Thomas Vitanza’s recent letter challenged us to go back and re-read Joe McBride’s letter about Family Court filings, and the County Court Judge’s calendar. Mr. McBride’s letter explained that Family Court filings use the number of children involved as a multiplier; therefore, a single Family Court case can generate a multitude of filings once the volley of custody, visitation, support, and their cross petitions begins. It was clear to us that advertising the number of Family Court filings in an attorney’s column is akin to referencing one’s total of Facebook friends. It is not untrue, by any means, but it is not the most meaningful statistic. Concerning the County Court Judge’s workload, Mr. McBride stated that over 50% of the Judge’s calendar is dedicated to Criminal Court matters. This is not the same as Mr. Vitanza’s assertion that Mr. McBride claimed “that criminal cases take up the majority of the County Court Judge’s workload.” This is not merely a semantic distinction. It means that the County Court Judge must be prepared to deal with criminal court cases. Over the past week’s worth of Evening Sun editions, there are a large number of examples illustrating this point.
Mr. Vitanza made reference to the time consumed by convicting Peter Wlasiuk three times. Trials take time. Convicted murderers regularly file appeals. The entire appeals process exists to protect the convicted. Whether we like it or not, this is our system.
This campaign has stirred a great deal of interest and emotion. Obviously a successful District Attorney with a high conviction rate will bring out the ‘sour grapes’ in a fair number of people. We wonder if the use of language like “major con game” and “distort the truth” in reference to Joe McBride, as well as unsubstantiated claims of “arrogance, bullying or disdain for litigants” by Mr. Vitanza come from that emotion. We were unable to find any positive words of support for anyone in Mr. Vitanza’s letter, although it seemed clear that he has a vested interest in attacking Joe McBride.
Susan and Blake Marson