Friday, July 18, 2008

The Attorney & The Blogger

Here's a followup to Wednesday's post, "Pat Ford Update: Federal Prosecutors Interview Blogger": some breakout quotes from my interviews with Pat Ford's attorney and blogger Bram Reichbaum.

You can watch video of my Channel 4 Action News report at this link.

Pat Ford's Attorney, Lawrence Fisher:

• "Let me say this to you. The reason why I agreed to meet with you today is because I was concerned about the insinuation in today's Post-Gazette article that perhaps Mr. Ford was somehow the subject or the target of a federal investigation, and I can tell you I am quite certain he is not."

• "He is neither the subject nor the target of any federal investigation. If anything, Mr. Ford would be discussing items of mutual interest to both himself and to investigators and authorities.

• "And all we've said so far is that Pat Ford is cooperating with authorities. And you know of course, and Marcie Cipriani reported that he had met with Stephen Zappala. Beyond that, I can't discuss the details of his cooperation with authorities, but I can tell you that Mr. Ford's cooperation with authorities is one of mutual interest. In other words, he is assisting authorities in routing out corruption in the Housing Authority."

• "You have this so called blogger who feels that there was something improper about a gift to Mr. Ford's wife which was of nominal value. And however much he hopes that federal authorities are investigating that, they are not."

Bram Reichbaum, Blogger:
• "Actually, I ran into Ms. Buchanan and I recognized her and I introduced myself and told her who I was. She was generally familiar with my role in the original revelations that are related to some of this. We got to a little conversation and I volunteered that if there's anything I can do to help, if you want me to present some information, I'd be happy to do that. And she said that it might be helpful, and a couple of weeks later, it was scheduled."

• "...I asked them and what they said is 'we don't comment on anything like that, we speak through indictments'. So, figure than when there's something to learn, we'll all learn it."

• "Pat Ford's name is the one most closely identified with a lot of those situations, so his name came up more. It was impossible to tell who could be the target of any inquiry."

• "I'm a blogger, so I do some reporting and some commentating, and I feel strongly about a lot of those issues because it's my city and there's laws as to how it's supposed to be governed and what decisions are supposed to be made, as far as giant signs and even neighborhood planning. And it just seems like the laws are being forgotten and that concerns me. So, that's why I cooperated."


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