By Brad Segall

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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Matthews, a Republican, resigned as chairman of the Board of Commissioners but has vowed to serve out the remaining weeks of his term.

Nevertheless, he failed to show up this morning for the commissioners’ meeting, which included a critical public hearing on the budget.

Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, a Democrat, is now chairman.  Republican Bruce Castor is vice chairman and believes the two can work together if Matthews decides to step down.

“I always thought that Commissioner Hoeffel was sucked into the orbit of Jim Matthews and didn’t realize how bad a man Jim Matthews is,” Castor told KYW Newsradio today, “and it got so far deep into it that it was too late for him to get out.”

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(Montgomery County commissioners Joe Hoeffel, left, and Bruce Castor just before Wednesday's meeting. Credit: Brad Segall)


Hoeffel called Tuesday “a bad day for Montgomery County,” but added that “it’s a new day and tomorrow it will get better.”

The commissioners also terminated the county’s top lawyer, Barry Miller, who was a strong Matthews supporter.

Matthews is charged with lying to a grand jury that was  investigating allegations of political corruption in the county.


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