intelligence analysis and civilian law enforcement reporting between the Department of Defense and federal, state and local law enforcement. In written testimony for the Pennsylvania Senate committee that investigated Kane last year, Duecker touted his nearly 30 years of experience in signals intelligence, counterterrorism intelligence, counterintelligence and counterdrug intelligence collection and analysis.

    A source with knowledge of the office said surveillance and office searches do not seem to have lightened up after Kane’s announcement that she would not run for re-election, even though she and her closest staffers now have a shelf life.

    PROTECTION OF A FEW

    Duecker remains in his post, despite ­sexual harassment allegations brought against him. Two women who alleged he harassed them were named in Moore’s lawsuit.

    Deputy attorney general Michele Kluk said Duecker physically assaulted her three times on Feb. 18, 2014, while they were at Damon’s Bar & Grill in Hazleton, running his hand through her hair and running his finger up her calf and thigh after she made clear that she didn’t want him touching her, the complaint alleged. The complaint noted that Kluk’s allegations were corroborated by agents who witnessed the assaults.

    Narcotics agent Cynthia Pugh alleged that Duecker “hit on her” at an office Christmas party at a house rented by the OAG for an assignment, then came into her room while she was sleeping. She awoke to Duecker standing over her bed, which was “creeping her out,” the complaint alleged. Duecker said he wanted to tell Pugh he was leaving, according to the complaint.

    After Kane was provided with the reports on Duecker’s case, she asked Chad Ellis, chief inspector for the OPR, what Kluk and Pugh “‘would need to make this go away,’” Moore’s complaint alleged. Kane told Ellis she “‘needed’” Duecker and would not ­terminate him, the complaint said.

    In April 2015, Moore recommended Duecker be terminated, his complaint said, but within a day, Duecker was promoted to chief of staff and was made Moore’s ­supervisor. In June 2015, Moore was fired.

    Meanwhile, Reese has been convicted of a crime, but he remains a paid employee of the OAG. Reese was found guilty of criminal contempt in December for violating a protective order during the grand jury investigation that led to the filing of criminal charges against Kane. Judge William R. Carpenter sentenced him in March to three to six months’ jail time. Reese has appealed the conviction.

    One attorney in the office said the perception among some OAG employees is that Reese’s relationship with Kane is the only reason he is still employed there. In a ­statement issued the day Reese was sentenced, Kane said he “was doing the job he was sworn to uphold,” adding that she expects Reese to win his appeal.

    During Reese’s criminal proceedings, Carpenter made a disclosure in open court that he was followed and his house was under surveillance in the fall of 2014. Carpenter said he did not know who had followed him, but he said he felt it appropriate to disclose that someone had followed him.

    Regarding Duecker and Reese, Ardo said Kane has “ultimate authority to make ­personnel decisions.”

    As for Granahan, sources said she is ­unlikely to show up for work on any given day. She was promoted to lead the child predator unit of the OAG in 2013.

    “I can say with certainty that the people who do work for her say she’s basically an absentee figure,” one source with knowledge of the office said.

    Another source, formerly an OAG employee, said Granahan seems to be “hidden.”

    “Granahan reports to work regularly,” Ardo said.

    When Granahan and Kane herself became linked to the offensive-email scandal that has embroiled the OAG for more than a year, Kane stated publicly that her sister’s emails were not offensive and did not raise concerns. The OAG released the emails after a prosecutor from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office received emails linking both sisters to the scandal. Granahan received emails containing what were seemingly intended to be jokes about domestic violence and race, for example, and sent an email containing innuendo about male genitalia.

    Granahan was not disciplined regarding the emails.

    “Although some of Ms. Granahan’s emails were inappropriate and in poor taste, none were pornographic and she wasn’t part of the offensive email chain that existed at the OAG,” Ardo said.

    Forty-six OAG employees involved in the scandal received some form of ­discipline, Ardo said. Twenty-seven were ­reprimanded; 13 were suspended; and six were terminated.

    Read more: http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202754555327/Retaliation-and-Intimidation-Persist-in-AG-Kanes-Office#ixzz45WoQibY9

  31. OK …. so she engages in oral sex. That doesn’t really answer the questions though, buggy.

    And it is a rather coarse way to refer to the tire-slasher’s attractiveness to Seth Williams. I’m sure she was also funny and kind. Probably an avid reader.

    There are still tons of questions. And so far – nothing but NO COMMENT from Seth Williams and the DA’s Office. But, Seth Williams can’t continue to protect the person who committed crimes at his house. he will eventually have to explain why he did not report those crimes. He will have to tell us who, at his Office, he tasked with investigating those crimes (LOL – I’ll give you 3 guesses!!). He is going to have to tell us what made that young lady so angry that she slashed the tires of those City cars … and why he made the taxpayers pay for the damage she caused. This smokescreen will not last forever.
    One thing seems clear about what happened in November outside the Overbrook home of District Attorney Seth Williams: Four tires were slashed on two security cars from his office.
    That showed up 12 days later in a police report required by the city’s Office of Fleet Management to replace the tires, at a cost to taxpayers estimated by the office at $845.64.
    What remains unclear about the vandalism is who did it and why no investigation appears to have ensued to find out.
    Was the daylight crime on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, a random act of violence? Retribution for a prosecution? A personal dispute?
    If the district attorney knows, he won’t say. Through his spokesman, Williams has declined numerous requests to comment on the matter. In response to a reporter’s inquiries, his office issued a statement:
    “For safety and security reasons, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office does not comment or release details about matters involving the District Attorney’s security or internal investigations.”
    Protection has been paramount for Williams since he took office in 2010. In six years, taxpayers have spent $2 million on a four-man security detail to protect him. Yet no money appears to have gone toward probing the tire-slashings, which left a curious paper trail through city records.
    Two days after the incident, work orders were filed Nov. 13 with the Fleet Management tire shop to repair the left front and right rear tires on one of the city-owned cars, a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria, and the left front and left rear tires on the other, a 2010 Ford Escape.
    Four days later, on Nov. 17, Sgt. Daniel Kearney, assigned to the District Attorney’s Office Protection Unit, emailed a Fleet Management supervisor a number used to track the report of the damage.
    In the email, Kearney apologized for a delay in providing the information and explained that he was waiting for a lieutenant to approve the report. Kearney’s email noted that the office was investigating.
    Estimates generated by Fleet Management on Nov. 17 put the cost of repairs at $437.82 for one car and $407.82 for the other, totaling $845.64.
    Police incident reports routinely are generated as soon as officers arrive at the scene, and any investigation is assigned to a detective division within a day or two, police say.
    But in this case, it was not until Nov. 23 – 12 days after the incident – that Kearney filed identical reports for the two cars, listing Williams’ home address as the location. The reports list the cars by their assigned city property numbers. It is unclear from the reports whether Williams or the officers were there at the time.
    “Below listed vehicles had damage to the vehicles and is under investigation at the Phila. District Attorney’s Office,” Kearney wrote, noting that the case would proceed under a different district control number – one that falls under Williams’ office, not the Police Department.
    Indeed, the Police Department is not investigating the tire-slashings, a spokesman, Lt. John Stanford, said in an email last week. “We don’t currently have an active investigation on the incident,” he wrote.
    Under department policy, when a city vehicle is vandalized, an officer in the detective division where it happened opens an investigation. The incident at Williams’ house was reported to the 19th District, but the file apparently was closed with no investigative follow-up.
    Capt. Joseph Bologna, who runs that district, said he was unaware of the tire-slashings. His officers, he added, would have arrested anyone responsible for the vandalism at Williams’ house.
    After a reporter provided Bologna with the six-digit number attached to the police incident report, Bologna said the police paper trail stops with the incident report that Sgt. Kearney filled out. Williams’ security staff probably needed to start with a 19th District control number to get Fleet Management to fix the tires, Bologna said.
    Williams’ predecessor, Lynne Abraham, said Thursday that no city security car ever was left parked outside her residence when she was district attorney.
    “I was picked up and dropped off,” said Abraham, who was in the job from May 1991 to January 2010.
    Asked how a hypothetical tire-slashing of a city vehicle outside her home would have been handled, Abraham said the incident would have been immediately reported to the Police Department and investigated by the police detective division.
    Meanwhile, four neighbors of Williams’ said they knew nothing about the vandalism of his security cars. They said that no investigator had asked them whether they had seen anything unusual, and they described the neighborhood as safe and secure.
    “It’s very quiet here. We don’t have traffic. Everything here is residential, and everyone knows everyone,” said Diane Povine, 68, who lives a few houses from Williams.
    “There’s a town watch here,” she said. “We have no worries.”
    Williams, 49, has made security a priority. On two recent mornings, a car belonging to the District Attorney’s Office – a Ford Escape on one day, and a Crown Victoria on the other – was parked on the street outside his residence.
    Last month, in response to a Right-to-Know request, the prosecutor’s office provided the names of the officers assigned to protect Williams from 2010 through 2015, including their salaries and overtime.
    But two weeks later, in a Feb. 19 letter, the open records officer, BJ Graham Rubin, requested “the return of the documents.”
    Rubin’s letter said that to publish the names of the officers “is reasonably likely to result in harm and will compromise the safety of the officers, the DA and potentially the public in general.”
    The protection for Williams has cost taxpayers at least $1.9 million, ranging from $229,870 in 2010 to $376,580 in 2014. One of the four officers recently was reassigned.
    By contrast, Abraham never had more than one police officer assigned to her security during her 19 years as the city’s top prosecutor, she said.
    “It was only one person. I didn’t have a detail,” Abraham, 75, said in a recent interview. “I had one person at a time.”
    Security for Abraham in 2009, her last year in office, cost taxpayers $99,436 for one officer, according to documents that Rubin provided.
    Security for Williams last year amounted to a $361,186 tab for taxpayers – an increase of 263 percent over Abraham’s figure six years earlier.

