Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1626, June 7th, 2011


It was a day of detailed testimony by a county official Thomas Durkin who went into painstaking minutia about all matters politically financial in the second day of the corruption trial of Bob Cordaro and A.J. Munchak. Durkin served as the campaign treasurer for the campaign of the duo. He went through the process of how campaign contributions came to the team. He said that he was never asked to do anything improper but did have concerns about a $25,000 pile of money that appeared to materialize without identification. The money came in 2004 after the men were elected and Durkin said A. J. Munchak told him to report it as gifts under $50.00 from small donors. Durkin said no and then the cash was reported as undocumented. This testimony puts Munchak in the middle of the campaign end of the controversy.
Former Minority Commissioner Mike Washo said his environment with Cordaro and Munchak was the most confrontational he had ever been in. Washo said he tried to stop a lot of the expenditures by questioning them and voting against them but was always defeated by a 2 to 1 margin at Commissioners meetings. Washo said that the duo always seemed to label certain expenditures as “professional services” so that they didn’t have to open them up to the bidding process.
Another witness Robert Lashock Jr., a forensic accountant for the FBI detailed the campaign records of the GOP commissioners from 2003 to 2008 creating a data base of contributors. His testimony appeared unremarkable .
The head of the Lackawanna County Voters Services Marion Medalis, who testified that essentially there was no campaign oversight for contributions. Munchak’s attorney Chris Powell on cross examination seemed to score points when he got the voting official to admit that that no one from the county examined campaign finance forms for accuracy.
She also said that there was no statewide report for checking on accuracy.
For just one hour state Ethics Commission Executive Director John Contino, explained the state's ethics requirements imposed on all public officials, including paperwork that must be filled out to report sources of income and gifts
A little drama occurred when after the lunch recess Cordaro came in a bit late and apologized to the court for his tardiness. He did not give the court or anyone else information as to why he was late. There were crowded courtrooms for the second day in this trial, so much so that an overflow courtroom was used.
Testimony continues Wednesday morning at 9:30 AM in the Federal Courthouse in Scranton.


At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Durkin, an honest man who I believe was brought in by AJ, just put the first nail in Munchak's coffin. Cordaro needs to learn, "No comment". Bashing Washo was just stupid. The tapes from the commissioners meetings bear out Washo's statement regarding the culture of intimidation. Poor Bob. He cant help being arrogant, but he could avoid stupid.


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