LEESBURG- Berks County Patriots (BCP) has placed its independent investigation of possible corruption in the state Department of Revenue and the Attorney General's office on hold until after the November elections.
The nonprofit organization has been looking into an ongoing federal lawsuit filed by former Deputy Attorney General Thomas D. Kimmett and Sherry Bellaman, who currently works in the attorney general's financial enforcement section. The suit alleges Mr. Kimmett was unjustly fired for pointing out potential improprieties, malfeasance and corruption in the state's collection of unpaid taxes.
Word through the twitter grapevine Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is a candidate for the Office of Governor, is under federal investigation.
So now the world knows why there is so much child welfare fraud in Pennsylvania!
A "whistleblower" suit in federal court against state Attorney General Tom Corbett and most of his senior staff is offering a glimpse into both Mr. Corbett's management style and the continuing inability of the state to collect debts.
In August 2008, former Deputy Attorney General Thomas D. Kimmet filed suit in U.S. Middle District Court claiming violation of his constitutional rights and that he had been thwarted by Mr. Corbett and his lieutenants from correcting inefficiencies in the Office of Attorney General's (OAG) Financial Enforcement Section. Three months later Mr. Kimmet's state employment was terminated after about two years in the OAG and a decade in the state Department of Revenue (DOR).
FES is a debt collector of last resort after efforts to collect debts and back taxes have failed in a wide variety of state activities including state universities, DOR and other agencies. The 20-month old suit is currently before U.S. District Judge John Jones, a longtime Republican, former head of the state Liquor Control Board and who was mentioned in the recent past as a gubernatorial prospect. A jury trial has been requested by Mr. Kimmet.
Responses from the OAG deny most, but not all, of the claims made by Mr. Kimmet. Court documents obtained by Pennsylvania Independent indicate continuing problems with FES management procedures, debt collection and accounting that have been going on for years. The OAG claims Mr. Kimmet was hired and directed to correct the problems spelled out in the complaints of Mr. Kimmet.
The Corbett Team
Mr. Corbett's six-hour deposition makes clear he believes in a military style chain-of-command management and feels it is the proper way to manage the offices of the state's chief law enforcement officer.
Also named in Mr. Kimmet's suit are First Deputy Attorney General William Ryan, Executive Deputy AG Louis Rovelli, former AG Chief of Staff (and Corbett Gubernatorial Campaign Manager) Brian Nutt, Deputy AG Michael Roman, AG Human Resources Director Bruce J. Sarteschi, FES manager Jill Keiser, retired FES manager Steve Brandwene and DOR employees James Furlong and Robert Coyne.
During his deposition Mr. Corbett indicated he could not recall or did not know the answers to more than 35 questions put to him by Charles Kimmet, a Washington D.C. attorney representing his uncle, Thomas D. Kimmet. Sherry Bellaman, a former administrative assistant to Thomas Kimmet at FES, is also part of the Kimmet suit as a plaintiff. She is still employed at the OAG and is represented by Harrisburg Attorney Donald Bailey.