Category Archives: Notable Cases

PCRLN, Borough of Centralia, and past and current residents petition Attorney General Kathleen Kane for investigation of fraudulent mine fires

PCRLN, Borough of Centralia, and Past and Current Residents Petition Attorney General Kathleen Kane for Investigation of Fraudulent Mine Fires

The Borough of Centralia, Pennsylvania, along with some of its past and current remaining residents, and the Pennsylvania Civil Rights Law Network have filed a formal petition to Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane to conduct a formal investigation into allegations of fraud and public corruption regarding the mine fires that have allegedly burned beneath the Borough of Centralia for decades, but which are, in reality, a total sham and fraud, involving Pennsylvania politicians and lawyers over decades.

It is believed, and has been alleged, that the real objective has been to gain access to a coal vein, known as the “mammoth” vein, which contains billions of dollars worth of some of the purest anthracite coal in the world.  Scientists who have studied the area know that the fires are not, and never were, the threat that they were represented to be, but the courts, including the federal courts in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, have avoided efforts to address these obvious issues.

Recent federal court appointee, Judge Matthew Brann, who was a career private practice lawyer in rural Pennsylvania, with unknown experience dealing with the federal courts and constitutional issues, has recently dismissed substantial portions of the federal case filed by the Borough of Centralia.  Judge Brann has not responded to our request for an interview and comment.

The lawsuit filed by the Borough and several of its residents was filed as a verified pleading, containing detailed factual allegations, and was accompanied by a motion for injunctive relief with hundreds of pages of supporting documents.  Those documents can be viewed here:

Centralia Amended Complaint

Motion Injunction

Exhibits Inj 1-16

The Petition to Attorney General Kane provides as follows:


            We, the undersigned Petitioners, are the Borough of Centralia, Pennsylvania, its duly established Board of Supervisors, current and past residents of the Borough, The Pennsylvania Civil Rights Law Network, and concerned citizens from across Pennsylvania, in accordance with the right of petition, recognized as inherent and inviolate, pursuant to Pennsylvania Constitution, Article 1, Section 20, and Article 1, Section 25, and petition the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Kathleen Kane, to exercise all right and appropriate powers to investigate, prosecute, enforce, and/or litigate, in any and all respects, any and all of the allegations and claims made in connection with the Centralia Mine Fires, and Petitioners’ allegations of fraud and public corruption that have been perpetuated since at least in or around the 1980s, and through the present.

Petitioners, some few of them, including the Borough, have filed a federal civil rights action in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, No. 10-CV-2222.  This federal proceeding has been in an extended hiatus, and is no impediment to the Attorney General acting in furtherance of her statutory duties.  The Petitioner/Plaintiffs in that matter have filed a verified Amended Complaint, and a verified Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief, with 28 Exhibits, consisting of several hundred pages.  They are appended to this petition, and made a part hereof.  Those claims are also generally set forth on the Courts of the Commonwealth, through, primarily, Commonwealth Court, No. 150 MDA 2010, in which a final order has been entered, and which specifically recognized that no claims have ever been made and/or litigated by and/or against the Borough of Centralia.  The legal issues as to the rest are inapt to the duties of the Attorney General.

Petitioners submit that the evidence and attachments justify, indeed, warrant, in the public interest of the citizens of this Commonwealth, the exercise of all powers of the Office of Attorney General, pursuant to Pennsylvania Constitution Article 4, Section 4, and the Commonwealth Attorney’s Act, 71 P.S. § 732-210, et seq..

To wit:

1.         Petitioners hereby petition the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to convene a multi-county investigating grand jury, pursuant to the powers vested in the Office by 71 P.S. § 732-207, and 42 Pa. C.S. § 4544, into allegations of public corruption, within the scope and authority of 71 P.S. § 732-505(a)(1), in connection with the allegations of public corruption, as to which a good faith basis has been made, as articulated and supported in the documents appended hereto.

2.         Petitioners submit that the allegations as reflected in these petitioning documents support investigation into all Governors and Attorneys General going back, at least, to the first administration of deceased Governor Robert P. Casey, and each gubernatorial and Attorney General administration since.  The allegations would also include certain private individuals and entities alleged to have participated in a public corruption conspiracy with the public officials, above-referenced.   These would include the Law Firm of Rosenn, Jenkins and Greenwald, Attorney Gary Taroli, Attorney Jack Zelinka, Tom Linott, the Blaschak Coal Company, Jack Carling, and others to be determined through the investigation.

3.         Among the most salient of those facts, which have never been presented in any court, and which compel further investigation, are the following:

  • Beginning in or around 1997, Blaschak Coal Company acquired over 55 acres of surface area within the Borough.
  • In 2002, a landowner in the Borough of Centralia, John Koschoff, developed property in the Borough with the knowledge of the condemnors.  A declaration of taking was only filed in July, 2010 after petitioners raised the issue in these proceedings.
  • In or around 2004, Blaschak built a warehouse facility in the condemned zone, which is used to store mining equipment.
  • In 2006, a declaration of taking with respect to one landowner in the condemned area, Robert Nechtel, was relinquished, and his property returned to him in fee simple.  Respondents have refused the same request with respect to petitioners.
  • In or around 2010-11, the respondent granted two property owners, one of who is petitioner Carl Womer, life estates.  Respondent has refused the same request with respect to petitioners.
  • At times up through and including 2009, active mining operations were conducted, with the knowledge of the condemnor, in violation of state law, in the condemned area.
  • Core temperatures and ambient ground temperatures have normalized.

The supporting evidence for these contentions is all in the record.  On the basis of these documents, petitioners demand further criminal investigation.

4.         Petitioners respect, appreciate, and understand the gravity of the demands being placed upon this Office, and its current occupant, not only because of the gravity and extent of the scope of the allegations, which would take the most extraordinary courage to confront in general, but particularly given the recent election to this office by the Honorable Kathleen Kane, who is from the region, and likely, and understandably, familiar with many of the individuals into whom investigation is being requested.  Petitioners emphatically do not suggest any wrongdoing or impropriety of any nature by this Attorney General.  Nevertheless, Petitioners submit that, due to the inherent appearance of conflict, a special investigator be appointed to conduct the grand jury investigation pursuant to the authority vested by 73 P.S. § 732-205(d), upon appropriate terms and conditions.  The special prosecutor should be such as to meet the requirement for qualification for the Office of Attorney General, and have experience in litigation in matters of public corruption.  Petitioners request that appointment of a special prosecutor be agreed upon by the Attorney General, Mr. Bailey, on behalf of the Petitioners and Andrew J. Ostrowski on behalf of the Pennsylvania Civil Rights Law Network.

