Dismiss the Hateful Prosecutors that Abused the Public Trust
This petition had 1,540 supporters
Three public servants, charged with one of the most important jobs in our society, have broken the public’s trust in a shameful way. Prosecutors Frank Fina, Marc Costanzo & Patrick Blessington sent, viewed and disseminated emails that devalued, demeaned and ridiculed women, members of the LGBT community and people of color, all within the walls of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania’s Office. The emails depicted women in compromising x-rated situations, caricatured images of African American babies, and mocked gay men. Yet, for all of this, they were hired as top prosecutors by Philadelphia's District Attorney (DA) Seth Williams. DA Williams decided not to have them suffer any consequences for this gross betrayal of public trust. Instead, they underwent office-wide "sensitivity" training which did not address their deep rooted biases against women and minorities.
Please join the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and all of the Philadelphia Councilwomen in asking DA Seth Williams to remove Assistant DAs Frank Fina, Marc Costanzo & Patrick Blessington from the DA’s office. There is no room for hatred in the halls of justice.
Public trust is further eroded by the fact there is a widespread, private relationship between prosecutors in both criminal and civil matters and the judges they appear before in those cases since these emails were traded with a wide swath of people, including judges. This is a compromise of the judiciary by members of the executive branch; a violation of the doctrine of separation of powers. These men continue to have active prosecutorial roles. What’s worse, there have been reports in the press that two of the three prosecutors involved in the email scandal have been accused of exclusively targeting African American politicians in corruption scandals, even though several other politicians were implicated. Their focus on finding suspects of a certain race and ignoring the misdeeds of others is reflected in the emails they shared amongst themselves, which depict African Americans as criminals and thugs.
It is time for decent people in Philadelphia, and around the States, to demand more from our justice system. All around our country, we are seeing a miscarriage of justice. Time and again, crimes are being perpetrated by holders of public office, and the sole “punishments” they receive are gentle reprimands, or slaps on the wrist. When negative actions do not receive true negative consequences, it tells others in power that breaking the law or abusing their office is no big deal. A justice system that condones or ignores the actions of employees who victimize large segments of our population is no justice system at all.
The Women of City Council of Philadelphia are standing with Phila-NOW and demanding the removal of these three prosecutors from the Philadelphia DA’s Office. We ask all of you to sign our petition to remove Assistant DA’s Frank Fina, Marc Costanzo & Patrick Blessington from the DA’s office, so public trust can be restored.
Please visit www.phillynow.org for further information and link to the demeaning images.
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