As the chief prosecuting attorney, the Bucks County District Attorney inadvertently gets put in the hot seat quite often. The recent issue of the “Shaken Citizen” by an Upper Makefield Supervisor is a case in point.
It turns out the District Attorney knew the parents and therefore most likely was favorably disposed towards the defendant Supervisor Dan Rattigan and therefore disposed against private citizen Guy Poblemus’ complaint against the friend of the DA.
The DA should have recused himself because of the appearance of impropriety.
Maybe the DA made the right call but,…. the close acquaintance overhanging his actions tends to appear to cloud his ability to make an objective decision … in this case.
People can make mistakes. There are innocent mistakes and mistakes of judgment but for public officials whose decisions affect the lives of innocent people the need to have clean hands can be more important than the judgment itself.
A correct judgment is a judgment nevertheless and because people can make mistakes and what’s more they can lie, the facts surrounding a judgment must be objective and without bias. Almost as important, they must appear to be unbiased in the case of Law Enforcement and Prosecution.
In this case because of the history of the players the DA should have recused himself.
The seriousness of what could be unconstitutional activity might require this matter be litigated in Federal Court where a Constitutional Question of the possible Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection idea would be front and center.