13 December 2011 21,358 views 9 Comments

Updated 3/29/2015

Well, the trial went on and the lies continued and continued by the attorneys for the County of Berks.  Let’s take a look at how our justice system works at times…

First, you have to understand that the plaintiff, Scott Sterner, spent thousands upon thousands of his retirement dollars taking depositions from many witnesses.  The Plaintiff wasn’t permitted to use the depositions of witnesses not present.  Not allowing the use of depositions in lieu of in court testimony was unbelievable considering I complained that our witnesses were threatened by an employee of the County of Berks.  Before this trial I actually believed in the possibility that it may have been just the act of a personally threatened individual who didn’t want his wife to find out he was cheating; a naïve belief based upon what I witnessed in trial.

WHY, WHAT, HOW???!!!  THE COUNTY OF BERKS ATTORNEYS, INCLUDING CHRISTINE SADLER, committed a crime by altering the evidence they submitted to the jury following its entry into evidence.  The MOST DAMNING evidence in the entire trial is when Mr. Sterner/Plaintiff told the HR director at the county that Sandra Graffius ADMITTED to the retaliation against him and was coming after him for his initial report to the HR (when Sterner took the nude emails Graffius sent to her staff down to HR to file a complaint and have them “investigate” it).  Well, it turns out that Jennifer Biehn actually wrote down in her own notes that Sterner told her about the Graffius admission but when the notes went out to the jury the Defendants redacted that part of the notes!!!  IT CANNOT BE A MISTAKE ON THEIR PART!!! Out of the hundred plus pages of notes that one paragraph was redacted!!!  Keep in mind, the notes were going to the jury in the original form, without redaction AND IT WAS THEIR EXHIBIT under their control at all times!

I, Plaintiff’s Counsel, can promise you that NOBODY was permitted to redact those notes and I know for a FACT that the only two people who touched those notes were Christine Steere and Christine Sadler, both attorneys working for the County of Berks!!!  It is a crime to intentionally alter documents entered into evidence subsequent their entry but prior to sending them to the jury.

Now, I look back and it is clear that perhaps the threatening of the Plaintiff’s witnesses wasn’t done by just Justin Lose, the IT Director at the County of Berks.  If an attorney could be so arrogant and deceitful to the Court and scoff at their duty as officers of the court, there is no doubt in my mind that they could have a hand in witness intimidation.

It doesn’t end there, there are numerous things done by the Defense counsel that were highly questionable at the time and begged attention.

Here’s the bottom line:  Mr. Sterner’s access to the justice system has been continuously interfered with and he has been prevented from presenting his witnesses.  This system of justice we pay for has become itself the hand of injustice.  Of all the witnesses allowed, every one of them was technically a witness for the Defendants, except Mrs. Sterner, Plaintiff’s wife, and two questions for Raymond Austin, and Mrs. Sterner could only testify to her knowledge of how this case affected her husband at home.  Let’s take a look at the witnesses not allowed to testify:

Todd Simpson by deposition- he was told by Sandra Graffius directly that she was going to retaliate against Sterner – AN ADMISSION!!! – the court found the admission to be irrelevant and/or if marginally relevant it was highly prejudicial and could only confuse the jury.  Simpson would also testify to the lack of honest of Jennifer Biehn and the county’s human resources department; performing investigations they had personal knowledge of and lying in their results.  There were other significantly relevant things Todd had knowledge of but since they didn’t just include the dishonest of Sandra Graffius the Court ruled that he didn’t want to litigate all of the County’s issues.

Shana Simpson by deposition – she would testify about her own EEOC/PHRA complaint she filed against Graffius, the Commissioners and the County.  In Shana’s complaint she alleged she was fired by the County out of retaliation for being a friend of Sterner who filed his own EEOC/PHRA complaint.  She would testify about the dishonesty of Jennifer Biehn; Biehn actually told Simpson that “at the County we eat our own”.  Shana was present during some of the meetings of the “Counsel of Awesome” when Ryan Hunter called Michele Kercher “mother jugs”; Biehn was present at all of the meetings.  Keep in mind that Shana and Todd attended these meetings of “Awesome” together on some occasions, Todd being the member of “Awesome” and Shana being the spouse who was encouraged to attend.  Oh lest we forget, SHANA SIMPSON WAS FIRED THE DAY OF OR AFTER SANDRA GRAFFIUS RECEIVED NOTICE OF SCOTT STERNER’S FIRST EEOC/PHRA COMPLAINT.  Shana Simpson was told by COMMISSIONER SCOTT that Sandra Graffius came to him with the letter in her hand raving that Shana, Ray, and Scott were conspiring against her and that Shana Simpson had to be fired.

(I GUESS THE NEW NORM FOR UNDULY PREJUDICIAL MEANS THAT THE REALLY BAD EVIDENCE, ALTHOUGH TRUE, CAN’T BE ADMITTED BECAUSE IT COULD DAMAGE THE DEFENDANT’S CAS.  If that were actually true it would be impossible and/or highly unlikely that a plaintiff could ever win a case – the better the evidence the less likely it would be admitted?)

THE COMMMISIONERS THREE or at least two – Commissioner Scott heard the admission of Sandra Graffius, Commissioner Barnhardt told the Council of Awesome to take their meetings out of town so people wouldn’t see them meeting together, and all the commissioners regarding their knowledge of the termination of Shana Simpson.  Commissioner Scott told Scott Sterner, “Can you believe the other two commissioners let Graffius fire Shana?”

Michele Kercher – she would likely testify as to Jennifer Biehn’s investigation into her sexual harassment complaint to the HR Department, the lack of credibility of the HR Department, and the knowledge of the Commissioners regarding the HR Department.  Sure, she might lie but if she did then at least we could have used that part of Todd Simpson’s deposition or Shana’s deposition.

Dean Bickel – he would simply testify as to Eilene Hobbs management of the Auditing Department and how she wasn’t a working manager but rather managed like Sterner; a false excuse given by Graffius as to why Sterner was given his subordinates duties and his subordinates were given duties of the manager, retaliatory conduct of Graffius.

Evidence Room witnesses:

Detective Wright – a Detective for the County’s District Attorney’s Office, over thirty years experience, his word beyond doubt; he testified that Mr. Sterner told a joke to him, they both participated, it was funny, and it was Detective Wright that spoke the word “gun”.

(It is very important to point out that when Sterner told Austin the word “gun” in the joke he was relaying how the word was used by Detective Wright in the joke and not that Sterner used it!)

Detective Kellet – he didn’t hear anything about the joke in the evidence room but if he did he would have thought it was a joke.

Jack Frie – he was the subject of the joke, he said he didn’t hear it but if he did he would have thought it was a joke because he probably deserved it because he was ribbing on the others.

Angela Ermold – she didn’t hear the joke until later, out of the evidence room, and she thought it was a joke.

