Friday, July 04, 2008

PA: senate staff helped lawyer targeting reporters

Our attention has been drawn to the article Investigation of alleged grand jury secrecy violations Harrisburg, PA AP particularly

Judge Todd Hoover presided over two days of closed-door testimony in the case earlier this week, and the only news media witness called to testify was the owner of a Harrisburg-based Internet news company.

Why not mention the name of the news company and the owner? We have to search to satisfy our curiosity...

Breaking news: DeNaples grand jury leak hearing continues Updated 1:47 p.m.

HARRISBURG - A Harrisburg broadcaster testified during the second day of a Dauphin County court hearing into whether media leaks undermined the secrecy of the grand jury probe of Mount Airy Casino Resort owner Louis A. DeNaples.

James Roxbury, owner-operator of Roxbury News, an independent broadcasting company, was the sole witness seen entering the chamber of Judge Todd A. Hoover, the presiding judge, as of midday.

Mr. Roxbury was among 15 journalists subpoenaed to testify at the evidence-gathering hearing to determine if a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate leaks.

Mr. Roxbury gave testimony that didn't violate the protections given journalists under the First Amendment and Pennsylvania Shield Law, said attorney Adam Klein.

"He answered questions that didn't violate those protections," added Mr. Klein.

Roxbury News'state'

DeNaples demands reporters' records
15 journalists, two from Morning Call, are called to court in alleged grand jury leaks.
By Tim Darragh | Of The Morning Call
June 12, 2008
Lawyers for Mount Airy Casino Resort owner Louis DeNaples, in a hunt for the source of what they say were illegal leaks from a grand jury, are demanding that 15 reporters turn over not only their handwritten notes but also their personal cell phones and home phone bills.

Morning Call reporters Matt Birkbeck and Christina Gostomski received subpoenas Wednesday issued by attorneys for DeNaples and the Rev. Joseph F. Sica, a priest who advised DeNaples.

In addition, reporters from The Associated Press, the Citizens' Voice of Wilkes-Barre, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News received subpoenas. James Roxbury, owner of an independent video news company, Roxbury News, also was subpoenaed.

The subpoenas order the reporters to appear before Dauphin County Judge Todd A. Hoover on June 30 and demand that they produce notes, e-mail, work phone records and all other documents relating to their stories about the grand jury.,0,6500516.story


DeNaples demands reporters' records
15 journalists, two from Morning Call, are called to court in alleged grand jury leaks.
By Tim Darragh | Of The Morning Call
June 12, 2008
...Roxbury said his Harrisburg company hires freelance video teams to record government news and events, including hearings related to DeNaples' slots application, and posts them online on YouTube. He said he has ''one or two'' videos related to the grand jury testimony.

Ted Chylack, an attorney with Sprague & Sprague, which filed the subpoenas, would only say the subpoenas were related to a May 2 ruling by the state Supreme Court.

In that order, the court ruled Hoover should hold a hearing into alleged violations of the secrecy of the grand jury's investigation. The judge then has to determine if a special prosecutor should be appointed.

Dauphin County Assistant District Attorney Fran Chardo said the hearing has not been scheduled.

Grand jury proceedings are secret and state law bars prosecutors, court officials or jurors from discussing a grand jury investigation. Witnesses are not barred from discussing their testimony outside the courtroom, however.

DeNaples and Sica were charged with perjury this year after allegedly lying under oath to state gaming regulators.

DeNaples' spokesman Kevin Feeley earlier said news stories about the grand jury proceedings in DeNaples' and Sica's cases amounted to ''prosecution by headline.''

Performing effectively as government watchdogs means that reporters occasionally must rely on confidential sources to report on sensitive matters, said Henning, the newspaper association attorney...,0,6500516.story

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