EXCLUSIVE: Zappala to Run for Attorney General

Steve-ZappalaThe field of candidates looking to be the next Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania continues to expand.

A source close to Pittsburgh District Attorney Steve Zappala informs PoliticsPA that he will be running for the Democratic nomination for AG in 2016.

“Steve believes there is a crisis of confidence in the Attorney General’s office,” the source told PoliticsPA. “Zappala’s 18 years of experience and his record uniquely prepares him to restore people’s faith and trust in the office.”

Zappala has served as District Attorney in Allegheny County since 1998. His father, Stephen Zappala Sr., was a former Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Zappala Jr. graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and the Duquesne University School of Law.

The Allegheny County native is the only prospective candidate so far to hail from Western PA, which could give him an advantage.

Democratic prosecutor Jack Stollsteimer and Northampton County DA John Morganelli are also running for the Democratic nomination. Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro is expected to jump into the race as well.

State Sen. John Rafferty and State Rep. Todd Stephens are fighting over the GOP nomination.

Incumbent AG Kathleen Kane isn’t expected to run for re-election.

48 Responses

  1. “..The two juniors have conspired to take out the Orie Family, assistant D.A Cris Conrad, who ran against junior Zap, Cereal Wecht and former boy-mayor Lurid Luke Ravingstall. The mayor’s situation was an accident because he was an all-in Z-man. ..” – well, Oriethe legislator was brought down by an unpaid pitt intern who went to the DA after Tommy Corbett’s AG office refused to s tart an investigation. Zap had no choice but to prosecute and did have top level ADA’s on orie’s case. the Orie crime family was brought down and deservedly so -Zap’s ADAs did a fine job there. and Chris Conrad (gypped out of the DA appointment job that Zap got) has had some DWI problems that preclude his getting high level appointments. Cyril was saved because the clueless US Atty mary beth buchanan’s office who drafted the search warrant for cyril’s office made a legal error that disallowed use of the 21 Cds of his private work recovered by the feds showing $$$$$ of work done on county time with county employees. . and as to baby luke– clueless behavior , but not necessarily criminal.. US Atty Hickson would have taken him out if there was evidence.

  2. Steve jr. And brother, “cash 4 kids” Greg are 3rd generation pgh mafia. Uncle “ice pick” John Bazzano ran the family numbers business and arranged the demise of several Volpe Brothers when they attempted to muscle their way into the East Liberty section of Pgh. Junior is a law partner of Chuckie Porter, jr. , son of Chuckie the rat who was doing life for racketeering and allegedly by the feds, REDRUM! Senior was released from prison after the two juniors set up a deal to indict pgh hoods for the Feds under the direction of Chuckie the rat. Because of blood ties, the local crime family in pgh is known as the Bazzano-Zappala-Porter mob. Instead of sub machine guns, the new generation uses law books to avenge their many enemies. The two juniors have conspired to take out the Orie Family, assistant D.A Cris Conrad, who ran against junior Zap, Cereal Wecht and former boy-mayor Lurid Luke Ravingstall. The mayor’s situation was an accident because he was an all-in Z-man. Too many porn stars spoiled the soup. Uncle Charlie Zap should have known better than to overstuff Luke’s mattress with strange stuff. Too bad Kathy Kane went on injured reserve before she could peep Luke’s computer. Either the Feds caved on that one or their investigation of Luke got zapped by a Godfatherly phone call. You want more? Check out how Zappala loyalist District Judge Olasz got reelected after losing both nominations in the primary. Big Z just ordered a new election from his Supreme Court perch. More later.

  3. Little Zap would be a disaster. More of the “good ole boy” system. He should stay in Allegheny County where he belongs. His background and “abilities” are sketchy at best. No Zap dynasty in PA. You are right on the money eagleswings.

  4. Jackie O :

    Come back when you have a grasp of what’s happening in Politics in Pa !!!

    The following is an excerpt from the PLS Reporter dated August 6, 2015.

    Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, another Democrat, also called on Kane to resign immediately as a result of the charges brought against her.

    “While she is like any other accused citizen, presumed innocent until proven guilty, I do not believe that she can deal with these charges and continue to function as Pennsylvania’s Attorney General,” he said. “For the sake of the commonwealth and Office of Attorney General, I believe that Kathleen Kane should resign immediately.”

    DePasquale also commented on the rash of charges against government officials in the commonwealth.

    But you are right about him winning a close General Election while Kane set records for her vote total in the same general election.

  5. Remember that Toby Keith song “I Wanna Talk About Me”? I love singing that song, except for me it’s “I Wanna Talk About Fina!”

