The Democratic Party campaign event for which they are scheduled to appear is 1-4:30 p.m. at the Kennett Democrats, 115 Marshall St., Kennett Square, Pa. 19348. Wolf and Shapiro cannot be there the whole time as they are also scheduled for a Montgomery County Democrat Party event noon to 4 p.m., UFCW Local 1776, 3031 Walton Rd, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. 19462.
Thank you Pauline for the update.
Hey hipster Millennials being crushed by student loans, what has Wolf done to curtail the ridiculous educational salaries and pensions causing your loans to be so burdensome?
Bunny Welsh Responds To Hit Piece — Chester County Controller Margaret Reif is continuing her partisan agenda against well-respected and nationally known Sheriff Bunny Welsh despite Bunny not seeking re-election and her term ending in January.
Ms. Reif, a Democrat, informed the Daily Local News that the Sheriff’s Department has gone over budget in overtime for three years, a common occurence in law enforcement. The Local treated the non-story as a front page scandal in the Sept. 15 Sunday edition.
A whole lot of things were left out of the story namely that the county gets a lot of that money back since the K-9 unit is used by other agencies, and that the Eric Fein jury selection occurred in Chesco.
Bunny’s attorney Dawson Muth does a good job of addressing things and we are happy to run his response.
Once again, Daily Local News reporter Michael Rellahan has penned a story and generated a front page headline filled with inaccuracies and misrepresentations in the Sunday newspaper. In his zeal to get another sensationalized headline, “Sheriff Busted OT Budget”, he merely regurgitated the unverified information provided to him by Controller Margaret Reif in her obsessive, personal attacks against the Sheriff of Chester County.
Not surprisingly, it is the same modus operandi that the Controller and reporter used last year in the attack on the Sheriffs Office nationally acclaimed, award winning K-9 unit.
As before, she tosses out raw numbers with no explanation and hopes her manipulated script can erode public trust for one of the most respected Sheriffs in the nation.
The approved budget for the Sheriffs Office, as for any law enforcement agency, is difficult to guarantee. There are many late courts such as the treatment courts, juries who deliberate into the night, long transports, extraditions and other duties that cannot always be anticipated accurately. In its approved annual $6 million dollar budget, it would not be unusual to have $80,000-$100,000 additional overtime for the year. However, that does not mean County taxpayers absorb a loss.
Much of the unanticipated overtime costs are offset substantially by revenue the Sheriffs Office generates that goes directly in the County’s general fund which the Controller conveniently fails to reference in her report.
Some community events where deputies are assigned are also reimbursed directly to the County. In fact, during the three years referenced by the Controller, more than $125,000 in overtime was billed to outside agencies and organizations for the services of the deputies.
In other circumstances, overtime relating to a criminal matter, such as the search for or apprehension of a defendant by the K-9 team may be charged to the defendant and collected as costs and restitution by the probation department. Again, the Controller fails to subtract the revenue collected because it does not bolster her bogus allegations and continues her personal pursuit of the Sheriff.
Deputy Sheriffs are required to post the annual tax sale notices. These postings require multiple trips and attempts at service for hundreds of properties, which means working extended hours. This service results in an approximate cost of $30,000 in overtime annually. Due to these postings however, the County Tax office receives millions of dollars of revenue. Another fact conveniently and blatantly ignored by the Controller.
Special security details like the high profile Eric Fein jury selection require many hours of unanticipated overtime (Frein was arrested and convicted of murdering a Pennsylvania State Trooper in Pike County). The jury selection occurred here in Chester County and required long hours in transport and high security details. Pike County reimbursed Chester County thousands of dollars for that detail reducing the overtime costs to the taxpayers of Chester County. That fact also conveniently and blatantly ignored by the Controller.
Now for the third time, the Controller is spending hundreds of office hours and countless hours with her attorney-at what cost to the taxpayers – in her ongoing attempt to tarnish the name of a Sheriff who leads one of the finest offices not only in this Commonwealth but also in the nation.
Shame on the Daily Local for colluding with the Controller in her personal crusade and assisting her in costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars while she continues her partisan attacks on the Sheriff of Chester County.
Bunny Welsh Picked For Trump Board — Bunny Welsh of Chester County, our favorite sheriff, has been named to advisory board of Women for Trump, a national group that kicked off in King of Prussia, July 16.
Ryan Costello Globally Warm And Comfy — Ryan Costello, who represented Pennsylvania’s once-Republican 6th Congressional District until his quitting in 2018, has found a comfy and warm landing spot.
He is now managing director of Americans for Carbon Dividends, which is pushing for something called the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan which will increase the cost of energy ostensibly to save the planet from burning up.
