Monday, September 17, 2007

Sereni Vindicated? How?

It seems supporters of Penn Delco solicitor Mark Sereni are claiming vindication with the revelation that several anti-Sereni school board members failed to keep their state ethics forms up to date.

The crime-fighting solicitor and corruption exposer has been proved right.

If back-dating an ethics form that doesn't appear to hide any ethics violations is the height of corruption, well then I hope no one finds out about the two parking tickets I got last Wednesday.

Still, how this is supposed to help Mark Sereni hang on to his $260,000-a-year job as the district's solicitor is beyond me.

It looks like it can only hurt his chances more.

After all, it's pretty clear that in his attempt to keep his 17-year gig going, he's perfectly willing to tattle on and embarrass his own clients. His attempt to drum up public support for himself at their expense, urging other clients to demand answers from them on matters he's advised them to keep quiet about, is not something many lawyers would do. Or find seemly.

Add in his history and self-serving view of the attorney-client privilege, his questionable legal advice on a number of matters and his close, personal and enabling friendship with Keith Crego and there seem plenty of good reasons to get rid of him.

Sereni played lead trumpet with K.C. and his Sunshine Band. Apparently, that's a bit of an embarrassment to him now that Crego is under criminal investigation and privately
reviled by local GOP leaders.

"Thanks, Brother," Sereni once wrote Crego for trying to get him yet another district solicitorship.

In retrospect, he might have added, "Yeah, thanks a lot!"

Given Sereni's concern with being tainted by the corruption he feels is all around him, it's amazing that he hasn't felt the need to wash his hands of the district once and for all.

Oh, I forgot. He cares so much about the district that he simply can't walk away from it now in its greatest hour of need. And then there's all those billing hours...

What would Penn Delco do without Mark Sereni? I have a feeling we're going to find out.

39 Comments:

Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 17, 2007 at 9:41 AM 
Anonymous Randal said...

Gil is an illegal parking terrorist!

(I wonder if we could somehow ticket Dave for spreading his Libism around?)

September 17, 2007 at 10:31 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gil:

Hopefully you weren't driving an assault vehicle, with one of those detachable gas tanks that holds more than 10 gallons.

As for Sereni, what about his billing records from Marple and Springfield? Also, did anyone notice that Barry Vanrensler is the solicitor/legal advisor for the Penn Delco Foundation. Could it be that Sereni is trying to outbill the reigning king of billing the "you know what" from the public trough?

September 17, 2007 at 10:40 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see how finding coruption by board members would vindicate Sereni after all he is/was willing to look the other way until his fees were on the line. Now all of a sudden he has evidence!

September 17, 2007 at 11:23 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sereni is not part of the solution. Him and the attitude of those who put him there are the problem. We need to wipe the infection out--this County needs an enema!!!
Gil--no matter what Diano says about you, you should keep writing about this problem in Penn Delco--this and things like it must be exposed. do not stope there, though, start biting the hand that feeds you and look deeper at the County level and other republican municipalities. You will probbaly find similar issues. I mean, didn't the County executive director admit in your paper that the County COuncil violates the Sunshine Act and decides things before they meet publicly to vote on them???

September 17, 2007 at 12:04 PM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 17, 2007 at 12:08 PM 
Anonymous just wondering.... said...

I'm not too sure what exactly is in the realm of a school district solicitor, but isn't it his job to make sure the board is in compliance with these sort of things?

All these things seemed to have happened under his watch, what responsibility if any does he hold for not making sure the board is following the law?

September 17, 2007 at 2:14 PM 
Anonymous Randal said...

Sure. Why would David oppose Gil for bashing Sereni when David himself is an advocate of blindly bashing any and all Repubs for whatever reason, real or fabricated?

And he claims the Right is the blindly vicious partisan side.

[sniff-sniff] That smell… it’s hypocrisy.

September 17, 2007 at 2:27 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

I don't think the solicitor can or should be held responsible for any administrator or board member who doesn't fill out his ethics forms properly.

Unless, of course, he was asked for advice about it and he gave lousy advice.

His job isn't to police the behavior and/or compliance of his bosses.

The ethics act exists to make sure board members and administrators reveal any financial interests the indicate possible conflicts of interest.

