Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor says he never discussed a recent county grand jury report with any prosecutors prior to its release, except during his brief appearance before the panel. The report led to perjury charges against Commissioner Jim Matthews for allegedly lying about his business relationships. Castor says District Attorney Risa Ferman had a good reason for appointing a Special Assistant DA to direct the grand jury.
“That is a term used for a special prosecutor brought in for a specific case who then will go back to his or her life in either some other prosecutor’s office or private life once the case is over. The reason you do that when you’re the DA is you want to be able to say, ‘It wasn’t me that was directly involved. It was this outside person who does not owe their job to me and will be going back to some other walk of life and is therefore independent.’”
Commissioner Joe Hoeffel says the grand jury report, in criticizing certain county government practices, made the same political points Castor raised over the previous four years.
“His goal was to raise all these red flags in the hopes that the DA would look into them, and I’m sure that Bruce and the DA’s office had contact. They deny it. That’s a pretty non-credible thing given Bruce’s pathological hatred for Jim Matthews and the fact that Bruce hired many of the assistant district attorneys and promoted Risa Ferman to where she was in a place to run for DA, the notion that Bruce didn’t have any contact with the DA’s office is very hard to believe.”
Hoeffel says the hatred is a two-way street. Castor and Matthews both hate each other.