2010-12-09 / Local & State

DA Probing Breakfasts Of 2 Mont. Co. Commissioners

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) – Two suburban Philadelphia county commissioners may have violated provisions in the state’s Sunshine Act law by regularly meeting for breakfast, a local prosecutor said Thursday.

A day earlier, Montgomery County commissioners James Matthews and Joe Hoeffel acknowledged regularly meeting for breakfast at a diner in Norristown, but insisted the meetings were entirely social.

But that was before The Times Herald newspaper published accounts of the meetings based on observations by a reporter who sat near the men while they ate. The newspaper reported that Matthews and Hoeffel discussed a variety of county business along with two other county officials.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said her office is looking into the meetings to determine if they were in violation of government transparency rules.

“We will follow the evidence wherever it leads,’’ Ferman told The Times Herald.

Following the story on the meetings, Hoeffel said county business did come up from time to time, but he and Matthews never deliberated over issues or discussed how to vote.

The county’s third commissioner, Bruce Castor, was not part of the breakfast meetings.

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