We, the undersigned, do hereby support and endorse all of the terms and conditions of the foregoing Petition to Attorney General Kathleen Kane to investigate and, if appropriate, prosecute the allegations of fraud and public corruption in connection with the Centralia Mine Fire and related proceedings.


/s/ Borough of Centralia, PCRLN, and residents

The actual, signed, petition can be viewed here:

Petition to Kane

We will be preparing and circulating an online petition, and ask all who are so inclined, to review the evidence, and study it for yourself, and to join us in this effort.  Attorney General Kane has recently appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the conduct of Governor Corbett in connection with the Penn State/Sandusky scandal, and this matter is every bit as important to the public integrity of the government of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and a proper investigation should be conducted.

Please support our efforts.

Thank you.

Miles Thomas – devoted husband and model citizen dies with dignity – despite the indignities of the federal courts

We sadly announce the passing of Miles Thomas at the Holy Spirit Hospital on Wednesday, February 15, 2102, at the age of 75.  John Luciew of the Patriot followed the first federal case, and the reunion, and published an article in the Patriot News announcing Miles’ death, and giving a kind tribute to Miles, and his efforts to be reunited with his dog named Baron.  John did a great job covering what was a very real and uncomplicated public interest story, and Miles remained specifically grateful to John until the end.

Miles lived the most dignified of lives by all measures.  Miles had a successful career as a stockbroker and investment banker, and was a devoted husband.  He was a member of the Harrisburg School Board who was known for his commitment to the community, and served for years on the Dauphin County Republican committee.  Miles spent the last of his life’s saving’s, including his house and most of his personal possessions, in the care of his wife of many years, who had suffered with alzheimers until her death.

After his wife’s passing, Miles had experienced brief periods of homelessness, living, at times, out of his car, with his collie Baron, who he had gotten in or around 2002.  Miles also had suffered with diabetes, which made him appear confused and disheveled at times, and was known to some local authorities, and had somewhat frequent admissions to Holy Spirit Hospital, where he was always well-treated, and liked.

Miles passing leaves a huge injustice undone, and an indignity that Miles was subjected through the federal courts.  Miles showed great courage, doing nothing but asking for his dog back originally, and even agreeing to drop his federal lawsuit in its entirety, and any claims for damages and attorney’s fees, even after having to appear in federal court and be subject to public ridicule by the attorneys for the Humane Society, McNees Wallace.

This article is being written in the first person, because there is no other way to tell the real story, as it revealed an agenda that was only later understood when Don Bailey was charged with misconduct in the Thom Lewis case.  There are huge injustices that have been left undone, and I was there with Miles on dialysis in the hospital, after he had lost Baron late last year – he was hoping to find another collie –  when he said he would never stop seeking justice for what had been done to him.  As a tribute to him and his courage, his whole story should be told, as it revealed a power that he had of which he, or even I, were unaware, because of the agendas of others, as have been discussed on this site, to hurt and harm Don Bailey and the civil rights clients he represents.

The first federal court action

I was with Miles the day he had his dog taken in August, 2009, Thom Lewis introduced us in my office, and we simply requested the dog be returned to its rightful owner, an apparent mistake having been made.  I was there and Don may have been busy – it was a simple enough issue. Thom Lewis was a client of Don Bailey’s, who I later also came to represent in connection with the sanctions proceedings against Don and Thom, imposed only against Don, which led to the disciplinary complaint.  See Thom Lewis Collie rescue case.

I knew very little of Thom’s case that Don was handling, and Don knew very little of the Miles case, except to the extent it became something of a spectacle.   Judge Jones, on the other hand, and the attorneys for Eckert Seamans in the Lewis case, and McNees Wallace in the Miles Thomas case clearly read some connection into the cases that only later became apparent.  Miles’ case was so simple – its complexity became bizarre.

Miles was a man who loved his dog.  He had fallen on hard times and was seeking assistance getting what is, in the law, his property back, that was clearly wrongfully, even if only mistakenly, taken from him.  I knew of no other agenda.  The very firm and repeated refusals to return the dog were perplexing.  There were no charges filed and no reason to keep the dog, and Thom Lewis had a preexisting agreement to care for Baron in times when Miles may need healthcare or other such things.

The threat of federal litigation did not change the Humane Society’s unreasonable stance, nor did the actual filing of a lawsuit and request for a Temporary Restraining Order for the return of the dog.  Instead, federal judge John E. Jones, who, prior to being the Chairman of the Liquor Control Board, was a republican fundraiser, and domestic relations attorney, granted something of a “temporary custody” to the Humane Society, then scheduled hearings in federal court on the issue of the return of the dog.

John Luciew began honestly covering what was a legitimate local human interest story, in a responsible use of the press to shed light on an ongoing dispute.  As the proceedings magnified, so did the coverage, and it became something of a spectacle.  It was nothing at all to be proud of in terms of reasonable people being able to resolve disputes reasonably, and was not easy to explain to those unfamiliar with the way business is done in these courts, as we have discussed throughout.  It was, at least, the abuse of the judicial system and misuse of judicial power.  At least Miles was afforded a hearing, although it was a completely unnecessary exercise.

Court proceedings were scheduled, and were attended by dozens of people.  Our efforts continued behind the scenes repeatedly to simply get this matter resolved, but communications were treated dismissively with hostility.  Miles again even agreed to withdraw his entire case, and all claims for damages and attorney’s fees, and end what had become a spectacle, if they just returned his dog to him.  Refused.  We even tried to get the matter resolved informally with the court.  Refused again.  Miles appeared and was ready to proceed with the hearing to get his dog back, and we remained unwary of any deeper connections to the Thom Lewis case.

Judge Jones took the bench and instead of proceeding with the hearing we tried to avoid, and which inconvenienced many attendees, he brought counsel back to try to resolve the matter.  Thom Lewis immediately became the issue insofar as Miles’ dog would not be returned to him as long as Thom Lewis had any connection to the case.  It simply made no sense whatsoever.  The “negotiations” broke down over the issue, and four attorneys and a federal judge discussed Miles rights to visit his dog at the Humane Society.   None ever answered the persistent questions as to what the issue with Thom Lewis was.  In retrospect they probably assumed that we knew what the issue was, but the only issue ever before Judge Jones was the return of Miles’ dog to him in the case on his docket, and that is the only thing that Miles and his counsel ever considered.  The fact is that it remained a mystery why Thom Lewis was such a factor.