Dean Hollenbacher – he either didn’t hear the joke or thought it wasn’t significant to remember, the mood in the evidence room was jovial, everybody was in a good mood.

Everybody in the evidence room either thought it was a joke, they didn’t hear it, or if they heard it they would have thought it was a joke.

HERES THE REALLY AWEFUL TRUTH:  The reason Plaintiff didn’t call the evidence room witnesses is that all parties stipulated that all the evidence said it was a joke.  The agreement occurred prior to the trial and that is why no evidence room witnesses were called as witnesses.

YET, AT TRIAL, Defendants brought into question why there was no witnesses testifying about what was said in the evidence room, implying that Plaintiff was lying that the testimony (SWORN!!!) of the witnesses may be contrary.  THAT IS SO OUTRAGEOUS AND UNDERHANDED, TO INTENTIONALLY LIE LIKE THAT – HEY, WHY SHOULD IT SURPRISE ME OR YOU AT THIS POINT AFTER ALL THE OTHER DECEITFUL ACTS THEY COMMITTED?!!!


Judith Lumis was THE ONLY WITNESS OF THE COUNTY THAT CLAIMS TO HAVE HEARD STERNER say something to Austin, Lumis’ office was next door to his:

Judith Lumis got up on the stand and said, like she did the TWO PREVIOUS TIMES UNDER OATH, that she only heard parts of what Sterner told Austin (the joke) but she got the “gist” of the conversation.  Lumis TESTIFIED that she was never afraid of Sterner, Sterner was a nice guy, she was afraid of Raymond Austin, Raymond Austin NEVER SAID ANYTHING but just laughed, she said her fears of Austin began before Sterner speaking to Austin, and that she never heard a word about what they intended to do with “the gun”.*


The fact is that in Lumis’ own emails to Graffius, prior to the joke, she stated she told Graffius of her fears of this (Austin) before.  GRAFFIUS KNEW Lumis was unstable and Graffius took advantage of Judy to get at Sterner, there is no other possible explanation unless you believe that Sterner had mind control of Austin.  Also, we should also remember that Austin had filed an HR complaint against Lumis prior to Lumis’ complaint about the joke.

Judith Lumis testified that she believes Scott Sterner had the power of suggestion over Raymond Austin and just by saying the word “gun” that somehow that would cause Austin to become a danger to everybody!  Of course, Austin didn’t say anything except he laughed and Lumis still never was afraid of Sterner because he’s a nice guy.  WHAT?!!!

Testimony of Joanna Baittinger clearly indicated that she wasn’t informed of the HR complaint filed against Lumis by Austin, the HR complaints filed against Graffius by Sterner, and the EEOC and PHRA complaints filed against the HR Department and Graffius by Sterner prior to Baittinger’s investigation of the “joke”.  Baittinger in her deposition indicated she believed Sterner and that Lumis was mistaken about what she heard.  Baittinger also admitted all the witnesses in the evidence room that heard Sterner thought it was a joke.

*Keep in mind the County has UNDER OATH or during an Official County Investigation accused Sterner of:

1.  Beyond question, to the distress of the witnesses present, to threaten to shoot a prisoner;

2.  To threaten to smuggle a gun into the building to shoot a coworker;

3.  To threaten to smuggle a gun into work so that he could ask a Detective to borrow his gun so that the Detective could shoot a coworker (this is what was written on Sterner’s termination letter).

4. Threaten to take the life of a coworker..

It goes on and on, the lies change but the parties doing the lying remain the same.

It is without doubt and ALL witnesses that heard the joke tell it in roughly the exact same way.  Mr. Sterner, working with his friends (including Jack Frie), turned to both of the District Attorney Detectives in the County’s Evidence Room (basically a secured vault where the evidence is kept safely) and said to either of them after some ribbing by Jack; “Hey, would one of you guys please shoot Jack and put us out of our misery?”  Detective Wright responded, “I can’t because the County’s so cheap and they only give me one bullet for my gun and I keep it in my pocket (pointing to his shirt breast pocket).”  Sterner and/or the Detective respond, “Like Barney Fife!”  They both then laughed and went upon their business, nothing more was said of it until Sterner told Austin of the joke.  Raymond Austin and Jack Frie were known to kid around with each other and Sterner knew that Austin would find the Barney Fife joke funny.

The evidence was clear, the only witness besides Sterner’s wife, that was allowed to testify on Sterner’s behalf was Raymond Austin and he was only allowed to say what he heard Sterner tell him, the joke, and that Sterner was an honest guy.


Yes, I’m just one attorney working out of a little room in a house and yes I may not be a great attorney but I’ll be damned and I’ll gladly face the wrath of any Judge of the United Stated or Pennsylvania if they say I can’t tell the truth about the unforgiveable actions of The County of Berks and their attorneys.  IF THEY TAKE MY LEGAL LICENSE FROM ME FOR TELLING THE TRUTH THEN I WILL STAND PROUDLY WHEN I FACE THE ONE TRUE JUDGE OF US ALL AND SMILE WITH SATISFACTION THAT PERHAPS MY OWN PERSONAL SACRIFICE HELPED SOME OF THE HONEST VICTIMS OF THE UNDENIABLE OUTRIGHT DECEIT AND DISHONESTY THAT WAS SHOWN BY THE COUNTY OF BERKS UNDER OATH IN THE COURTROOM!

Regarding the Constitution=

“Aware of the tendency of power to degenerate into abuse, the worthies of our country have secured its independence by the establishment of a Constitution and form of government for our nation, calculated to prevent as well as to correct abuse.” –Thomas Jefferson to Washington Tammany Society, 1809. “[The purpose of a written constitution is] to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782. Q.XIII “I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.” [10th Amendment] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.” –Thomas Jefferson: National Bank Opinion, 1791. “The foundation on which all [our State constitutions] are built is the natural equality of man, the denial of every pre-eminence but that annexed to legal office and particularly the denial of a pre-eminence by birth.” –Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1784. “The principles of our Constitution are wisely opposed to all perpetuations of power, and to every practice which may lead to hereditary establishments.” –Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Address, 1809. “Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, yet they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally and recall the people. They fix, too, for the people the principles of their political creed.” –Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Priestley, 1802. “Whenever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.” –Thomas Jefferson: Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. “It [is] inconsistent with the principles of civil liberty, and contrary to the natural rights of the other members of the society, that any body of men therein should have authority to enlarge their own powers… without restraint.” –Thomas Jefferson: Virginia Allowance Bill, 1778. “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782. “Laws provide against injury from others, but not from ourselves.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Religion, 1776? “In questions of power…let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” –Thomas Jefferson: Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. “Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism. Free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence.” –Thomas Jefferson: Draft, Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. “It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power. Our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go.” –Thomas Jefferson: Draft, Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. “Is confidence or discretion, or is STRICT LIMIT, the principle of our Constitution?” –Thomas Jefferson to Jedidiah Morse, 1822. “Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people.” –Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1816. “The elective franchise, if guarded as the ark of our safety, will peaceably dissipate all combinations to subvert a Constitution, dictated by the wisdom, and resting on the will of the people.” –Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waring, 1801. “Unless the mass retains sufficient control over those entrusted with the powers of their government, these will be perverted to their own oppression, and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust. Whether our Constitution has hit on the exact degree of control necessary, is yet under experiment.” –Thomas Jefferson to M. van der Kemp, 1812. “I disapproved from the first moment… the want of a bill of rights [in the new Constitution] to guard liberty against the legislative as well as the executive branches of the government.” –Thomas Jefferson to Francis Hopkinson, 1789. “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787. “A bill of rights [will] guard liberty against the legislative as well as the executive branches of the government.” –Thomas Jefferson to Francis Hopkinson, 1789. “In the arguments in favor of a declaration of rights, one which has great weight with me [is] the legal check which it puts into the hands of the judiciary.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789. “By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline.” –Thomas Jefferson to Alexander Donald, 1788. “I sincerely wish we could see our government so secured as to depend less on the character of the person in whose hands it is trusted. Bad men will sometimes get in and with such an immense patronage may make great progress in corrupting the public mind and principles. This is a subject with which wisdom and patriotism should be occupied.” –Thomas Jefferson to Moses Robinson, 1801.