  32. At least Seth isn’t as bad as this:

    The leadership of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General uses fear, paranoia and retaliation to keep staffers in line and punish dissenters, according to lawsuits and sources familiar with the office.

    In the past six months, a series of lawsuits against state Attorney General Kathleen Kane and her office have alleged ­various forms of retaliation against employees. The lawsuits and interviews with numerous members of the OAG, both current and former, describe a persistent culture of intimidation in which those close to Kane are protected, regardless of their transgressions, while other OAG employees who run afoul of Kane or her confidants are disciplined, demoted or fired.

    Sources described an OAG run by a Nixonian administration bent on minimizing dissent. Multiple sources said employees strongly suspect that OAG leadership has searched their personal work space and computers. They described an environment in which employees at all levels are concerned they could lose their jobs at any time.

    OAG spokesman Chuck Ardo denied any allegations regarding improper discipline or searches of employees’ space. He stressed that the OAG holds its employees to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism.

    THE INNER CIRCLE

    Kane’s close group of trusted OAG ­employees includes her chief of staff, Jonathan Duecker, who has also led the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation; Kane’s sister, Ellen Granahan, who runs the office’s child predator unit; and Renee Martin, who briefly acted as the OAG’s spokeswoman and is now its director of education and outreach. Kane aide Patrick Reese, once one of the closest members of her circle, was sentenced last month to three to six months in jail for violating a protective order.

    A current OAG attorney said Duecker is the “spider at the center of the web.” Sources said Kane and Duecker consider whether an individual is “on the team” when determining which members of the office receive harsh treatment and which benefit from their support.

    One former OAG employee, who was fired shortly after Kane took office in January 2013, was simply told upon dismissal, “You’re not on the team.” That employee had ongoing friction with a member of Kane’s inner circle, the individual said.

    “Unless you’re bending down and kissing the queen’s feet, they don’t want anything to do with you,” said one person familiar with the office.

    OAG agent Kevin Wevodau filed a lawsuit April 4 that alleged Kane retaliated after he confronted her about an allegedly false statement she made. Kane had publicly stated that Wevodau assessed a sting investigation initiated by her predecessors and found it to be racially motivated. Kane had decided not to prosecute the officials implicated in the sting, but Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams took up the prosecutions, which have since resulted in four guilty pleas and one no contest plea.

    A May 2015 newspaper article made public that Wevodau contradicted Kane’s allegations regarding his findings. In June, Wevodau’s complaint alleged, Kane summoned Wevodau to her home, where she threatened his reputation and family life if he did not resign. Wevodau, who led the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, did not resign. He is currently on administrative leave.

    Much of the retaliation alleged in complaints and discussed by those familiar with the office can be traced to Duecker. In May 2015, Kane made Duecker, who she hired in 2013, responsible for all personnel decisions.

    A complaint by former narcotics agent Charles Horvath described a chain of events in which he blew the whistle about an alleged cover-up of a botched controlled drug purchase and encountered retaliation that culminated in his firing. The defendants are the OAG, Duecker and two other office employees.

    After Horvath detailed the incident in two union grievances, the complaint alleged, two of Horvath’s superiors began “a pattern of antagonistic and harassing behavior,” and Duecker ultimately fired him.

    Duecker also allegedly disseminated a notice of Horvath’s termination that said he was “Giglio impaired” as a result of his actions, and included the term in Horvath’s termination letter. According to Horvath’s complaint, “A Giglio impaired agent is one against whom there is potential impeachment evidence that would render the agent’s testimony of marginal or no value in a criminal prosecution.”

    Sources said Duecker has labeled OAG employees as Giglio impaired on multiple occasions, and has also wielded the designation as a threat against those with whom he has had disagreements. One former OAG employee said Duecker uses the term “to damage careers.” Sources said Giglio impairment is typically a federal designation not often applied in the state context. But including the term in personnel files is nonetheless damaging, sources said.

    Despite the OAG’s alleged attempt to label Horvath as Giglio impaired, an unemployment compensation referee declared him eligible for benefits, finding that the OAG failed to show any of his actions ­demonstrated dishonesty.

    Another former OAG employee said the term is a “kiss of death” for a law ­enforcement officer, and that Duecker unsuccessfully attempted to label at least two employees besides Horvath as Giglio impaired.

    A complaint brought by former human relations analyst George Moore alleged that Duecker targeted Tim Deery, a narcotics agent who was demoted and berated in front of OAG employees, without cause, and whom Duecker investigated without following protocol. Sources said Deery was among those whom Duecker attempted to label as Giglio impaired.

    Renee Magnotta, a narcotics agent in the OAG’s Wilkes-Barre office, was fired in November 2013 and labeled as Giglio impaired, but she won her job back through arbitration.

    In a July 27, 2015, opinion, arbitrator Walt De Treux said evidence was insufficient to support the OAG’s characterization of Magnotta’s misconduct, which involved a warrant presented to a district justice without prior approval from a district attorney. De Treux wrote that Magnotta’s actions “do not implicate her credibility or integrity,” and that the OAG’s decision to terminate her rested on her alleged Giglio impairment. Finding no evidence of deliberate dishonesty, De Treux reduced Magnotta’s discipline to a 30-day suspension without pay. She was reinstated without loss of ­seniority and with back pay.

    The OAG appealed the arbitration award to the Commonwealth Court. Argument was held in February.

    Asked about Duecker’s use of the term “Giglio impairment,” Ardo said, “The OAG holds its employees to the very highest standards of conduct. Any unwarranted questions about their integrity would be embarrassing and counterproductive to the office’s mission. Our employees are held to a high standard of honesty and credibility because of the need for public trust and confidence in the work we do.”

    Moore’s complaint, in detailing Duecker’s pattern of behavior, also alleged that Duecker demoted narcotics agent Jerome Smith to the role of “administrative agent,” a role created by Duecker without human resources approval.

    Moore, who filed his suit late last year, has his own allegations of retaliation. He alleged he was fired for recommending Duecker be terminated because of sexual harassment allegations.

    In answers to Moore’s complaint, Kane and Duecker said they are protected by qualified immunity and sovereign immunity. Duecker also said Moore did not make a good-faith report of wrongdoing under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law and that his firing was for legitimate reasons.

    In addition to complaints filed by Moore, Wevodau and Horvath, Kane is facing three other lawsuits that allege retaliation.

    James P. Barker, the former chief of the OAG’s appeals unit, alleged he was fired shortly after a newspaper article revealed he testified before the grand jury investigating Kane. Kane filed a motion, which was granted in March, to stay that case while her criminal case is pending. She’s facing charges in Montgomery County for ­allegedly leaking grand jury material and lying about it.

