Demolition contractor Griffin Campbell, who was found guilty of manslaughter for his role in the deadly 2013 Center City building collapse, plans to file another motion asking to be acquitted of all charges.
Campbell’s lawyer, Bill Hobson, has argued that “selective racial prosecution” tainted the Philadelphia district attorney’s grand jury investigation into the building collapse.
Hobson accused Assistant District Attorney Frank Fina, one of three prosecutors under fire for exchanging sexually explicit and racially offensive emails as part of the ongoing ‘porngate’ scandal, of unfairly targeting African-Americans.
Hobson said Fina supervised the grand jury investigation that only prosecuted two African-Americans – Campbell and excavator operator Sean Benschop.
“The DA didn’t have the balls, for lack of a better phrase, to go after the white guys in suits with the money. And he could have. He didn’t want to risk losing a conviction,” said Hobson.
Richard Basciano, the building’s owner, was never criminally charged.
Architect Plato Marinakos was granted immunity for testifying during the grand jury and Campbell’s trial.
Cameron Kline, a spokesman for District Attorney Seth Williams, said the office wouldn’t comment until Hobson files his motion. That will happen after Campbell and Benschop are sentenced on Jan. 8.
Hobson filed a similar motion last week. A Philadelphia judge denied it, saying it should have been filed before the start of Campbell’s murder trial.
The news comes as civil litigators prepare for a lengthy trial expected to start in September.