Monday, December 15

Eckel Now Defending Honor of Louis A. DeNaples

In a previous post, I noted Keith Eckel's dubious ties to suspected mobster Louis A. DeNaples.  Now Eckel goes on the record, stating his three decade relationship with the North East PA businessman.

DeNaples wronged

However, I am not surprised that the newspaper’s editorial staff and publishers would not understand that increased operating costs to any business must ultimately be passed on to consumers if that business is to be financially sustainable.

After all, the newspaper has endorsed polticial candidates for decades who have no concept of fiscal responsibility. Please look at the financial condition of Scranton, if you need verification.

My family and I have known the DeNaples family for three generations, even when Patrick DeNaples, Louis’ father, struggled to feed his family.

Louis and his family have and continue to work long, hard hours to achieve and maintain success. Most importantly, they have shared that success with our community. You need only to look at their commitment to Scranton Prep, the University of Scranton, Allied Services, the Scranton School for Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Children and the Diocese of Scranton, to name a few.

Perhaps even more telling is the generosity of Louis and his wife, Betty, to countless thousands who remain nameless.

My family has been one of those beneficiaries. When my mother became ill in her 90s, Betty brought soup, a warm visit and delicious pasta to our home many times. When our barn burned in 1982, Louis was there the next day with equipment and encouragement to rebuild the barn and continue our dairy operation.

Recently, when our Methodist church embarked on building a new church, Louis and his family became key supporters without desire for recognition.

Fiendish is a preposterous description of Mr. DeNaples. Caring, hardworking, entrepreneurial and philanthropic describes my friend, Louis DeNaples.



  1. Replies
    1. Eckel's letter to the editor was published on Sunday, December 14th.

  2. WOW! Great find Ray. I can't believe Eckel is so stupid as to write that letter......then again, maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

    Holy Cow! What an idiot.

    Thanks Ray

    1. I don't think Eckel is stupid or an idiot, but his letter shows he has highly questionable judgment to make public his other associations and dealings with DeNaples. As I reported earlier, Eckel sits on the loan committee of the First National Community Bank Corporation with DeNaples.

  3. Ray,
    Oh what a web we weave. Former Supervisory Grand Jury Judge Barry Feudale authorized a Special Prosecutor in early 2013 to investigate leaks from the Sandusky and DeNaples Grand Juries. Frank Fina was one of the lead prosecutors in the Sandusky prosecution. Feudale named two former coworkers of Fina to investigate the leaks. The report was never publicized. Grand Jury secrecy prevailed and Fina was a beneficiary.

    As Fina prosecuted Sandusky, he ignored the obvious involvement of The Second Mile in the case. Instead, he directed the prosecution to PSU administrators. During the Sandusky investigation, then Attorney General Tom Corbett collected campaign contributions from those closely associated with TSM. Their contributions helped elect Corbett to one-term as Governor.

    It will take the new Governor and the Republican led state Legislature to correct the impropriety of the PSU BOT.

    1. Elroy,
      It is interesting that the same supervisory grand jury judge sat over the DeNaples and Sandusky case. I suspect that Feudale may be behind some of the leaks in the Sandusky case, as some information was reported in a newspaper near his residence that no one else reported -- and it was non-public information.

      I reported this information to James Barker in the AG's office, but Barker would not reveal whether or not the two grand jury investigations were still in progress or not.

  4. I just made the comment below on the newspaper's site, in response to Mr Eckel's LTE.

    "Mr Eckel,

    It was a PROJECT described as fiendish, not Mr Burns. Likewise, it's this project of Mr DeNaples that could be viewed as fiendish. The argument you make on behalf of the DeNaples family in no way addresses the issues raised by the reporter, who presents a lengthy and detailed argument against a particular project. If you have points to make on behalf of the project being discussed, please share those with the affected communities.

    Again, your LTE regarding the character of the DeNaples family does not address the seemingly valid points discussed by the reporter."

    1. Becky,
      The garbage hauling/waste management industry is generally run by organized crime.

      DId you know that Tom Corbett once served as the general counsel for Waste Management?

      Corbett began his career as an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in 1976. Corbett then joined the U.S. Department of Justice as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, serving from 1980 to 1983, upon entering private practice. In 1988 Corbett was first elected to public office as a Commissioner in the Pittsburgh suburb of Shaler, before serving as the United States Attorney for Western Pennsylvania from 1989 to 1993 in the George H.W. Bush administration. In 1995, after the resignation of Ernie Preate, Corbett was appointed to fill the remainder of Preate's term as Attorney General of Pennsylvania, until 1997. Corbett then reentered private practice and worked as the general counsel for Waste Management, Inc before being elected Attorney General of Pennsylvania in 2004. Corbett was then elected to a second term in 2008, serving a total of two non-consecutive tenures as Attorney General from 1995 to 1997, and 2005 to 2011.

