Thursday, December 01, 2005

69: “Public Corruption, Part 2”

News Item: Pa. top gambling regulator accused of pay padding in La.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005
PHILADELPHIA -- Pennsylvania's highest gambling regulator was accused of falsifying attendance records and collecting pay for hours she didn't work while executive director of Louisiana's gambling control board.

Anne L. Neeb, now executive director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, denied the allegations yesterday, calling them retaliation because she had reported possible corruption by Louisiana officials to the FBI.

A report yesterday by Louisiana State Inspector General Sharon B. Robinson alleged Neeb missed 208.5 hours of work that she was paid for. Neeb later submitted leave adjustments for 152 hours of the missed time.

The report asked Ms. Neeb to refund $2,700 for 57 hours it said she didn't work. Ms. Robinson said the matter was referred to the East Baton Rouge Parish District
Attorney's Office.

"There is no truth to these allegations. They are completely false," Ms. Neeb said. "This is nothing more than continued retaliation against me by people angered by the fact that I voluntarily reported possible gaming corruption at the highest levels of the Louisiana state government to federal law enforcement officials."

She said she couldn't detail that investigation or who was involved.

Ms. Neeb was hired in July for the $180,000-a-year Pennsylvania post.

Amazing. First we were treated to three attorneys, employed by the new Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board creating two separate incidents of public drunkenness and brawling in Harrisburg. One of the attorneys is the head of security for the PaGCB.

If these latest allegations are true, then Pennsylvania has hired a corrupt official to help regulate an industry known for its corruption, and corrupting influences. If these allegations are not true, and this is retaliation for her reporting to the FBI of “…possible gaming corruption at the highest levels of the Louisiana state government…”, then we are talking about the Governor of Louisiana, Katherine B. Blanco. Perhaps someone can check to see who the governor’s campaign contributions came from. GettysBLOG is willing to advance the theory that as a Democrat running for office in 2003, Ms. Blanco received financial backing from the gaming industry, the same folks who contributed to Governor Ed “Fast Eddie” Rendell’s campaign for governor. Louisiana has an enormous gaming industry.

All this serves to point out that legalized gambling is rife with inherent problems - problems that create graft and corruption wherever it goes. Many times it goes undetected. Other times it does not. Sometimes it is detected and the public, enamored of the money that flows in front of their noses, turns a blind eye.

Obviously, just because State Government controls the industry it is not necessarily exempt from such problems. Pennsylvania has already been struck by corruption in the gaming industry and not one citizen has put a coin or token in a slot machine and gambled in Pennsylvania yet. Because the legislature created a part of the Gaming Control Act (Act 71 of 2004) that in essence forces the creation of Pennsylvania companies that will become middlemen in acquiring the slot machines for the casinos of the state, more than one lobbyist has become embroiled in ethics violations by jumping into the slot machine purveyor business. Some of our legislators have already gotten in legal trouble over land deals centering on proposed casino sites.

News Item: Group wants Sunshine on casino meeting

From the Hanover Evening Sun

Evening Sun Reporter
Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Straban citizens group entered the limelight last week to bring an upcoming discussion between township supervisors and a potential slots casino developer into the sunlight.

A closed-door meeting planned for Dec. 1 between Straban Township supervisors and Chance Enterprises - the organization proposing a casino near routes 15 and 30 - would be in violation of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, according to the group Concerned Citizens of Straban Township.

"Any time a developer or somebody involved with a project meets with the supervisors, it really should be held as a public meeting," said Timothy Hamm, co-chair of the local group. "This case particularly, since it is a very controversial subject."

Barbara Ernico, an investor for Chance Enterprises, said they asked for the meeting to review information on the proposal.

"This is a courtesy to the township people and their elected leaders," Ernico said. "We wanted to provide (the supervisors) with information and get their feedback before moving forward."

She indicated Chance would be starting a large public-relations campaign soon and the information presented to the supervisors would be released as part of it. Investors also are willing to talk to the citizens group in the future to discuss concerns, she said.

"We're trying to be up-front with people and listen to what they say," she said.

The citizens group had no plans to show up at the Dec. 1 meeting, but Hamm said they hoped the supervisors canceled it. He said they're not sure what action the group will take if the supervisors hold the meeting.

"We at least wanted to indicate our position on them having the meeting," he said.
The citizens group plans to submit a petition at the supervisors monthly meeting at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5.
(To read the remainder of the article, click on this link: )

Indeed, if Chance is "...trying to be up-front with people...", and if Chance is trying to provide "...a courtesy to the township people...", then they should have no reason to hide behind closed doors.

One wonders what "The Strabaddies" (the Straban Township Supervisors) have to hide. One wonders what Chance Enterprises is hiding. Chance Enterprises has been hiding since they made their first announcement of the proposed casino at Gettysburg. To this date they are the only investment group not to disclose the name of their gaming partner/casino management firm (the big money from Las Vegas). What are they hiding?

One need only visit their website to see how they distort the truth and outright lie to sugar coat the bitter pill they are attempting to force down the throats of Adams County’s citizenry. And they are doing this with the complicity of "The Strabaddies", "The Addams Family" (aka the Adams County Commissioners), and our local legislators and business leaders. Promises of dollars to salve the wound of a morally bankrupt predatory industry, they even have the gall to claim they will replace lost Federal Welfare dollars! Hello!!?!?! Welfare dollars were reduced because of the corresponding reduction in welfare cases due to the booming economy! Chance Enterprises continues to crow about the jobs they will bring to the area when Adams County always ranks in the top five counties for lowest unemployment rate in the state. Usually, Adams has the lowest unemployment rate in the state. Chance Enterprises promises to provide millions of dollars locally. This is not true. The money will be spread, according to a formula based on population density, among York, Cumberland, Franklin, and Adams County. Care to guess which county will get the least share? That’s right: Adams. The investors behind Chance Enterprises continue to lie through their teeth to get their way here.

The Straban Township Supervisors, and the Adams County Commissioners are complicit in these lies. They do nothing to refute them. They are the elected representatives of the people of this area, and are responsible for protecting them. Frankly, they are doing a poor enough job they should be run out of office. One gets the impression the Concerned Citizens of Straban Township may be keeping that option open. If not, they should. Their township supervisors have done them dirt.

"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism -- ownership of government by an individual, by a group."
--Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!"


“Legislation without representation is tyranny.”

“Arrogance is a fool’s disease!”

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