Amendments to the Constitution

“Whatever be the Constitution, great care must be taken to provide a mode of amendment when experience or change of circumstances shall have manifested that any part of it is unadapted to the good of the nation.” –Thomas Jefferson to A. Coray, 1823. “Nothing is more likely than that [the] enumeration of powers is defective. This is the ordinary case of all human works. Let us then go on perfecting it by adding by way of amendment to the Constitution those powers which time and trial show are still wanting.” –Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1803. “We have always a right to correct ancient errors, and to establish what is more conformable to reason and convenience.” — Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1801. “I willingly acquiesce in the institutions of my country, perfect or imperfect; and think it a duty to leave their modifications to those who are to live under them, and are to participate of the good or evil they may produce. The present generation has the same right of self-government which the past one has exercised for itself.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Hampden Pleasants, 1824. “The precept is wise which directs us to try all things, and hold fast that which is good.” –Thomas Jefferson to William Drayton, 1788. “Let us go on perfecting the Constitution by adding, by way of amendment, those forms which time and trial show are still wanting.” –Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1803. “The real friends of the Constitution in its federal form, if they wish it to be immortal, should be attentive, by amendments, to make it keep pace with the advance of the age in science and experience. Instead of this, the European governments have resisted reformation, until the people, seeing no other resource, undertake it themselves by force, their only weapon, and work it out through blood, desolation and long-continued anarchy.” –Thomas Jefferson to Robert J. Garnett, 1824. “Our children will be as wise as we are and will establish in the fulness of time those things not yet ripe for establishment.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1810. “Can one generation bind another and all others in succession forever? I think not. The Creator has made the earth for the living, not for the dead. Rights and powers can only belong to persons, not to things, not to mere matter unendowed with will.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. “I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions, I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know, also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.” –Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. “We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” –Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. “It is more honorable to repair a wrong than to persist in it.” –Thomas Jefferson: Address to Cherokee Nation, 1806. “Happily for us, that when we find our constitutions defective and insufficient to secure the happiness of our people, we can assemble with all the coolness of philosophers, and set them to rights, while every other nation on earth must have recourse to arms to amend or to restore their constitutions.” –Thomas Jefferson to C. W. F. Dumas, 1787.


“Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.” –Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1803. “The true key for the construction of everything doubtful in a law, is the intention of the law givers. This is most safely gathered from the words, but may be sought also in extraneous circumstances, provided they do not contradict the express words of the law.” –Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1808. “On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” –Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823 “I had rather ask an enlargement of power from the nation, where it is found necessary, than to assume it by a construction which would make our powers boundless.” –Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1803.

Separation of Powers: Federal and State

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.” [X Amendment] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.” –Thomas Jefferson: National Bank Opinion, 1791. “The true barriers of our liberty are our State governments; and the wisest conservative power ever contrived by man, is that of which our Revolution and present government found us possessed.” –Thomas Jefferson to A. L. C. Destutt de Tracy, 1811. “I have always thought that where the line of demarcation between the powers of the General and the State governments was doubtfully or indistinctly drawn, it would be prudent and praiseworthy in both parties, never to approach it but under the most urgent necessity.” –Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell, 1814. “The States should be left to do whatever acts they can do as well as the General Government.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Harvie, 1790. “The way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the function he is competent to. Let the National Government be entrusted with the defense of the nation and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man’s farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.” –Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell, 1816. “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one which should not only be founded on true free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among general bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782. “What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body, no matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or of the aristocrats of a Venetian Senate.” –Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell, 1816. “When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Hammond, 1821. “The concentrating [all the powers of government, legislative, executive and judiciary] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782. “One precedent in favor of power is stronger than an hundred against it.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782. “Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” –Thomas Jefferson: Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. “[If] it [were] assumed that the general government has a right to exercise all powers which may be for the ‘general welfare,’ that [would include] all the legitimate powers of government, since no government has a legitimate right to do what is not for the welfare of the governed.” –Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1792. “I do verily believe that..a single, consolidated government would become the most corrupt government on the earth.” –Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, 1800. “It is a happy circumstance in human affairs that evils which are not cured in one way will cure themselves in some other.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Sinclair, 1791. “On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions should we have had already?” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782. “The peculiar happiness of our blessed system is that in differences of opinion between these different sets of servants, the appeal is to neither, but to their employers peaceably assembled by their representatives in convention. This is more rational than the jus fortioris, or the canon’s mouth, the ultima et sola ratio regum.” –Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1821.

Separation of Powers in the Federal Branches

“If the three powers maintain their mutual independence on each other our Government may last long, but not so if either can assume the authorities of the other.” –Thomas Jefferson to William Charles Jarvis, 1820. “The interference of the Executive can rarely be proper where that of the Judiciary is so.” –Thomas Jefferson to George Hammond, 1793. “Mankind soon learn to make interested uses of every right and power which they possess or may assume. The public money and public liberty, intended to have been deposited with three branches of magistracy but found inadvertently to be in the hands of one only, will soon be discovered to be sources of wealth and dominion to those who hold them; distinguished, too, by this tempting circumstance: that they are the instrument as well as the object of acquisition. With money we will get men, said Caesar, and with men we will get money.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782. “It is the old practice of despots to use a part of the people to keep the rest in order; and those who have once got an ascendency and possessed themselves of all the resources of the nation, their revenues and offices, have immense means for retaining their advantages.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1798.