      And replacing Preate is an interesting story too....

      He was elected Attorney General of Pennsylvania in 1988, taking Office in 1989. He was re-elected in 1992, but resigned that position in 1995 after being charged with federal racketeering and corruption. He pled guilty to mail fraud involving a $20,000.00 campaign contribution[6] and served a year in Federal prison. [3][7][8] He was succeeded as Attorney General by Tom Corbett, who later went on the become Governor of Pennsylvania.

    2. OMG. Corbett as PA Attorney Gen for two years, then Waste Mngt attorney gen for seven years, then PA Attorney General for seven years, then PA governor????

      Implications are blowing my brain. And this isn't even Texas.

  5. Keith Eckel's letter defending billionaire, Louis A. DeNaples, seems the height of hypocrisy given that Eckel never defended Penn State or Penn State officials.

    The newspaper article accused DeNaples of being greedy and raising the trash tipping fee for the near-bankrupt city of Scranton by $20,000 per year. So much for Eckel's claim that DeNaples is such a philanthropist for the community of Scranton.

    DeNaples previously pleaded no contest to defrauding the government out of over half a million dollars, was charged with 4 counts of perjury and has mob ties. He got the perjury charges dropped by agreeing to turn over control of his casino to a family member. More recently, the Federal Reserve System ordered him to resign as bank chairman and divest himself of his controlling interest in the bank.

    Seems like Keith Eckel likes to ignore inconvenient facts as he has done repeatedly in the Sandusky scandal.

    1. DeNaples does have quite a history. He was charged with perjury for denying his connections to organized crime. The fact that he cut a deal rather than go to trial over perjury pretty much seals the deal.

      DeNaples was reinstated to serve on the bank board -- with Eckel.

      Eckel seems to be one of many BOT members who doesn't seem to care about his associations.

      Recall the Corbett placed former Second Mile board member Cliff Benson to the BOT and also appointed Todd Rucci.

      Rucci served as ED of the PA Lottery and, even more interesting, was with Susquehanna Bank, which had ties to Second Mile.

  6. Unfortunately, this letter to the editor from Keith Eckel is simply a rationalization of his association with a mob figure. Almost anyone that has achieved their power and made their money in unethical and immoral business dealings knows that it is good PR to be a financial contributor to the good, clean things in society. It's like insurance for these bad guys: Donate to charities with money made in child sex trafficking; attend church and be a big "tither" there with money made from child prostitution and extortion; start up a legitimate business with the same ill-gotten money, and so on. My point is, the good doesn't negate the bad if it is funded with money made from exploiting and hurting people, especially children.

    And Eckel's letter could also be seen as a flaunting of his association with this mob figure. A sort of, "yes, he's my friend, and what are you going to do about it?". This same sort of flaunting of corrupt power was exhibited by Frank Noonan in his Eric Frein manhunt. It was a garish display of unbridled corruption. In essence, Noonan was saying, "I'll write any narrative I want to about my suspect, and spend as much as I want, because I can." I believe it was an event that was embellished and blown out of proportion to intimidate the Attorney General with a display of corrupt power, including some from the federal government. And likewise, Eckel is flaunting what power he thinks he has by association.

    I have more respect for Attorney General Kane with each passing day. She went after these corrupt porno-loving thugs in PA government, and got beaten back temporarily by their dirty tricks and control of the local media. But she has proven herself to have a backbone, and I believe the good people of PA will stand behind her when the core of filth is finally exposed in PA government. Keep up the good work!

    1. I just wrote about Eckel (and Corbett) "flaunting" their associations (or not caring about associations of their cronies) before I read your post.

      Yes....there is a core of filth in this case that runs from State College to Harrisburg to Scranton-Wilkes Barre....and the Feds and/or Kane will expose it.

    2. Ray - On an unrelated note, have you heard anything about the police investigation of Mike McQueary's sexual abuse as a child? ESPN and others reported in March, 2014 that Mike McQueary told his players that "he, too, was sexually abused as a boy."

      The recent Rolling Stone report on a two year old campus rape prompted an immediate police investigation.

    3. Tim,
      I don't think there was ever an investigation of it. It would be outside the statute of limitations for prosecution since McQueary didn't report it until just recently and he is well over 30.

  7. Ray, your otherwise excellent new post, "Analysis...," published at 9:37 pm on 18 Dec 2014, ends in mid-sentence (and mid-word). The last entry is this: "Little did the media realize that the rea" Because I was unable to post a comment at the end of that post, I'm doing so here.

    1. Thanks, Jack. I hit the publish button prematurely at 9:37. I didn't finish the piece until about 11:30PM last night.

      Thanks again for reading the blog.