Grand Jury Report

Grand Jury Report Will Not Gather Dust

A statewide investigating grand jury released its 102-page report on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Tuesday.  Chairman of the State House Gaming Oversight Committee Curt Schroder (R-Chester) calls the report a “stinging indictment” on the operation of the Gaming Control Board since its inception.  Schroder says it is lawmakers’ duty to follow-up.  “I intend to hold some hearings on the report after we get the budget out of the way… and then develop legislation accordingly.”

One piece of legislation that’s already passed the House would move the Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement to an independent agency.  That move happens to be recommendation #3 of 21 in the grand jury report.  “I don’t know how many grand jury reports it’s going to take before the Gaming Control Board, chairman Fajt… as well as the State Senate accepts the verdict out there,” Schroder says, pointing to an earlier Dauphin County grand jury that reached the same conclusion. 

In a statement, Gaming Control Board chairman Greg Fajt called it a rehash of “old news.”  He defended their successes, and pointed out that after two years of investigation there were no arrests, no presentments and no indictments.  “They found no criminal activity because there was, in fact, no criminal activity to be found,” Fajt stated. 

But Rep. Schroder says the response gives him no confidence that the PGCB understands the problem, or even accepts that there was or is a problem.  “Chairman Fajt can crow all he wants about the fact that there were no indictments.  Nonetheless the report found many violations of the law, and many instances of just outright corruption.”  Schroder tells us one of the problems is that violations of the gaming law “unfortunately” don’t carry criminal penalties.