    OAG agents Michael Carlson and Michael J. Cranga alleged that Kane and Duecker denied them promotions and selectively released emails linking them to the an ongoing scandal while protecting others, such as Granahan, in retaliation for their testimony before a Philadelphia grand jury in the corruption case stemming from the investigation that Kane alleged was racially targeted, as described in Wevodau’s complaint.

    Frank Noonan, a former state police commissioner, filed suit alongside four former OAG employees, including Frank Fina and E. Marc Costanzo, alleging Kane violated their First Amendment rights by retaliating against them after they spoke out against her.

    Kane has filed motions to dismiss in the Carlson and Noonan cases and those ­motions are pending.

    The defendants have not yet filed answers to Horvath and Wevodau’s complaints.

    Ardo said the OAG does not comment on ongoing litigation.

    SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL

    In his complaint, Wevodau said he ­discovered within the first few months of Kane’s term that she was “extremely paranoid” of her activities being monitored. Wevodau, who previously worked for the FBI, said in his complaint that Kane seemed suspicious that he might be working with the FBI to investigate her. She once plainly accused him of being a mole for the FBI, the complaint said.

    Multiple sources have said employees of the OAG are worried about their office phone records being examined, with fear of retaliation if the records show calls with certain parties. They said it is widely believed that employees’ office phone records were checked and their offices searched. Multiple sources said they believed their office emails were searched or monitored.

    But the office searches and other “covert investigations” have been done “pretty clumsily,” one source familiar with the ­office said.

    One former OAG employee said that on two occasions they sent an email about a specific document and were confronted by senior management employees very soon afterward who mentioned details contained in those messages.

    In response to a question about allegations of improper searches, Ardo said, “There is not a scintilla of evidence to support any of the allegations and even less evidence of Mr. Duecker’s involvement.”

    Sources said Duecker effectively controls the office’s internal affairs unit, which was renamed to the Office of Professional Responsibility. According to sources and lawsuits filed against the office, Duecker seems to use the OPR to investigate ­employees in order to retaliate or remove them from the office.

    Multiple sources said the OPR has been used to selectively discipline employees for violations of policy. Ardo denied the allegations.

    “The Office of Professional Responsibility is charged with ensuring that the Office of Attorney General personnel perform their duties in a professional manner and in accordance with the expectations of the commonwealth’s leading law enforcement agency,” Ardo said. “That is exactly what they do.”

    Violations by people in Duecker’s “in-group,” such as the controlled-buy incident alleged in Horvath’s complaint, would not lead to discipline, sources, including a former OAG employee, said. But violations committed by those in the “out-group” that sources characterized as minor or common would result in discipline, the sources said.

    Duecker’s resume is filled with experience in intelligence, analysis and counterterrorism. Before Kane hired him, Duecker worked as director of the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security and served as a senior counterterrorism adviser to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security. He has also worked in the Philadelphia office of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    He was a member of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, and during his time there he reportedly implemented a system for sharing intelligence analysis and civilian law enforcement reporting between the Department of Defense and federal, state and local law enforcement. In written testimony for the Pennsylvania Senate committee that investigated Kane last year, Duecker touted his nearly 30 years of experience in signals intelligence, counterterrorism intelligence, counterintelligence and counterdrug intelligence collection and analysis.

    A source with knowledge of the office said surveillance and office searches do not seem to have lightened up after Kane’s announcement that she would not run for re-election, even though she and her closest staffers now have a shelf life.

    PROTECTION OF A FEW

    Duecker remains in his post, despite ­sexual harassment allegations brought against him. Two women who alleged he harassed them were named in Moore’s lawsuit.

    Deputy attorney general Michele Kluk said Duecker physically assaulted her three times on Feb. 18, 2014, while they were at Damon’s Bar & Grill in Hazleton, running his hand through her hair and running his finger up her calf and thigh after she made clear that she didn’t want him touching her, the complaint alleged. The complaint noted that Kluk’s allegations were corroborated by agents who witnessed the assaults.

    Narcotics agent Cynthia Pugh alleged that Duecker “hit on her” at an office Christmas party at a house rented by the OAG for an assignment, then came into her room while she was sleeping. She awoke to Duecker standing over her bed, which was “creeping her out,” the complaint alleged. Duecker said he wanted to tell Pugh he was leaving, according to the complaint.

    After Kane was provided with the reports on Duecker’s case, she asked Chad Ellis, chief inspector for the OPR, what Kluk and Pugh “‘would need to make this go away,’” Moore’s complaint alleged. Kane told Ellis she “‘needed’” Duecker and would not ­terminate him, the complaint said.

    In April 2015, Moore recommended Duecker be terminated, his complaint said, but within a day, Duecker was promoted to chief of staff and was made Moore’s ­supervisor. In June 2015, Moore was fired.

    Meanwhile, Reese has been convicted of a crime, but he remains a paid employee of the OAG. Reese was found guilty of criminal contempt in December for violating a protective order during the grand jury investigation that led to the filing of criminal charges against Kane. Judge William R. Carpenter sentenced him in March to three to six months’ jail time. Reese has appealed the conviction.

    One attorney in the office said the perception among some OAG employees is that Reese’s relationship with Kane is the only reason he is still employed there. In a ­statement issued the day Reese was sentenced, Kane said he “was doing the job he was sworn to uphold,” adding that she expects Reese to win his appeal.

    During Reese’s criminal proceedings, Carpenter made a disclosure in open court that he was followed and his house was under surveillance in the fall of 2014. Carpenter said he did not know who had followed him, but he said he felt it appropriate to disclose that someone had followed him.

    Regarding Duecker and Reese, Ardo said Kane has “ultimate authority to make ­personnel decisions.”

    As for Granahan, sources said she is ­unlikely to show up for work on any given day. She was promoted to lead the child predator unit of the OAG in 2013.

    “I can say with certainty that the people who do work for her say she’s basically an absentee figure,” one source with knowledge of the office said.

    Another source, formerly an OAG employee, said Granahan seems to be “hidden.”

    “Granahan reports to work regularly,” Ardo said.

    When Granahan and Kane herself became linked to the offensive-email scandal that has embroiled the OAG for more than a year, Kane stated publicly that her sister’s emails were not offensive and did not raise concerns. The OAG released the emails after a prosecutor from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office received emails linking both sisters to the scandal. Granahan received emails containing what were seemingly intended to be jokes about domestic violence and race, for example, and sent an email containing innuendo about male genitalia.

    Granahan was not disciplined regarding the emails.

    “Although some of Ms. Granahan’s emails were inappropriate and in poor taste, none were pornographic and she wasn’t part of the offensive email chain that existed at the OAG,” Ardo said.

    Forty-six OAG employees involved in the scandal received some form of ­discipline, Ardo said. Twenty-seven were ­reprimanded; 13 were suspended; and six were terminated.

    Read more: http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202754555327/Retaliation-and-Intimidation-Persist-in-AG-Kanes-Office#ixzz45WoQibY9

  33. There are still tons of questions. And so far – nothing but NO COMMENT from Seth Williams and the DA’s Office. But, Seth Williams can’t continue to protect the person who committed crimes at his house. he will eventually have to explain why he did not report those crimes. He will have to tell us who, at his Office, he tasked with investigating those crimes (LOL – I’ll give you 3 guesses!!). He is going to have to tell us what made that young lady so angry that she slashed the tires of those City cars … and why he made the taxpayers pay for the damage she caused. This smokescreen will not last forever.

    One thing seems clear about what happened in November outside the Overbrook home of District Attorney Seth Williams: Four tires were slashed on two security cars from his office.

    That showed up 12 days later in a police report required by the city’s Office of Fleet Management to replace the tires, at a cost to taxpayers estimated by the office at $845.64.

    What remains unclear about the vandalism is who did it and why no investigation appears to have ensued to find out.

    Was the daylight crime on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, a random act of violence? Retribution for a prosecution? A personal dispute?

    If the district attorney knows, he won’t say. Through his spokesman, Williams has declined numerous requests to comment on the matter. In response to a reporter’s inquiries, his office issued a statement:

    “For safety and security reasons, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office does not comment or release details about matters involving the District Attorney’s security or internal investigations.”

    Protection has been paramount for Williams since he took office in 2010. In six years, taxpayers have spent $2 million on a four-man security detail to protect him. Yet no money appears to have gone toward probing the tire-slashings, which left a curious paper trail through city records.