  6. Here’s the list of PA leaders who have called for Fina to be cut from the Government’s Payroll:

    Sen. Anthony Williams
    Congressman Bob Brady
    Former Gov. Ed Rendell
    Mayor-Elect Kenney
    Future Senator Katie McGinty
    Rep. Brian Sims
    President of The National Organization of Women
    Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association
    President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association
    Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez
    Councilwoman Cindy Bass,
    Councilwoman Blackwell,
    Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown
    Councilwoman Marian Tasco
    Councilman Curtis Jones
    Councilman Wilson Goode Jr.,
    Councilman William Greenlee,
    Councilman Kenyatta Johnson
    Black Clergy leaders
    NAACP leaders

  7. Pat Unger, actually they are using the constitution, not trying to get around it. In fact, I challenge you to point out the word “senile” in the constitution. Nice try though, douche.

  8. Isaac L – The Senat will fail if they try to “remove” AG Kane using that obscure provision written in the 1800s to remove low-level officials who have gone senile. That is an end-around on the Constitution and it won’t work.

    They have two options. Impeachment or wait for verdict in MontCo. But both of those require a trial. And the last thing the Repervlican Clown Car wants is for Kane to have a trial where she and her attorneys have a chance to cross-examine them, present evidence, and expose the truth.

    I was not assuming anything. just wanted to know who’d be gone first. My money is on Fina. Though once his license gets suspended – where is he going to work? There’s a pizza place on Race St. w/ a Help Wanted sign …

  9. H3 – That’s an interesting question. I do think Mr. Fina will eventually be discharged from the Philadelphia DA’s office, but I am not sure if the Senate will vote to remove AG Kane. Assuming that they both were to be removed, then I would say she is more likely to go first given the timeline, but I don’t feel strongly about that prediction.

  10. Everybody knows that little Stevie and his family are the most political people around. Even his prosecution of the state Republican Supreme Court justice and state Senator was about a longtime family feud, not about clean government. This guy and his family would be as unethical as the current AG. He won’t clean up the AG’s office, he’ll be more of the same.

  11. the Zap family has a lot of influence. little steve Z was a partner in a general practice law firm with chuck porter, who was a go to attorney whose practice did a fair amount of work defending various drug and mob linked criminals. when Colville left DA after being elected judge, the allegheny county board of judges was to appoint the next DA. rumors abounded that certain supreme court justices pressured certain allegheny county judges to appoint little steve Zap, a candidate who came out of no where with marginal prosecutorial experience . it was rumored that Justice Big Steve Zap and his buddy Justice Ralph Cappy, former allegheny county public defender and king maker, made it clear that little steve Zap was the only choice for the DA appointment . (since Bob Colville’s own son Bob Colville was too young and totally inexperienced for the appointment . but after big bob C got elected, little Bob C also ran for judge, utilizing people’s name confusion as to which Colville was running for which judgeship. ) so that appointment of little Steve Z was viewed as a debacle– since qualified career prosecutors were overlooked for son of Steve Z . then to top it off Steve’s sister decided to run for judge , on credentials mainly consisting of her working at very high salary in the family casino business and never having been in court much . that effort to get more Zaps on the state payroll was fortuitously discouraged by her receiving an unqualified rating from the bar association. but big Steve Z has a lot of money and a lot of pull — he got his son in law a federal judgeship, after all…

  12. Correct, DD … but let the Repervlicans, perverts, and racist creeps get all excited again (for like the 17th time). It’s fun to laugh at their disappointment when, at the end of the day, AG KANE IS STILL STANDING.

    sklaroff is MIA now that his oft-repeated predictions have proven wrong.

  13. Mob ties in the family, casino posts, judgeships, prosecutors, police cover-ups, murder, and nepotism. What’s not to like for a PA official?

  14. Larry-

    No. The vote was just to move the process along, and legislators were interviewed and said that it did not mean they would vote for removal.

  15. Big moola,you have no clue what you are talking about Depasquale never called for kane to resign,that was gov.wolf,and he also won a close general election in 2012.

  16. David Diano – I don’t have a dog in this fight. I was only commenting that Zappala isn’t the only candidate from Western PA.

    That said, not having DA or criminal prosecution experience shouldn’t be a major concern. The AG’s office handles all kinds of legal matters, including representing the Commonwealth in all sorts of civil cases. Most notably, the AG represents the state in antitrust cases, which is something that DAs never see, but corporate lawyers in large firms handle regularly. See – https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/The_Office/Duties_of_the_Pennsylvania_Attorney_General/

    I don’t know enough about either Zappala, Fawcett, or most of the other candidates to understand fully how they would handle these cases. I’m looking forward to discovering more about each of them as the campaign progresses.

  17. Wait, why am I talking about Fina in an article about Zappala…and in response to every article? Oh yeah, because I’m a shill-boy.

  18. Isaac . I don’t know why the pathetic troll-boy is talking about Senate votes on this article about Zappalla … But — your comment got me thinking ….

    If you had to bet on which would happen first: Kane being gone from the AG’s Office or Fina being gone from the DA’s Office, which would you choose?

    My money is on Fina being gone first, especially now that Kane castrated him and Williams has put him out top stirring. Next step for him is RIGHT OUT THE DOOR.

