What Fresh Hell Is This?

November 10, 2015

Chuck McCullough Sentencing UPDATE

Guess what?

In a case that took longer than Nixon's presidency to get to trial, where former Allegheny County Councilman Charles P. "Chuck" McCullough was ultimately found guilty of five third-degree felonies, this happened yesterday:
The new attorney for former Allegheny County councilman Chuck McCullough, who was found guilty of 10 criminal counts over the summer, accused the judge in the case of making improper statements and has asked him to remove himself.

Megan Will’s motion, filed Friday, delayed Mr. McCullough’s sentencing scheduled for today. It is now slated for Dec. 17.
That's right, delayed. Again.

Wait.  Chuck's got a new attorney?  How many does that make?

From the Trib:
Attorney Megan Will of Somerset, McCullough's fifth defense attorney in a case that has dragged since 2009...
And how long has she been on the case? Again, from the Trib:
Will joined the case Nov. 3.
That's a week ago!  ONE WEEK!  What has Chuck been doing in the 270 days since he was found guilty?

The issue is some ex parte communication.  From the P-G:
An ex parte conversation, which is prohibited, is one in which one party to the case is not present.

Ms. Will included one claim that the judge called Mr. McCullough's trial attorney, Jon Pushinsky, on Dec. 29 and scolded him for filing a court petition; and another claim that the judge told a mutual friend of the defense attorney, "tell Pushinsky to go non-jury," in Mr. McCullough's case.
And so on.  This story, it seems, doesn't want to end.

1 comment:

eagleswing said...

many inquiring minds are curious as to why this important prosecution of a high ranking influential politico took so many years and so many judges and so many attorneys to get to trial. the average defendant would not be entitled to having his/her trial delayed for years... moved from judge to judge, losing some to retirement. maybe it is because Chuck is likely to lose his law license once convicted of such charges?


of course if you are a defendant charged with violating the city occupancy codes, you are familiar with the postponement ploy. defendants' summary appeals in those prosecutions seem to drag on for years, too-- engineered by defense attorneys who hope the city law department might just forget about them, or offer them a good boy agreement with no penalty or guilt, and drop all charges. which they sometimes do.