    Two days after the incident, work orders were filed Nov. 13 with the Fleet Management tire shop to repair the left front and right rear tires on one of the city-owned cars, a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria, and the left front and left rear tires on the other, a 2010 Ford Escape.

    Four days later, on Nov. 17, Sgt. Daniel Kearney, assigned to the District Attorney’s Office Protection Unit, emailed a Fleet Management supervisor a number used to track the report of the damage.

    In the email, Kearney apologized for a delay in providing the information and explained that he was waiting for a lieutenant to approve the report. Kearney’s email noted that the office was investigating.

    Estimates generated by Fleet Management on Nov. 17 put the cost of repairs at $437.82 for one car and $407.82 for the other, totaling $845.64.

    Police incident reports routinely are generated as soon as officers arrive at the scene, and any investigation is assigned to a detective division within a day or two, police say.

    But in this case, it was not until Nov. 23 – 12 days after the incident – that Kearney filed identical reports for the two cars, listing Williams’ home address as the location. The reports list the cars by their assigned city property numbers. It is unclear from the reports whether Williams or the officers were there at the time.

    “Below listed vehicles had damage to the vehicles and is under investigation at the Phila. District Attorney’s Office,” Kearney wrote, noting that the case would proceed under a different district control number – one that falls under Williams’ office, not the Police Department.

    Indeed, the Police Department is not investigating the tire-slashings, a spokesman, Lt. John Stanford, said in an email last week. “We don’t currently have an active investigation on the incident,” he wrote.

    Under department policy, when a city vehicle is vandalized, an officer in the detective division where it happened opens an investigation. The incident at Williams’ house was reported to the 19th District, but the file apparently was closed with no investigative follow-up.

    Capt. Joseph Bologna, who runs that district, said he was unaware of the tire-slashings. His officers, he added, would have arrested anyone responsible for the vandalism at Williams’ house.

    After a reporter provided Bologna with the six-digit number attached to the police incident report, Bologna said the police paper trail stops with the incident report that Sgt. Kearney filled out. Williams’ security staff probably needed to start with a 19th District control number to get Fleet Management to fix the tires, Bologna said.

    Williams’ predecessor, Lynne Abraham, said Thursday that no city security car ever was left parked outside her residence when she was district attorney.

    “I was picked up and dropped off,” said Abraham, who was in the job from May 1991 to January 2010.

    Asked how a hypothetical tire-slashing of a city vehicle outside her home would have been handled, Abraham said the incident would have been immediately reported to the Police Department and investigated by the police detective division.

    Meanwhile, four neighbors of Williams’ said they knew nothing about the vandalism of his security cars. They said that no investigator had asked them whether they had seen anything unusual, and they described the neighborhood as safe and secure.

    “It’s very quiet here. We don’t have traffic. Everything here is residential, and everyone knows everyone,” said Diane Povine, 68, who lives a few houses from Williams.

    “There’s a town watch here,” she said. “We have no worries.”

    Williams, 49, has made security a priority. On two recent mornings, a car belonging to the District Attorney’s Office – a Ford Escape on one day, and a Crown Victoria on the other – was parked on the street outside his residence.

    Last month, in response to a Right-to-Know request, the prosecutor’s office provided the names of the officers assigned to protect Williams from 2010 through 2015, including their salaries and overtime.

    But two weeks later, in a Feb. 19 letter, the open records officer, BJ Graham Rubin, requested “the return of the documents.”

    Rubin’s letter said that to publish the names of the officers “is reasonably likely to result in harm and will compromise the safety of the officers, the DA and potentially the public in general.”

    The protection for Williams has cost taxpayers at least $1.9 million, ranging from $229,870 in 2010 to $376,580 in 2014. One of the four officers recently was reassigned.

    By contrast, Abraham never had more than one police officer assigned to her security during her 19 years as the city’s top prosecutor, she said.

    “It was only one person. I didn’t have a detail,” Abraham, 75, said in a recent interview. “I had one person at a time.”

    Security for Abraham in 2009, her last year in office, cost taxpayers $99,436 for one officer, according to documents that Rubin provided.

    Security for Williams last year amounted to a $361,186 tab for taxpayers – an increase of 263 percent over Abraham’s figure six years earlier.

  34. How bad an AG is Kane?

    The leadership of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General uses fear, paranoia and retaliation to keep staffers in line and punish dissenters, according to lawsuits and sources familiar with the office.

    In the past six months, a series of lawsuits against state Attorney General Kathleen Kane and her office have alleged ­various forms of retaliation against employees. The lawsuits and interviews with numerous members of the OAG, both current and former, describe a persistent culture of intimidation in which those close to Kane are protected, regardless of their transgressions, while other OAG employees who run afoul of Kane or her confidants are disciplined, demoted or fired.

    Sources described an OAG run by a Nixonian administration bent on minimizing dissent. Multiple sources said employees strongly suspect that OAG leadership has searched their personal work space and computers. They described an environment in which employees at all levels are concerned they could lose their jobs at any time.

    OAG spokesman Chuck Ardo denied any allegations regarding improper discipline or searches of employees’ space. He stressed that the OAG holds its employees to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism.

    THE INNER CIRCLE

    Kane’s close group of trusted OAG ­employees includes her chief of staff, Jonathan Duecker, who has also led the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation; Kane’s sister, Ellen Granahan, who runs the office’s child predator unit; and Renee Martin, who briefly acted as the OAG’s spokeswoman and is now its director of education and outreach. Kane aide Patrick Reese, once one of the closest members of her circle, was sentenced last month to three to six months in jail for violating a protective order.

    A current OAG attorney said Duecker is the “spider at the center of the web.” Sources said Kane and Duecker consider whether an individual is “on the team” when determining which members of the office receive harsh treatment and which benefit from their support.

    One former OAG employee, who was fired shortly after Kane took office in January 2013, was simply told upon dismissal, “You’re not on the team.” That employee had ongoing friction with a member of Kane’s inner circle, the individual said.

    “Unless you’re bending down and kissing the queen’s feet, they don’t want anything to do with you,” said one person familiar with the office.

    OAG agent Kevin Wevodau filed a lawsuit April 4 that alleged Kane retaliated after he confronted her about an allegedly false statement she made. Kane had publicly stated that Wevodau assessed a sting investigation initiated by her predecessors and found it to be racially motivated. Kane had decided not to prosecute the officials implicated in the sting, but Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams took up the prosecutions, which have since resulted in four guilty pleas and one no contest plea.

    A May 2015 newspaper article made public that Wevodau contradicted Kane’s allegations regarding his findings. In June, Wevodau’s complaint alleged, Kane summoned Wevodau to her home, where she threatened his reputation and family life if he did not resign. Wevodau, who led the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, did not resign. He is currently on administrative leave.

    Much of the retaliation alleged in complaints and discussed by those familiar with the office can be traced to Duecker. In May 2015, Kane made Duecker, who she hired in 2013, responsible for all personnel decisions.

    A complaint by former narcotics agent Charles Horvath described a chain of events in which he blew the whistle about an alleged cover-up of a botched controlled drug purchase and encountered retaliation that culminated in his firing. The defendants are the OAG, Duecker and two other office employees.

    After Horvath detailed the incident in two union grievances, the complaint alleged, two of Horvath’s superiors began “a pattern of antagonistic and harassing behavior,” and Duecker ultimately fired him.

    Duecker also allegedly disseminated a notice of Horvath’s termination that said he was “Giglio impaired” as a result of his actions, and included the term in Horvath’s termination letter. According to Horvath’s complaint, “A Giglio impaired agent is one against whom there is potential impeachment evidence that would render the agent’s testimony of marginal or no value in a criminal prosecution.”

    Sources said Duecker has labeled OAG employees as Giglio impaired on multiple occasions, and has also wielded the designation as a threat against those with whom he has had disagreements. One former OAG employee said Duecker uses the term “to damage careers.” Sources said Giglio impairment is typically a federal designation not often applied in the state context. But including the term in personnel files is nonetheless damaging, sources said.

    Despite the OAG’s alleged attempt to label Horvath as Giglio impaired, an unemployment compensation referee declared him eligible for benefits, finding that the OAG failed to show any of his actions ­demonstrated dishonesty.

    Another former OAG employee said the term is a “kiss of death” for a law ­enforcement officer, and that Duecker unsuccessfully attempted to label at least two employees besides Horvath as Giglio impaired.