Elective Government

“Elective government is…the best permanent corrective of the errors or abuses of those entrusted with power.” –Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Address, 1801. “The Legislative and Executive branches may sometimes err, but elections and dependence will bring them to rights.” –Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Thweat, 1821. “To insure the safety of the public liberty, its depository should be subject to be changed with the greatest ease possible, and without suspending or disturbing for a moment the movements of the machine of government.” –Thomas Jefferson to A. L. C. Destutt de Tracy, 1811. “If our fellow citizens… will sacrifice favoritism towards men for the preservation of principle, we may hope that no divisions will again endanger a degeneracy in our government. –Thomas Jefferson to Richard M. Johnson, 1808. “The frequent recurrence of this chastening operation [of elections] can alone restrain the propensity of governments to enlarge expense beyond income.” –Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1820. “[It is] by their votes the people exercise their sovereignty.” –Thomas Jefferson: written note in Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws. “Experience [has] shown that, even under the best forms [of government], those entrusted with power have, in time and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” –Thomas Jefferson: Diffusion of Knowledge Bill, 1779. “Should things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights.” –Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1806. “The elective franchise, if guarded as the ark of our safety, will peaceably dissipate all combinations to subvert a Constitution, dictated by the wisdom, and resting on the will of the people.” –Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waring, 1801. “I think the best remedy is exactly that provided by all our constitutions: to leave to the citizens the free election and separation of the aristoi from the pseudo-aristoi, of the wheat from the chaff. In general they will elect the real good and wise. In some instances wealth may corrupt and birth blind them, but not in sufficient degree to endanger the society.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1813. “It suffices for us if the moral and physical condition of our own citizens qualifies them to select the able and good for the direction of their government, with a recurrence of elections at such short periods as will enable them to displace an unfaithful servant before the mischief he mediates may be irremediable.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1813. “A jealous care of the right of election by the people–a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided–I deem [one of] the essential principles of our Government.” –Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801. “In case of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the General Government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy.” –Thomas Jefferson: Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. “I am for responsibilities at short periods, seeing neither reason nor safety in making public functionaries independent of the nation for life, or even for long terms of years.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Martin, 1813. “In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life if secured against all liability to account.” –Thomas Jefferson to A. Coray, 1823. “I think it is a duty in those entrusted with the administration of their affairs to conform themselves to the decided choice of their constituents.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1785. “I love to see honest and honorable men at the helm, men who will not bend their politics to their purses nor pursue measures by which they may profit and then profit by their measures.” –Thomas Jefferson to Edward Rutledge, 1796. “An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens… Power is not alluring to pure minds and is not with them the primary principle of contest.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Melish, 1813. “Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on [offices] a rottenness begins in his conduct.” –Thomas Jefferson to Tench Coxe, 1799. “Men of high learning and abilities are few in every country; and by taking in those who are not so, the able part of the body have their hands tied by the unable.” –Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stewart, 1791. “That there should be public functionaries independent of the nation, whatever may be their demerit, is a solecism in a republic of the first order of absurdity and inconsistency.” –Thomas Jefferson to William T. Barry, 1822. “In a free country, every power is dangerous which is not bound up by general rules.” –Thomas Jefferson to Philip Mazzei, 1785. “It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights. Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism. Free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence.” –Thomas Jefferson: Draft, Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.

Legislative Branch

“Our legislators are not sufficiently apprised of the rightful limits of their power: that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him; every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of the society, and this is all the laws should enforce on him.” –Thomas Jefferson to Francis Gilmer, 1816. “The representatives of the people in Congress are alone competent to judge of the general disposition of the people, and to what precise point of reformation they are ready to go.” –Thomas Jefferson to Mr. Rutherford, 1792. “A sound spirit of legislation,… banishing all arbitrary and unnecessary restraint on individual action, shall leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another.” –Thomas Jefferson: Report for the University of Virginia, 1818. “To special legislation we are generally averse lest a principle of favoritism should creep in and pervert that of equal rights. It has, however, been done on some occasions where a special national advantage has been expected to overweigh that of adherence to the general rule.” –Thomas Jefferson to George Flower, 1817. “If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?” –Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. “A forty years’ experience of popular assemblies has taught me that you must give them time for every step you take. If too hard pushed, they balk, and the machine retrogrades.” –Thomas Jefferson to Joel Barlow, 1807. “It is not only vain, but wicked in a legislator to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm them with the terrors of death. This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Crimes Bill, 1779. “History has informed us that bodies of men as well as individuals are susceptible of the spirit of tyranny.” –Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774. “When the representative body have lost the confidence of their constituents, when they have notoriously made sale of their most valuable rights, when they have assumed to themselves powers which the people never put into their hands, then, indeed, their continuing in office becomes dangerous to the State, and calls for an exercise of the power of dissolution.” –Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774. “The purpose of establishing different houses of legislation is to introduce the influence of different interests or different principles.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782. “I consider… the republican as one more willing to trust the legislature [than the Executive] as a broader representation of the people and a safer deposit of power for many reasons.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Dickinson, 1801. “A representative government, responsible at short intervals of election… produces the greatest sum of happiness to mankind.” –Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Vermont Legislature, 1807.

Executive Branch

“Responsibility weighs with its heaviest force on a single head.” –Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. “To inform the minds of the people, and to follow their will, is the chief duty of those placed at their head.” –Thomas Jefferson to C. W. F. Dumas, 1787. “No ground of support for the Executive will ever be so sure as a complete knowledge of their proceedings by the people; and it is only in cases where the public good would be injured, and BECAUSE it would be injured, that proceedings should be secret. In such cases it is the duty of the Executive to sacrifice their personal interest (which would be promoted by publicity) to the public interest.” –Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1793. “On every question the lawyers are about equally divided, and were we to act but in cases where no contrary opinion of a lawyer can be had, we should never act.” –Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1798. “It is not wisdom alone but public confidence in that wisdom which can support an administration.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1824. “Let nothing be spared of either reason or passion to preserve the public confidence entire as the only rock of our safety.” –Thomas Jefferson to Caesar Rodney, 1810.

Judicial Branch

“The dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people and every blessing of society depend so much upon an upright and skillful administration of justice, that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislative and executive and independent upon both, that so it may be a check upon both, as both should be checks upon that.” –Thomas Jefferson to George Wythe, 1776. “The great object of my fear is the Federal Judiciary. That body, like gravity, ever acting with noiseless foot and unalarming advance, gaining ground step by step and holding what it gains, is engulfing insidiously the special governments into the jaws of that which feeds them.” –Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1821. “A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone is a good thing; but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government.” –Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Ritchie, 1820. “It is a misnomer to call a government republican in which a branch of the supreme power is independent of the nation.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Hampden Pleasants, 1821.

We should really thank Thomas Jefferson for his insight and wisdom. He was a man who lived it and you too witness it and must stand before you lose your rights forever. SO YOU SEE, there was never any confusion or illusion that it is or could be possible to create a perfect government.  History is likely to repeat itself without the constitutional chains imposed upon those in government who would attack our inalienable rights.


