February 19, 2017

It's An Anniversary, Of Sorts, For Chuck McCullough

In case you missed it (and with current the Trump-shitstorm dissolving the republic, it would be easier-than-easy to do so) today is the 8th anniversary of this event:
Allegheny County Councilman Charles McCullough was arrested and arraigned today on nearly two dozen counts following an investigation last year of his handling of an elderly widow's trust funds.

A county grand jury today handed up a 52-page presentment that alleges Mr. McCullough, an attorney, and his sister, Kathleen A. McCullough, bilked money from the $14.5 million trust fund of an Upper St. Clair widow, Shirley H. Jordan, 90.

The investigation began after an article appeared in the Post-Gazette in April 2007 in which Mrs. Jordan denied that she donated $10,000 to each of four political candidates the year before, according to an affidavit that accompanied the arrests of Mr. McCullough and his sister.
Here's the P-G article (written by Dennis Roddy) from  April 12 2007, and the original complaint, in case you're interested in reading them.

That means that It's been exactly 8 years to the day, since he was arrested.  It's now officially longer than any non-FDR presidency.  I'll put it another way, the time between Chuck McCullough's arrest and the time he starts the jail sentence for which he was found guilty will be longer than the time Barack Obama (or George W. Bush or Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan) were President of the United States.  Something to ponder.

In the intervening 2,922 days these events have occurred:
  • His trial began on April 13, 2015.  That's only 2,245 days since he was arrested.  By the way the trial began 8 years and one day since Roddy's piece in the P-G.
  • He was found guilty on July 31, 2015.  That's only 2,353 days since he was arrested and only 570 days ago.
  • He was sentenced to 2 1⁄2 to five years on December 17, 2015.  That's only 2,493 days since he was arrested and only 431 days ago.
And he's still out on bond.  What happened was this:
Between his conviction and his sentencing, McCullough sought to have the theft case's presiding judge, Lester Nauhaus, recuse himself because McCullough said the judge improperly passed a message to McCullough's attorney urging him to waive his right to a jury trial.

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.
Basically, after the non-jury trial was done, he said he took a judge-only trial because he feared repercussions from judge Nauhaus if he didn't. On the other hand, he said under oath that no one threatened or coerced him into taking the judge-only trial.  And so (still from The Trib):
The District Attorney's Office charged McCullough in November with two counts each of perjury, false swearing and obstruction of justice, along with one count of unsworn falsification.
So now there's a perjury case while McCullough appeals his conviction that came after his arrest 8 years ago.  The perjury case is set to start 5 days after the end of his Superior Court appeal.

The only problem is found in the Trib's last sentence:
The Superior Court has not set a date for arguments in McCullough's appeal.
That was May 19, 2016 (that's only 276 days ago) and nothing's been reported since - nor has Chuck started his 2 1⁄2 to five year sentence.

So what do you say to someone for their 8 year anniversary of an an arrest that lead to a conviction and sentencing for a prison term that's still hasn't begun?

Considering what Chuck was found guilty of, I'd go with this: Happy Anniversary Chuck, may you get an attorney just like you to be your Power-Of-Attorney when you get old.


High Lord Inquisitor and Factchecker of 2PJ. said...

She is the 1%. Her estate should be used to help the poor.

Ol' Froth said...


StandingBull said...

FWIW, I know that McCullough was the 3rd or 4th attorney to have legal representation issues with the alleged victim. BTW, those issues were all pretty much the same. She would authorize an action and then claim she had not. The poor woman was losing it and no attorney or financial advisory fiduciary wanted to get near her. Enter McCullough. Then, of course, there's our DA and all the politics. At the time, no one in Allegheny County was a bigger lightening rod than Chuck. All the money was returned, he's suffered complete humiliation in the press and for all intents and purposes he's lost his livelihood. The whole thing stinks, regardless of your viewing angle. No good deed goes unpunished; he stole from an old lady; dirty political tricks; etc. take your pick. Meanwhile, former county commissioners end up winning contracts to repair slot machines, Hillary almost won and Trump did.