    A complaint brought by former human relations analyst George Moore alleged that Duecker targeted Tim Deery, a narcotics agent who was demoted and berated in front of OAG employees, without cause, and whom Duecker investigated without following protocol. Sources said Deery was among those whom Duecker attempted to label as Giglio impaired.

    Renee Magnotta, a narcotics agent in the OAG’s Wilkes-Barre office, was fired in November 2013 and labeled as Giglio impaired, but she won her job back through arbitration.

    In a July 27, 2015, opinion, arbitrator Walt De Treux said evidence was insufficient to support the OAG’s characterization of Magnotta’s misconduct, which involved a warrant presented to a district justice without prior approval from a district attorney. De Treux wrote that Magnotta’s actions “do not implicate her credibility or integrity,” and that the OAG’s decision to terminate her rested on her alleged Giglio impairment. Finding no evidence of deliberate dishonesty, De Treux reduced Magnotta’s discipline to a 30-day suspension without pay. She was reinstated without loss of ­seniority and with back pay.

    The OAG appealed the arbitration award to the Commonwealth Court. Argument was held in February.

    Asked about Duecker’s use of the term “Giglio impairment,” Ardo said, “The OAG holds its employees to the very highest standards of conduct. Any unwarranted questions about their integrity would be embarrassing and counterproductive to the office’s mission. Our employees are held to a high standard of honesty and credibility because of the need for public trust and confidence in the work we do.”

    Moore’s complaint, in detailing Duecker’s pattern of behavior, also alleged that Duecker demoted narcotics agent Jerome Smith to the role of “administrative agent,” a role created by Duecker without human resources approval.

    Moore, who filed his suit late last year, has his own allegations of retaliation. He alleged he was fired for recommending Duecker be terminated because of sexual harassment allegations.

    In answers to Moore’s complaint, Kane and Duecker said they are protected by qualified immunity and sovereign immunity. Duecker also said Moore did not make a good-faith report of wrongdoing under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law and that his firing was for legitimate reasons.

    In addition to complaints filed by Moore, Wevodau and Horvath, Kane is facing three other lawsuits that allege retaliation.

    James P. Barker, the former chief of the OAG’s appeals unit, alleged he was fired shortly after a newspaper article revealed he testified before the grand jury investigating Kane. Kane filed a motion, which was granted in March, to stay that case while her criminal case is pending. She’s facing charges in Montgomery County for ­allegedly leaking grand jury material and lying about it.

    OAG agents Michael Carlson and Michael J. Cranga alleged that Kane and Duecker denied them promotions and selectively released emails linking them to the an ongoing scandal while protecting others, such as Granahan, in retaliation for their testimony before a Philadelphia grand jury in the corruption case stemming from the investigation that Kane alleged was racially targeted, as described in Wevodau’s complaint.

    Frank Noonan, a former state police commissioner, filed suit alongside four former OAG employees, including Frank Fina and E. Marc Costanzo, alleging Kane violated their First Amendment rights by retaliating against them after they spoke out against her.

    Kane has filed motions to dismiss in the Carlson and Noonan cases and those ­motions are pending.

    The defendants have not yet filed answers to Horvath and Wevodau’s complaints.

    Ardo said the OAG does not comment on ongoing litigation.

    SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL

    In his complaint, Wevodau said he ­discovered within the first few months of Kane’s term that she was “extremely paranoid” of her activities being monitored. Wevodau, who previously worked for the FBI, said in his complaint that Kane seemed suspicious that he might be working with the FBI to investigate her. She once plainly accused him of being a mole for the FBI, the complaint said.

    Multiple sources have said employees of the OAG are worried about their office phone records being examined, with fear of retaliation if the records show calls with certain parties. They said it is widely believed that employees’ office phone records were checked and their offices searched. Multiple sources said they believed their office emails were searched or monitored.

    But the office searches and other “covert investigations” have been done “pretty clumsily,” one source familiar with the ­office said.

    One former OAG employee said that on two occasions they sent an email about a specific document and were confronted by senior management employees very soon afterward who mentioned details contained in those messages.

    In response to a question about allegations of improper searches, Ardo said, “There is not a scintilla of evidence to support any of the allegations and even less evidence of Mr. Duecker’s involvement.”

    Sources said Duecker effectively controls the office’s internal affairs unit, which was renamed to the Office of Professional Responsibility. According to sources and lawsuits filed against the office, Duecker seems to use the OPR to investigate ­employees in order to retaliate or remove them from the office.

    Multiple sources said the OPR has been used to selectively discipline employees for violations of policy. Ardo denied the allegations.

    “The Office of Professional Responsibility is charged with ensuring that the Office of Attorney General personnel perform their duties in a professional manner and in accordance with the expectations of the commonwealth’s leading law enforcement agency,” Ardo said. “That is exactly what they do.”

    Violations by people in Duecker’s “in-group,” such as the controlled-buy incident alleged in Horvath’s complaint, would not lead to discipline, sources, including a former OAG employee, said. But violations committed by those in the “out-group” that sources characterized as minor or common would result in discipline, the sources said.

    Duecker’s resume is filled with experience in intelligence, analysis and counterterrorism. Before Kane hired him, Duecker worked as director of the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security and served as a senior counterterrorism adviser to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security. He has also worked in the Philadelphia office of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    He was a member of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, and during his time there he reportedly implemented a system for sharing intelligence analysis and civilian law enforcement reporting between the Department of Defense and federal, state and local law enforcement. In written testimony for the Pennsylvania Senate committee that investigated Kane last year, Duecker touted his nearly 30 years of experience in signals intelligence, counterterrorism intelligence, counterintelligence and counterdrug intelligence collection and analysis.

    A source with knowledge of the office said surveillance and office searches do not seem to have lightened up after Kane’s announcement that she would not run for re-election, even though she and her closest staffers now have a shelf life.

    PROTECTION OF A FEW

    Duecker remains in his post, despite ­sexual harassment allegations brought against him. Two women who alleged he harassed them were named in Moore’s lawsuit.

    Deputy attorney general Michele Kluk said Duecker physically assaulted her three times on Feb. 18, 2014, while they were at Damon’s Bar & Grill in Hazleton, running his hand through her hair and running his finger up her calf and thigh after she made clear that she didn’t want him touching her, the complaint alleged. The complaint noted that Kluk’s allegations were corroborated by agents who witnessed the assaults.

    Narcotics agent Cynthia Pugh alleged that Duecker “hit on her” at an office Christmas party at a house rented by the OAG for an assignment, then came into her room while she was sleeping. She awoke to Duecker standing over her bed, which was “creeping her out,” the complaint alleged. Duecker said he wanted to tell Pugh he was leaving, according to the complaint.

    After Kane was provided with the reports on Duecker’s case, she asked Chad Ellis, chief inspector for the OPR, what Kluk and Pugh “‘would need to make this go away,’” Moore’s complaint alleged. Kane told Ellis she “‘needed’” Duecker and would not ­terminate him, the complaint said.

    In April 2015, Moore recommended Duecker be terminated, his complaint said, but within a day, Duecker was promoted to chief of staff and was made Moore’s ­supervisor. In June 2015, Moore was fired.

    Meanwhile, Reese has been convicted of a crime, but he remains a paid employee of the OAG. Reese was found guilty of criminal contempt in December for violating a protective order during the grand jury investigation that led to the filing of criminal charges against Kane. Judge William R. Carpenter sentenced him in March to three to six months’ jail time. Reese has appealed the conviction.

    One attorney in the office said the perception among some OAG employees is that Reese’s relationship with Kane is the only reason he is still employed there. In a ­statement issued the day Reese was sentenced, Kane said he “was doing the job he was sworn to uphold,” adding that she expects Reese to win his appeal.

    During Reese’s criminal proceedings, Carpenter made a disclosure in open court that he was followed and his house was under surveillance in the fall of 2014. Carpenter said he did not know who had followed him, but he said he felt it appropriate to disclose that someone had followed him.

    Regarding Duecker and Reese, Ardo said Kane has “ultimate authority to make ­personnel decisions.”

    As for Granahan, sources said she is ­unlikely to show up for work on any given day. She was promoted to lead the child predator unit of the OAG in 2013.

    “I can say with certainty that the people who do work for her say she’s basically an absentee figure,” one source with knowledge of the office said.

