HARRISBURG - Lawyers for casino owner Louis DeNaples yesterday subpoenaed 15 journalists from the
and five other Pennsylvania news organizations to testify at a court hearing to determine whether the secrecy of a grand-jury investigation of DeNaples was violated.
The subpoenas were targeted at reporters who covered the monthslong investigation that culminated in state police charging DeNaples with four counts of perjury Jan. 30. The hearing into whether grand-jury secrecy requirements were violated was ordered last month by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Sprague & Sprague, a Philadelphia law firm that is part of DeNaples' legal team, served reporters from the Daily News, The Associated Press and the Inquirer, among others.
The subpoena received by Harrisburg AP writer Marc Levy said that he was being summoned to testify at a June 30 hearing in Dauphin County Court in Harrisburg. It instructed him to bring any documents including notes, interoffice communications, calendars, e-mails and telephone records related to the probe.
DeNaples owns the Mount Airy Resort Casino in the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania. He is accused of lying to investigators for the state Gaming Control Board about his relationships with two reputed mobsters and two men at the center of a political-corruption scandal in Philadelphia - Shamsudin Ali and the late attorney Ron White - in order to win a $50 million slot-machine gambling license.
A wealthy Scranton-area political donor whose business interests also include banking and landfills, DeNaples has been suspended from exercising any control over the casino pending the outcome of the criminal case. The $412 million casino, which opened last fall, is being run by a state-appointed trustee.
One of DeNaples' longtime friends, the Rev. Joseph F. Sica, also faces a perjury charge for allegedly lying in his grand-jury testimony about his relationship with a mobster.
Defense attorneys have complained that stories about the grand-jury investigation circulated in the media for months while the secret panel was meeting.
Last month, the state Supreme Court refused a request by DeNaples' lawyers to throw out the grand jury's recommendations that criminal charges be filed against DeNaples and Sica. But the justices ordered Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover, who oversaw the grand jury, to determine whether its secrecy had been compromised. *