So far, there is no evidence of any of these board members having anything approaching a significant conflict or intentionally withholding info that the public had the right to know.

September 17, 2007 at 9:46 PM 
Blogger Patricia said...

The ethics form issue sounds to me like just good old fashioned stupidity, but I don't see any intent to deceive or defraud.

P.S. If anyone is wondering why I post in boldface, it's because my eyesight is terrible, and I am hoping the boldface will catch on!

September 17, 2007 at 11:15 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody really believe that all of these citizen legislators would file these forms lat like this without discussing the issue with the district's legal counsel? If Gil could get the lawyer's billing records, there might be information to shed some light on the subject--I guess Corbett will get them when he gets around to PD.

September 17, 2007 at 11:42 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truthfully think that there is something rotten in Penn-Delco. There are quite a few board members who seem to have their own agendas going and it isn't for the people they reprsent or the children of the district. It is to see how much power they can gain from backstabbing other board members. Giving information that is confidential to Philadelphia papers. Finding out information fed to them from sources within. I have a feeling that they are all pulling out all the stops because they know the end is near. This is their last hurrah. I hope everyone that is interested in what is taking place in Penn-Delco comes to the Sept 19th meeting at the Pennell school it should be very interesting and quite surpising . I'm inviting you Gil maybe you can give Mr. Bender a few pointers in journalism. The people of Penn-Delco will take back their school district. We need you Gil keep writing about this school district their is a lot more to clean out.

September 18, 2007 at 12:31 AM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 18, 2007 at 1:22 AM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 18, 2007 at 1:44 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

I have deleted to posts by Diano. One for unsavory language, the other for nastily chastising anonymous commenters.

No one is required to indentify himself or herself when making comments here.

All I ask is that the comments be relatively civil and close to on point.

One anonymous commenter, however, took a shot at the Daily News' Bill Bender.

Bender is a friend and an excellent reporter. I have nothing to teach him about journalism.

In the post I deleted by Diano, he praised Bender's fact-based reporting, while disparaging mine.

Diano should know the difference between a newspaper reporter and an opinion columnist.

As for Sereni's billing records. He has publicly offered to go through them page by page with anyone who asks.

But even if he renegs on that offer, they should be made available on demand by any of the school districts he represents.

All some one needs to do is demand them.

Personally, I have no reason to believe that there will be anything untoward found if someone does.

Sereni's bills are high, very high, but there is no reason or evidence to believe he pads them.

September 18, 2007 at 7:47 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Better make that, "I have deleted two posts by David Diano.

September 18, 2007 at 7:48 AM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 18, 2007 at 9:57 AM 
Anonymous Randal said...

Funny how our resident shrill Liberal traitor is the only one here to see racist and bigoted comments as he goes hypersensitive PC in attempting to protect his selected victim groups from imaginary assaults.

My name is Randal Davis and I approve this message.

September 18, 2007 at 10:30 AM 
Anonymous Randal said...

Btw, I’d delete some of your more offensive comments too, Dave. And I am more anti-censorship than anyone you know.

September 18, 2007 at 10:31 AM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 18, 2007 at 10:37 AM 
Anonymous Randal said...

Some people need to be deleted.

September 18, 2007 at 10:56 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gil:

What if Sereni made as much in Marple and Springfield as he did in Penn Delco? That would equal $780,000.00 (260k x 3) in annual billings for only those three (3) clients. He has other clients too?

If he bills at the rate of $150.00 per hour, that equals 100 hours of billable time per week. Don't you have a potential problem with that? Have you looked at his actual bills?

Lastly, Bill Bender is a very fine reporter and one heck of a nice guy.

September 18, 2007 at 11:05 AM 
Anonymous Randal said...

Isn’t Bender the one who bent his coverage of that last election in order to help his Dem buddies? I recall some of his “reports” being rather slanted.

September 18, 2007 at 11:29 AM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 18, 2007 at 1:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous:

Stop confusing or misrepresenting what the 260,000 in legal fees in the Penn Delco school district meant. Maybe you haven't been following this smear campaign long or well enough to know this, but before you imply that Sereni has been committing fraud by billing more hours than he could have worked, get the following straight, please.