Judge Jones reconvened the parties and those in attendance in the courtroom to announce that no agreement had been reached and that further proceedings would be scheduled.  Judge Jones concluded his remarks with the statement that he would see to it that “we will do what is in the best interest of Baron”.  What about the best interest of Miles?  Miles took this statement as a grave indignity, and it was, on many levels.

Miles had been subjected to stress, aggravation, and humiliation just because he had fallen on hard times and had his dog wrongfully taken, and was the litigant in court before Judge Jones, and it was his interest that was at stake.  He is a man.  Baron is a dog.  The Constiitution protects men.  Judge Jones’ statement squarely addresses the heart of the problem of the insensitivity of the judges of our federal courts to the protection of the most basic constitutional rights.  Judge Jones’ statement was legally akin to saying he’s doing what’s in the best interest of a car in a forfeiture proceeding – it was an insult and indignity to Miles Thomas, who was made to leave court again without his property, his beloved dog.

The Thom Lewis connection

Neither Miles nor I were aware at that time that the lawsuit filed by Thom Lewis in 2007 had been forwarded to the office of disciplinary counsel shortly after it was filed, indeed before it was even served.  Patti Bednarik from the office of disciplinary counsel received the case, and went to Sam Stretton, again before the case was even served, with threats that Don Bailey would be disciplined over it – in 2007 – we are in 2012, and these are the disciplinary efforts.

Bednarik, as it turns out, was involved in the illegal transportation of dogs, and used her Pennsylvania Supreme Court Office of Disciplinary Counsel  email to run some of the operations, which appears to be big private business in Pennsylvania with personalities connected to the federal courts.  Bednarik was reportedly later relocated out of the office of counsel over the matter.  Disciplinary matters were proceeding against me as well during the handling of Miles’ case, though all proceedings had been concluded, and were believed to have been resolved.  I was later suspended.

The Lewis cases had preceded Miles’ case, and it was only through Miles’ case that Thom Lewis learned that Judge Jones was the former PLCB Chairman.  Among the defendants Thom had sued was a Daniel Flaherty, who was a PLCB administrative judge under Jones, when Jones was chairman.  Lewis was aware that Flaherty had used his office to run various activities out of in some cults that Flaherty, and Sterner, and others connected to the case, were involved with.  The knowledge of the connection passed by Don Bailey and Thom Lewis, each knowing some facts, as they had no reason to suspect that there was any connection between Jones and Flaherty, nor should they have.  If there was, it should have been disclosed and been known.  At least three other federal judges in the middle district had revealed connections to people involved in the Thom Lewis case.

In addition, Flaherty and his other cult member co-defendants, who were allegedly of little means themselves, wound up with attorneys from the Eckert Seamans law firm, a powerful-statewide law firm, with whom Jones may have some old political friends.  Judge Kane is also in a personal relationship with one of the partners of Eckert Seamans, who is believed to have connections to the disciplinary board.  The relationship and the gifts exchanged between Kane and the Eckert partner are the subject of writings of author Bill Keisling, who also had a case before Judge Jones over the abuses of the York Courts, along the lines of issues raised by Steve Conklin.  Bill’s case was dismissed without any fair treatment.  The Eckert Seamans attorneys are the ones who pursued the sanctions proceedings in the Third Circuit that led to the current disciplinary proceedings against Don Bailey.

Further Thomas court proceedings

A second hearing was scheduled before Judge Jones in Miles federal case, and this time we proceeded with our case.  This was November 2009. Miles took the stand and testified confidently, clearly, and with complete dignity, despite the McNees Walllace lawyer’s and Humane Society’s chances attempts to portray him as basically a “bum”, as commonly portrayed.  Amy Kaunas took the stand and testified falsely under oath, which was pointed out to Judge Jones, either then or later, but never addressed the issue.  Judge suspended the proceedings in the middle of the hearing, after we had rested, i.e., after we had established in a court of law Miles’ right to have his dog returned to him immediately, though three months after it was taken and called the parties back for settlement discussions.

Miles was involved in these discussions, and things like his housing arrangements and other such things that were nobodies’ business were asked of him.  Miles himself raised the issue of what the problem with Thom Lewis was, and it was simply not something that anyone would ever discuss.  We did inform them, as an additional accommodation that Steve Conklin had invited Miles to take up residence at his farm.  It is noteworthy that within 24 hours of the hearing, for the first time ever, Steve received a visit from a local dog warden with some sort of warning notice about a dog on his property, which simply did not exist.

The Humane Society, in clearly a face-saving gesture, then imposed an additional condition on Miles that he would have to agree to an adoption of his dog on a temporary basis, with conditions allowing visitation by the Humane Society, and other such intrusions.  Miles was willing to sign anything to get his dog back, and the fact is there was nothing he could sign that was not a further violation of his rights, but the Humane Society then wanted the consent of Steve Conklin to come on his property to conduct random visits.  The objection is apparent.  Nonetheless, it appeared that something could be arranged, and Miles left believing his reunion with Baron was imminent – it would be 3 more months.  Judge Jones assigned the case to Marty Carlson to finalize.

After the hearing, Miles and I both tried to make positive public statements about Judge Jones efforts to reunite Miles and Baron, as we did think it would be within a day or two, but the fact is that Judge Jones did what he did to protect the Humane Society, and, more importantly, to cut off Miles’ rights.  Miles had just appeared in his court and established that his property was wrongfully taken from him, and Judge Jones had no choice but to order that the dog be returned.  He was repeatedly reminded of this fact, and in a private discussion with Judge Jones, I told him I had no choice to go along in the face-saving, because Miles paramount concern was to be immediately reunited with his dog.  The Humane Society had just spent untold tens of thousands of dollars on one of Harrisburg’s premier law firms, and had even hired a public relations firm.

To order the dog returned would not only have been a huge public embarrassment, but would have opened Miles’ case to discovery, and questions about what the real issue was with Thom Lewis in the case, and what the real circumstances were behind the seizure of the dog, and all those other things that would have been allowed during discovery.  Judge Jones’ ordering the return of the dog would have meant that Miles already prevailed on one of his claims against the Humane Society, and would have been entitled to damages and attorney’s fees for that claim.  Judge Jones refused to simply go out and make that order, and Miles had to agree to whatever he could to get his dog back.  It was hard to be appreciative under the circumstances.