  19. Anonymous I find it interesting that you show DePasquale running in 2016 in what appears to be a General Election line up. However, I question weather or not he will survive a Primary Battle since he was so quick to come out and call for KGK to resign. He has yet to call on Eakin to resign a Republican who has engaged in behavior much worse than Kane (if she did indeed leak info) while sitting on the SC. I feel Mr De Pasquale will have a lot of explaining to do to Democrat’s and Women before he gets past a Primary Election. Not sure but I don’t think he’s ever won a Contested Statewide Primary Election.

  20. Isaac, true that it was about procedure, but the H3/PU contingent believes that every Democrat sees the Kane matter as a politically driven farce that no Democrat would support. Their unanimous vote to have the Senate hold a hearing and take a vote says otherwise. It is definitely true that Kane has burned every bridge to her own party. She has no friends and no one in the Dems thinks she should be in office. A 2/3 vote shouldn’t be hard.

  21. Larry – You’re reading a bit much into that – it was a vote adopting the procedures, particularly regarding the conduct of a full hearing. I would be shocked if it had not been unanimous.

  22. until John Morganelli reverses course on his mouth watering love for the Death Penalty, he will not move forward in this race. With Zappala in the race, Morganelli goes nowhere. John has so many skeletons in his closet, we would need 100s of acres of graveyards to bury them all. Its no wonder Wolf found someone else to back.

  23. Hey HaHaHa/Pat Unger, the Senate just voted UNANIMOUSLY on the Kathleen Kane resolution! I know that you and Diano will see that as some sort of partisan conspiracy, even though every single senator voted for it. But that means that Kancer Kane is on her way out!

  24. Game. Set. Match. Zappal wins walking away. He already has Phila locked up along with the west.

  25. Interesting background on Zappala’s family history:

    Not-so-secret ties between Pennsylvania Mob and The Man

    ‘Justice Zappala’s son, Stephen, Jr., now sits as district attorney in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County. In Pittsburgh, murder rates are at an all-time high, even though the population is declining.

    ‘Family patriarch, the late Frank J. Zappala, Sr., came to prominence as a Pittsburgh attorney, magistrate and state representative. He would father the state supreme court chief justice and the bond underwriter.

    Frank Zappala’s sister was married to gangster John Bazzano. Bazzano, it turns out, died in a curious fashion in 1932. For the purposes of this story, very curious. He died not in a hail of bullets, but a hail of ice picks.

    Twenty-two tiny pricks to the skin, to be precise.


  26. Zappalla won’t get the nomination. He is a hack who has benefited from being a member of the “ol boys network.”

    Pennsylvania has moved on from his ilk. We have learned our lesson.

  27. Consider this statewide ticket in 16:
    Hillary Clinton
    Katie McGinty SE PA
    Steve Zappala Pittsburgh
    Eugene DePasquale York
    Joe Torsella Philadelphia (or anyone else)

    I think that means a second consecutive statewide sweep.

  28. Diano, by your rationale, no defense attorney should ever be a judge. That’s nonsense. Plus, if you read anything about Fawcett, you would know that he has brought several massive lawsuits AGAINST large corporations. In other words, his practice is exactly what the AG’s Public Protection Division does every day.

  29. A) I myself am Italian American, and
    B) Zap? No., and C) I myself am not feeling a crisis of confidence that he speaks of, so D)He would be a return to the old-boy network and one of the bad guys, and E) Isn’t that obvious?

  30. The best qualified of all. A welcome change from Mrs. Kane. Hopefully he does it right and gets it done.

  31. JT-

    Fawcett sounds like a corporate lawyer, with no DA or prosecutor experience. Considering that the A.G. is supposed to look into major corporate fraud, this could run into a conflict of interest with the clients of his law firm (many of which will likely be donating to him and fundraisers at the law firm).

    1) Does he give a break to his corporate pals?
    2) Has he been covering up/protecting his corporate pals (as their attorney) and aware of problems that might interest an A.G. to prosecute?

    Sounds like a problem waiting to happen.

  32. The Dems have plenty of qualified candidates with relevant experience. We were fortunate to have highly rated judges running statewide this past year.

    In presidential year, and with the GOP brand so tainted, it looks so good for statewide Dems that races are going to have contested primaries.

  33. Somebody in the media better look into this guy’s handling of the “Leon Ford” case in Pittsburgh. Ford – an unarmed 19YO – was shot after Police mistook him for someone else, cursed him, and told him they would “get his Black ass out of his car when [they] wanted his Black ass out of the car.”

    Zappalla charged Ford – who has no record of criminal convictions. They lost the case in Court and the D.A.’s Office tried to withhold a report that criticized the Police and questioned the credibility of the officer that shot Mr. Ford.

  • Who are you voting for in the PA Supreme Court race?

    • Dan McCaffery (61%)
    • Carolyn Carluccio (37%)
    • Still undecided (2%)

    Total Voters: 344

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