March 27, 2020

Chuck McCullough In The News!

I know, I know. The world is burning, people are dying, and the monster in the Oval Office is pausing a deal to purchase much needed ventilators because of (now wait for it) cost. Oh, and he also told the Governor of NY, who's begging for 30,000 much needed ventilators, "I don't think you need that many."

But I have to keep tabs on this story.

From the P-G:
The state Superior Court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of former Allegheny County Councilman Charles McCullough, whose case has a long and tortured history.

McCullough, 65, was found guilty of five counts of theft and five counts of misapplication of entrusted funds following a non-jury trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lester G. Nauhaus in 2015. He was accused of writing more than $40,000 in political contributions from the accounts of Shirley Jordan, an elderly widow he represented, without her permission.

McCullough was initially arrested in February 2009 and it took more than six years to get the case to trial. In November 2015, McCullough was sentenced to serve 2½ to five years in prison, but he still has not begun serving that punishment, as the sentence has been on hold pending appeal.
A few important dates:
Today is March 27, 2020. It means, then, that it's been:
  • 11 years, 1 month and 8 days since he was arrested 
  • 4 years, 7 months and 27 days since he was found guilty
  • 4 years, 3 months and 10 days since he was sentenced
And so this is where we are. I would like to point out something from the article:
McCullough said he had wanted to have a jury hear his case, but that he feared repercussions from Judge Nauhaus if he went against his wishes.
So look at some of the duration since:
  • Chuck's sentencing - longer than US involvement in World War II (3 years, 8 months, 26 days).
  • Chuck was found guilty - longer than the whole of World War I (4 years, 3 months, 14 days)
  • Chuck's arrest - longer than the entire run of Friends (9 years, 7 months, 14 days)
When his case has finally reached the end of appeals, I'm thinking that this will still be an issue for our good buddy Chuck. This is why:
Prosecutors said that and other statements McCullough made in his motion for recusal contradicted his statement under oath that no one threatened or coerced him to waive a jury in favor of a bench trial.
Here's the thing in simpler language. At the beginning of the trial McCullough said under oath that no one coerced him to accept a "judge only" trial. (Full disclosure: I was there, a few rows of courtroom chairs away.)  So by stating under oath that he feared repercussions from Judge Nauhaus, Chuck (in my non-attorney mind, at least) constructed two contradictory sworn statements. Logically, one has to be a lie.

And lying under oath is perjury.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled apocalypse.

1 comment:

StandingBull said...

Longer that "Friends?" That would mean it has dragged on even longer than the Steeler's last Super Bowl win and nearly 4,000 days longer than the lives of people who were born yesterday!

I have no idea what's right here. What I do know is that the woman whose estate in question McCullough wrote checks against (and paid back) lived down the street from me (full disclosure). In the last few years of her life, she burned through everyone who tried to help her, including multiple lawyers... even kids who mowed her grass. I comment whenever I see a reference to McCullough because the dirty secret in the neighborhood is our belief that it's a case of no good deed goes unpunished. The woman was bipolar. She had a known track record of writing checks and then claiming that she was ripped off/duped. Ironically, that's why McCullough got involved in the first place. The optics in this case are bad. But there is a "rest of the story."