Miles second case against abc27 and Crowne Plaza

Miles thought his reunion was imminent, but the paperwork issue again became a fiasco.  Miles had learned that the Humane Society was holding its annual “fur ball” at the Crowne Plaza in Harisburg, and it was being hosted by abc27’s Valerie Pritchett.  The connection between abc27’s Alicia Richards and the Humane Society, and the refusal to cover Miles case while continuing to promote the humane Society had already become known.

Miles continued to remain proactive in the efforts to get his dog back, and was dumbfounded as to why Judge Jones did not just order it, though it was explained to him.  There was a network of people interested in Miles’ case, and someone agreed to buy him a ticket to the fur ball at the Crowne Plaza, and to rent him a room for the evening.  Miles decided to attend and ask that his dog be returned to him, and requested an advance ticket, and then attended the ball in November 2009.  The Humane Society, and abc27 personalities were aware Miles was planning to attend.

Miles entered the hotel and was accompanied by someone to pay for his room – he had money for the ticket.  Harrisburg Police officers were already on the scene when Miles got there, and he was escorted from the premises, and his room reservation was revoked.  He remained to request that his dog be returned to him, but was rebuked time and again.  These matters became the subject of the second suit Miles filed several months later against the Crown Plaza, abc27, Humane Society, and their associated personalities, which were also later dismissed by Judge Jones after I was suspended from practice during the pendency of Miles cases, and others.  The case was not filed right away, and Miles again just sought assistance in getting his dog back.  Crown Plaza/abc27 Complaint.

The return of Baron

Miles’ first case was scheduled for a mediation with Magistrate Judge Carlson, a mediation over nothing but the return of the dog.  The fact is that the right had been established, and that was the only condition on the table for Miles that the Humane Society offered, and they even attached complicated paperwork requirements to those conditions.  Miles attended because he wanted his dog back, and he had counsel with him as well, but was advised that there was nothing lawful about anything that was going on in the proceeding, and that he could sign anything he wants and should do whatever he has to do to get his property back, which had now become a hostage in a dishonest effort to have him dismiss his case, which he had already proven.  This is exactly what Carlson and the defendants were told by Miles counsel many times over, and Miles again did sign a paper, which was nothing more than that legally under all of the circumstances.

Again there were several weeks of paperwork hang-ups created by the Humane Society, who may have somehow or other legitimized their behavior to some board members of benefactors, and ultimately Miles was reunited with Baron in February.  There was great reward in the reunion despite the nonsensical course of conduct that had to lead to it.  Tens of thousands of dollars, days of court time, hundreds of attorney hours, media coverage, face-saving, and political agendas, all to not admit that a mistake was obviously made.  The reunion with Baron, again covered by John Luciew, was its own reward.

My suspension came right in the midst of this, and after that, Miles did not have counsel immediately because the courts took no measures to protect my former clients, and he had his first case wrongfully dismissed over his objection, his second case, against Crown Plaza, abc27, et al, was also dismissed though complete dismissal was not even requested by all parties.  This was filed by Miles pro se, and it was not until later that Don Bailey took over the cases to save what could be saved on appeal.  It was over one of the issues in Miles’ cases that Judge Jones called the disciplinary board to urge that they do something quick to get me so I can’t help Don Bailey.  Miles motions to open these judgments.  Miles was hospitalized at times in those months, and there is even evidence that mail was purposefully withheld from him, even not having a lawyer.

All of his cases were dismissed, and the appeals filed by Don Bailey were denied.  It was then during the sanctions proceedings in the Third Circuit in June 2010, against Bailey that all the connections became clear.  They believed that Miles Thomas was a shill, or that his case was being used for ulterior purposes. and that his case needed to be out of the way.  It was neither – no Thom Lewis agenda was known to counsel at any time until June 2010 – and there is no dispute that his property was wrongfully taken from him, and that he, like others, have suffered a second abuse at the hands of our courts.

Miles’ civil rights legacy 

Miles remained committed to seeing justice done throughout his cases.  He began in doing anything and everything he could to be reunited with the last thing he loved in his life, knowing that he was being mistreated in the process.  He was proactive in the effort, and knew his rights were being violated in the process itself.  He nonetheless also demanded his complete justice, after he got his dog back, and demanded his right to have these matters presented through the courts, and ultimately to juries.  He was seeking damages for what he had been through, under the federal civil rights laws.

Miles devoted his life to helping his community, and loving his wife, and was not deserving of having the agendas of others thrust upon him.   Miles was a dignified man and a courageous man, and it was an honor to know him and represent him.  The courts and the defendants in his cases owe him an apology at least for taking that dignity away as a reward for his life of service and support, and for participating in his mistreatment.  Whether it is forthcoming or not, Miles would surely accept it graciously.  He was a gracious and grateful man, and he will be missed.

Miles is not the first dog owner who has stirred the halls of justice.  Despite all the indignity that was created by the courts, and has been created and allowed to remain over the matters being covered here, the case was about a man and his dog.  In the case of a dog named “old drum” in 1870 where former Missouri Senator George Graham Vest (1830-1904) gave the following closing statement:

Gentlemen of the jury: The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.

Gentleman of the jury: A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.

Rest in peace.

Miles Thomas, Baron the dog, and abc27 news – the role of the media in maintaining cultural climates

Perhaps even on a parallel with the courts, the media as an institution has the unique ability to affect cultural attitudes and climates.  One need only listen to the “liberal media” and “conservative talk” outlets accuse each other of abusing this access to discern that there is some truth to the proposition.  This article discusses that principle in relation to the political and cultural climates as they exist in central Pennsylvania, and the local media’s role in setting these climates.

We previously introduced you to the case of Miles Thomas before the disciplinary proceedings against Bailey really commenced in earnest.  Miles filed two cases, and two motions to open judgment.  In the first case, Miles claimed, and proved, that a Harrisburg Humane Society Officer, William Sandstrom, unlawfully took, and then would not return, Miles dog, his personal property, beloved to him.

