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Montgomery County Commissioner Matthews Charged With Perjury

By Brad Segall and Walt Hunter

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The chairman of the Montgomery County Commissioners has been charged with perjury and false swearing stemming from an 18-month grand jury investigation into allegations of political corruption in county government.

The grand jury recommended the charges against commissioner James Matthews, saying he lied to them on numerous occasions about a relationship he had with a title company that did business with the county.

Their report is highly critical of how the county awards contracts, handles its open space program, and how campaign donations are used.

But none of it rose to a criminal level until, the grand jury says, Matthews lied under oath in October.
“The grand jury found that Commissioner Matthews’ lies were so prevalent throughout his testimony, so blatant, that they concluded he felt that it was right to do so as the chairman of the board of county commissioners,” Montgomery County district attorney Risa Ferman said today.

Ferman says the oath to tell the truth is the cornerstone of our system of justice, and if that’s lost then the system crumbles.

Matthews, a Republican, is free on $50,000 unsecured bail. His next court date is scheduled for a week from Friday.
Through his attorney, Thomas Egan, Matthews denies he lied to the grand jury and calls his arrest a witch hunt.
Matthews announced late this afternoon that in light of current circumstances, he is resigning as chairman of the county commissioners but intends to serve the remainder of his term as a commissioner.

Jim Matthews is the brother of political commentator Chris Matthews, host of “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”

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  • Ferman is grandstanding

    Risa Ferman is retaliating since Matthews tried to get her to cut back her bloated dept during a shortfall. Her mentor Bruce Castor worked 2 days, one on a Saturday before quitting to get a $70,000 pay out, then obstructed county commissioner work by complaining all the time about spending, but let Ferman have her way. Castor also let off mobsters with a pat on the hand and they were later arrested after an investigation found they were still doing illegal stuff in violation of their probation and hundreds of thousands of dollars were found buried on their property. Then Castor’s mentor Marino knew about a felon, Manilla, who killed a hunter with an illegal gun.

  • Matthews Misses Montco Commissioners’ Meeting After Being Charged With Perjury « CBS Philly

    […] NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – The fallout continues one day after Montgomery County commissioner James Matthews was charged with lying to a grand jury (see related story). […]

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