About that independent investigation...

Last week, we joined the Daily News and the Inquirer in calling for an independent investigation of the failed Family Court deal. Yesterday, Rep. Curt Schroder (R-Chester) co-signed on the idea:

"I think the public is right to be concerned about these things," … "I don't think it's adequate to do more self-policing, more internal reviews and declare everything's fine once that is over," he said.

Schroder sent out a memo inviting other House members to cosponsor a resolution that would require Auditor General Jack Wagner's office to begin a probe of the deal.

If the Auditor General does investigate, his office will be joining the FBI in looking into the deal.

The problem here is that Chief Justice Ron Castille, who oversaw the Family Court deal, appointed attorney William G. Chadwick to review the deal, even though Castille has done business - to the tune of $150,000 - with Chadwick in the recent past. An investigation could lead to mistakes or malpractice on Castille's part, and Chadwick's involvement appears to be a conflict of interest.

Chadwick has already started working on the investigation:

"In the end, transparency and the work product will speak for itself," he said. "We will certainly cooperate with any legitimate investigation by anyone."

Fortunately, Chadwick is no stranger to conducting investigations simultaneously to someone else:

Chadwick has also been hired by the House Democratic Caucus to research legislative practices in the wake of the Bonusgate scandal.

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