The case was actively covered by some local press, the Patriot News included, and John Luciew of the Patriot News did a fine job keeping attention on this matter, which the federal court, Judge John E. Jones, proved impotent to deal with.  For some unexplained reason Judge Jones would not simply order the Humane Society folks to return the dog, and scheduled, rescheduled, and delayed proceedings until finally the dog was returned, although under some bizarre “fostering” type of relationship.  As is typical, Judge Jones used the very straightforward litigation as an attack on Miles, and his attorney, Andy Ostrowski.

Notably absent from the local news coverage of the incident was any coverage by the local abc affiliate, abc27 news of Harrisburg.  It was later learned that abc27 anchor Alicia Richards is a significant benefactor and public spokesperson for the Humane Society, and that there was pressure at abc27 to cover the story, but that Richards alone stopped the coverage, even threatening to quit if the station covered the story.

While the saga dragged out before Judge Jones, who would simply not tell the Humane Society to return the man’s property, abc27 hosted a fundraiser for the Humane Society, which, as it turns out, was hosted by Richards and by her co-host, Valerie Pritchett.  Because Miles had still not had his dog returned at the time – months after it was taken –he decided to attend the event and ask for his dog back again, and was escorted from the premises by the police.

This led to the filing of a second lawsuit by Miles, which he filed in Dauphin County that time, but which the defendants, Richards, Pritchett, the Humane Society, and the Crown Plaza included, were able to get back into federal court before Judge Jones, who dismissed this case, as well as Miles’ first case, after Ostrowski’s suspension took effect.

The theme that has been discussed throughout this site, such as in the Bailey judicial lynching and Penn State predictions articles, and elsewhere, is that the media, at least in central Pennsylvania, has some special access to the courts, such that they are able to combine to control popular opinion and cultural climates.

In the Miles Thomas case, the Humane Society’s protection by abc27, and even Judge Jones (the connection of these matters to the Thom Lewis Collie rescue case will be explored in much more detail), allowed them to persist in an indefensible course of conduct, and escape exposure.  It reinforced cronyism as a legitimate use of the courts.  It is not wrong for local personalities to support local causes, but it does compromise journalistic integrity to not disclose that these things motivate news agendas.

The Patriot News has some kind of special and coordinated access with what goes on in the federal courts.  The Bailey “shit storm” verdict of $1.5 million dollars against a sitting attorney general gets no coverage, nor do the wiretap verdicts against state police officials, nor most of the other significant cases he brings, but the Patriot published the Carlson smear, and announces disciplinary proceedings, and covers just about every story that casts Don Bailey in a negative light.  And, as if their devices were not obvious enough, they had taken to using an old file photo of Bailey wearing an eye patch, which was used every time they ran an article about Bailey, until someone was kind enough to demand that this unfair portrayal stop.

Even last week, David Wenner of the Patriot News covered the scheduled eviction of Steve Conklin from his farm, and his writings were filled with value-judged portrayals of Conklin as a fringe element deadbeat hippie who was trying to pull a fast-one to get out of his obligations under his mortgage.  When Wenner was asked about his portrayals, he gives the stock response that they won’t “try his case in the paper”.  That is fine, of course, and completely appropriate, but why try theirs?

This special access is also believed to be behind the Penn State/Sandusky, with deliberate leaks used to create a climate where plea agreements are the only reasonable alternative, and where, for further example, it does not appear to be any coincidence that Attorney Karl Romminger, who does a popular law-related local radio show on whp-580 became a public face of the Sandusky prosecution, only appearing to give voice to the “body-soaping instruction” defense to the molestation charges, and then not being heard from again.  The pubic seed was planted, like the other examples brought to you, and this is how popular opinions and climates are set.

The question to which we intend to devote further study is, why?  What is the dynamic at play behind these obvious abuses of special access to the courts as a result of the role of the media?  The position being taken here is that these matters are, in large part, a result of the dynamic of the courts unique control over lawyers, coupled to unscrupulous court officers inclined to abuse the access.

The media generally in the Unites States is fairly free and unrestrained when it comes to criticism of the executive (President/Governor) and legislative (Congress/General Assembly), and accusations of improper, corrupt, or crooked agendas are never shied-away from; yet courthouse corruption, and crooked judges are scarcely discussed and exposed unless or until the problem reaches epic proportions, and explodes into a full blown scandal, like the kids-for-cash scandal that rocked the courts, only within the last year; yet it is no longer discussed.

Media outlets get sued in courts, and they are staffed with attorneys whose licenses are controlled by the courts, and to whom the lawyers are obeisant and deferent, as a product of their acculturation, to the courts and the personalities who control them.  While executives and legislatures have some control over media, their efforts to control must by their nature be fairly transparent, as are their agendas.  In the climate in the federal courts, where hearings are rarely granted, and most work is done behind closed doors, there is a better chance that decisions will be made, but the motivations for those decisions easier to conceal, and justify, and media outlets, and their lawyers, must build all these dynamics into their reporting on matters before the courts.  As a result, there is distinct under-reporting.

This site has widely reported on the goings-on in the courts of central Pennsylvania, and if the things said in this site are true, the evidence is here, there is a huge problem in our courts, and one that does not get reported in the popular media; yet that media does appear to have access, and is part of serving other agendas.  This all is part of the larger problem that has created the climate that was discussed in our Welcome to this site, and will continue to be a focus of our efforts.

Thank you.

Bailey case updates – clients continue to be mistreated on motions to open

Attorneys take cues from the courts and seek sanctions from Bailey client

As we brought to you in our update on the Bailey class clients who have filed their own motions to open judgment, Judge A. Richard Caputo denied the motion filed by Deborah Phillis, and the opinion was immediately released into the public domain through a private research service.  Caputo’s Orders in the Miles Thomas and Jeffrey Dock cases were released to the same service.  Another Caputo Order conspicuously came through the same service sanctioning Bailey in the Dave and Pam Morris case, who have filed a motion to open of their own.  Caputo piles on.

In accord with the serious developing theme, i.e. the Conklin case and Bailey disciplinary proceedings, none of these Bailey clients are getting due process hearings, or any procedure whatsoever.

The first attorneys to take the bait, so-to-speak, come from the Harrisburg law firm of Shumaker Williams, through attorney Michael Rowan, who has filed a Motion for Sanctions sanctions against Deb Phillis, citing a lack of any reasonable basis to her claims that she has suffered prejudice because of who her attorney is that affected her case before Judge Yvette Kane, who has recused herself from all Don Bailey cases, and initiated disciplinary proceedings of her own, which have not been discussed in any detail.   Deborah has filed a reply brief, citing significantly that they have operated under an entirely false factual construct, and objecting to her mistreatment for being clearly reasonable.