    Another source, formerly an OAG employee, said Granahan seems to be “hidden.”

    “Granahan reports to work regularly,” Ardo said.

    When Granahan and Kane herself became linked to the offensive-email scandal that has embroiled the OAG for more than a year, Kane stated publicly that her sister’s emails were not offensive and did not raise concerns. The OAG released the emails after a prosecutor from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office received emails linking both sisters to the scandal. Granahan received emails containing what were seemingly intended to be jokes about domestic violence and race, for example, and sent an email containing innuendo about male genitalia.

    Granahan was not disciplined regarding the emails.

    “Although some of Ms. Granahan’s emails were inappropriate and in poor taste, none were pornographic and she wasn’t part of the offensive email chain that existed at the OAG,” Ardo said.

    Forty-six OAG employees involved in the scandal received some form of ­discipline, Ardo said. Twenty-seven were ­reprimanded; 13 were suspended; and six were terminated.

    Read more: http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202754555327/Retaliation-and-Intimidation-Persist-in-AG-Kanes-Office#ixzz45WoQibY9

  35. Here is an UP: Joe Sestak endorsed by Philly Inquirer. ATTN: PoliticsPA and its readers………

  36. What does District Attorney Seth Williams have in common with: a Harrisburg bartender who is a whiz at making Prohibition-era cocktails, a crackerjack team of GOP politicos from the state capital, and a longtime loyalist to former Republican Gov. Tom Corbett?

    The question is not a political joke, but a scenario that includes the key components to the embattled Democrat’s new-and-improved campaign operation as he gears up to seek a third term next year.

    On the last day of 2015, Williams shut down “Friends of Seth Williams,” his long-established, Philadelphia-based political action committee, moving $8,272.91 to a new “Seth Williams Victory Committee,” campaign finance records show.

    To run the new PAC, Williams has enlisted a core group of seasoned state Republicans – with the exception of the mixologist, a registered Democrat who tends bar at a Harrisburg restaurant and who agreed to serve as the committee’s chairman.

    The move follows a report last year that a federal grand jury, as part of a joint investigation led by the FBI and the IRS, was scrutinizing the donations and spending connected with Friends of Seth Williams.

    “I am working to professionalize my campaign organization,” Williams said in a text message Sunday. “Allowing these professionals managing my campaign operation leaves me to focus all of my time on doing the important work in the District Attorney’s office. My number one commitment is to making the city of Philadelphia a safer, better place to live, work and raise our families.”

    Mike Barley, who was executive director of the Pennsylvania GOP for two years before becoming Corbett’s campaign manager, said Williams hired him last summer to help get his campaign finances in order.

    “Taking over the old PAC, it was tough to know everything that was going on with it,” said Barley, a longtime Corbett staffer. “We figured the best thing we could do was start a new PAC and then we could know that everything was being done according to the law.”

    Williams, first elected district attorney in 2009, has had rough sailing since winning a second term in 2013.

    He angered many in the Democratic establishment for restarting a public corruption case against six local elected officials – all African Americans – that had been abandoned by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Five state legislators and a Traffic Court president judge had been caught on tape accepting cash or gifts, and Kane had raised questions about possible racial targeting in the sting.

    Williams has said that the sting case was solid, pointing to guilty and no-contest pleas already won. The allegations of racial targeting were disavowed by Williams, by the lead agent in the case – who, like Williams, is black – and by A. Charles Peruto Jr., the defense lawyer for a sting target who pleaded no contest.

    He infuriated more people, especially women and minorities, when he refused last fall to fire city prosecutors swept up in an email porn scandal during their time working for the Attorney General’s Office. The former state prosecutors, whom Williams hired when Kane took office, had worked for Corbett when he was attorney general before being elected governor.

    Williams said he made the prosecutors take sensitivity training and later reassigned them to lower-profile positions, although their salaries were unchanged.

    Last week, when informed that Williams has a new PAC run by Republican operatives from Harrisburg, two Philadelphia Democratic leaders were mystified.

    “Maybe Seth recognizes that he may not have the full support of the Democratic Party and that’s probably why he selected all of these Republicans,” said former City Councilwoman Marian Tasco, an influential ward leader in Mount Airy.

    “I think he knows that he has really lost the support of a lot of Democrats in this city and probably had difficulty finding Democrats who might work for him. I think he’s just piled up a lot of displeasure about his performance.”

    U.S. Rep. Robert Brady, chairman of the Democratic Party in Philadelphia, said he was unaware that Williams had put Republicans from Harrisburg in charge of his new PAC.

    “Republicans?” said Brady. “I mean, PACs are PACs and they raise money. I can’t imagine a [Williams] PAC being totally Republican. I just don’t know nothing about it.”

    Brady said some city Democrats are unhappy with Williams and would like to mount a 2017 primary election challenge.

    “I’ve heard that some people are talking to some people about running against him,” Brady said last week. “But I have not talked to anybody.”

    Brady said he had not spoken to Williams about his political future, but believes that the district attorney intends to seek a third term. Asked if he would back a challenger to Williams, Brady said, “I think he’s doing a good job. I don’t think so.”

    Williams registered his new committee with the Pennsylvania Department of State on Feb 9. Listed as chairman is Robert Scot Wingenbach, who pours drinks at Bacco Pizzeria & Wine Bar (its website touts “Early 1900 Cocktails”) just a short walk from the Capitol complex.

    When asked about the Seth Williams Victory Committee, Wingenbach sounded befuddled. “I’m not a chairperson of anything,” he said. “I have no affiliation with any of that.”

    Barley dismissed Wingenbach’s denials as a simple case of jangled nerves. “He was just uncomfortable talking to the media,” Barley said.

    Indeed, Wingenbach later called to acknowledge that he is the PAC’s chairman. “I didn’t remember the whole thing to begin with,” he said. “I’m not sure what they’re doing. I just sort of took the spot.”

    Barley and Wingenbach said the bartender agreed to be chairman because he is friends with Douglas Rickards, who has worked off and on for the Republican State Committee since 2001 and worked on Corbett’s first campaign for governor.

    Rickards registered the Williams PAC and listed himself as treasurer Feb. 9. He stepped down after two weeks and was replaced by Lisa Tosheff, a Republican who runs a graphic design shop in Harrisburg.

    Tosheff is listed in state records as the treasurer for 10 PACs, all Republican except Williams’. Barley said political ideology played no role in Rickards and Tosheff getting involved with the new Williams PAC.

    “They’re bookkeepers,” Barley said. “This is bookkeeping.”

    Bookkeeping was a problem for the Friends of Seth Williams committee, with bank fee overdrafts and returned checks. Williams missed the Feb. 1 deadline to file his annual campaign finance report. The County Board of Elections fined him $80 in fees – which Williams paid last week – for filing four days late, records show.

    If Williams seeks a third term – and if he faces a Democratic primary challenge – he’ll need money. Right now, he doesn’t appear to have much.

    Williams started 2015 with $17,919 in the bank, raised $89,675 and spent all but $8,272 of it, according to campaign finance reports. The 2015 report shows that Williams continued to use campaign funds for high-end establishments: nearly $19,000 for dues and other expenses at the Union League of Philadelphia and nearly $3,000 for dues and other costs at the Sporting Club at the Bellevue.

    Nearly half of the money – $51,770 – went to the PAC’s executive director, Lisette Gonzalez.

    Elliot Curson, a longtime Republican political strategist in Philadelphia, said that if Williams uses his war chest to dole out “street money” to Election Day workers to help Democrats win office, Democratic city leaders are not likely to care whether it was raised by a PAC run by Republicans.

    Curson said state Republicans are good at raising money, they have different donor lists and they’re well-organized. This gives Williams an opportunity to draw funding from new wells, Curson said.

    “If they are based out of Harrisburg, that means they’ve got contacts all over the state,” he said.

    But Tasco scoffed at the idea that Williams might be trying to expand his base of support geographically.

    “If he’s running for district attorney,” she said, “he needs to shore up his support here in Philadelphia.”

  37. The leadership of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General uses fear, paranoia and retaliation to keep staffers in line and punish dissenters, according to lawsuits and sources familiar with the office.

    In the past six months, a series of lawsuits against state Attorney General Kathleen Kane and her office have alleged ­various forms of retaliation against employees. The lawsuits and interviews with numerous members of the OAG, both current and former, describe a persistent culture of intimidation in which those close to Kane are protected, regardless of their transgressions, while other OAG employees who run afoul of Kane or her confidants are disciplined, demoted or fired.