I’m sure Deasey Mahoney may take the opportunity to belittle my observations and call notice to my many shortcomings but such is their methods of distraction from the truth. They have found it much easier to attack the messenger than to argue the truth of his or her message.

I’ll walk the path life gives me with honesty and pride whether I continue to practice law or not.   When god closes one doorway he always opens another. I hope we can meet on the other side but until then keep the faith.

:-)   :-)   :-)   :-)


Following article written 3/20/2015:  It has been years since I posted an article on my WeTruth site but it is nice to be back…

The County of Berks is run by criminal(s).  This isn’t merely a statement, it is a FACT.  It would be one thing if it was merely a misguided mistake or limited to one individual; however, it very well may be rampant and institutionalized corruption.  More importantly, the corruption isn’t limited to personal gain but it has extended to the violation of the civil rights of the County’s employees by the politicians elected to protect them.  The Solicitor’s Office is literally protecting criminal actions and aiding in the civil rights violations.  The attorneys hired to protect the interests of the public have themselves committed fraud and counseled the politicians to condone it.

YOU and only YOU can do something about it.  If you don’t care then don’t be surprised when you’re the victim of the OUTRAGEOUS behavior of your elected officials and the “Human Resources” Department employees.

Sandra Graffius has committed numerous acts of perjury, violated numerous employees’ civil rights and committed numerous acts of retaliatory conduct.  Graffius has wasted the tax payer money for her own personal agenda and gain.  The Human Resources Department, with the advice of the Solicitor’s Office and permission of the Commissioners, has become the weapon of Graffius to protect her evil and illegal actions.  Christine Sadler, the Assn’t Solicitor, commented that the County of Berks “can’t control” Graffius.  Sadler, herself, has stated that you can’t file a complaint for your employee rights in the County of Berks or they’ll make sure you never work in the County again.

Sadler herself was a victim of what she described as sexual harassment and/or an inappropriate touching by Carl Staples of her breast.  Sadler told Sterner that she was upset with Jennifer Biehn because Biehn doesn’t do a fair investigation.  Sadler then intentionally didn’t pursue her claims and intentionally didn’t ensure Biehn performed future investigations in a fair manner.  In fact, Joanna Baittinger testified that Christine Sadler didn’t tell her that both the HR Department and Sandra Graffius were the accused in a the pending EEOC and PHRC claims of Sterner.  Remember, it was Sadler and Graffius that were providing information and legal advice to Joanna Baittinger for the County.  Christine Sadler should lose her legal license at the very minimum.  When questioned about “conflicts of interest”, “mitigating facts”, and “fair and impartial investigations” Joanna Baittinger either didn’t have a clue or lied through her teeth.  Graffius testified that she thinks a conflict of interest means “serving two masters.”  Graffius has no problem sitting as the judge, jury, and “executioner” in investigations concerning employees who have pending civil rights violation cases pending against her.  Apparently, Graffius’ and Sadler’s oath to protect the laws only means if it concerns their own well being and not the rights of the employees at the County.

Joanna Baittinger testified that there wasn’t any mitigating facts present that she knew of in Scott Sterner’s case that she considered during her investigation; of course, that was before I reminded her of the pending EEOC and PHRC case against her own HR Department and Sandra Graffius, the filed complaint of Raymond Austin against the County’s only witness Judith Lumis, the fact that Shana Simpson was fired for what she labeled as retaliation for being a friend of Scott Sterner when he filed his EEOC and PHRC complaint, that Scott Sterner worked at the County for approximately eight years without any incidents or disciplinary actions, that Scott Sterner’s last employee review was all “Outstanding”, that Graffius shouldn’t be involved with providing facts or evidence as she was the subject of the complaints filed by Sterner, that all the evidence clearly showed it was a joke told by Sterner, that Judith Lumis clearly lied when she described a “conversation” between Sterner and Austin and that Lumis herself was already “counseled” by the HR Department for yelling at people and coming into work late on many occasions.  Regardless, of the abovementioned and regardless that Baittinger admitted she believed that Sterner told Austin about the joke told in the evidence room and that Lumis probably was mistaken about what she heard, Baittinger testified she still believed she did a full and fair investigation and gave all the evidence equal weight when she recommended that Sterner be terminated for threatening Lumis and threatening to shoot a fellow co-worker.

Baittinger’s lack of training is so apparent when you consider she said that she would have wanted to know about all of the above so that when she arrived at her recommendations she could have said she considered the above; presumably, to justify her “tail wagging the dog” investigation.  Oh, lest I forget to give Baittinger credit, she said that she believed her role was to be a neutral third party and to protect Sterner’s and the County’s side equally.  Sure, that must be why they never told Sterner who was making the allegations against him and they never gave Sterner the opportunity to respond to the results of the investigation as required by the HR manual.  Baittinger is a poster-child for what becomes of a once honest person when she is subjected to the corruption and twisted logic of a corporate or governmental institution gone bad, really bad.  I kinda feel sorry for Joanna, she looks physically and emotionally drained but then again it is clear that she chooses to stay at the County of Berks and she also chooses to support the oppression of the victims and the protection of the abusers.   In life you have a choice and Joanna Baittinger at any time could have chosen honesty and filed her own Title VII, PHRA, and UC claims because she was being made to be a part of said violations by threat of termination or that she was forced to resign because she couldn’t be a part of the continuing illegal conduct of Sandra Graffius and the County.

What is absolutely certain is that huge amounts of money are secretly being spent to hide their conduct and it is done by the Commissioners and their legal counsel.  What is equally certain is that the County’s own Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual is unread by its employees and most certainly not complied with.  Joanna Baittinger, from the “HR” department, stated that it is customary that the HR employees do not follow what is mandatorily required by the HR Manual.  The parts not followed are the sections dealing with the investigations into Civil Rights/Employee Rights violations, fair and impartial investigations, the opportunity for an accused to view the evidence against him and be allowed a fair response, and to be judged by someone without a clear Conflict of Interest.

In short, YOU are paying dearly for the illegal and highly unethical conduct of your political officials in the County of Berks; specifically, Sandra Graffius, Mark Scott and the other Commissioners.  Let’s talk about Mark Scott for a second:  He seems like a great guy and his causes seem noteworthy; however, he sleeps with his secretary/administrative assistant and allows her to be the victim of sexual harassment by the HR Department and Ryan Hunter, Director of Facilities Department.  Ryan Hunter, along with Jennifer Biehn, was part of a group of employees at the County that labeled themselves “The Counsel of Awesome.”  The Counsel of Awesome was a group that operated under the watchful eyes of the Commissioners and specific advice was given that they should meet outside of the County so others wouldn’t know of their existence. In fact, neither Jennifer Biehn or Ryan Hunter ever received any discipline for their part in their own harassing and oppressive behavior; notwithstanding the fact that their conduct cannot be tolerated in a civilized society.

