FLASHBACK: Linda Woshner Corruption Scandal!

Liberty in Bellevue started about four years ago because we knew there were problems in our local government which needed to be brought to light. We knew there was a bit of mismanagement and dysfunction, however when we picked up the rock and shined a light into what was happening we were aghast by the roaches we exposed. In 2012 a political scandal involving a convoluted example of corruption, cronyism, and the absolute worst example of “friends in power taking care of those who take care of them” erupted with none other than Linda Woshner at its epicenter.

If you’ve forgotten what happened, here’s a transcript of the narrative from our post on December 19, 2012:

It all began in November 2009 when Jane Braunlich, the incumbent councilwoman from the 1st ward, found herself in a deadlock tie for re-election against rival David Piet. Initially believing that she won re-election by a single vote, the election commission found a missing absentee ballot which had been lost in an election official’s car for nearly a week. The single vote which turned the tide of the election was cast by Walt Daughenbaugh, a Bellevue resident who was deployed to Afghanistan with the Army at the time. After learning that the election was in fact a tie, Braunlich challenged the vote in the Court of Common Pleas. The judge presiding over the case ruled to allow the vote based upon the fact that there was no evidence of fraud involved in the vote and David Piet won election by the “casting of lots.” That was until Braunlich retained the services of Attorney Patricia McGrail and appealed the decision to Commonwealth Court. With McGrail’s assistance, Braunlich was able to convince a judge to have Daughenbaugh’s vote thrown out, leading her to retain her seat by a single vote. To verify the account of this story you can read articles in the Tribune-Review here andhere.

During the meeting on December 17, 2012, Ms. Lisa Blaney (former councilwoman), revealed, “Someone from McGrail’s office staff in 2010 at the Allegheny League of Municipalities (ALOM) Conference said Patricia McGrail was promised the position of solicitor if she represented Jane Braunlich in taking the Council seat by throwing out a military man’s valid vote.”

Fast forward to January 2012, the newly elected Council President Linda Woshner unexpectedly called for a vote to replace the  solicitor Mr. Tom McDermott. Prior to the call for a vote, according to Councilman Frank Camello, shortly after initially taking his seat as the newly elected councilman representing Ward 2, he was approached by Ms. Woshner and Ross Township native and frequent political meddler Mark Purcell (for information about Mark Purcell’s colorful political history click here) about the need to vote Mr. McDermott out of his position as borough solicitor. Uncomfortable with being pressured to vote to replace the solicitor whom he felt “was doing a good job and did not need replaced,” Mr. Camello refused to vote along with Woshner. Surprised by Mr. Camello’s unwillingness to ” do as he was told,” Woshner again pressured Mr. Camello by stating, “Mark Purcell wants us to do this now!” Again, not willing to bend to the political pressure of the council president, Mr. Camello stood by his conscience and did not vote in favor of Woshner’s plan.

All of this ultimately brings us to the events which unfolded before our eyes during a special council meeting on Monday, December 17, 2012. It was in this meeting that Jane Braunlich and Linda Woshner (and ultimately Mark Purcell) were able to muster enough votes, via the assistance of the recently appointed Councilwoman Lynn Heffley, to pull the trigger on replacing Tom McDermott as borough solicitor with Patricia McGrail, who according to Ms. Lisa Blaney has been waiting for the job since January 2009. Sue and Jim Viscusi (husband and wife council members) also voted as expected in compliance with their friend, Linda Woshner.

The members of Liberty in Bellevue initially came together because we were tired of merely standing idly by as we witnessed our borough decline further and further into economic depression. Something needed to change and we knew it needed to begin with our local government. The current council seemed bent on a short sighted vision of serving their friends and personal agendas. When we began to do a little digging, we had no idea we would discover this degree of potential corruption and questionable ethics within our council. After unpacking what we’ve learned in the past 48 hours, it is not wonder our borough continues to decline. We believe the voters of Bellevue deserve a transparent and honest government that is working to serve the best interests of our borough regardless of political persuasion or personal grudges. If you want to be a part of the solution and see our community prosper once again, be sure to share this video and story with your friends and neighbors. Bellevue deserves better than this!

Rather than watching the entire video, fast forward to 22:35 for the scandal to unravel  before your very eyes.

Jane Braunlich, Jim Viscusi, and Sue Viscusi were successfully removed from office due in large part to the efforts of those who follow and support Liberty in Bellevue. Tomorrow, November 3rd, we have the opportunity to once and for all replace the final member of this cabal, Linda Woshner.

If you live in Bellevue’s First Ward, vote for Aaryn Hogue for Bellevue Council!!

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5 Responses to “FLASHBACK: Linda Woshner Corruption Scandal!”

  1. The invalidation of a deployed military person’s vote highlights the bottom feeding sleazeballs that orchestrated that affair. When the last member of that cabal is cast away can’t we hunt for some indictable felony offense by those cretins.

