Monday, April 11, 2016

Just seventeen pages

Today was the judicial review. There was no testimony, no press, nobody in the room except Mt. Lebanon's solicitor (not Phil Weis), my attorneys, three friends, and myself.

The judge had requested all withheld emails for both dockets for in camera review. It turns out for both of my appeals, there were a total of seventeen pages withheld from me. One page was blank, so sixteen pages of emails from less than fourteen residents.

In total, I was able to raise $2200. Thank you to those wonderful and generous people who supported my fund. There weren't many of you. I was really disappointed since I have had thousands of visitors on my website and blog- over 83,000 users!

Lebo Citizens Blog All Time Visitors. It went to "invite only" status on July 5, 2015.

Lebo Citizens Website All Time Visitors

Look at how many times Mt. Lebanon Municipal visited. Notice how many hits came from our school district, represented by the numbers listed next to "allegheny intermediate unit." Both local governments kept close tabs on me. Now they found the perfect way to shut me down.

All I was able to raise by a few very generous folks, was $2,200. The judge will rule in a week or so. For sure, it will be going to Commonwealth Court. That is, if my attorney will do it pro bono. He said no, which is sad because I'm tapped out. So no matter how it goes in Common Pleas Court, Mt. Lebanon will ultimately win. And that will be the end of any government transparency in Mt. Lebanon. 

 For over five years, I was doing this for all of us. Exposing the back room deals, the reckless spending, the corruption, the municipal staff deciding what we need to know - and thinking that we work for them.

Thanks to the few people out there who believed in me. It's been fun, but I think I am done.


Barb A. said...

Elaine, I appreciate everything you've done on this and will support whatever you choose to do, or don't choose to do, moving forward. This must be taking a toll not only financially but emotionally. It is an important fight to engage, but you have to take your own health and well being into account as well. If you win this round -- even if you can't move forward because of money -- you are still sending a strong message to the Muni that what what they did was wrong. Hopefully the people who volunteered their properties for killing will think twice now knowing that their addresses are not necessarily guaranteed to be a secret every time they want to have deer killed on their property at the taxpayers' expense.

E. T. Gillen said...

Some of the emails were from people volunteering to be archers. My attorney said that it was appalling to him that the identity of the archers was withheld. Do they have criminal records? Are they alcoholics? This wasn't a deer management issue, he said. It was the use of lethal weapons being fired in a densely populated area by those who we know nothing about.

My attorney said that it isn't a matter of personal security. They just didn't want to face criticism. They were just trying to suppress protests. Nobody was ever threatened. We deserve transparency.


Barbara S. said...

I watched as Elaine took good notes in court, today, and she certainly hit many of the highlights with her comments at 6:03 PM. The problem is that this statutory appeal hearing, or whatever the heck it was, left us very unsettled--with more questions than answers. SIXTEEN PAGES? We're supposed to believe that Mt. Lebanon has been fighting all this time over a total of SIXTEEN PAGES? And, as it turned out, their attorney agreed that some of the withheld text could probably be released without redaction. So, the fight is over maybe TEN PAGES? For the period spanning June to November of last year? Really? I believe that the same way that I believe that there was only one phone call to the police concerning gun shots during the rifle slaughter (I personally know of at least four, and there's no reason why I would know about all of them); and the same way that I believe that there were NO, absolutely NO accidents caused by the archery slaughter (when we were told that the first of them occurred the first week of the activities, on Washington Rd.. So...what I'm saying is that our municipal management is playing a successful game of "Catch Me If You Can" with the citizens, using their own "facts" that say whatever they want them to say! I'm betting that there are hundreds, yes hundreds of emails that they have no intentions of ever acknowledging, knowing that we can't prove the existence of what they've successfully concealed. This is like asking the fox if it knows anything about what happened to all those eggs that should have been found in the hen house. We've got to figure out other soft spots where they're vulnerable, because a blind man on a fast horse could see that they're playing games with us over this. Sixteen pages? NOT! And, as for Elaine, she has been a "watchman on the wall" with the scars to prove her years of active combat with Mt. Lebanon. Elaine has been the one who has informed us of things we never would have known about aside from her sleuthing and has been a whistle blower until she is nearly out of air and her whistle is nearly warn out. Isn't it about time we recognize the efforts that Elaine has made continuously, efforts that have meant personal benefits to each of us? Before she withers any further, can we circle her with appreciation and encouragement? We've all benefitted greatly from her dedication and her continuous efforts. Isn't it about time for us to give back?

Jason Margolis said...

I agree with 7:21pm. We need the feds to seize the MTL server... and get those deleted emails ...

Anonymous said...

I have benefitted from Elaine's work on this blog and I know many, many others who have too, if even indirectly. While the knowledge I gained from the blog did cause some pain, I celebrate the truth.

I hope that readers can spare some change to demonstrate support.

Anonymous said...

Here is one thought---Undoubtedly, Elaine is considered by the muni to be the biggest pains in their &%$#@. Thank you, Elaine, for your continued attempts to get the muni to come clean---on many issues.

But, instead of becoming more transparent, the muni is out to conceal all. Yes, I think hundreds of documents responsive to Elaine's RTKs were withheld. There are boxes of them in Susan Morgans' office.

Even if the muni were to surrender now and turn the 16 pages over to Elaine, it would seem like the Emperor's New Clothes. Those 16 pages would not reveal anything that we do not already know.

The muni, I am sure, is also stepping up efforts to communicate without using the municipal email.

No matter how you look at it, something smells really bad.

E. T. Gillen said...

Amen to that, 8:16 AM. I can see Susan Morgans say that we do not deserve the information and that we are being "transparent enough."

Anonymous said...

As an entity, MTL will never be honest. The gangsters need to be challenged and removed one by one.