Will Trouble in Pittsburgh, PA Mean Similar Trouble Ahead in Vermont?

(Nice new Spring colors on iBrattleboro while it is snowing outside!)

Pittsburgh, PA  Political Corruption Trial  – When Will We Do That In Vermont?

If it is illegal for the State of Vermont to give taxpayer money to Vermont Public Radio, UVM, VLCT, VTdigger,
and Vermont Law School knowing that they will hold debates that include some candidates and not others,
or write articles that specifically disparage voters from voting for some candidates, (acting as illegal and unregistered political action committees funded by taxpayer dollars) then that means that state taxpayer dollars are being used to promote the political campaign of Governor Peter Shumlin, while not equally promoting some of the other candidates.

Therefore, shouldn’t there be a corruption trial such as this past week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?

Also, isn’t Vermont Public Radio “guilty” of using federal dollars to promote candidates such as U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (2010) and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Governor Peter Shumlin, while refusing to include all candidates for the same offices in radio debates?

Why hasn’t any state or federal prosecutor stepped up to the plate to end what feels like a “Mafia” in the State of Vermont?

 By Paula Reed Ward / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.
First Published February 22, 2013 12:00 am
2013-02-23 00:15:44
 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Justice Orie Melvin and Janine Orie,
 her sister and former administrative aide,
 were found guilty Thursday
 of corruption
 for misusing state-paid staffers
 to help run the justice’s Supreme Court campaigns in 2003 and 2009.

The sisters were found guilty of theft of services,
 and misapplication of government funds.
 Janine Orie was also convicted of tampering with evidence
 and solicitation.

One count — official oppression
 against the justice
 for terminating her chief law clerk
 for failing to do political work
 — could not be decided by the jury,
 which heard defense witnesses testify that the clerk left voluntarily.

In the meantime, Justice Orie Melvin, 56,
 will remain suspended without pay
 from the court
 pending further action by the
 Court of Judicial Discipline.

“The conviction of Justice Melvin shows that no public official is above the law,” he said.

As foreman Matt Mabon read the charges,
 “theft of services, greater than $2,000 — guilty,”

He held on throughout the reading of all seven counts for Justice Orie Melvin:
 Guilty of two more counts of theft of services.
 Guilty of two counts of conspiracy
. Guilty of misapplication of entrusted property.

And as the charges against Janine Orie, 58, were read:
 Guilty of conspiracy.
 Guilty of two counts of theft of services.
Guilty of misapplication of entrusted funds.
 Guilty of tampering with evidence.
 Guilty of solicitation.

There was no visible reaction from either defendant.

..James DePasquale, who represented Janine Orie,
 said he believed there were at least two issues on which he could appeal,
 including a jury instruction given by Judge Nauhaus
 regarding accomplice liability
 that was not originally requested by the prosecution.

University of Pittsburgh law professor John Burkoff
 said he believes both women will face some incarceration,
 especially in light of the 21/2- to 10-year prison term
 being served by another sister,
 former state Sen. Jane Orie,
 for related charges.

… the jury decided the truth was both sisters violated the public trust.

“I think this shows nobody is above the law. Not even the Orie sisters.”

… Justice Orie Melvin’s law clerk, Lisa Sasinoski,
 was fired in 2003 for saying she would no longer do political work.

 But the defense argued that she resigned
 to work for the justice’s opponent
 in that year’s race, Max Baer, who won the seat on the high court.

Full story link.

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