Worthwhile news over the long holiday weekend was the decision by Chester County common pleas court Judge Jeffrey to dismiss all charges against James Murphy, a Harrisburg resident charged in connection to an alleged ‘buy a badge’ scheme concerning the Mariner East pipeline system, reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer and others.
The charges were originally filed in December 2019 by former Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan against Murphy and six others. Hogan alleged that a bribery scheme was organized by Energy Transfer, Murphy, and Pennsylvania constables to illegally provide security to the pipeline project.
In reality, Hogan was looking for a hot political issue to stake his political reputation on before a tough reelection campaign. He chose private security of a large-scale infrastructure project as the issue. Needless to say, he chose to drop out of the race well before election-day.
A number of individual’s lives and professional reputations were unfortunately harmed negatively by Hogan’s political endeavors. And while the courts have slowly begun to correctly dismiss the charges, one-by-one, we hope that the continued politicization and reckless legal maneuvers by pipeline opponents will abate.