Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1810, October 25th, 2011

Former Lackawanna County Commissioners Bob Cordaro and A.J. Munchak.


With their sentencing coming up on Halloween, former Lackawanna County Commissioners Bob Cordaro and A.J. Munchak are trying to hedge their bets.
Attorneys are scheduled to argue Thursday before a federal judge that the number of "points" assigned to the various public corruption charges should be reduced.
Points,calculated by probation officials, are listed in the preliminary pre-sentence reports that recommend the length of prison sentences for each defendent.
According to the Scranton Times Tribbue, one of the biggest drivers in determining the total points assigned to Mr. Cordaro and Mr. Munchak is the $1 million fraud revolving around the planned but never built bus and rail terminal on Lackawanna Avenue in downtown Scranton.
Though the two former majority commissioners were convicted of pocketing less than $100,000, the number of points or so-called enhancements added to the base crime was based on the amount of the fraud, about $1 million, not the amount of cash they were convicted of taking under the table from Highland Associates, a Clarks Summit architectural firm that paid $60,000 to Mr. Munchak and $30,000 to Mr. Cordaro. The kickbacks came through three principals at Highland in exchange for a contract awarded by the County of Lackawanna Transit System for the transportation center.
The Federal Transit Administration pumped nearly $1 million into the project but later demanded the County of Lackawanna Transit System repay the money after learning Highland's selection process violated federal bidding rules. The station was never built, though COLTS has recently said it has plans to move forward with the project.
Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo has scheduled the hearing to begin at 1 p.m. in Wilkes-Barre.
Judge Caputo is scheduled to sentence Mr. Cordaro and Mr. Munchak on Monday.
Cordaro was found guilty on 18 of 33 charges, including bribery, extortion, money laundering, racketeering and several counts of conspiracy. Mr. Munchak was found guilty on eight of 21 counts at the same trial. All of the men who gave the money to Cordaro and Munchak got immunity from prosecution for their testimony against the two Commissioners.


Candidate for Lackawanna County Commissioner on the Republican side Bill Jones sent out this e mail blast to the media today. He says, Over $20 million in borrowing, County removed to junk bond status, false budget, Corey O’Brien cancels mandatory Commissioner’s meeting. Bill Jones believes county taxpayers deserve better.
“The Placeholder Budget issued a week ago by Corey O’Brien made a mockery of the Home Rule Charter and denied the citizens of Lackawanna County the right to review his management of the budget. The cancellation of the Commissioner’s meeting tomorrow is also against the Home Rule Charter and is nothing more than Corey O’Brien hiding from the taxpayers of Lackawanna County. It is time for Corey O’Brien to do his job.” Jones is running an aggressive campaign. My question is this: is his Republican counterpart and former Democrat Pat O’Malley out there? Yard signs are fine but can we have a few statements please?


At 2:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BS attack ads are all these two are capable of. Neither one have a resume worth anything.

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lot of folks would like to see Big Munch catch a break. You can count me among them. Making this man die in prison benefits nobody. Plus I still believe him over the Highland Associates "Immunity" Executive! Wheres the money? Munchak was cooked when he failed to get a seperate trial.


At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let AJ GO!!! I don't believe for one minute the poor big lug had any idea of what was really going on.


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