Friday, July 04, 2008

Pennsylvania Politics Grand Jury Casino License? More Coming?

Witnesses called at state grand jury secrecy hearing
By The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 2, 2008

HARRISBURG -- Current and former employees of Pennsylvania's gambling regulatory board were among witnesses called to testify Monday at a closed hearing to determine whether a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate violations of grand jury secrecy.
Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover is presiding over the hearing to examine allegations of leaks in the investigation that led to perjury charges against casino owner Louis DeNaples earlier this year.

Few details of the proceedings were available beyond glimpses of witnesses entering and leaving Hoover's chambers. The judge maintained an order he issued Friday to close the hearing, despite a motion filed by members of DeNaples' legal team asking him to open it.

Among the more prominent witnesses called in the morning were David Kwait, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's director of investigations and enforcement, and Michael Schwoyer, the board's former chief enforcement officer. Several sheriff's deputies and other law enforcement officials also were subpoenaed for the roughly six-hour hearing, which was expected to resume Tuesday.

Another grand jury will convene in Dauphin County
by SHARON SMITH, Of The Patriot-News
Wednesday April 02, 2008, 9:31 PM

New grand jury to investigate Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and process it used to approve casino licenses
1, April 1, 2008 · No Comments
By Matt Birkbeck Of The Morning Call
April 1, 2008

Sources: New Grand Jury On Slots


The new investigation will probe, in part, the DeNaples casino background check and how the gaming board inquiry was conducted and eventually led to DeNaples’ being granted a license despite information that linked him to organized crime, sources said.


…gaming board member Kenneth McCabe, a former FBI agent, told a Senate panel he was ”misled” by the police and claimed that Miller and former Lt. Col. Ralph Periandi didn’t give him adequate information to decide about DeNaples.

Former gaming board Chairman Tad Decker also criticized the state police, saying they should have shared information on DeNaples.

Sources told The Morning Call last August that the U.S. attorney’s office in Harrisburg is investigating hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions from DeNaples and several close associates to Gov. Ed Rendell in 2006 as part of a sweeping probe that involves the state police and several federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and Internal Revenue Service.


The DeNaples case is beginning to rock Slotsylvania to its political core, leading some Republican state lawmakers to call for a special bipartisan committee with subpoena power to investigate his licensing.


Another voice another scandal

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