This week Pamela Ruest denied another Office of Attorney General request to delay the Piazza case further. Shapiro knows damn well this case has been overcharged, and he knows damn well what a national media hot-button charade Parks MIller had made out of it. It had such stupid media noise that none of these kids could possibly get a fair trial given the constant coverage.
And while there should be penalties for these frat kids, the penalties should be fair and even across the board. The penalties should not be as overblown as the press coverage is, that’s not what justice is about. I stand behind my conviction that if we charged every over 18 Penn State student that furnished alcohol to minors with aggravated assault, then five percent of the graduating class would be sitting in jail annually.
It was only a couple of years ago that a Penn State Student got drunk and fell out a window or off a balcony (can’t remember which) in beaver canyon. Nobody was charged with involuntary manslaughter, or aggravated assault. While the Greek system is annoying – to say the very least – to residents trying to reside peacefully in the burrough, pressing “murder-light” charges is not going to fix the stupidity of the next generation.
My sentiments remain the same, and trust me I don’t say this with pleasure, but Penn State is the ultimate responsible party. This is Penn State culture, and it has been allowed and accepted by the Greek Leadership, as well as the student conduct board, as well as Penn State leadership.
Tom Kline muddies the waters, seeking to increase the size of the almost fatal wound before he strikes like the shark he is. He parades that family in front of the news every chance he gets, maximizing and exploiting their press and grief for public display. These press conferences will certainly play well to a civil jury when he plays them back, when the time comes and he sues Penn State for millions of dollars. But you can’t blame Tom Kline, that’s his arena. He is representing his clients in an impending civil suit against Penn State, he is circling like the shark he is and maximizing all damages for the highest capital game on his contingency fee agreement with the Piazza family. It’s in the best interest of the civil suit if the Defendants are all criminally charged.
I keep repeating this, but I think it’s so important: All emotion aside, nobody forced Tim to rush a fraternity. Nobody poured the booze down his throat. The worst thing they did was wait to get help, and that is criminal – but in no way does it rise to the level of a felony. It’s a simple furnishing of alcohol case for these former Penn State students.
The ultimate responsibility lies within Penn State culture, and Penn State leadership who has been WELL AWARE and refused to address this problem of a drinking culture on campus for years. We don’t see other universities on the news rioting and burning cars, we don’t see the type of problems Penn State has at say Michigan State University, or Ohio State University. These problems are not distinct to Penn State, but they are distinctly exemplified in the severity of the consequences. What are consequences? Constant chaos downtown, student deaths, an angry and frustrated community. No amount of police citations are fixing this problem, though we have previously tried to fine our way out of this problem. The answer is to address the culture, and it’s an unfortunate – but historically proven FACT – nobody can change the culture of Penn State, except Penn State.
Tom Kline will make the Piazzas millionaires at least several times over, he is milking the damages as Plaintiff’s good lawyers do. It’s to no fault of his, he is doing his job. And the threat of this massive civil suit and the national embarrassment have been the only forces strong enough for Penn State to step it up and take control of the problem. Cries and complaints from the neighbors of the university and past student deaths just didn’t do it. It took embarrassment in the national spotlight and the threat of a Kline & Specter multi million dollar lawsuit of Sandusky proportions before they took any actions whatsoever.
The BOT and Barron could give a damn about being considerate to the permanent residential neighbors at Penn State, they ignore the constant noise complaints, complaints of waking up Saturday mornings and finding a random drunk guy passed out on your porch swing (or god forbid couch), or complaints of drunk frat kids urinating in your garden. There they were lighting cars on fire and tearing down lightposts, throwing beer cans all over, pizza slices all over the street. It’s the county tax payers that pay for Centre County government workers to clean up the hot mess every sunday after a football game. Do you think Penn State ever contributed to the costs of infringing on the peace and cleanliness of the space? No way not a dime!! Did they regulate it? No way in hell! Sure we are now singling out the greek organizations as the epidemy of the problem. Did Penn State ever address any part of the problem? Absolutely not. All they want to do is keep their image clean so they can keep on attracting students with their overblown tuition. The Greek organization brought in too many high end donors for Penn State to possibly regulate those little shits.
You get my point.
And Josh Shapiro. Please.
Josh Shapiro has too many political ambitions to ever step on Penn State toes. He wanted to stay out of it. He didn’t want the Piazza case when it landed on his lap. Of course he did not mind the press coverage. He loves the press. What Shapiro minded was the contraversary. Shapiro only likes to prosecute thugs and poor people, prosecuting students whose wealthy families might be his future presidential campaign donors is not at all on his agenda. It’s easier to jail the inner city nobodies rather than walk that fine line of politics and justice. He never wanted the case. He had no choice to take it, Cantorna had a conflict. When there is a conflict, an ethical DA will shoot it up to the OAG.
Shapiro throughout his tenure doesn’t like to prosecute powerful people. A good example of this is the diocese. Anyone see any action taken on the case that Kane opened up. Nope. It’s just sitting. How about the Clair Risoldi case? How about the Kathleen Kane case? Nope. Josh Shapiro doesn’t care about your party, if you’re important he doesn’t want to make an enemy. He doesn’t want to step on any toes.
He is happy to join these national class action lawsuits against comcast or equifax, but slow to actually hold any one person accountable who could potentially jeopardize his power.
Multiple people in Centre County asked him to reopen the forgery case against the former DA; did you see that ever happen? No, to the contrary. He offered no endorsement, he let Parks Miller off with no investigation despite (my all written accounts, a f#cked up grand jury. When Gene Depasquele recommended Penn State shrink the BOT, he had no enforcement power. The auditor general can make suggestions, but the attorney general enforces.
It’s easier to be a limp wristed wet noodle than it is to make any waves, God forbid he does the right thing. Why do you think Spanier walks free? Are we seeing any zealous representation in the Spanier appeals process on the part of the OAG? I think not. How about that time Shapiro dropped the perjury charges against Spanier/Curley/Shultz? That was a classic move, those are rich well connected future donors. Oh, and I bet they are donating now what with the break he gave them.
The biggest tell tale I think is the new “motorcade” of the Pennsylvania Attorney General. Kane started this motorcade. Every other previous AG drove their own damn self to work. Suddenly Kane had a driver, a SUV limo and police escorts every where she went. It wasn’t about security it was about the fanfare. Josh has upped the absurdity, Josh takes a motorcade to his kids soccer games.
Josh Shapiro wants nothing to do with the Piazza case, he doesn’t want his self percieved spotless administration to be stepping in any shit and ruining his future political chances.
Did you know that Governor Tom Wolf drives a used Jeep wrangler to work? Drives his own damn self, with no motorcade.
Josh Shapiro is a peacock, and a social climbing, canniving waste of tax dollars. It’s the responsibility of any attorney general to join in with their peers on these major national class actions. Unless I see Josh writing the class action and soliciting his AG peers from out of state to sign in his lawsuit, then he is just doing the bare minimum job he is supposed to be doing anyway. Nothing special.
Shapiro wants as much to do with the Piazza case as he wants to do with herpes. He doesn’t like the hot button issues.
It’s nice to see the pussy cat stuck in a corner with Ruest forcing the case to move on. No more delays, these kids (regardless of what they did or did not do) have a right to a speedy trial. And there has been nothing speedy, or fair, about this trial so far. It’s a witch hunt. Parks Miller took the lingering fury of locals and capitlized on it hoping to win an election.
It should be very very interesting to see what Josh does with the Piazza case. And thanks to Judge Ruest, it’s moving right along.