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Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office defends Twitter subpoena

Friday, May 21st, 2010

An assistant Pennsylvania attorney general is defending the subpoena his office sent to Twitter, saying the information requested was relevant to sentencing someone in the “Bonusgate” scandal.

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.

“The reasons for the subpoena were legal reasons that were allowed by law, and had nothing to do with blogs or tweets that were critical of people. We have no interest in that whatsoever.”

Cott’s lawyer, Brian Walk, says there’s no evidence connecting Cott to CasablancaPA.

Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis said in court that the site wasn’t a factor in his sentencing decision.

The subpoena was made public hours after Corbett won the Republican gubernatorial nomination. His opponent, Democratic Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, says Corbett is “trying to bully [critics] into silence.”

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