    Sources described an OAG run by a Nixonian administration bent on minimizing dissent. Multiple sources said employees strongly suspect that OAG leadership has searched their personal work space and computers. They described an environment in which employees at all levels are concerned they could lose their jobs at any time.

    OAG spokesman Chuck Ardo denied any allegations regarding improper discipline or searches of employees’ space. He stressed that the OAG holds its employees to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism.

    THE INNER CIRCLE

    Kane’s close group of trusted OAG ­employees includes her chief of staff, Jonathan Duecker, who has also led the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation; Kane’s sister, Ellen Granahan, who runs the office’s child predator unit; and Renee Martin, who briefly acted as the OAG’s spokeswoman and is now its director of education and outreach. Kane aide Patrick Reese, once one of the closest members of her circle, was sentenced last month to three to six months in jail for violating a protective order.

    A current OAG attorney said Duecker is the “spider at the center of the web.” Sources said Kane and Duecker consider whether an individual is “on the team” when determining which members of the office receive harsh treatment and which benefit from their support.

    One former OAG employee, who was fired shortly after Kane took office in January 2013, was simply told upon dismissal, “You’re not on the team.” That employee had ongoing friction with a member of Kane’s inner circle, the individual said.

    “Unless you’re bending down and kissing the queen’s feet, they don’t want anything to do with you,” said one person familiar with the office.

    OAG agent Kevin Wevodau filed a lawsuit April 4 that alleged Kane retaliated after he confronted her about an allegedly false statement she made. Kane had publicly stated that Wevodau assessed a sting investigation initiated by her predecessors and found it to be racially motivated. Kane had decided not to prosecute the officials implicated in the sting, but Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams took up the prosecutions, which have since resulted in four guilty pleas and one no contest plea.

    A May 2015 newspaper article made public that Wevodau contradicted Kane’s allegations regarding his findings. In June, Wevodau’s complaint alleged, Kane summoned Wevodau to her home, where she threatened his reputation and family life if he did not resign. Wevodau, who led the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, did not resign. He is currently on administrative leave.

    Much of the retaliation alleged in complaints and discussed by those familiar with the office can be traced to Duecker. In May 2015, Kane made Duecker, who she hired in 2013, responsible for all personnel decisions.

    A complaint by former narcotics agent Charles Horvath described a chain of events in which he blew the whistle about an alleged cover-up of a botched controlled drug purchase and encountered retaliation that culminated in his firing. The defendants are the OAG, Duecker and two other office employees.

    After Horvath detailed the incident in two union grievances, the complaint alleged, two of Horvath’s superiors began “a pattern of antagonistic and harassing behavior,” and Duecker ultimately fired him.

    Duecker also allegedly disseminated a notice of Horvath’s termination that said he was “Giglio impaired” as a result of his actions, and included the term in Horvath’s termination letter. According to Horvath’s complaint, “A Giglio impaired agent is one against whom there is potential impeachment evidence that would render the agent’s testimony of marginal or no value in a criminal prosecution.”

    Sources said Duecker has labeled OAG employees as Giglio impaired on multiple occasions, and has also wielded the designation as a threat against those with whom he has had disagreements. One former OAG employee said Duecker uses the term “to damage careers.” Sources said Giglio impairment is typically a federal designation not often applied in the state context. But including the term in personnel files is nonetheless damaging, sources said.

    Despite the OAG’s alleged attempt to label Horvath as Giglio impaired, an unemployment compensation referee declared him eligible for benefits, finding that the OAG failed to show any of his actions ­demonstrated dishonesty.

    Another former OAG employee said the term is a “kiss of death” for a law ­enforcement officer, and that Duecker unsuccessfully attempted to label at least two employees besides Horvath as Giglio impaired.

    A complaint brought by former human relations analyst George Moore alleged that Duecker targeted Tim Deery, a narcotics agent who was demoted and berated in front of OAG employees, without cause, and whom Duecker investigated without following protocol. Sources said Deery was among those whom Duecker attempted to label as Giglio impaired.

    Renee Magnotta, a narcotics agent in the OAG’s Wilkes-Barre office, was fired in November 2013 and labeled as Giglio impaired, but she won her job back through arbitration.

    In a July 27, 2015, opinion, arbitrator Walt De Treux said evidence was insufficient to support the OAG’s characterization of Magnotta’s misconduct, which involved a warrant presented to a district justice without prior approval from a district attorney. De Treux wrote that Magnotta’s actions “do not implicate her credibility or integrity,” and that the OAG’s decision to terminate her rested on her alleged Giglio impairment. Finding no evidence of deliberate dishonesty, De Treux reduced Magnotta’s discipline to a 30-day suspension without pay. She was reinstated without loss of ­seniority and with back pay.

    The OAG appealed the arbitration award to the Commonwealth Court. Argument was held in February.

    Asked about Duecker’s use of the term “Giglio impairment,” Ardo said, “The OAG holds its employees to the very highest standards of conduct. Any unwarranted questions about their integrity would be embarrassing and counterproductive to the office’s mission. Our employees are held to a high standard of honesty and credibility because of the need for public trust and confidence in the work we do.”

    Moore’s complaint, in detailing Duecker’s pattern of behavior, also alleged that Duecker demoted narcotics agent Jerome Smith to the role of “administrative agent,” a role created by Duecker without human resources approval.

    Moore, who filed his suit late last year, has his own allegations of retaliation. He alleged he was fired for recommending Duecker be terminated because of sexual harassment allegations.

    In answers to Moore’s complaint, Kane and Duecker said they are protected by qualified immunity and sovereign immunity. Duecker also said Moore did not make a good-faith report of wrongdoing under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law and that his firing was for legitimate reasons.

    In addition to complaints filed by Moore, Wevodau and Horvath, Kane is facing three other lawsuits that allege retaliation.

    James P. Barker, the former chief of the OAG’s appeals unit, alleged he was fired shortly after a newspaper article revealed he testified before the grand jury investigating Kane. Kane filed a motion, which was granted in March, to stay that case while her criminal case is pending. She’s facing charges in Montgomery County for ­allegedly leaking grand jury material and lying about it.

    OAG agents Michael Carlson and Michael J. Cranga alleged that Kane and Duecker denied them promotions and selectively released emails linking them to the an ongoing scandal while protecting others, such as Granahan, in retaliation for their testimony before a Philadelphia grand jury in the corruption case stemming from the investigation that Kane alleged was racially targeted, as described in Wevodau’s complaint.

    Frank Noonan, a former state police commissioner, filed suit alongside four former OAG employees, including Frank Fina and E. Marc Costanzo, alleging Kane violated their First Amendment rights by retaliating against them after they spoke out against her.

    Kane has filed motions to dismiss in the Carlson and Noonan cases and those ­motions are pending.

    The defendants have not yet filed answers to Horvath and Wevodau’s complaints.

    Ardo said the OAG does not comment on ongoing litigation.

    SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL

    In his complaint, Wevodau said he ­discovered within the first few months of Kane’s term that she was “extremely paranoid” of her activities being monitored. Wevodau, who previously worked for the FBI, said in his complaint that Kane seemed suspicious that he might be working with the FBI to investigate her. She once plainly accused him of being a mole for the FBI, the complaint said.

    Multiple sources have said employees of the OAG are worried about their office phone records being examined, with fear of retaliation if the records show calls with certain parties. They said it is widely believed that employees’ office phone records were checked and their offices searched. Multiple sources said they believed their office emails were searched or monitored.

    But the office searches and other “covert investigations” have been done “pretty clumsily,” one source familiar with the ­office said.

    One former OAG employee said that on two occasions they sent an email about a specific document and were confronted by senior management employees very soon afterward who mentioned details contained in those messages.

    In response to a question about allegations of improper searches, Ardo said, “There is not a scintilla of evidence to support any of the allegations and even less evidence of Mr. Duecker’s involvement.”

    Sources said Duecker effectively controls the office’s internal affairs unit, which was renamed to the Office of Professional Responsibility. According to sources and lawsuits filed against the office, Duecker seems to use the OPR to investigate ­employees in order to retaliate or remove them from the office.

    Multiple sources said the OPR has been used to selectively discipline employees for violations of policy. Ardo denied the allegations.