The 260,000 in legal fees in Penn Delco was NOT a salary that went directly to the solicitor for his personal hours. It was legal fees that went to an entire law firm for that entire law firm's (other lawyers, staff, etc.) work over a 13-month period.

This blog should not be permitted to be used as a forum for perpetuating false information and accusations, especially since you, Gil, who have already tried to smear Sereni so many times, have sole control over what gets posted here.

September 18, 2007 at 1:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that is true, that he uses his whole firm, show the bills. In fact show the bills for the other solicitorships. The can of worms has been opened, and he should explain, especially since we are talking about public dollars.

September 18, 2007 at 3:33 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, anonymous, start paying attention. Even Gil has acknowledged in a comment on this very blog entry that Sereni has already offered to go through his bills with anyone who asks. Do a little homework (or at least read the blog you are posting on) before you jump in with both feet, will you?

September 18, 2007 at 3:46 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong, I have not jumped in with both feet. However, I know Mark, and I know what he is like. So I am curious too!

September 18, 2007 at 4:31 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if you really do know Mark, then you know his reputation of unsurpassed excellent legal skills, diligence, responsibility, commitment to his clients, integrity and honesty. If you really do know Mark, then you know that this smear campaign against him could not have been directed at a more undeserving target.

And if you have questions about him, you should call him up and ask him those questions. He has stated publicly again and again that he is willing to talk to anyone about any questions they may have as a result of this smear campaign or for any other reason. So why don't you do that if you are "curious" or have questions before you start trying to falsely impugn him on a blog?

September 18, 2007 at 6:04 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gil, relating to the falsifcation (as reported by the Daily News) by John Green, a school board member and John Stefy, a district employee, of their state ethics financial forms (conduct that can, by the way, lead to a fine or imprisonment), is this the only recently reported revelation of alleged misconduct of school board members?

Didn't the Daily News discover and report that in addition to the falsified financial forms that you DO mention, there was the issue of school board member John Green (admittedly) repeatedly voting for taxpayer money to go to his own company, and then making sure the company got paid? Instead of abstaining from any such votes? And that he did all of this without disclosing his relationship with the company to the public? Does this somehow not fall into your definition of "significant" conflict of interest?! Or is there some other reason you omitted that?

Hasn't the Daily Times already reported that taxpayer money was paid by the Penn Delco Educational Foundation, via a check signed by school board member and foundation treasurer John Green, for a tutoring program that never happened? And that the money has not been returned?

Didn't the Daily News also report that while Green was foundation treasurer, money from a $100,000 state grant to the foundation that was earmarked for technology was paid to a landscaper instead for no bid work?

Can it be that you are not telling the whole sorry story, Gil?

September 18, 2007 at 7:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just an observation...anonymous sounds and writes an awful lot like Sereni himself.

September 20, 2007 at 1:20 PM 
Anonymous curious said...

Can a newspaper reporter get away with not telling the whole story? Isn't that a lot like lying?

September 20, 2007 at 3:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you ever stop thinking about Mark Sereni? Maybe you should look into that.

September 20, 2007 at 5:21 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Sereni, he's a good guy. I hope he sues you.

September 20, 2007 at 10:39 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Phila Daily News article was biased. Nowhere did it mention that Aston Commissioner Jeff Pilla also signed over a Foundation check to QuickStart and signed the grant letter that was on the PDSD letterhead instead of the Foundation's. Nowhere was it mentioned that Aston Commissioner president and GOP chairman Joe Possenti was also a Foundation board member when all this was going on...and PA rep Steve Barrar too. I believe all these gentlemen support Sereni's continued appointment as PDSB solicitor. There was also no mention that apparently ex-school board prez Keith Crego did not file these ethics/financial statements for years?! There are so many 'strings attached' to this story, no way should it have been all about John Green.

September 21, 2007 at 9:27 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting you do not deny the things said of Green were true!

September 21, 2007 at 9:41 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo Anonymous aka Protector of John Green - who are you, Chairman of the local Green Party ? Yeah, that's Green as in the color of money ! MY taxpayer money, buddy ! Whatever anyone else did or didnt do has nothing to do with making John Green pay for anything and everything HE did wrong !
Otherwise its kinda like him saying Golly, officer, everybody else was shooting people, I thought I could too !!!

September 22, 2007 at 10:26 PM 
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