The Motion for Sanctions essentially cites Phillis’ statement that she intends to do anything and everything she can to get her justice, which is not asking for anything at all.  The motion for sanctions is, on its face, more punishment for daring to raise issues of bias against Don Bailey, and the civil rights causes of his clients, and simply smack of an attempt to oppress and silence an innocent American citizen for daring to raise an issue that is reasonable on its face.  There are 70 votes of general support.  Their reason cannot withstand that.

Mr. Rowan was kind enough to speak with us about the filing, and assured it was directed by his clients, but was equivocal in his support for such a drastic measure, citing only Ms. Phillis’ “pattern in this case” to support the motion.  Pattern?  In this case?  Rowan also suggested that there was a proposal to resolve the matter by withdrawing the motion for sanctions in exchange for withdrawing the case.  That’s the removal of the proverbial boot from the throat, but Phillis may have no choice.

Rowan did say that he was familiar with this site, but that he had not read it in any depth.  He based a motion for sanctions an a filing by Deborah Phillis that specifically cited this site as support.  There do appear to be questions of good faith involved, a lack of diligence at least.  We discussed the fact that this is exactly what opportunist attorneys do when they read clear judicial attitudes in our struggle behind the civil rights struggle essay.

The entire tone again is set by the lengths to which some personalities, judges unfortunately, have gone to create a public “smearjob”, as Bailey has been heard to say.  Judge Rambo has already threatened Jim Dewees and Vicki Smith with sanctions, and barred the door to the courthouse against them, and the dissemination of the attacks on Bailey speak for themselves.  See Politics of personal destruction.

What is wrong with these American citizens asking for fair access to their courts?  Why are they being subjected to mistreatment and sanction freely for suggesting they have been subjected to mistreatment and sanction?  There would appear to be many opportunities for the courts to still discipline themselves and remedy what is on record here as being serious wrongs.   We will continue to bring you these updates.

Bailey discipline case update

The Supreme Court has entered an Order scheduling the submission of post-hearing findings of fact and conclusions of law, tentatively believed to be due in mid-February.  The process requires each side to submit “proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law” in support of their respective positions.  Presumably, because the Office of Disciplinary Counsel carries the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence, they will be required to make a submission making their case against Bailey.  This will be based upon the hearing transcripts and exhibits submitted into the record on August 11 and 12, 2011.

Bailey, of course, has raised, once again, substantial due process issues, which have led to an infirm record to support anything, but the Supreme Court has denied his substantial and repeated pretrial motions, largely in one-line orders, despite Bailey’s pleas for due process.  Every reader of this right now is in the absolute dark of the this judicial decision-making, and that simply is not fair to the large numbers of people who have significant interests at stake.

It is assumed that “they” again are attempting to back Bailey into a corner so they can see what he says about the record before the Supreme Court Disciplinary Board, most of which has been made public here, and then fashion whatever it is that they are going to do, which will likely involve more of the same.  Through the disciplinary process, however, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court still has the opportunity to fully  address the substantial issues raised by Bailey throughout these proceedings, and to do complete justice in this case, and to all of us.  There are many issues to address, well before any issues concerning the “complaint” against Bailey are reached, and we are all entitled to the transparency that is inherent in the notion of due process.

We will keep you updated on these efforts.

Thank you.

Andrew Kundratic sues Luzerne County attorneys claiming he’s a victim of “climate of acculturation” implicated in “kids-for-cash” scandal

In what is truly a tragic saga involving a father’s involvement in domestic relations proceedings in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas, Andrew Kundratic, who has lost over five years of his relationship with his daughter, against both their wills, has sued his former lawyers and that of his ex-wife in federal court, claiming their manipulation and abuse of the courts to gain political advantages and to retaliate against him in violation of his constitutional rights.  We introduced Andrew’s first case generally in the PCRLN call out to Senators Casey and Toomey, and he is represented by Don Bailey.

The divorce case, in which Andrew was represented by Luzerne County attorneys, was proceeding during the time that former Luzerne County Judges Conahan and Ciavarella were being prosecuted in the federal courts for masterminding the kids-for-cash scandal that rocked the legal world, but somehow has fallen quickly silent.  Three of the defendants in the case, attorneys Lumbis, Gartley, and Shucosky, were running for election to the seats vacated by Conahan and Ciavarella, who were convicted and sentenced on criminal corruption charges.  Gartley, who was plaintiff’s wife’s attorney, won the election, and is now sitting as a Luzerne County Judge.

Gartley also represented defendant Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Gary Thomas, who effectively stole Andrew’s wife, and then his house and belongings through the divorce proceedings as well, in a truly menacing fashion.  In the Complaint, in which Andrew is represented by Don Bailey, Andrew alleges that he has suffered a continuing pattern of harm that began with Thomas’ threat in 2007 to retaliate against Andrew for confronting Thomas about the affair with his wife.    The Complaint filed January 3, 2012 follows:

Complaint Kundratic 2012

The “climate of acculturation” has been a theme discussed throughout this site, and has its origins in a May 2011 report by the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice to the Governor, General Assembly, and Supreme Court, which referred to an “element of acculturation” that impeded the Commission’s ability to fully investigate the nature of the problem.  It was argued by Bailey as a key to understanding the real nature of the charges against him, and the report was cited and attached to Bailey King’s Bench Petition for extraordinary relief.

The climate of acculturation suggests that there is something intrinsic to the legal system that made attorneys resistant to participating in efforts to reform the legal system, and that lead to conditions in the courts that permit secrecy, insider deals, and conditions overall that have been discussed throughout this site, including our crony capitalism/courthouse corruption and struggle within the civil rights struggle posts.  It is also at the heart of the Penn State/Good old boy’s network and the Bailey “shit storm” articles.  This is the climate in which the attorneys operated to cut off Andrew’s effective access to the courts.

Andrew had filed a previous suit in federal court, represented by Bailey again during those proceedings, as well as Andy Ostrowski, which was dismissed by Judge Nealon, and upheld on appeal.    Andrew has participated in the effort, along with the other Bailey clients, to file motions to open judgment, which he did, pro se, in both the Middle District and Third Circuit.  His motion was dismissed by Nealon in a day, but remains pending in the Third Circuit, citing the conduct of Judge Scirica of that Court, who was a complainant against Bailey, as a basis of the bias.  Andrew’s suit also claims that he brought the misconduct of the attorneys and the courts to the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board, and the FBI, and that these efforts have been silenced as well.

