The war has been waging, and this Wednesday morning of this week it came to a head.
John DeBartola wants the spending records from the Cambria County District Attorney’s office, and refuses to back down.
The saga has been going on for years, after during a dispute with the local school board he innocently enough stumbled across a document that revealed traces of illegal spending.
DeBartola, who is openly gay, has a PhD in English, and an impressive history in political activism. He’s extremely well spoken, and has been navigating the esoterically complex litigation of Pennsylvania Right to Know appeals. He isn’t your average political renegade, he comes with sophistication and calculated intelligence….. and actually some pretty impressive gumption. And that compliment doesn’t come easy from someone like me.
That said, this perpetual OOR catfight is a war over transparency that has been transpiring for way too many years. DeBartola wants the spending information from the District Attorney’s office, and the District Attorney has a lot to hide.
Presently Kelli Callihan is claiming that providing this information would pose a “national security risk.”
It simply more to the fact that she doesn’t want to expose herself.
The problem is, John Debartola comes with some clout. He is winning the records wars, though he admitted to me he is getting tired and feels like he is losing the energy for this.
“Yep,” I remarked, “you stepped on a damn rattlesnake.” But Courts have consistently ruled in his favor and he has a quiet fan club and backing on the political scene. Everyone is hoping he wins, yet some how still petrified of the wicked witch of the west, who is known for setting her dogs loose on false allegations of arrest to avoid any allegations of her personally acted upon criminal behavior.
He twisted her into a knot, and she is damn scared he just might win this thing and be her undoing, which would actually be a win for the People.
And DeBartola packs a mean punch. Pennsylvania Auditor General got in his corner writing a scathing report and recommending criminal charges against the sitting Cambria County D.A., Ms. Callishan. But don’t even get me started on what a screw up Josh Shapiro is and how he sits on criminal behavior….
Meanwhile Callihan is sweating like a whore in church and trying to buy time.
Election season is approaching and she is ever conscious, god forbid this comes out before the primaries.
These rumors of non-discretionary and out-of-control spending are not confined to the theorizations of DeBartola, that’s far from the case. Rumors circulate endlessly among the court house that the spend-crazy DA, Kelli Callihan, bought her entire staff designer Vera Bradley purses using drug forfeiture money. Some rumors say she spent a whopping total of $13,000 on food, and another fat wad of cash on her own country club dues.
I had some contact with DeBartola. He isn’t going anywhere until he sees where the money is going. His contention is the same as mine. While these records may not be the records of how “tax payer monies” are being spent, they are still the records of how a public official is spending the money in public office of a private citizen. Oftentimes these public citizens have not even faced a jury or found guilty by a trial of their appeals, their money, property and accounts are frozen or siezed, so Callihan can go on her own personal shopping sprees.
John DeBartola supplied the court with his response after the District Attorney’s Office withheld several records he requested pertaining to spending of the drug forfeiture fund.
In his brief submitted to the court, DeBartola asserts that the District Attorney’s Office said all records he requested prior to 2010 are not in possession of the District Attorney’s Office.
- Another part of a request that was denied to DeBartola is over documents he requested related to money given from the fund to a Cambria County detective. DeBartola said that the DA’s Office denied the request as it pertained to criminal investigations. His argument he is asking just for how that money was spent, and not for names of confidential informants or intricate details of criminal investigations.
In a tired dry argument, one which that has already been fought and won in Pennsylvania for Union Reform vs. Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller, a higher court already ruled that Pennsylvania District Attorneys are not “judicial agencies.”
Judicial agencies are exempt from producing records under the Right to Know law, a rule which I do not necessarily agree with.
PA for Union Reform president Simon Campbell went to war over this issue; yet, somehow Callihan feels she is “special,” and that her redressing of the same already ruled upon issue will garnish a different result.
- DeBartola cites this is a violation and exemplifies a past case, District Attorney of Philadelphia vs. Bagwell, where the DA of Philadelphia was fined $500 for failing to comply with Right-to-Know Laws.
I mean how long does this guy have to cry FOUL until this sleeping county wakes up.
- Another part of a request that was denied to DeBartola is over documents he requested related to money given from the fund to a Cambria County detective.
Yes, Kelli Callihan thinks she is that important, that her spending of money on country club dues poses national security threat.
- DeBartola said that the DA’s Office denied the request as it pertained to criminal investigations.
It pertains nothing to criminal investigations, this exposure could cost her retirement and career and likely will – as it should – have that effect.
- His argument he is asking just for how that money was spent, and not for names of confidential informants or intricate details of criminal investigations.
Shouldn’t any conscientious voter wonder about where the money is going and how their elected officials are behaving in office?
- “I find it sad that these local officials are so power hungry that they want to circumvent the law of our land,” DeBartola said in court Wednesday.
A ruling is expected to be made in the near future. But it won’t be groundbreaking as Callihan and her ego think so, this is just run of the mil Pennsylvania politics.
Another point I found extremely interesting is Callihan’s defamation of this man. When he requested disclosure and uncovered her criminal spending habits, she took to the media wave lengths inferring he was a pedophile.
The media not only retracted the quotation, but they issued a full apology.
In my small mind and my small experience: Ladies and gentlemen, I call this progress.
And Callihan, that wicked witch of the west, has no shortage of enemies. Debartola supporters are abundant, but they are quiet…
Perhaps fearing the retaliation… which spend-happy, grandiose Kelli is trademarked for doing.
Primaries are coming up.
Cambria County needs a new attorney to run for District Attorney and kick this war pig out of the courthouse.
Goodnight y’all. There is more coming, including physical evidence, and a mind blowing interview from DeBartola personally.
What kind of odious rot is transpiring in Cambria County?
Good riddens Callihan, you are now on my shit list.
Stay tuned here for full exposure.