One of the downsides of having elected district attorneys are the politicization of the legal system. This is what we have clearly seen in Chester County over the past two years.
In hopes to win election in 2019, former Chester County district attorney, Tom Hogan opted to launch a criminal investigation of the Mariner East pipeline developer. The thinking, opposition to the Mariner East pipeline had been continuous due to a few very vocal anti-pipeline activists. As a Republican, maybe this would help propel him to reelection in blue-trending Chester County.
Hogan dropped out of the race a few months later, leaving his protégé, Michael Noone, as the sacrificial lamb in the approaching election.
All that came of Hogan’s political investigation were charges against a few individuals for providing security of Mariner East construction sites. Ryan’s office brought forward the charges, but all charges related to that matter have since been thrown out by a judge due to their flimsy legal standing.
Yesterday, Ryan’s office announced they had reached an agreement with the pipeline developer to not “violate their permits or cut corners, or violate environmental statues,” according to a special prosecutor with the Chester County DAO.
What the DAO doesn’t seem to realize is that the pipeline developer has not done that, nor do they intend to violate their permits. Their goal is to finish the project and get the pipeline into operation, which will provide countless benefits to Pennsylvania and its residents.
To-date, the pipeline developer has yet to lose a lawsuit, but that hasn’t seemed to stop a number litigious, anti-progress organizations and individuals from filing more attempting to delay the project.
To survive politically, current Chester County DA, Deb Ryan must appease the fringes of her party like State Representative Danielle Friel Otten, for political survival. Even when things change, they stay the same.