Andrew has paid over $100,000 in attorney’s fees, and has lost his $600,000 house, his wife, and all of his belongings, and Thomas now lives there, has her, and uses them all, and, most tragically, Andrew is in the sixth year of lost relationship with his now 17 year-old daughter.  We hope to provide you updates on Andrew’s efforts to get justice.

Thank you.

Roger Snyder Lancaster County politics case

Roger Snyder is a 3-time elected Republican West Donegal Township Commissioner in rural western Lancaster County.  In 2007, Roger became the target of a raw political power grab from some old time local gadflies and political operatives – a chief of police and some of his cohorts – in the style of Tamany Hall meets Mayberry.  This “clan” was able to orchestrate a complaint to the state ethics commission on the eve of the 2007 elections, and arranged for the release of the charge publicly so it could be used in campaign materials, in the hope of unseating Roger.  Roger, however, did win the election, and was completely vindicated after a hearing before the state ethics commission of all the bogus charges against him.  Roger sued the local politicos who orchestrated the plan along with officials with the ethics commission who became complicit with them, and his case remains pending.

Roger’s case tells a parallel story related to the treatment of his attorneys in this case, and he was a witness at the Bailey hearing.  Judge Kane was originally assigned to the case, and the case was reassigned to Judge Lawrence Stengel, of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and a former Lancaster County Common Pleas Judge, who has been specially assigned to several cases of Mr. Bailey, working, for the time-being, through Magistrate Judge Carlson.  The documents that follow, however, reveal that ultimately, Roger and his attorneys have placed a substantial case before the court, and that he is entitled to have his day before a jury.  The case, and many cases like this, can have lasting political and cultural ramifications on the way political business is done in the County, and point up the power of the federal courts to establish these standards.

Amended Complaint HBG2

Provides the legal framework for Roger’s case.

Snyder Declaration

Detailed and easily readable comprehensive statement of facts in Roger’s case.

Snyder County prison inmate with information on unsolved murder case and drug trafficking involving prison officials was found dead, ruled a suicide, yet the autopsy and opinion of renowned pathologist Dr. Cryil H. Wecht suggest foul play, but Judge Jones throws out case

While incarcerated in the Snyder County Prison on April 17th, 2007, twenty-nine year-old Jeremy Wayne Dock was beaten by guards and/or others while in protective custody for “his own safety.”  Former Snyder County District Attorney Michael Sholley, current District Attorney Michael Piecuch, Coroner Bruce Hummel, Prison Board Solicitor Robert Cravitz, PSP Trooper Richard Blair and Dr. Barbara Bollinger (the county’s hired pathologist) insist he committed suicide by hanging himself with a bed sheet.  In our opinion (and based on the limited information they’ve given us access to); we strongly disagree with their consensus!

The previous summer, Jeremy was coerced by Snyder County Probation, Officer Kerry Davis into working as a confidential informant for Gary Heckman, an agent from the PA Attorney General’s Office. He was released from jail for the explicit purpose of making controlled drug purchases and did as they requested throughout the summer.  As summer ended Jeremy was expected to make buys from Jay, a heroin dealer in Allentown, which he refused to do because he feared retaliation.  Jeremy became unproductive for them, so he was again incarcerated at the Snyder County Prison on probation/ parole violations for a supposed ‘hot urinalysis’ test.

Jeremy’s girlfriend contacted Gary Heckman to ask for his help.  Jeremy was again pressured to help set up the heroin dealer in Allentown, which Gary told Jeremy would cut his impending state prison sentence in half.  Jeremy declined to provide any further assistance because he feared for his family’s safety.  It was then he was abandoned by his mentors, Kerry Davis and Gary Heckman.   After his re-incarceration in Sept. 2006, Jeremy’s “confidential informant” status was exposed by one who had the distinct responsibility of protecting his identity.

At the end of October 2006 the Snyder County District Attorney’s office alleges that a smuggling ring was operating within the Snyder County Prison involving outside persons.  An investigation was conducted by Enoch Powell, a detective from District Attorney Sholley’s office.  According to Jeremy’s letters, during interrogation on November 13th he gave Powell information on others involved in the smuggling.  He also wrote “he’s (Powell) already talked to people in here cause when they walk past or I go out in the hall they call me a snitch, plus… (another inmate) just told me today that one of the CO’s (Correction Officers) told him what I did; they (guards) are not supposed to be saying shit like that, so you and Gram need to call my lawyer John Reed about getting me transferred to Union County.”  Also present at the interrogation on Nov. 13th was Watch Commander Donald Campbell who witnessed Jeremy’s statement that implicated no less than a dozen people in the smuggling.

In a letter dated 11/15/06 Jeremy writes “I’m down here in f…… Protective Custody now” and “since I’m only PC (Protective Custody) I get a whole 2 hours of rec. instead of 1, Oh!!! The benefits of being a snitch you got to love it (not)!  Do you have any idea what it’s like to go out in the hall now when they escort me and don’t have any inmate movement they (guards) are basically telling the whole jail I’m a snitch, are they going to come home with me, and protect me and my family?”

As a result of the harassment; followed by a beating by guards, Jeremy made a written request, intended for Warden Ruth Rush, but that was intercepted by, and responded to by Watch Commander Donald Campbell in which Jeremy writes “I am writing you in regards to my housing status, how is it that I have to be housed down here, when I can be placed on G-Wing.  There have been child molesters that have been placed up there simply by Mr. Reade (the Deputy Warden) telling the wing that if anyone touches them they will be criminally charged.  I am willing to take that chance!  And if not I request that I be transferred to Union County in accordance with a violation of my 14th Amendment.  Thank you.  Jeremy W. Dock. ”  The response from WC Campbell reads “You know why you are locked up you will remain where you are located.”

In another letter dated 11/24/06 Jeremy said, “I’m in P.C. (Protective Custody) because of telling them what they wanted to know” and later “because there is supposedly so many people in this jail pissed off at me.”

On 11/27/06 Jeremy writes “I spoke with the Warden (Ruth Rush) and she is going to see about getting me out of the hole and housing me but I don’t know if that’s going to work, because supposedly there are so many people pissed at me and if they can’t figure out a way to house me then I’m probably going to Union County.”

Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to Union County Prison where he was in the general population for an uneventful 4 1/2 months.  During that time Jeremy told his girlfriend and/or his father on at least three separate occasions that if he was returned to Snyder County Prison he was “a dead man.”

Jeremy was returned to Snyder County Prison and again placed in so-called Protective Custody on April 13th, 2007.  This was six days prior to a scheduled appearance at a court  hearing where he planned to reveal information about guards and other inmates involved with the drug trafficking within the prison.  Jeremy had also acquired information about the unsolved murder of Donald E. Seebold III, which he planned to reveal to his newly appointed attorney.

Less than four days later he was dead!

                A cover-up followed Jeremy’s death that continues to this day, leaving his family and friends with many questions?  Why would Enoch Powell indiscriminately divulge the name of anyone cooperating with him in an investigation?  Why was Jeremy given up as a ‘snitch’ by the very people who had a distinct responsibility to protect his identity as a confidential informant?  Who made the decision to return Jeremy to the unsafe environment at the Snyder County Prison;and why?  Who made the decision to control the situation ‘in house’ and do extremely lengthy CPR at the jail as opposed to transporting Jeremy to a hospital, which was only minutes away?  Who decided they needed to re-create the crime scene (for photos by Trooper Blair) by hanging the sheet back on the cell door and placing Jeremy’s personal effects back in the cell after they had been moved immediately to the Deputy Wardens office an hour earlier?  Why was the evidence not properly secured?  By their own admission Deputy Warden Donald Reade and Watch Commander Donald Campbell handled scene evidence and placed items into storage later.  Why are there so many discrepancies and errors within PSP Trooper Rick Blair’s report and the incident reports given by those present during Jeremy’s death? Why did officials feel the need to mislead and lie to family members from that first day?  Is it not a clear conflict of interest for former District Attorney Sholley and current District Attorney Piecuch (both sitting members of the Snyder County Prison Board) to be responsible for investigating a murder at the county prison?  Why do law enforcement and medical professionals, not involved with this case, view this information in a different light than do those who should be held accountable for the decisions made that day?  Is there a connection between Jeremy’s death and that of Alan M. Willow, a friend and fellow inmate, who also met an untimely death, shortly after being released from the Snyder County Prison, just three short months after Jeremy’s death?  What really happened to Jeremy at the Snyder County Prison?

Judge John E. Jones threw this case out without even giving the Dock family the chance for discovery, and in typically abusive fashion.  Why?  Judge Jones is from Schuylkill County, and is believed to have political friends in Snyder County.  Was he protecting them by his decision?

Visit to discover more about this story dedicated to the memory of Jeremy W. Dock and the hope that the truth will finally come to light.

Miles Thomas and Baron the Dog

In this case of the homeless man and his dog, Judge Jones threw out 2 federal cases where the man had his dog stolen by some humane society folks.  The case went through two injunction hearings, and Thom Lewis became a real issue and obstacle, despite being a competent and dedicated collie rescue.  For some strange reason, the humane society folks, who are believed to be connected to defendants in the Lewis case, as well as to a local news channel personality, would not simply give the man his dog back. Mr. Thomas was originally represented by Andrew Ostrowski, who fought the humane society and the lawyers, and even the judge, and ultimately got the dog returned to Thomas.  Judge Jones, nevertheless, dismissed the two cases.  Mr. Bailey is representing Thomas in the appeals.  Many of the connections that were the basis of the allegations of Bailey in the Lewis case were revealed throught the bizarre handling of the Thomas case.

Motion for Reconsideration

Motion for Summary Relief

Thomas Complaint

Julian Adams Harrisburg City Police Case

The Julian Adams case involved a Harrisburg City Police officer who was effectively terminated based upon a completely manufactured charge that Adams lied under oath. He was later actually terminated when he filed a federal lawsuit.  The Chief of Police of Harrisburg, Charles Kellar, was very close to then-Mayor Steven Reed and is widely-known to be racially insensitive at least – there was evidence that he used the “N” word frequently, for example.  The Mayor was involved at the time with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in an ongoing inquiry into alleged racial problems in the police department under Kellar, all of which was revealed during discovery.  Judge Jones would not, however, permit even the deposition of Reed, and although Adams’ case was allowed to go to trial, the developing circumstances as reflected throughout this site caused him to settle his case for minimal value without going to trial.

Motion to Compel Sanctions

Brief Opp Summary Judgment

A brief introduction regarding the Centralia Pennsylvania Federal Lawsuit

The gravamen of this complaint is an attempt by some American citizens, and a Pennsylvania borough, to redress egregious violations of their rights by a group of private persons, with the connivance of state officials and entities. These defendants covet billions of dollars worth of extremely valuable anthracite coal which lies beneath the surface of the Borough of Centralia.

These persons and entities, by and through political connections and the manipulation of governmental agencies and entities, are, among other things, illegally taking the property of the plaintiffs through the unlawful use of government police power.

The original government pretense, if indeed it was ever legitimate, has long since expired. In short the purported “Centralia Mine Fire” which allegedly threatened the Borough of Centralia no longer provides, or never did provide, a viable explanation for the application of government power (exercise of eminent domain) and the taking of these American citizens’ property.

Plaintiffs allege that their rights are being violated by abusive government officials and entities, in concert with private persons, and that they have been exploited by the defendants to accomplish their unlawful ends.

The persistent efforts of this private/government enterprise have resulted in a massive and continuing fraud reflective of both civil and criminal RICO violations.

Perhaps the most succinct characterization of this process is expressed in the wisdom of the Hon. Scott Naus of the Court of Common Pleas of Columbia County when he obviously questioned, through the choice of his words, the basis for the suspicious rush to judgment by individuals and government entities who were purportedly seeking to respond to the dangers of a fire that has never materialized as a threat to Centralia.

The fire has never been investigated. No court has ever held a hearing to determine whether the fire is, or ever was, a threat to the Borough or these plaintiffs. Despite pervasive conflicts in the “evidence” of the alleged “threat” posed by the fires, and the additional evidence of questionable political rationales, the fire that has never reached, and will never reach, Centralia has been allowed to act as an engine of private aggrandizement resulting in the unlawful denigration of citizens’ rights.

Centralia Amended Complaint

For the complete story, visit