Mar 28, 2010

Should Pennsylvania Voters Question Corbett's Role As Chief Law Enforcement Officer and Candidate

Political pundits are questioning if it is a conflict of interest for Attorney General Corbett to be prosecuting high profile state lawmakers while running for Governor at the same time.
In the legislative corruption investigations, he's been going after high-profile state lawmakers from both parties. Someone could conceivably use the attorney general's position to neutralize those who might oppose him as a candidate.

The recent motion by two Bonusgate defendants -- former York state Rep. Steve Stetler and former state Rep. Brett Feese -- accusing Corbett of unethical behavior only makes the separation of power more imperative, Balchunis argues.

"Even if Corbett is doing everything appropriate, I think the question is whether there's an appearance of inappropriate behavior," Balchunis said. (York Daily Record)

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I think the answer to the question is obvious. If you understand that the Attorney General Office's function is the chief law enforcement officer of the state than you can understand the dilemma Corbett finds himself in. He has an advantage as a candidate but also will face extra scrutiny in prosecuting the Bonusgate investigation. Corbett should have resigned his office once he announced his candidacy for Governor.

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