The Counsel of Awesome was run in many ways by HR Director Jennifer Biehn, now purportedly an employee of Penske.  Biehn and Hunter, with others “Awesome”, would have meetings and refer to Michele Kercher as “Mother Jugs”.  Kercher being the named Commissioner Scott “underling”.  Not that I can’t seem sympathetic to two people in love but Scott chose to protect the illegal conduct of the HR Department over the rights of ALL employees.  It seems Jennifer Biehn was allowed to investigate the complaint filed by Kercher that Ryan Hunter was calling her “Mother Jugs”; remember, it was Biehn herself that was present on numerous occasions at the Counsel of Awesome when Hunter referred to Kercher that way.  Biehn reported to Kercher that the HR investigation didn’t turn up sufficient evidence to support her claims that Hunter was acting in the manner she complained of.  You guessed it, Kercher filed her own complaint.  OUTRAGEOUS!  Biehn not only didn’t tell Kercher she heard it numerous times, Biehn participated in the investigation, and then Biehn judged the information and determined how the HR department would proceed, or not.  TALK ABOUT A CONFLICT OF INTEREST!!!

As is typical, the violations continued when Sandra Graffius began sending inappropriate and then eventually totally nude photos to her ENTIRE CONTROLLER’S staff.  The nude emails were completely inappropriate and clearly defined by the County’s own Human Resources Department’s Policies and Procedures as an example of inappropriate sexual harassment that would not be  tolerated and must be reported to the Human Resources department.  Both Jennifer Biehn and Joanna Baittinger agreed the emails would be considered sexual harassment.

Scott Sterner, a eight  year employee of the county with ZERO disciplinary violations, the Manager of the Auditing Department, who’s most recent job appraisal was all “OUTSTANDING”, prior to his reporting the emails, was suddenly the victim of Graffius’ and the Human Resources Department’s RETALIATORY CONDUCT.  Next Shana Simpson was fired, then Raymond Austin; both being the two individuals Scott Sterner named as being able to testify to his accusations contained in his EEOC and PHRA complaint against the County and Graffius and/or being subjected to similar forms of retaliation.  Keep in mind Sterner is the most honest person you’ll ever meet; not one traffic ticket or stop, never arrested or accused of anything prior to this litigation.  This is in stark contrast to Graffius who in her own business was found to have violated the employment rights of a disabled employee.  Lest I forget, she has committed numerous acts of perjury/fraud and apparently has no problem helping others do that for her own self interests as well.

NEXT, enter the law…  What has transpired has been Justin Lose threatening Todd Simpson and by nature his wife Shana Simpson, to prevent them from testifying.  Justin Lose, a married man, had an affair with his subordinate Georgia Pauley, a married woman.  THREATENING A FEDERAL WITNESS TO PREVENT THEM FROM TESTIFYING TO THE TRUTH IS CRIMINAL CONDUCT.  Sandra Graffius clearly committed  perjury in the discovery stage of this civil litigation AND HER COUNSEL AND THE COUNSEL FOR THE COUNTY OF BERKS EITHER CONDONED IT OR ACTUALLY COMMITTED FRAUD THEMSELVES!!!  THIS IS CRIMINAL CONDUCT.

My name is Daniel J. Mazaheri, I am the plaintiff’s attorney; albeit, I write this article on behalf of the residents  of the County of Berks.  Most of the allegations and facts I raise in this article won’t be allowed in court because today citizens have limited rights when it comes to the inconvenience of their public servants; however, I owe a duty to be candid with the Court and most importantly, I owe an higher obligation to the PEOPLE, the People being YOU and the Constitution of the United States and Pennsylvania.  IF anything I say is untrue I welcome a LIBEL lawsuit.  Here’s the issue, the TRUTH is an absolute defense for anything negative you say against somebody.  Politicians and speech against them is the type of speech our constitutions protect highly but when I come out against Christine Sadler, the individual employees in the HR Department, Biehn and Baittinger, you can be sure I’m sitting on some sworn testimony that is credible in nature.

Let’s talk about why YOU should be concerned if you are an employee at the County of Berks:  Scott Sterner, who didn’t have many dealings with the HR staff in the years he worked at the County thought that they would keep his name confidential and protect his and his staff member’s rights when he reported the clearly inappropriate nude emails.  Instead, Jennifer Biehn immediately told Sandra Graffius it was Sterner who reported the sexually inappropriate emails.  Biehn also told Graffius what to say and when to say it after that and during her involvement with the “investigation”.  Of course Graffius admitted the emails, gave Sterner an apology, said she was “HAPPY” he reported her to the HR Department, and then took his office away and began a long chain of retaliation ending with not only his termination but the termination of his two closest friends.  Sure at that meeting it was said Graffius wouldn’t fire Sterner but the proof is in the pudding.  How would you feel after filing an HR complaint about sexual harassment if the next meetings your boss, the accused, stands up and says she’s “happy” you filed it and she wasn’t going to fire you…?

WHY didn’t anybody else report Graffius’ conduct?  I guess you can see why when you consider that everybody that stands up for their own rights, unless they are “under” a Commissioner, or the victim of Gary Henderson, gets fired.  WHAT?  Yes, there are MANY people who filed EEOC and PHRA complaints against the County and I bet you probably didn’t know that.  Yes, the guilty have been allowed to continue along with their lives and nobody in the County tells the public the full story.  Ask yourself, why don’t they tell you how much money they pay to settle these types of cases and against whom were the accusations made?  IT IS CLEARLY THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT THEIR TAXES ARE BEING USED FOR!

Most importantly, the County has not filed “Abuse of Authority” claims against Graffius, they have not fired Baittinger or the rest of the HR employees, Sadler remains gainfully a public employee, Kercher and Scott seem happy to protect only Kercher’s rights, Lose is still loose, Graffius’ employees still remain under her umbrella of fear,  and the attorneys for the County still violate their duty to the taxpayers and court.  Basically, the fox is in charge of the henhouse in Berks.

Scott N. Sterner, Sr.  v.  The County of Berks, Pennsylvania is a trial that will take place over the next week, March 24 -27, 2015.  The trial will be in Philadelphia before the Honorable Magistrate Judge Rice.  The federal courthouse is on 601 Market Street in Philadelphia and YOU are ALLOWED to come and witness how this type of behavior has been allowed to fester, grow, and continue at the County of Berks.

Things you will hear:  Judith Lumis is the County’s only witness to the allegations against Sterner; namely, the County has stated that Mr. Sterner said he was going to shoot a fellow employee, smuggle a gun in, steal a gun of a  detective, shoot a prisoner, make threats against Judith Lumis, threaten his coworkers on another occasion.  HERE’s THE PROBLEM WITH ALL OF THAT:  Judith Lumis testified under oath many times that she “WAS NEVER AFRAID OF SCOTT STERNER, SHE DIDN’T REALLY HEAR THE CONVERSATION, HE LIKELY COULD HAVE BEEN TELLING SOMEONE OF A JOKE TOLD EARLIER, AND THAT SCOTT STERNER IS A NICE GUY.”

