Friday, December 4, 2009

House Majority Leader Eachus Refuted On Claim He Did Not Know About Bonus List

A repost of Legislator X Denies Knowing About List For Bonuses

Friday, July 11, 2008
Section: NEWS
Page: 1A

Veon and Michael Manzo initiated the program, directing caucus employee Eric Webb to maintain a list of caucus employees who assisted in campaigns, according to Corbett. Webb testified before a grand jury in exchange for immunity.

In 2006, Manzo secured for his wife a taxpayer-funded job helping Webb maintain the list, and she also assisted on campaigns in both the primary and general elections.

In December 2006, Rachel Manzo was hired as the executive director of Representative Eachus's policy committee, Eachus said. He said he was unaware of the work she had been doing before he hired her.

"Her work for the policy committee has been exemplary, so I'm startled," he said.

When asked about the list, he said: "I heard about it today. That's all I've got to say on that list."

Let's review the Grand Jury testimony to see if his statement holds water.

On 6/10/2008 a Special Agent from the Attorney General's office interviewed Daniel Wiedemer at his residence in Harrisburg. He accepted service of a Grand Jury subpoena. On 6/23/2008 Wiedemer was given a proffer interview which means he was told whatever he said could not be used against him in a proceeding.

Dan Wiedemer's testimony in front of the Grand Jury on 7/29/2008

Q- Tell us how this worked. That's the starting point. Who would participate in establishing that list.

A- There was a group of folks who, not just in this decision, but I think in any decision was always consulted, gave either their viewpoints or said how it was going to be.

That would be myself, Jessica Walls who is Jessica Walls Lavelle who was the field director at that point, Representative Stetler who was the chairman of the campaign committee, Representative Veon, Brett Cott, Mike Manzo. And that was the core group and it expanded a little bit to include Representative Dan Frankel, Representative Jen Mann and Representative Joe Preston who also were involved in the campaign committee.

Q- What about Eachus?

A- Early on in the cycle, Representative Eachus wasn't involved. He became involved in July or August.

Q- After Stetler left?

A-After Representative Stetler left.

Q-He took over for Stetler, right?

A- He did.

So Eachus took over as Chairman of the campaign committe but is trying to tell the public the arrest was the first time he heard of the list. It is worth noting that the attorney for Stephen Stetler accepted service of a Grand Jury subpoena on 6/12/2008.

Previous testimony before the Grand Jury was corroborated by Dan Wiedemer's testimony.

Eric Webb's testimony before the Grand Jury ON 06/24/2008 stating Eachus knew Webb maintained the volunteer list allegedly used to award bonuses.

Q- List for us everybody that you recollect knew about the list or saw the list from 2004 through the end of 2006.

A- Mike Manzo, Brett Cott, the people in my office knew about the list. Nora Sabo, Paul Martz, Cameron Texter, Gail McDermott, Jon Price, DeWeese's office knew about the list, Kevin Sidella. I think most people who worked for DeWeeese and Veon knew, so that would include people like Jeb Wagner, John Paul Jones who worked for Steve Stetler and then later Todd Eachus knew about it.

Two participants in the Legislative Bonus scandal testified that Legislator X, who in his biography states, "In 2006 Eachus's campaign strategies and dedication to help incumbent members and first-time candidates led directly to House Democrats retaking the Majority for the first time since 1994." knew about the list according to the witnesses but in a newspaper interview in July, 2008 he states "I heard about it today. That's all I've got to say on that list."

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