He had a column in the Jan. 7 Wall Street Journal which if you have a subscription can be read here.
Besides working class mechants using air conditioners, he also bemoans the existence of the Second Amendment and immigration laws.
Hey, who needs social justice warriors when you have Ryanos?
Anyway, Costello’s long-time friend and bosom-buddy enabler is Val DiGiorgio who chaired the Chester County GOP when Costello was a rising star.
His tenure as county chairman saw a once Republican stronghold turn Democrat. His tenure as state chairman has been similarly spectacular.
Of course, we can’t be too hard on him. Being party chairman is just his hobby. His day job is being the “contact” for Stradley Ronon’s Government and Political Affairs Division. Stadley Ronon can be fairly described as a full-service political fixing firm. Services Val’s division has boasted of providing include “creating and shepherding major tax legislation for the mutual fund industry”; “lobbying for proposed rules and regulations on behalf of the insurance industry;” and “lobbying for congressional appropriations for public safety, health care and bio-tech clients.”
Val still has his defenders in the GOP. We’d like to ask them — with Tucker Carlson sincerity — how exactly can DiGiorgio represent the Republican rank and file and Stradely Ronon? Whose side would DiGiorgio must likely take in a conflict, the Republican rank and file or a Stradely Ronon client?
Presidential Shout Out For Bunny Welsh — President Trump at yesterday’s (Jan. 11) border security roundtable described the rampant and twisted human trafficking that is occurring today and the desperate need for a wall.
Seated at his right the whole time was Chester County Sheriff Bunny Welsh who he recognizes at the 10:50 mark. Bunny then describes the tragic death of a Chester County boy due to fentanyl traced to a Mexican cartel.
It’s a great honor Bunny. Stay involved. We need you.
The roundtable can be watched at the below C-Span link. It is worth doing so.
DiGiorgio Must Step Down As State GOP Chairman — Val DiGiorgo stepped down as Chester County Republican Party Chairman on Dec. 7 but remains the head of the State GOP.
By Jane Taylor Toal
Former Congressman, Chaka Fattah, received a 10-year sentence for federal corruption in the 2nd District of Philadelphia, which is traditionally supported by the PA GOP, and was convicted of the VICO Act violations and other related crimes, which hosts a 2-year sentence. Also receiving this sentence was Herbert Vederman. Mr. Vederman was a Senior Consultant for the government and public affairs group, Stradley, Ronan, Stevens, and Young, LLC, a Philadelphia based law firm.
Valentino F. DiGiorgio III chaired the banking and public finance sections, while being a partner. Government and public affairs were considered part of his “focus.” The PA GOP Chairman is currently employed at said firm. Pennsylvania Attorney General Joshua Shapiro (D) was counsel at the firm. Mr. Shapiro obtained employment for Mr. DiGiorgio’s wife in Montgomery County, consisting of a 6-figure income. The Attorney General still practices general corporate work, real estate, and regulatory compliance with the LLC. Firms such as these in our great Commonwealth should be shut down.
The Chair was elected to this position at the Republican Convention on February 4, 2017, in Hershey.
A close friend has a long history of supporting big government causes in Chester County. Alex Rahn is reputed to be the brains behind a shadow group named United Republicans of Chester County, has tried unsuccessfully to remove committee people from Elk and East Nottingham Townships. Mr. Rahn directed activities for the late Senator Arlen Specter, who represented both the Republican and Democrat political parties in 2003/2004. Can we say “collusion?”
Flash forward to the 2018 gubernatorial race, the PA GOP Chair accepted monies for the support and endorsement of the flawed and publicly violent candidate, Scott Wagner. Six State Committee members wrote a letter of disgust stating that they were lied to and deceived by Mr. DiGiorgio, their party boss. They referenced facts pertaining to said candidate which were held from them and they found these to be vile and did not want to be included in this support. A separate letter, via grassroots activists, also asked him to withdraw his endorsement, and was received with no reply.
With this being said, the Chair is no friend to those with opposing views. He uses his bully tactics and back room schemes to promote his status quo establishment agenda. As a registered Republican voter of theCommonwealth of Pennsylvania, I am calling for the letter of resignation of Mr. Valentino F. DiGiorgio III. He is not a friend of We the People. Politics is placed before the Keystone state’s citizens. This gentleman deceives those with whom have placed their trust in him.
The deadline for this will be the date of May 18, 2019,which is the day prior to our primary election. A special election will need to be held for his replacement.
Ms. Toal is president and CEO of Citizens for Liberty
Chesco Controller Seeking To Kill K-9 Unit? –-The Democrats took control, last November, of several Chester County line offices, including controller, and as is their wont turned them into tools of toxic partisanship.