Here’s the story:  After Sterner filed two HR Complaints and not being satisfied with the HR Department at the County and still being the subject of Graffius’ retaliatory conduct, Sterner filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Act (“Title VII”) and Pennsylvania Human Relations Act civil complaint with the EEOC and PHRC.  The “Title VII” and PHRA complaint basically said he believed he was the subject of sexual harassment and that he was retaliated against after he made his two initial HR Complaints.  Following Sterner’s original EEOC and PHRC complaints, on or about the day Graffius received them, Shana Simpson was fired; Graffius making the comment to Commissioner Scott that Shana Simpson and Sterner were conspiring against her.  Shana Simpson filed her own EEOC and PHRC complaint against the County, she was paid $40,000.00 of YOUR taxpayer money to drop the suit:  Shana was already planning on leaving the County and quite likely would have left within a month or two.  Within the County’s agreement with Simpson were terms that Simpson wouldn’t talk about the suit and she wouldn’t say anything bad about the County or Graffius.  Basically, the County Commissioners and Graffius were using taxpayer money to protect themselves and the HR Department from scrutiny.  Unfortunately for the County, Shana Simpson shared her complaint with Sterner before she filed it and a first proposed settlement agreement prior to signing it was also shared.  When it became apparent that the Simpsons couldn’t be prevented from testifying by Shana’s settlement agreement it is believed the County resorted to witness intimidation through Justin Lose.

Here is how it is believed Justin Lose threatened the Simpsons:  Lose, a married man, was terrified that the fact that he had a sexual affair with Georgia Pauley, a married woman, would ruin his marriage.  Lose, not wanting anything about his affair to be disclosed threatened Todd Simpson that if he testified that Justin would cause Todd Simpson to lose his “security clearances.”   It seems Lose’s wife’s uncle works at the County and he’s afraid if the information is spoken about that the Uncle will tell his wife.  OOPS, cats out of the bag on that one…  Todd Simpson worked as an IT employee for the Department of Justice and he required top secret clearances because he likely handled numerous points of access to secret governmental computer data bases.  There is no doubt that threats of this nature are considered criminal acts.

Following Justin Lose’s threats the Simpsons spoke with Scott Sterner and Raymond Austin and Shana Simpson told them that she would recant her prior sworn testimony and commit perjury in court if she was called as a witness and she would do it to save her husband’s job.  Both Shana and Todd Simpson somehow believe Justin Lose has something against Todd Simpson that if discovered would lead to Simpson losing his security clearances.  Hmm?  What would cause the Simpsons to react so insanely protective?  What can’t be denied is that the Simpsons threatened to commit criminal acts of perjury and support witness intimidation solely because they didn’t want to come into court and be required to tell the TRUTH!!!

How about the TRUTH?  What does it mean to you?  Would it surprise you to know that Judith Lumis has psychological issues, in her mind she believes Scott Sterner has mental control over people?  Yes, she’ not afraid of Scott Sterner but believes he can control the mind and behavior of Raymond Austin by simply saying the word “gun”.  I couldn’t make this stuff up, Judith Lumis testified several times that she knows Raymond Austin never said a word but she was afraid of him anyway because when Scott Sterner spoke with Ray and told him about the joke that Ray laughed.  JOKE?  What’s the joke?  All witnesses, even the HR Department at the County agree that Sterner told a joke in the District Attorney Evidence locker room with a Detective from the DA’s office, here it is:

It begins when Jack Frie, a known by all to be jokester, is ribbing his coworkers:

Sterner turns to the two detectives and says:  “Would one of you two please shoot him and put us out of our misery”

The Detective responds:  “I would but they only give me one bullet for my gun and I keep it in my pocket”

Sterner or Detective says:  “Like Barney Fife”     Then they both laugh.  THAT’s IT!

All witnesses in the locker room testify that it was a joke, they didn’t hear it but if they did they would have thought it was a joke, it was a jovial atmosphere and that type of kidding was commonplace, and Jack Frie said he didn’t hear it but if he did then he would have thought it was a joke and that he deserved it.


Problem is that when Scott Sterner told Raymond Austin about the joke Ray didn’t say anything except laugh.  Sterner went back to his own office and somehow Judith Lumis heard a “few” words of the joke.  Lumis testified she heard only a few words and the word “gun” made her sit up and take notice, that she wasn’t afraid of Sterner, but she never heard the beginning of the joke, the end of the joke, and that Austin never spoke; of course, Lumis testified that caused her to have fear of Austin.  I’d say if that wasn’t crazy enough, if it wasn’t so outrageous, what happens next is worse:

The County of Berks’ argument is that Sterner threatened Lumis even though he never spoke to her, he didn’t know she was there, even though she was never afraid of him but was afraid of Austin, even though everybody agrees Sterner was telling Austin of the joke, even though Austin recently filed a HR Complaint against Lumis because she doesn’t do her work, even though Sterner had a pending EEOC and PHRC complaint against Sandra Graffius and the HR Department, and even though Joanna Baittinger of HR was never told of the above complaints when she investigated the claims.

Let’s talk “Conflict of Interest”:  Sandra Graffius is the person who decided the credibility of the witnesses and she came to the conclusion that Scott Sterner threatened to smuggle a gun into work, shoot a coworker, take a gun, threaten Lumis, etc.  The allegations against Sterner then really went nuts:  The County swore that Sterner threatened to shoot a prisoner when everybody agrees that there never was a prisoner; SWORE IN A COURT DOCUMENT to a fact they knew was clearly false.

It is very important to point out that the County continued to create even more outrageous lies subsequent Sterner’s termination.  When I said the County said Sterner threatened to shoot a prisoner it is really the case that they, in a sworn document, testified that it was undeniable that Sterner made threats to shoot a prisoner to the distress of the witnesses present.  The County has never withdrawn that statement; however, their attorney in this litigation stated it is obvious that that statement was incorrect and that there clearly wasn’t any prisoner at any time.  That’s pretty much the story with the County of Berks and its legal representatives, they’ll freely admit to their lies once caught but refuse to withdraw the lies prior to being caught.

It gets worse when you consider all the lies and money spent to protect the guilty and oppress the victims’ rights.  If you think this type of conduct is unique and you’ll never have to face that type of outrageous conduct then keep drinking what they’re pouring for you.

Burke was right in some aspects when he said that “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph was for good men to do nothing”; he wasn’t right if you consider evil has become commonplace and institutionalized because good men and good women have become so victimized by governmental domination and the pressures of providing for the survival of their families that they are afraid to speak up.  Who in their right mind would believe they should sacrifice their children’s futures just to protect the rights provided by the Constitutions of the United States and Pennsylvania if they will be targeted, face retaliation from taxpayer funded sources, and be re-victimized over and over again.

