"What's black and white and read all over?"

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Posted 9:34 PM by

Too little, but never too late

Is Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett just paying lip service to fighting corruption?Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett announced the formation of a seven-attorney unit today to investigate corruption allegations involving elected officials and government employees.

The unit's responsibilities will include investigating serious allegations of election-law violations, complaints referred by the State Ethics Commission, and conflict-of-interest cases referred by county district attorneys, Corbett said.

That also lead him to make the understatement of the young year so-far: "By creating a Public Corruption Unit, the Attorney General's Office is putting a spotlight on investigating and prosecuting public corruption cases at a crucial time in our state's history when slot machines and casino gaming is about to become reality."

Corbett established a similar unit during a previous stint as attorney general. He was appointed to the office in 1995 by then-Gov. Tom Ridge to serve the last 15 months of the term of Ernest Preate Jr. after Preate was sent to prison for mail fraud in connection with politicial contributions from video poker machine vendors.

Yeah, right. Like Preate's arrest really sparked a reform movement or curbed the idea of legalized gambling.

Given the ongoing indictments in Philly, the constant shenanigans in Harrisburg, not to mention outright thievery throughout the state, I have to question whether this is just more lip service and C.Y.A.

After all, the bulk of these cases will likely be referrals only, not independent probes sparked by tipsters.
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