Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Chester County DA Candidates Offered Opportunity to Comment . . . Pat Carmody Responds

Yesterday, as follow-up to my last post, I sent a joint email to Chester County district attorney candidates Pat Carmody and Tom Hogan. I gave each an opportunity to respond to the post, and stated that I would include their remarks on Community Matters. Because the prior article had focused on Mr. Carmody and Mr. Hogan, I sent the email to only these two candidates. However, there is a third candidate in the district attorney race, Steve Kelly, and he should be afforded the same opportunity for comment. This morning I sent Mr. Kelly an email — if he responds, his comments will be posted on Community Matters.

In my post of yesterday, I spoke of receiving an anonymous email from what I viewed was a concerned citizen. It is not unusual for me to receive anonymous emails from people. There are people who are concerned about an issue but may be unwilling to reveal their identity for many reasons . . . work situation, fear of spouse or children retribution, political reasons, etc. and I protect the person’s right to anonymity. However, it is important that information received from an anonymous source is accurate. Yesterday’s post contained questions concerning Mr. Carmody’s cell phone, whether private or county-issued, and the use of the phone for campaign-related activities.

I am pleased that Mr. Carmody has responded to the questions raised on Community Matters. I believe that in his statement below he answers the questions and I thank him for taking the time to clarify. Tonight is the next GOP district attorney interview – this one for the Phoenixville area. I hope that the committee members attending will focus on the important issues of this race.

Dear Pattye,

An “anonymous email” is not a reliable source. Here are the facts:

  • I have compensated the county for my use of the county cell phone the past two months. I keep that phone with me 24/7 because of my need to respond to all crime scenes.
  • I took off time during the day to make phone calls, so those calls were not made on county time—that was time earned over the last 27 years. I have spent many additional late nights (unpaid hours) back at work.
  • There is no one else in the county who has worked more unpaid hours than I have in my career. I do not receive overtime pay for my work. Every time I go to a crime scene, which I do regularly, I go on my own and at no expense to the County.

The Daily Local News article dealt with Tom’s claim that the DAs office is “in disarray”. Tom made that argument by misstating the facts about 2 cases out of the 9500 we handled last year. He cited a rape case that was thrown out by a Judge, without mentioning that the Judge admitted he made a mistake and these 4 defendants are now ready to go to trial. He cited that a defendant was given immunity for a murder without mentioning that same defendant was convicted of 1st degree murder in that case.

Additionally: We have the lowest crime rate of any suburban Philadelphia county and lower than any similarly sized county in the state; our Drug Court program has been used as a model for programs in Montgomery, Bucks, Berks, Lancaster and other counties; Philadelphia is modeling their Recovery Court program after ours and our Child Abuse Unit won a national award last year. I could go on. The bottom line is we have an excellent DA’s office that I am proud to work for.

My concern is Tom only presented part of the story which is misleading and causes false alarm among the public. Also attacking a hardworking group of ADAs is not a way to lead them.

Hopefully, we can get the DA race back to the real issues that concern the public. It is too important a position to “play political games”.

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  1. I have compensated the county for my use of the county cell phone the past two months.


    1. Is this even legal? It is questionable at best.

    2. Can he prove he has done this — or is he just doing it now? If just now, he got caught with his hand stuck in the cookie jar and is now trying to pull it out.

  2. He should have two phones. EVERYONE in Harrisburg does. “take time out to make personal calls” is bull. If he wants to be available during working hours, take a leave of absence.

    1. He works full time — and takes some private time in the day to make calls. Wow — how egregious! I believe there are glass walls being erected around all of us….he wasn’t caught….he was doing his job and having no political job right now, he was trying to stay productive as an ADA and a candidate. Do you want him to put up a red flag during his “breaks” so that no one disturbs him or intrudes on his private time, or should we be grateful that he is doing his paid job while he pursues options for an endorsement.
      When the R’s want to run someone off, why must they trash them?

  3. I disagree with the tone of these responses. I don’t know either candidate, but it seems to me INTENT is at the heart of any breach of ethics. Using the only phone you carry to make calls as a candidate did not add to any tax burden. My office allows me to charge my phone in at work, and I charge all but $5 because I never use up my minutes and I certainly use the phone to take calls. If this makes someone unelectable, this is clearly a broken system.
    I said yesterday and I’ll say today — I wish Mr. Hogan were as concerned about the behavior of the BOS relating to the law, who he is paid to advise, as he is about attempting to taint the competition in an election. If we don’t treat people like grown-ups (and Mr. Carmody’s behavior was clearly not malicious), then how can we be surprised when we get poor turnouts for elections and to be willing to run for office.

  4. Mr. Carmody writes a detailed explanation of the cell phone and I am embarrased by some of these responses. The guy has been hitting the street for 27 years in the county. His answer was sincere and honest and that means something to me.

    Did he make a mistake by using the county phone — yes, he probably did and when it was pointed out, he fixed the situation. Let’s not overlook those nearly 3 decades of service to the county — that experience means alot to me! Thank you Mr. Carmody for your public service.

  5. In response to Mr. Carmody’s statement:
    I was at the interview in the East and heard Mr. Hogan speak. He never said that the DA’s office was “in disarray”; he spoke specifically to the management skills of the other candidates for District Attorney (Mr. Carmody and Mr. Kelly). And, when discussing those two specific cases he did mention that the rape case was going back to court. The point he made was that in the rape case the office admitted that they violated the constitution, but luckily a young ADA came in and got the case re-instated so it could be retried. As for the immunity for the murder defendant, I have since heard from the police that the only reason the murderer was convicted at all was due to information produced by federal authorities (including Mr. Hogan). And in both cases, think about the cost to County of all of this bungling and the agony for the victims and victims’ families.

    Something Mr. Carmody failed to mention in his response is the internal investigation regarding a task force, an issue Mr. Hogan discussed in reference to the management skills of the other candidates for DA and the finger pointing happening in the office. My guess is that Mr. Carmody and his buddy at the Daily Local News did not want to bring that up because he simply has no response.

  6. Now does anyone find interesting the fact that Ryan Costello is supposedly working “2 full time jobs”. However is really working his full time lawyer gig where he gets a full time salary and barely working or barely showing up for the Recorder of Deeds position but yet getting a full time salary for. Now he wants to be a commissioner? tsk tsk tsk.

    Sounds like a party hack to me. Corrupt through and through.

  7. Or the fact that Ann Duke never shows up for her Row office job but yet gets a full time salary for it.

    Wow, where can I get that type of position.

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