If you can’t see what’s happening then shame on you.  The fact is the new norm in this country is that a criminal act isn’t criminal if nobody chooses to prosecute it and civil rights don’t exist unless you can eventually win a civil suit over a governmental unit with unlimited funds that they could care less about spending.  Finally, to make matters worse, the PHRC and EEOC were initially created to dissuade this type of governmental abuses and employer abuses because it was thought that they could “equalize” the playing field; however, the reality is that they take so few cases that it is so unlikely for them to take a case that their presence is itself a joke.

The Truth has one version, lies change when the liar is caught.  In this case every witness for the County of Berks has told at least one lie that cannot be confused with the truth.

REGARDLESS, Counsel for the County believes justice is best served by protecting the criminals who the taxpayers pay to protect their civil rights and guard their money.  Numerous outright lies were told under oath by Sandra Graffius, that is a fact.  Numerous lies were told by Judith Lumis, that is a fact.  Numerous lies were told by the Attorneys for the County of Berks, that is a fact.  Nothing Scott Sterner testified to has been disputed by any credible witness of the County and yet we’re still going to trial this week.

If for no other reason, come to the trial and see how you can expect to be treated, see how your taxpayer money is being spent, see how your politicians are protected with your money so they can abuse their authority and create more victims.

As far as settlement, even though the Court gave absolute instructions for a good faith effort and even though the Plaintiff has given numerous reducing demands, the County of Berks has NEVER given an offer or counter-offer.  The only offer made by the County was that their “Insurance Company” won’t allow an offer that wouldn’t be insulting to the Plaintiff and so they just won’t make an offer.  Moreover, the County’s sitting on a hundred plus million of excess public monies and yet they blamed their insurance provider for not allowing them to settle this case.  Keep in mind that in the beginning it wouldn’t have cost them anything except an apology and returning Sterner to his job with the minimal amount of salary he missed.  Now, subsequent Sterner spending much of his retirement account for legal fees and costs, the County paying their insurance provider $100K in deductibles, and Simpson $40K the County wants us to believe they would settle if it wasn’t up to their insurance provider.  Lies, lies, and more lies; it seems like honesty, integrity, and humility do not exist within the present hierarchy that runs the County of Berks.

What can you do?  It seems like there is an election coming up, if I were you I’d make sure people like Graffius get voted out of office.  As for the rest of them, start filing freedom of information requests and you’ll quickly see that your politicians don’t want to be inconvenienced by your desire to know the TRUTH!

As a note:  I’m not a journalist, if anything is spelled incorrectly or grammatically incorrect then forgive me.  Ask yourself why I have to tell you of these allegations when the Reading Eagle has been sitting on them for years.  Another fact:  Mary Young and Graffius are friends.

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  • PamYoung said:

    My son was ‘injured’ by the lack of justice in Berks County. Hoping you find REAL justice!!! Am pulling for you!!! Good luck!!!

  • Cynthia Austin said:

    If you are outraged by the information in the above post, here’s what you can do about it. Vote Sandy Graffius out of office in the election in November. She has been running unopposed in previous elections because of her money and political power intimidating any possible opposition. She basically believes that she can stay in office until she dies. Well, we can change that. She will have a qualified opponent running against her in November. He is a CPA with over 10 years of governmental accounting experience and working on a master’s degree. He knows what audits and financial statements are, unlike Sandy. His name is Raymond Austin–yes, the same man that was fired by Sandy for trying to do his job according to the highest accounting standards. Please come out to vote this November. Even if you are a conservative Republican, cross over to vote Democrat for County Controller and save your hard earned taxpayer dollars.

  • Sachs said:

    Wow!!!! What a mess the city is in. We need to do a better job of who we hire into these offices.

  • Arthur Hahn said:

    Corruption an collusion in Berks courts at its best Jeff sprecker smith law group James smith David crosset have commited crimes by creating false documents to steal money ignored all evidence an even changed evidence when reporting to suppior court a judge that brings his
    His mother to court every day has issues when he also totally ignores the laws of our states an country in many of his rulings is wrong I will sit with any one an go over my case because I have reached out to many facets of our government but fear or trying to keep corrupt Berks county elected officials stick together !!! Thank you for your reading this sincerely art hahn

  • Antoinette Lachina said:

    This is very well written. I just hope these allegations are actually investigated so the row officers all get investigated.
    With all of this information I’m spruced nothing is written regarding Troutman. 24 years in office rarely shows up to work and forces politics in the clerk of courts office by forcing them to sign petitionS for other members of politics.
    And nothing regarding the notorious Warden Wagner who stepped down suddenly. Maybe you should investigate that as well. Plenty of info out there.

  • Hilary Notario said:

    I was a victim in 2007, fired after 20 years of service and outstanding reviews. When I refused to sign paperwork with bogus allegations given to me by HR department (so I could “move on” with their blessing), the fun started. They denied my unemployment benefits, but I stood my ground, and the day before my unemployment benefits hearing, the County backed off. I too filed a claim with the EEOC and PHRC but was told the County did nothing wrong. Trying to find a lawyer in Berks to represent you against the County of Berks was another hurdle. As time passed, I decided to move on and put my energy towards something positive. At one point however, I interviewed with the BCIU for a position similar to the one I held with the County. I was given a start date, shown my office and a few days later was told I was over qualified.
    I am glad to see that you have stood your ground and continue to represent Mr. Sterner. Best of luck to you both and here’s to saving Berks County.

    Hilary Notario

  • Kerry Hummel said:

    You bring a smile to my face. The corruption goes from the top down to the little minion Sheriff.
    This should go right to the AG of Pennsylvania. All three Commissioners have to go along with all the county officers . I only wonder for the Commissioners to sit idle what do other officers know about the Commissioners what do they have on them? Maybe all should be sent to jail. Please get the Attorney General involved that would be the only way this corruption can be cleaned up and the bastards out of office. I think this would give our new Governor a chance to show his muscles. I hate all the County Officers there as dirty as they get. Let me tell you if you print out a thousand of these I will stand in front of the court house and give them out to everyone who walks by. You have my email.

  • Kathy Landrigan said:

    Unbelievable. There should be a DOJ investigation. Oh, wait, they’re more crooked yet. Why aren’t these people out on the street with total loss of all benefits?

  • Kevin Sterner said:

    They make Frank Underwood on “House of Cards” look like a true saint! It’s time to clean house in Berks County. I hope the voters make their voice heard in the upcoming election and get rid of the liars and cheaters. Unfortunately the corruption in the legal/court system is harder to deal with, but you need to start somewhere. Scott, here’s hoping they rule in your favor and start to set the record straight.

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