Thursday, June 16, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1643, June 16th, 2011



To kick off the day, Munchak's defense attorney, Chris Powell, calling a certified public accountant to the stand with 4 decades of experience.
Thomas A. Douaihy said he has filed more than 20,000 tax returns and is certified to testify as an expert in federal court.
Mr. Powell called Whistles Pub and Eatery owner Dan Rinaldi to talk about a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser Mr. Munchak and Mr. Cordaro held in October 2007. This is the party where Munchak supposedly took cash payments at the party.


Bob Cordaro always had an audacity about him that was compelling. When he conducted sales meetings at his radio station clad in a running suit and sneakers, he convinced his team that his 3 little radio stations were the second coming of CBS. When he ran for Congress against an entrenched Joe McDade at the height of his power, he had you convinced he would topple the incumbent lawmaker. Bob Cordaro’s definition of audacity would make Barack Obama’s claim on that word pitiful. Today embattled and seemingly wounded from his former vendors, Cordaro righteously defended himself. His Defense Attorney only asked him 5 questions and then stepped down. The questions related to Cordaro’s money, his law practice and business interests. Cordaro did not deny money was an important part of his life but he played the immunity card and pointed out that all of the testimony against him came from business people who cut deals. At times he was passionate, at times he was firm going beyond the scope of the questions he was asked. When stopped by the judge, Cordaro challenged that he had a right to expound since the feds were hellbent on putting him away for over 400 years. Those who know, knew or have come in contact with Bob Cordaro said that he would be his own star witness at this trial. Those thoughts were just the tip of the ice berg.
Cordaro was not shy about going after the prosecution witnesses painting them as people who were telling stories. He took special issue with John Heim saying that the businessman did indeed get a contract with the county in 2007 and did not need a bribe to get it. The former Commissioner took umbrage to remarks his brother Ronald made regarding an election as a horse race. Cordaro said it made his brother out to be a thug.
On Scranton funeral director Al Hughes Cordaro said he had a terrible gambling problem and would sometimes lose 50,000 dollars on a weekend betting football. Cordaro also disputed testimony regarding the reasons for the termination of the Kimbell and Associates contract for work on the county's intermodel center in favor of Highland Associates. Prosecutors allege Highland was extorted into paying $90,000 in kickbacks to Cordaro and Munchak.
There were some inconsistencies that might cause people to doubt Cordaro’s veracity. One of them dealt with his new house at Lake Scranton. Cordaro said the two sales agreements, one listing the price of the home at 57 Tiffany Drive at $300,000 and the other for $700,000, was seller Brian Tuffy's idea. Tuffy testified earlier that the dual agreements were . Cordaro's attempt to mask how much he paid for the home because he did not want taxpayers to get the wrong idea.
Another trip up might have been Cordaro saying that he cashed all of his paychecks as Commissioner in 2007, which made it plausible that he was “cash rich” and had walking around money. However the prosecution showed records of checks being deposited directly into Cordaro’s account.
Cordaro said that he had a lot of cash. He said it was the way people did business in his hometown Dunmore. He categorically denied there were any cash payments given to him and said he used hisa own cash reserves to buy cars, pay tuition and other items. Cordaro was combative, argumentative and articulate. Whether the jury buys what he is selling is anyone’s guess. But you have to hand it to the Cordaro and his lawyer, they offered up a defense no one, not even seasoned Judge Richard Caputo was expecting.


Cordaro said he spent his cash because through the years he saved his money. That too might be believable especially if any of the jurors were fans of Broadway.


At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These guys are toast.

At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who knows Bob or has ever done business with him knows we got exactly what we expected today.
He just went Bob, Bob, Bobbing along...
I dont see what good his high profile attorney did for him unless he pulls off a summation worthy of Clarence Darrow and Hollywood. My bet is he advised Bob strongly not to testify and when he insisted just turned him loose. Bob most likely is pleased with his performance and believes he did well. Time will tell.
I'm curious to see who else the defense will call and then it goes to the jury.
All are invited to the after trial
party at Whistles.

At 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can always count on you to provide an appropriate musical selection to go with the news of the day.

At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, really like your view. Waiting for some more great articles like this from you in the coming days.

At 1:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Late Night Prediction
Cordaro guilty and gets nailed.
Munchak guilty on a couple charges
and gets a break.
Side by side one looks evil and the other misguided and out of his element. Maybe its better for AJ that they didnt have seperate trials. He should have been the mayor of Taylor or a council member.
In fact your guess is as good as mine.

Late Night Good Night Man

At 4:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob didn't have to convince thejury, only get then to doubt ffee persecution.

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would a county commissioner supposedly bet $10k as to whether the county nursing home would be sold? Wouldn't that create rather a conflict of interest? Neither is it at all likely that EVERYONE--including his former best buddy, Hughes,--is lying about him. Who suddenly has an extra $300k in cash to spend? And he really got nailed when he falsely claimed he cashed all of his comissioner paychecks that year; how could he not know what his own bank records showed? Cordaro ultimately will sink from the same hubris that got him in trouble. Good riddance.

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Mean Old Man said...

Why these two fine young men are having their reputations destroyed by the Obama Justice Dept. is beyong me. HOw sad!!!!
I encountered MR. Cordaro several times out and about and found him to be nothing less than a gentleman. ALthough I'm not a resident of Lackawanna County, every citizen up there should be proud that they had such a man of vision in charge until of course, his reputation was maligned.
To Hell with THe Obama Justice Dept.!!!!

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mean Old Fool this started long before we ever heard of Barrack OBama. I can only hope you are joking. Commish Cordaro was certainly a man of vision with that I can agree.

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one have no use for a witness who hade a deal. Seems to me that the more a witness has to offer, the better the deal he gets ..... that means the opportunity to lie and embelish the facts is a strong possibility. If I were on the jury, I would discount anything a witness with a deal had to say. Liars all!

At 9:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:36. I agree 100%. How can a jury trust a witness who is trying to protect their own butt? The bigger the lie the better the deal. I just don't trust the Feds.


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