    “The Office of Professional Responsibility is charged with ensuring that the Office of Attorney General personnel perform their duties in a professional manner and in accordance with the expectations of the commonwealth’s leading law enforcement agency,” Ardo said. “That is exactly what they do.”

    Violations by people in Duecker’s “in-group,” such as the controlled-buy incident alleged in Horvath’s complaint, would not lead to discipline, sources, including a former OAG employee, said. But violations committed by those in the “out-group” that sources characterized as minor or common would result in discipline, the sources said.

    Duecker’s resume is filled with experience in intelligence, analysis and counterterrorism. Before Kane hired him, Duecker worked as director of the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security and served as a senior counterterrorism adviser to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security. He has also worked in the Philadelphia office of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    He was a member of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, and during his time there he reportedly implemented a system for sharing intelligence analysis and civilian law enforcement reporting between the Department of Defense and federal, state and local law enforcement. In written testimony for the Pennsylvania Senate committee that investigated Kane last year, Duecker touted his nearly 30 years of experience in signals intelligence, counterterrorism intelligence, counterintelligence and counterdrug intelligence collection and analysis.

    A source with knowledge of the office said surveillance and office searches do not seem to have lightened up after Kane’s announcement that she would not run for re-election, even though she and her closest staffers now have a shelf life.

    PROTECTION OF A FEW

    Duecker remains in his post, despite ­sexual harassment allegations brought against him. Two women who alleged he harassed them were named in Moore’s lawsuit.

    Deputy attorney general Michele Kluk said Duecker physically assaulted her three times on Feb. 18, 2014, while they were at Damon’s Bar & Grill in Hazleton, running his hand through her hair and running his finger up her calf and thigh after she made clear that she didn’t want him touching her, the complaint alleged. The complaint noted that Kluk’s allegations were corroborated by agents who witnessed the assaults.

    Narcotics agent Cynthia Pugh alleged that Duecker “hit on her” at an office Christmas party at a house rented by the OAG for an assignment, then came into her room while she was sleeping. She awoke to Duecker standing over her bed, which was “creeping her out,” the complaint alleged. Duecker said he wanted to tell Pugh he was leaving, according to the complaint.

    After Kane was provided with the reports on Duecker’s case, she asked Chad Ellis, chief inspector for the OPR, what Kluk and Pugh “‘would need to make this go away,'” Moore’s complaint alleged. Kane told Ellis she “‘needed'” Duecker and would not ­terminate him, the complaint said.

    In April 2015, Moore recommended Duecker be terminated, his complaint said, but within a day, Duecker was promoted to chief of staff and was made Moore’s ­supervisor. In June 2015, Moore was fired.

    Meanwhile, Reese has been convicted of a crime, but he remains a paid employee of the OAG. Reese was found guilty of criminal contempt in December for violating a protective order during the grand jury investigation that led to the filing of criminal charges against Kane. Judge William R. Carpenter sentenced him in March to three to six months’ jail time. Reese has appealed the conviction.

    One attorney in the office said the perception among some OAG employees is that Reese’s relationship with Kane is the only reason he is still employed there. In a ­statement issued the day Reese was sentenced, Kane said he “was doing the job he was sworn to uphold,” adding that she expects Reese to win his appeal.

    During Reese’s criminal proceedings, Carpenter made a disclosure in open court that he was followed and his house was under surveillance in the fall of 2014. Carpenter said he did not know who had followed him, but he said he felt it appropriate to disclose that someone had followed him.

    Regarding Duecker and Reese, Ardo said Kane has “ultimate authority to make ­personnel decisions.”

    As for Granahan, sources said she is ­unlikely to show up for work on any given day. She was promoted to lead the child predator unit of the OAG in 2013.

    “I can say with certainty that the people who do work for her say she’s basically an absentee figure,” one source with knowledge of the office said.

    Another source, formerly an OAG employee, said Granahan seems to be “hidden.”

    “Granahan reports to work regularly,” Ardo said.

    When Granahan and Kane herself became linked to the offensive-email scandal that has embroiled the OAG for more than a year, Kane stated publicly that her sister’s emails were not offensive and did not raise concerns. The OAG released the emails after a prosecutor from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office received emails linking both sisters to the scandal. Granahan received emails containing what were seemingly intended to be jokes about domestic violence and race, for example, and sent an email containing innuendo about male genitalia.

    Granahan was not disciplined regarding the emails.

    “Although some of Ms. Granahan’s emails were inappropriate and in poor taste, none were pornographic and she wasn’t part of the offensive email chain that existed at the OAG,” Ardo said.

    Forty-six OAG employees involved in the scandal received some form of ­discipline, Ardo said. Twenty-seven were ­reprimanded; 13 were suspended; and six were terminated.

    Read more: http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202754555327/Retaliation-and-Intimidation-Persist-in-AG-Kanes-Office#ixzz45WoQibY9

  38. Seth Williams can’t continue to protect the person who committed crimes at his house. he will eventually have to explain why he did not report those crimes. He will have to tell us who, at his Office, he tasked with investigating those crimes (LOL – I’ll give you 3 guesses!!). He is going to have to tell us what made that young lady so angry that she slashed the tires of those City cars … and why he made the taxpayers pay for the damage she caused.

    Desperate politicians do not make good District Attorneys. Desperate politicians demote hard-working prosecutors who have the morals and decency that Frank Fina and his pals do not. Desperate politicians protect criminals because they have given lots of $$$.
    Desperate politicians have bartenders and Corbett Republicans running their PAC.
    “A new day; A new D.A.” is not working out too well for Philadelphians.

    Here’s Seth Williams’ new Chief of Staff/General Counsel, Kathy Martin, defending Frank Fina and his racist, pervert buddies:

    “Keeping them here [at the Philadelphia D.A.’s Office] exhibits our faith in them that they’re smart, capable, hard-working, dedicated civil servants,” Martin said.

    But their attitudes towards minorities, women and homosexuals are very disturbing.The fact that Fina and his pals shared the material with Judges they appeared in front of is even more disturbing. They created a group of people who all had the goods on each other. People that shared the same racist, woman-hating attitudes. And, once you were part of that group, the other members had a hammer they could hold over you.
    We know that Frank Fina was one of the prosecutors in this group. He prosecuted people for mis-using their State computers. And then he used his Governmet computer to send this to his white male buddies:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/zadock1/3580634808

    That e-mail is but one example. There are many others. Many are just as disturbing.
    When AG Kane won, but before she took office, Frank Fina finalized his “unjust” plea deal with Tyron Ali. Bruce Beemer called it “unjust.” Fina dropped all of the over 2,000 criminal charges that were pending against Ali. Fina also let Ali keep the $430K he stole from a non-profit set up to help children.

    Con-man Ali’s lawyer is Bob Levant. Fina negotiated that sweet deal, in the 11th hour (right before Kane was set to take over) with Levant.

    And now Fina is suing the AG’s Office for money. And guess who one of his lawyers is? Yep — Bob Levant.

    Rumor has it that Bob Levant has also helped Seth Williams with the FBI’s criminal investigation into Williams.

    A ways back, Seth Williams hired Frank Fina. Whether he knew of Fina’s “issues” when he hired him we may never know. But Williams certainly knows now. The Superior Court just called Fina’s conduct in the Penn State case “highly improper.” Williams certainly knows that too.

    “Chief of Staff/General Counsel” is a high paying job. Seth Williams hired Kathy Martin off the street into that job. She has zero general counsel experience and hardly any prosecutorial experience.

    But – she is Bob Levant’s wife. Now – Seth Williams’ “Chief of Staff” is in the Press, speaking on behalf of the Philadelphia DA’s Office, defending and praising her husband’s racist client – Frank Fina.

    Huge coincidence, huh?? I think not. It’s no wonder that Williams refuses to fire Fina. They are in bed together. Levant and Martin are on that stinky mattress too.

    Is it OK that Kathy Martin, a high-paid City employee, has a financial interest in smearing the AG and propping up her husband’s client, Frank Fina?

    Is it OK that Williams is now demoting hard-working career prosecutors who speak out to Seth about not wanting him to drag the DA’s Office down with the likes of Fina?

    Is it OK that he covered-up crimes committed by a jilted lover and made the taxpayers foot the bill?

    Something is rotten at the DA’s Office.

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