Controller Margaret Reif has released to the press an “audit” concerning the county’s K-9 Unit. The unit was started by Sheriff Bunny Welsh in 2006 and is funded with private money albeit obviously some public resources find there way to it.
Ms. Reif claims she has found financial impropriety and says she has a scandal. The Daily Local News is running stories about it.
The only thing Ms. Reif has revealed, though, is her profound ignorance. She mocks the notion that the unit’s dogs are considered sworn deputies, a tradition in law enforcement.
“What do they do? Sign with their paw?” she scoffed.
Is it hate that drives her or simple stupidity?
Naturally, however, the usual suspects have formed a lynch mob against much-admired Sheriff Welsh and want to subject her to two-minutes of hate each day until the 2019 election.
Dawson Muth, the sheriff’s department solicitor, has released a powerful point-by-point rebuttal which we are including below.
The most telling point is in the last paragraph.
“Finally, what is the controller’s goal here?” Muth says. “To shut down the K-9 Unit? To go back to the days of waiting hours for Philadelphia bomb dogs to show up during bomb threats?”
No good deed goes unpunished.
Does simple decency and the public good now take distant back seats to partisan hate for Democrats? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
Statement of Chester County Sheriff’s Solicitor
“Four-thousand, seven hundred, eighteen dollars and forty-one cents paid for a stay at the Hilton Baltimore in June and July 2015. At least $5,290.74 on 75 miscellaneous lunches and dinners over a three-year period; $4,200 for a custom-made golf cart; $2,500 for tires and front and back winches on a privately owned pickup truck; $579 for a one-night stay at the Quality Hotel in Exton in September 2017.”
These are just a fraction of the egregious misrepresentations printed by Daily Local News reporter Michael Rellahan in a story published on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. Yes, Mr. Rellahan was simply regurgitating the unverified information provided to him by County Controller Margaret Reif, but, at the very least, he should have attempted to verify the information. Had the Controller taken the least bit of time to ask any questions or conduct a proper investigation and audit, which any professional will agree includes asking questions concerning expenditures, receipts and accounts, or even attempted to the slightest degree of professionalism to verify any of the information she forwarded to the press, she and the Daily Local News would have learned that the Baltimore hotel bill covered the attendance of eight (8) Chester County Sheriff Deputies, two of whom were accompanied by their K-9 partners, at the National Sheriffs’ Association conference in Baltimore. For the first time in decades, the event, which offers a superb training and networking opportunity, was held in this region, making the CCSO’s participation affordable. It indeed was an honor for the CCSO to be featured at and to make a presentation at a National Conference.
The cost of meals over three years included a multitude of events, such as hosting regional K-9 trials and competitions – the kind of valuable training sessions that improve the quality of the CCSO’s award-winning K-9 teams. Yes, some of those funds were for meals for the K9 Deputies as a reward for their hard work and service. They are on-call and frequently get called out in the middle of the night or work weekend events. Again, these costs were not paid for with taxpayer funds.
The so-called “custom-made golf cart” is another gross inaccuracy. The vehicle in question is a used utility vehicle which was purchased with private funds and has been called into service at numerous Community and K-9 events. It has been used to transport people in medical emergencies out of crowded situations such as the Freedom Fest and other Community events the Sheriff’s Office is called upon for security. The vehicle is equipped with a medical kit just for such purposes. It has also been used for non-K-9 purposes,such as transporting county workers with health issues to their cars when the parking garage elevator went out of service. It is not a “golf cart”, it has a specific, legitimate function. This vehicle was purchased with private funds raised by the hard working men and women of the Chester County Sheriff’s Office and is now property of the County, at no cost to the taxpayers. You are welcome!
The accusation that mechanical work was done on a personal pickup truck represents a blatant malicious lie. The work was performed on a county-owned vehicle, which the Sheriff’s Office uses for special events. It is a surplus specialty vehicle, purchased with private funds and then titled over to the County. Perhaps if the Controller took just a moment of time away from attacking the Sheriff and checked to ascertain which vehicles are owned by the County she might have discovered this before making such an absurd allegation.
A $579 bill for a one-night stay at the Quality Hotel in Exton in September 2017 is equally inaccurate. The CCSO took its turn hosting the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of Pennsylvania. The bill – again, at no expense to taxpayers — covered two nights for four deputies, who were working around the clock to ensure that the conference was successful and safe. Again, no taxpayers’ dollars were spent on this endeavor.
