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    Posted on February 28th, 2018 Becky 10 comments


         Now there is yet another law firm being paid by the city of Lancaster on behalf of MAW Communications. I will put in Right to Know requests to find out how much the city is paying the Pittsburgh based Cohen Law Group.
         Mayor Sorace did not answer any of the outstanding questions regarding this over $4.7 million debacle last night and I will come back to that tomorrow.


    *** BREAKING ***


    **   Michael Deibert, who recently worked briefly for LNP and was covered on this site multiple times, has this article today on (click here). This man could bring real change to Lancaster County. I can’t wait to see what he does next!

    *        Mayor Sorace’s statement to city council last night:
             I have four topics that I want to address tonight. The first is LanCity Connect.
           In December of 2017, PP&L filed a complaint against MAW Communications regarding MAW’s attachments on poles within the city of Lancaster. This action halted the first phase of deployment of the community broadband project aimed at connecting the Southwest, Southeast and Northwest parts of Lancaster city.
            While many people may know MAW as a partner in our LanCity Connect broadband program, their footprint in Lancaster goes much deeper. A significant portion of the city’s crucial infrastructure, traffic signals and safety cameras, for instance, is connected by fiber-optic cable installed and/or maintained by MAW. Providing city services via fiber-optic cable allows for more efficient delivery of those services and saves the city precious resources, time and money.
            In order to allow the city to protect our interest in these pole attachments, I have authorized our solicitors and the Cohen Law Group to file a petition to intervene in the case currently pending in Lehigh County. Since this matter is in the court system, I can’t respond to any questions about the details of the case or issues that may have been mentioned in the press. Just know that every story has two sides and my decision to intervene guarantees that our counsel can be made fully aware of all developments and can work actively to protect the city’s interest.
           When we started investing in community broadband, we knew that this was going to be a rocky road. We believed then, as we do now, that community broadband is in the best interests of the residents of the City of Lancaster. Access to high speed, high quality and low cost internet services is no longer a luxury. It is a 21st century necessity. Local control of that necessity ensures that no one is left out or left behind due to income, the neighborhood in which they live or the trends of the tele-communications industry.


    *** BREAKING NEWS ***


         Mayor Danene Sorace announced at the end of last night’s long city council meeting that the city is going to petition to intervene in PP&L’s lawsuit against MAW Communications. She said, “every story has two sides.”  The city continues to inexplicably throw good money after bad but this will certainly make the law firm happy and line their pockets further! Unbelievable and there will be much more later today.
               How does City Administrator Patrick Hopkins have an actuarial report done that goes from $7,000 to $8,000 within a month when the figures don’t change? Does he know when he’s lying and when he’s telling the truth?
          And one of the city council members actually voted “Nay” last night as the members cast a vote sure to annoy the fireman’s union just as their contract comes up for negotiation.
          You can watch the entire city council meeting on Tony Dastra’s livestream here.
    Please check back later today.   



    1. How could they know that MAW installations could be a ‘rocky road?’ I can name at least one company that has done the same work with another city and nothing like this occurred.

    2. Intervention means three sides. She’s in over her head.

    3. Anon, please correct me if I am off-base. The fact that the intervention is third party, is the one thing that gives me some hope that the City is beginning to move in the correct direction of distancing themselves from MAW. They may be beginning to finally realize the magnitude of trouble they are in and are beginning to not trust MAW 100%. I generally support this action as necessary to protect the taxpayer.

      There are other parts of the Mayor’s remarks regarding accountability for this waste of taxpayer money that seriously disappoint me though. Her assertion that they knew this would be a rocky road from the start seems disingenuous at this point, considering City Officials are on the record on multiple occasions billing this project with MAW as a slam dunk and seriously downplaying any risk. They also consistently denied in the past that the city has any stake or anything to lose in these legal proceedings.

