PDQ Demands Answers from Sheriff/Controller Regarding Sheriff Sale Listings

Want to see the docs that back up this story?   Click here for Josh Kruger’s investigation into this Sheriff’s Office contract.

When Sheriff and City Controller workers arrive in their offices on Monday, greeting them will be a Pennsylvania Right To Know Law request seeking answers as to how much money they have been paying last year for ads run in the family of newspapers connected to Liberty City Press, including the Philadelphia Gay News.

Activist/blogger Josh Kruger  has published excerpts from a series of documents in his investigation of the contract.

Why should you even give a shit about this?

Go look at the Sheriff’s own website.  Specifically, here.   This is what Jewell Williams says is the place to look for Sheriff’s sales:

How do I learn which properties are to be sold?

The properties which are certified to be sold at Sheriff’s Sale are advertised in the Legal Intelligencer and on a rotating basis in the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Tribune for three successive weeks each month preceding the sale.  You can also view a list of properties to be sold at Sheriff’s Sale online here.

Do you see a mention of PGN as the place to go to get Sheriff notices?   I don’t either.   This isn’t a new contract, either.  It’s longstanding.  PGN has published this information for years and years.

In a letter dated March 30th signed by Mark Segal, publisher of PGN letting the Sheriff know that PGN and several other ethnic periodicals have been combined under a new umbrella called The Philadelphia Multicultural Media Network and the Sheriff’s Office will be receiving consolidated invoices for payment for all of the newspapers living under the PMMN umbrella.

One of the papers in the PMMN umbrella is run by Ken Smukler, who is best known for being a political operative.  He used to work for none other than currently-in-Federal-PMITA-prison, Vincent J. Fumo.

Gee, is it any shock to any of us that a “political operative” is part of a network of ethnic-centric newspapers standing at the ready to sing the praises of local politicians seeking election?  On top of that, it’s getting help in the form of an undisclosed contract from the Sheriff’s Office to reprint notices that the Sheriff’s Office won’t even quote as an official source to go get the information?  Thought so.

I can’t wait to see the response from this Right to Know Request.   My bet is the Sheriff will take the full 30-days to craft some sort of ludicrous reason why it can’t cough up how much money it’s paying to publish legal notices which it won’t disclose on its own website that it does.


Update:  The wrong pull quote from the Sheriff’s website was used in this story and has been fixed as well as the language pertaining to the ownership structure of PGN (which is not immediately clear how the parent/child relationship of entities exists over PGN, although from Josh’s own documents, Ken Smuckler is nevertheless very involved in how Sheriff’s sale content winds up in PMMN-papers).

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