  2. There was not a corruption scandal. The only scandal was the exaggeration and lies concocted by Tom Fodi and LiB. This is a political negative ad. Anyone who knows my education, accomplishments and business expertise knows this is a political attack which LiB is known for.

    Let’s believe Frank Camella who rarely attends a meeting and is taking taxpayers’ money. Frank tells people he only attends when Mark needs his vote. Yah, he is credible. And a law office employee is going to tell a complete stranger that they are guaranteed a job? There is no way to guarantee a job that is based on sealed proposals. The McGraill Law Group is a very experienced municipal law firm and they know there are no guarantees in municipal government. I would have no idea who would submit the best proposal. We saved $45,000 by changing solicitors. Anyone who has attended meetings knows I am a dollar and cents person. Always looking for the best value.

    Jane exercised her legal rights. Let’s get your facts right. Mr. Daughenbaugh was not in Afganistan. Also, Jane paid for Pat McGrail’s services. This was not done for free. The PA state Superior Court made the decision that the absentee ballot was not handled in a proper manner and could not be validated. Since I was not involved, I am not exactly sure of all the details. I believe the state Supreme Court would not take the case. Instead of criticizing Jane, maybe, you should be criticizing the judges who decided the case? Maybe, Lib knows better than the judges on the Superior Court who knows the law and heard all the details. Why is this coming up now? This has nothing to do with me.

    If there was an ethics violation, I am sure LiB would have filed a complaint with the PA Ethics Commission years ago. What is taking so long?

    Funny, how you can look the other way when it comes to your friends on council. I can say I have never had a friend get a job or contract for Bellevue Borough. I am guilty of trying to save money for the borough.

    Why do you have to exaggerate and make up scandals to get elected? Believe me if this was all true LiB would have every regulatory agency filing inquiries against me. This is for LiB to have control of council and to get take care of their friends. They do not want a council person who does their homework and has the knowledge to ask questions.

    Of course, do this the night before the election which gives me little time to respond.

  3. Hey Linda, since you mentioned me by name I figured I should respond personally. I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion that this whole scandal was a “lie concocted by me.” I am no where to be seen on the video (except at the end, in a clear state of shock based on what I just witnessed). I did not have a seat on council. I did not provide the sworn, adamant testimony. I barely even knew what was going on at the time. If you recall, you barely even knew my name when this whole episode went down. This was at the early stages of LiB getting it’s start. In fact, it was this night that helped forge LiB’s purpose to fix that which is broken with Council…too many clinging to power rather than serving our community.

    So, again, tell me how I am to blame for all of this?

    My opinion of this entire ordeal is this: you and Jane (among others) worked hard, very hard, to deny an actively serving military member his vote and “coincidentally” the law firm which helped you in this pursuit was suddenly hired as our next solicitor.

    I don’t know precisely what happened. But, I’m not going to apologize for having a grudge against those who strive to throw out a legally cast ballot of an actively serving military member. There are few things more egregious in the dirty world of politics than to deny the right to vote to someone who willingly puts his life on the line to defend your right to run for office.

    His willingness to die for his country meant nothing compared to the desire to have Jane on council to vote as you directed (Much like you tried to direct Frank).

    To too many people, a seat on council is all about power. To the rest of us (LiB included), a seat on council is an opportunity to serve the community we love in the hopes that our service will make it better.

    • Tom,

      I would hope once you work with me you will appreciate my commitment to our community. Once you are on council you will understand the limitations we have and will realize the commitment most of council has. We are one of 9. I have shown my commitment by volunteering at borough events, as well as, most recently thinking out of the box with changes such as the store front ordinance, the street opening ordinance and looking for cost savings among others. I can live anywhere but I choose to live in Bellevue. My husband and I have made an investment in Bellevue and have done nothing but improve it. Thank goodness, the voters did not agree with your views.

      I don’t know how I became involved with the absentee ballot situation. I will state this again. What I was told, Mr. Daughenbaugh was not on active duty or in Afganistan at the time. Jane had no idea he was a veteran. Do you see veteran on the ballot? Being a veteran has nothing to do with this. It has to do with a ballot that was discovered a week later. You can’t have ballots being discovered in other than at the voting poll on the night of the election. What a mess it would be otherwise. It was determined by the PA Superior Court to not be valid. The PA Supreme Court did not take the case, therefore, they agreed with the Superior Court. If you have a problem with the court’s decision you need to take it up with the judges. There are election laws about absentee ballots and who knows best about those laws but the PA Supreme and Superior courts. They are very experienced and respected judges. How can you hold a grudge when being a veteran was not the subject matter? And have you held a grudge for the PA courts and their judges.

      Yes, being on council just for power would not be good. I do not know of anyone on council or who have served on council with those aspirations. Everyone is there to do what they think is best for the community. Nine people agreeing on everything is not what Bellevue needs. Differences of opinion makes for good business. What we need is more positive community involvement. All this negativity is not improving the community. It just makes Bellevue look bad.

  4. Very nice to dredge this up at the 11th hour. Oh…and a nice headline for those who don’t remember or who can’t be bothered to read further.

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