Cozen bites back

    Steve Cozen was not amused by Monday’s blog post about his firm’s legal tussle with the city Board of Ethics.

    I won’t go over all the particulars, which involve an unpaid legal bill for the Cozen O’Connor firm’s representation of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady’s 2007 mayoral campaign. You can read the details here, but the basic problem is that it’s hard for Brady to pay the bill with the city’s campaign contribution limits in effect, and the campaign can’t simply forgive the debt because that would put the firm in the position of making an excess in-kind contribution.

    The Cozen firm won a ruling against the Ethics Board from the State Supreme Court last week, and board executive director Shane Creamer said the case was “about money, power and influence.”

    Steve Cozen, the firm’s chairman called me to say Creamer’s comment was “disgraceful” and that he “should be ashamed of himself to make (such) a statement.”

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    “This is sore loser stuff that doesn’t raise the credibility of the Board of Ethics,” Cozen told me. “They should be above that kind of comment, and I think he should apologize.”

    Creamer isn’t apologizing for his “money, power and influence” comment.

    “He’d better get used to hearing it,” Creamer said. “That’s what this case is about and that’s how we’re going to proceed with the defense of this matter.”

    There’s more litigation ahead, and this should be interesting to watch.

    In the less-than-exciting mayor’s race, the Inquirer’s Miriam Hill reports that Philadelphia Republican leaders are courting attorney Joe Gembala as a potential candidate for mayor.

    And the Daily News’ Chris Brennan says protest candidate Queena Bass, who was on the Democratic primary ballot four years ago, now plans to run a write-in campaign.

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