Marino now says he never got permission from DOJ
Tells Sunbury Daily Item “there is no letter”
CLARKS SUMMIT — Five months after Tom Marino told a radio host that he had received authorization from Justice Department superiors to serve as a reference for a felon under investigation by Marino’s own office, Marino now says that he never asked for permission from the agency. The Sunbury Daily Item, which reported the news today, also reported that Marino now says “there is no letter” to prove he received permission and he claims WILK radio host Steve Corbett “made it up.”
Marino’s latest statements contradict what he told Corbett in a live interview on April 28. It also reverses his own statement to the Associated Press Sept. 17, when Marino said he had been in touch with DOJ about releasing “documents that would end this matter” but was not authorized to make them public.
A full timeline of statements and events is provided below.
“Another day, another lie from Tom Marino,” said Josh Drobnyk, Carney for Congress campaign spokesman. “Tom Marino is spinning a tale of lies to the public and it has become clear he will say anything to get elected. He said live on the radio in April that he went to his Justice Department superiors before providing the personal reference for a felon under investigation by his office and was satisfied with their response. Now he says he never sought their permission. He said just days ago that there were agency ‘documents’ that would end this matter. Now he says ‘there is no letter.’ How can the public trust Tom Marino when he continues to insult them with so many lies?”
TIMELINE OF STATEMENTS AND ACTIONS
Sept. 28, 2010: Marino says he never asked DOJ anything, accuses Steve Corbett of lying
Marino tells the Sunbury Daily Item that he never asked for permission from DOJ to provide reference to felon under investigation by Marino’s office and that WILK’s Steve Corbett lied about having been promised a letter.
Marino on Monday said he never asked for permission from the federal agency because it was understood he would be allowed to provide personal references to anyone as long as he didn’t use his job title or attempt to promote individuals on his staff.
He also denied that he had ever claimed that he received, or could provide, written authorization from theJustice Department allowing him to give a personal reference to former casino operator Louis DeNaples.
“I did it all the time,” he said, of providing personal references. ….
In that interview, Corbett asks:“Did you have to tell any of your supervisors that you were acting as a reference?” “Yes,” Marino said.
“And did you?” “Yes,” Marino said.
Corbett then asked Marino what the response was from the Department of Justice, and Marino replied that “it was nothing out of the ordinary.”
Following that exchange, Corbett said he followed up the interview by asking Marino’s staff for written documentation that Marino had received permission to serve as a reference. Corbett said a Marino staffer promised to get him that documentation but never did.
On Monday, Marino said there was never written authorization from the Department of Justice.
“The radio personality made it up. There is no letter,” Marino said.
Corbett stands behind his reporting.
Sept. 23, 2010: Marino campaign says Marino never referred to specific document
Marino’s spokesman tells the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice that Marino never referred to a specific document.
He never refers to a specific document regarding a specific issue.
Sept. 18, 2010: Marino campaign says it doesn’t recall referring to specific document
Marino’s spokesman is reported telling the Williamsport Sun-Gazette that “it’s unclear there was any single document regarding authorization to serve as a reference” in the first place.
Now, Marino spokesman Jason Fitzgerald said it’s unclear there was any single document regarding authorization to serve as a reference for DeNaples in the first place.
“I don’t recall Mr. Marino ever referring specifically to a document from the Department of Justice that gave him permission to give a reference,” he said.
Sept. 17, 2010: Marino says he’s contacted DOJ about documents
Marino says he’s contacted DOJ about releasing documents “that would end this matter” but been informed they “are confidential and are the property of the Department.”
Marino statement: “I have been in communication with the Department of Justice concerning the release of documents related to my service as United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The Department of Justice General Council has informed me that these documents are confidential and are the property of the Department. The Department of Justice General Council explained that even though I am a former U.S. Attorney, I am bound by security and ethics provisions of federal law associated with my past service. While I am confident that the release of certain documents would end this matter, I understand the sensitive nature of these documents and the important role that the Department of Justice has in keeping us safe. As a former U.S. Attorney, I will abide by the laws of this land and the polices of the Department of Justice, without question.”
Sept. 16, 2010: Marino says he can’t release documents
Marino says he has not been given approval by DOJ to release documents.
Marino statement: I have not been given approval by the Department of Justice to release documents regarding my tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Aug. 25, 2010: Corbett says he’s been waiting four months for promised letter from Marino
Steve Corbett writes on his blog that he’s been waiting four months for a supposed letter that Marino promised him after his appearance on the program that Marino says will prove that he had permission from DOJ to serve as a reference for a felon who was under investigation by Marino’s office.
May 2010: Marino campaign tells Corbett he has letter
Tom Marino’s campaign tells WILK’s Steve Corbett that Marino has a letter for him from DOJ that will prove he got permission. Marino never gives it to Corbett.
April 28, 2010: Marino tells Corbett he vetted reference and got all clear from DOJ
Tom Marino tells WILK’s Steve Corbett that he “vetted” the reference with DOJ and got the all clear
Corbett: “Did you have to tell any of your supervisors that you were acting as a reference?”
Corbett: “And did you?”
Corbett: “And what was their reaction?”
Marino: “It was nothing out of the ordinary.”
Corbett: “So are you saying that it is not extraordinary for a United States Attorney to act as a personal reference on a gambling application for an admitted federal felon?”
Marino: “The way you are putting it, you are putting it in the most negative terms.”
Corbett: “Did you have any pangs of conscience that that might not be ethical?”
Marino: “No, because I checked it out, vetted it and was satisfied with the vetting process.”
Jan. 2008: Marino goes to work for felon
Marino works for the felon for whom he provided a personal reference, making $249,999.96 a year.
Oct. 2007: Marino resigns
Marino leaves office.
Sept. 21, 2007: Marino announces resignation
Marino announces resignation, which takes effect Oct. 12, 2007.
Aug. 24, 2007: News breaks that Marino will resign, Marino denies that he’ll step down
The Allentown Morning Call reports that Marino will resign, three days after story breaks about his withdrawal from probe and the reference he provided.
Aug. 21, 2007: News breaks that Marino served as reference for felon under investigation by his office
The Allentown Morning Call breaks news that Marino had served as reference on felon’s casino application and was forced to withdraw from probe.
Jan. 2007: Marino discloses to DOJ he gave reference
Marino discloses relationship with felon to the Justice Department and is ordered to withdraw from the investigation into felon.
Nov. 2006: Marino’s name on list of prosecutors to be fired
Sampson places Marino’s name on another list of targeted prosecutors.
Sept. 13, 2006: Marino on firing line at DOJ
D. Kyle Sampson, the chief of staff to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, places Marino’s name on a list of U.S. Attorneys the department “should consider pushing out.”
Jan. 2006: Marino “problem” attorney, according to DOJ
A Justice Department official includes Marino on a list of “problem” prosecutors and tells a colleague she is “not sure about” him.
Dec. 2005: Marino writes reference letter
Marino writes personal reference for the casino application of a felon who is under investigation by his office.
2004: Federal investigation into felon begins.
2002: Tom Marino sworn in as U.S. attorney for Middle District of Pennsylvania.