By: Vinny Vella
Christopher Carusone is quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer article about the firm’s representation of Michael Boffo and Nikolas McKinnon in the Mariner East pipeline bribery case. The security contractors were facing charges of conspiracy, bribery, and related offenses.
Chris told the Inquirer, “It’s the right result given their clean records, decorated military service, and minimal involvement in a security operation designed by others in Pennsylvania that they thought was legal.”
More than 14 months ago, then-Chester County District Attorney Thomas P. Hogan unveiled what he called “a pretty simple case” of corruption and bribery involving elected law enforcement officers and the controversial Mariner East pipeline.
In a sweeping criminal complaint, Hogan accused a Sunoco executive and four security contractors of paying 19 state constables more than $230,000 over two years to improperly patrol the pipeline route while wearing their uniforms and carrying firearms to act “as a deterrent” to residents and activists who have opposed it. Hogan’s indictment drew national attention, not only for its targeting of the multimillion-dollar project but for the accusations lobbed against an energy giant.
But a county judge’s ruling this week against the final two defendants in the bribery case signaled it could end with an unexpected outcome: not a single criminal conviction.
Judge Edward Griffin on Tuesday ruled that the remaining defendants, Michael Boffo, 60, and Nikolas McKinnon, 40, could enter an advanced rehabilitative diversion program for first-time offenders. Both had been charged with conspiracy, bribery, and related offenses; those charges will be dismissed once they complete the program.