      Finally, I am still severely disappointed she made no direct statement distancing the City from MAW. This only leads me to speculate that the City may have coerced/encouraged/directed MAW to make unauthorized attachments. The longer it takes for the City to separate from MAW, the more likely I believe this is.

      “There is minimal risk in loaning money to the telecom company partnering with Lancaster on its fiber-optic broadband network, a city official said.” –

      “The city is not a party to the matter, nor are we involved” –

    4. Hi! I am an intervenor in a civil suit, too. It is to protect my interest (it is a contract), because no one else is. What I am getting from this is that PPL and MAW would not be able to enter into any settlement w/o input, $$, approval, or whatever the case, w/o the city’s approval or whatever interest they need protected, or a deal that excludes the city and, leaves them with liabilty. In other words, they are caught in the middle and have to protect that middle. It may be considered distancing themselves, in that originally, they appeared to be on MAW’s side and were footing their legal bills. It would appear to be a conflict of interest for them to now be paying MAW’s legal bills and their own as an intervenor. The attorney/client privilege is different – hence an add’l fee. I read this that the city knows its been screwed and needs to step in to insure any further screwing. Also, it would be telling to read the actual Petition, and whether the judge allows it, which I am
      sure they will. The parts of Sorace’s comments that bother
      me are her references to MAW providing the fiber optics for
      the cameras, street lights etc. I think that is the first anyone
      has heard of MAW doing anything else but broadband for the city. My gut feeling is that it is b.s. and the real problem is the 5 mil they handed over to a kid who hangs in his parents’ basement, basically. Otherwise the city would have deflected criticiam by saying MAW “did a great job on this and that”, and you can bet MAW would have touted it on its website, p.r. material, etc. Why wouldn’t they. The actual content of the Petition, which should be readily available from Lehich County Prothonotary, will (should) say. But it is filed under penalty of perjury and – rt now – I am not buying it. Distancing themselves is putting it mildly. I would call it pissed, and running scared. Final 3-way deal: Get your crap off our poles, city settles for pennies on the dollar, and all sides cut ties and walk away. THEN, HEADS NEED TO ROLL IN LANCASTER GOVT.

    5. BTW, Didnt take Deibert long to get Lancaster County’s number.

    6. No, it did not! 🙂

    7. It is absurd that this company, MAW, and its introduction to the city and who facilitated this is as elusive as the Holy Grail.

    8. Huh…I agree with you. There is a causal connection somewhere between someone and somebody else and it is time to obtain statements of financial interest from every single city official / worker who had anything to do with this deal google names together, etc. as i said on this post a long time ago – probably under another id because I use whatever strikes my fancy @ the time – nobody in a position of power who has anything to lose … such as a job or credibility …does anything this stupid for free. What Im seeing so far, with the city “lending” maw money, MAW “sponsoring” artsy crap, “LancCity connect”, maw being completely unvetted and a total screw up, etc., is akin to money laundering. I would not be surprised at all if Steinman had its hand in this. I also said, a long time ago, FTM – follow the money. And it is getting harder and harder to do. My professional opinion is, also, if Sorace deliberately lied about MAW’s previous work for the
      city (we dont know that yet, but I am usually right) then she did so to cover up for someone and needs to resign immediately if it is discoveredand NEVER be allowed to serve in office again. One month on the job as mayor and I would be SCREAMING for answers. SCREAMING. But, people get what they elect. I cant fix stupid.

    9. Scratch that. I just reread Sorace’s statement as it appear’s on Becky’ site and my professional opinion is the entire statement is a lie. I love the line, “My decision to intervene guarantees…” Yeah, right. She is not smart enough to make a decision like that. She is an idiot. The entire statement is bullshit, but I dont have time to pick it apart. I do want to apologize to Bill, tho, for my lengthy answers. I reread your comment/question to me and the short answer is that I believe you are absolutely correct. I am going back to my life, now. :-/

    10. Anon: it just kills me that there is not one news entity in Lancaster who can pinpoint just WHO brought MAW on board in the first place.