At the annual conference of SNAP last July in Chicago, one individual whom the group proudly celebrated was Philadelphia Assistant D.A. Mark Cipolletti, a leading prosecutor in the current clergy abuse trial.
It is no surprise that the anti-Catholic group welcomed the lawyer, as he already had an established record of animus against the Church. During a pretrial conference just last year in the trial of Msgr. William Lynn, Cipolletti actually asserted that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had been "supplying [an accused ex-priest] with an endless amount of victims."
That's right. Cipolletti actually accused the Catholic Church of "supplying" abusive priests with victims, as if the Archdiocese wished to harm the children in its care. It was the truly unhinged thinking of an overheated prosecutor.
Now, only a year later, Cipolletti is trying to convince a jury that the wild claims of a 24-year-old criminal and admitted heroin addict that three different men – priest Fr. Charles Engelhardt, former priest Edward Avery, and former school teacher Bernard Shero – sexually assaulted him in the late 1990s are true.
Show me the money: Who paid for Cipolletti's trip to hang with SNAP?
TheMediaReport.com has sought to find out who funded Cipolletti's soirée with SNAP in Chicago, so in accordance with Pennsylvania law, we filed an "Open Records Law" request in October with the Philadelphia D.A.'s Office ("DAO"). We sought to find out who paid for Cipolletti's airfare, hotel, ground transportation, beverages, and meals for his Chicago trip.
[Click to read a copy of our request to the Philadelphia D.A.'s Office]
Curiously, the Philadelphia DAO responded by vaguely claiming that "the Office has no records responsive" to our request.
[Click to read the response from the Philadelphia DAO]
Hmmm. It was an interesting reply, indeed. Such a response leaves three scenarios:
1. SNAP itself (or a wealthy supporter) paid for Cipolletti's trip.
2. Cipolletti is so zealous that he paid for the trip himself.
3. The Philadelphia DAO is playing word games with our request.
As the Philadelphia DAO has endlessly badgered the Catholic Church about "transparency," the time has come for it to come clean itself about its arrangements between a member of its own office and SNAP.