The controller has been quoted as saying that her review raised more questions than it answered; however, what’s significant is that no questions were ever asked of anyone connected to the Sheriff’s Office as would be done in a professional audit. In addition, no one bothered to take an inventory of items and assets that were purchased with K-9 funds, items that have since benefitted all county citizens in numerous ways. The controller interpreted the numbers in the light most unfavorable to the CCSO and then provided them to the Daily Local News, which ran them without verifying anything.
It’s outrageous to think that a report like this, filled with inaccuracies and assumptions was released, and even more outrageous that a newspaper would print it. A real audit is being done by a well-respected CPA in the area. I’m very confident that the results will indicate nothing improper, and I hope the Daily Local News will make sure that information gets publicized with the same prominence as the egregious misrepresentations to date.
In the meantime, the controller should be asked some questions. Why does she continue to reference hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been raised using county resources when no documentation supports that claim? The only way to reach that number has no connection to the county: It includes the value of the veterinary care and related services that have been donated by generous individuals who recognize the K-9 Unit’s importance. It also includes the increase in the dogs’ value. The initial investment for a dog and training is about $15,000 to $20,000. A fully trained canine is valued at $30,000 to $40,000.
Why has the controller opted to turn this issue into a prolonged public assault? Why does she leak information to the press in piecemeal fashion? Would she have handled matters the same way if the Sheriff were a Democrat? How can she suggest that she’s committed to reducing costs when she’s chosen to rack up legal fees and force county workers to spend weeks of their time examining a private fund that provides myriad benefits to taxpayers at minimal cost? She argues that CCSO employees received comp time for staffing the three annual fundraisers that support the K-9 Unit and other community programs; that time represents far less than 1% of the employees’ total hours. As a result of those efforts, K-9 teams have found lost children, cleared schools after a bomb threat, and removed dangerous criminals from the street, AT NO COST TO THE TAXPAYERS!!!
Why has the controller offered no suggestions for funding the K-9 Unit? With no expense line in the budget for K-9s, how could the teams possibly compete, host an event, train or teach without support from donations and contributions? As the K-9 program has grown, fueled by demand for its services, it has brought national acclaim to Chester County. The K9 Deputies and their K9 partners have won numerous awards, and its programs, such as the use of “control poles” to reduce dog fatalities during encounters with law enforcement, have served as national models.
Finally, what is the controller’s goal here? To shut down the K-9 Unit? To go back to the days of waiting hours for Philadelphia bomb dogs to show up during bomb threats? To bring negative publicity to a county that has always prided itself on resolving problems with collegial cooperation? During one early discussion with the Sheriff, the controller mocked the fact that the dogs are all sworn deputies. “What do they do? Sign with their paw?” she scoffed. One can’t help but wonder whether her lack of understanding and appreciation of the dogs’ value will make it impossible for her to retreat from her relentless attacks on one of the county’s most valuable assets. Perhaps she should have been standing in the ruins of the Barclay Friends nursing home when K-9 Don, named the top cadaver K-9 in the nation two years in a row, helped authorities search for and locate one of the missing victims of the fatal fire, at no cost to the taxpayers.
Suburbanites Blind To Cause Of Discord — There is a certain segment of our society that bemoans what our political discourse has become and blames Donald Trump. Call this segment suburban soccer moms. They are nice people. They don’t like rudeness or crudeness or violence.
The problem is their sources of information are traditional, establishment ones that they feel safe with. These sources knowingly whispers comforting platitudes telling them if they say certain things, follow certain people, promote certain causes and vote certain ways all will be right.
It’s manipulation and it’s effective.
How many think Trump was buds with billionaire (and friend of the Clintons) child molester Jeffrey Epstein, who we have been writing about since 2010? Nope. The Donald barred Epstein from Mar-a-Largo in 1999 when he learned the perv was chasing underage girls. Something most have never heard. Trump also volunteered testimony against Epstein in Virginia Roberts’ lawsuit against him.
The most glaring example of puppetry is the strange but strongly held belief that it is Republicans who promote the violence.
The June 17, 2017 assassination attempt of congressional Republicans by which came very close to taking the life of Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA1) was done by a Trump hater as was the fatal shooting of Chester County Republican activist G. Brooks Jennings on Aug. 8, 2017. The shooting of Scalise is long forgotten and the killing of Jennings was never well known.
In July, an anti-Trumper was arrested for the threatening to kill Congresswoman Diane Black who is running for governor. You heard about that, right?
And you heard that on Sunday (Sept. 9), 35-year-old Farzad Fazeli tried to stab Republican congressional candidate Rudy Peters while spewing anti-Trump garbage, right? Peters is seeking to represent California’s 5th District.
It’s not the Republicans who are violent. It’s not the Republicans who hate women. It’s not the Republicans who lie about the other side.