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Another Corbett administration scandal? 'Delete' & 'cleanse' at the Education Department

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

The scent of scandal is enveloping the administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett just as the gubernatorial race heads into its fall furlong. And it has nobody to blame but itself.

First, there are the meetings with political operatives in the governor's office. While the administration insists there's nothing inappropriate about a practice that's clearly inappropriate, campaign spokesman Mike Barley went a stupid step too far when he insisted no state tax money was involved. Who pays for that office again?

Now comes word from Acting state Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq that there's been a daily “delete and cleanse” email operation going on. That's not merely inappropriate, it's probably illegal.

Worse, the revelation comes in the midst of criticism that former Secretary Ron Tomalis, retained at the same salary as an adviser to Mr. Corbett on higher education, is nothing more than a ghost employee. State records suggest quite limited email activity for Mr. Tomalis over the last year. Whether such correspondence was that limited or was cleansed remains the question. But neither explanation is very flattering.

This has become the summer of discontent for Camp Corbett. And given the seriousness of these latest revelations, it's difficult to see how a fall of failure doesn't follow.

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