Corbett’s office defends Twitter subpoena

An assistant attorney general is defending the subpoena his office sent to Twitter, saying the information requested was relevant to Brett Cott’s sentencing.

According to the Office of the Attorney General, the person behind the anti-Tom Corbett blog CasablancaPA isn’t an innocent observer. A sentencing memorandum claims Brett Cott, who will serve up to five years in prison for his role in the Bonusgate scheme, has used the site “to deflect blame and deny responsibility for his criminal conduct.”  Deputy Attorney General Marc Costanzo said the subpoena was intended to tie Cott to the website and related Twitter feed.

Costanzo insisted he and other prosecutors don’t care about online criticism, but later in his press conference, he spent two minutes blasting CasablancaPA.

Cott’s lawyer, Bryan Walk, says there’s no evidence connecting Cott to the site.

Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis said Cott’s possible CasablancaPA connection wasn’t a factor in his sentencing decision.

The subpoena was made public hours after Corbett won the Republican gubernatorial nomination. His opponent, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, says Corbett is “trying to bully [critics] into silence.” The ACLU of Pennsylvania is also opposing the Twitter subpoena, arguing, “it’s a prized American right to criticize government officials, and to do so anonymously.”

About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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