Saturday, October 17, 2009

Judge Peter Paul Olszewski

I have been very reluctant to talk, let alone write about what I am about to tell you. In light of the controversy now swirling around Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr., I feel it is incumbent upon me to break a more than decade old silence.

On March 31, 1999 while I served as the Director of Voter Services for Luzerne County, I was asked to commit a crime. The crime was the anonymous gifting of a contribution to the campaign finance committee of two candidates for a Luzerne County office. It is not illegal to contribute to a campaign. The contribution however, may not be made anonymously.

Within an hour of the solicitation, I contacted then District Attorney Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr. to ask for a meeting. Two hours later, I reported the solicitation to Mr. Olszewski and First Assistant District Attorney Daniel Pillets. Mr. Olszewski told me that because he was a candidate for Luzerne County Judge, he would refer the matter to an outside agency to avoid even the slightest appearance of a conflict of interest.

Within days of that meeting I met (on separate occasions) with representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

I co-operated in an investigation.

For a number of reasons I will not go into here, the investigation did not succeed.

If you understood the ramifications of this investigation, you would know that Mr. Olszewski guided me through this process at enormous personal, political and professional risk.

In the interest of full disclosure, before he became District Attorney, Mr. Olszewski represented me in a civil matter.

For these reasons, I will vote "yes" to retain Judge Peter Paul Olszewski as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County.