Thursday, October 11, 2007

Win some, lose some

Joanne Cisco Olszewski has resigned her $30,650-a-year-job as Montgomery County Jury Commissioner after authorities charged her with having illegal video poker machines in the bar she co-owns with her husband.

Authorities say the video poker machines brought in $31,000 in proceeds to Cisco's Bar and Grille in Flourtown.

Doesn't seem to have been worth it. Not only was Olszewski forced to give up a cushy government job, but the publicity also has damaged the Ruth Damsker-Joe Hoeffel campaign for Montgomery County commissioner. Olszewski was co-chair of the Damkser-Hoeffel campaign until two weeks ago. (And how much will a lawyer cost Olszewski as she fights the charges in court?)

Despite the allegations, Olszewski has so far refused to resign as an officer of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee. It's going to be hard for Democrats to charge Republicans with corruption when one of their top leaders is facing criminal charges.

Read more about this story (including a transcript of Olszewski answering questions for authorities about the poker machines, in today's edition of The Mercury.

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