Bill Marimow Is Back. UPDATE: Norcross to Appeal.

Judge says he should be reinstated at the helm of the Inquirer immediately. Read her decision.

And just like that, Bill Marimow — the man whose October firing launched a thousand lawsuits and leaked emails — has been ordered back to his job by Judge Patricia McInerney, effective now.


According to CBS3's Steve Tawa:

Judge Patricia McInerney, who heard four days of arguments and testimony in her courtroom, and even tried to broker settlement talks in her chambers, has ordered the bickering owners to give Bill Marimow his old job back.

This brings to a close one major battle in a contentious ownership struggle between Lewis Katz and George Norcross. It is unlikely, however, that this will be the last we'll hear of sparring between the two members of the ownership group's management committee*. The testimony got nasty and personal. As fellow owner H.G. "Gerry" Lenfest said, “We can’t go on this way.”

As to where this leaves Interstate General Media, the company that owns the Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com, our Steve Volk said it best:

If [attorney Richard] Sprague can convince a judge that Hall was not authorized to fire Marimow without Katz’s approval, Bill Marimow could plop right back down in his office chair by the end of the week, and the city’s largest media enterprise will be right back where it started — led, if that’s an appropriate term, by a two-man committee that must but can’t agree.

*UPDATE: According to a statement just released by Dan Fee, spokesman for Norcross's majority faction of owners, those owners are planning an appeal:

Interstate General Media and General American Holdings, representing George E. Norcross, III, will be filing an appeal on an expedited basis of today’s decision to reinstate Bill Marimow.

The decision to return Marimow to the Inquirer as a lame duck editor –his contract ends April 30th – will have the effect of risking chaos in the company, restoring an editor who consistently resisted needed changes to the paper and who is in open conflict with the Publisher, Bob Hall, who the court decreed will remain in his position. The ruling ensures that every newsroom decision will require the joint agreement of the Managing Members, subjecting the company to paralysis.

Minority owner Lewis Katz, who brought the lawsuit, testified under oath that he believed it appropriate for an owner to be able to influence the operations of the newsroom, including the hiring and firing of journalists, with no set standards for how far or how often they can reach in to influence coverage. That would render the non-interference pledge meaningless because the power to fire is the power to influence coverage. Given that Nancy Phillips, Katz’ girlfriend, testified under oath that she created an “official version” of how Marimow was hired, it is difficult to understand how they can continue to assert they are protecting the ‘integrity’ of
journalism.

We believe today’s decision is wrong and will harm the journalistic independence and operations of the newsroom. In newspapers across the country, it is the Publisher who has the right to make personnel decisions, including the hiring and firing of the editor as Publisher Bob Hall did when he removed Bill Marimow as editor of the Inquirer. The court affirmed that Hall was the Publisher and his authority to remove Marimow should have likewise been affirmed.”

Read Judge McInerney's decision below:

  • John

    Norcross needs to be stopped NOW so he will Never become a problem to anyone ever again. He is a VERY big problem for Philadelphia and America. Norcross must be stopped. Norcross is a liar, a backstabber and a real misleading character. Get Norcross and his Daughter OUT of the Philadelphia Inquire ASAP. Both are toxic and troublemakers. Get those two devils out. Norcross is such an ass wipe, he didn’t even take the stand and he wants to appeal. Let it go Norcross, you lost. You did so many people wrong. God is sick of you and your daughter

  • John

    Norcross is such an ass wipe, he didn’t even take the stand and he want to appeal. Let it go Norcross, you lost. You did so many people wrong. God is sick of you and your daughter

    • brand of toilet paper

      What brand of toilet paper does George wipe himself with?

  • another fan

    though I cannot agree with the language used by John, I applaud the sentiment. Norcross, in his desire to be the kingmaker, has done his damnedest gut the Inquirer and stifle the independent voices – ie, those that disagree with his plans. Here’s hoping someone buys him out.

  • Norcross and UNreligioness

    Norcross’ DOUBLECROSS (He would replace Bill with a Kelly Ripa type, just to get the ignorant and easily manipulated younger demographic, if he could get away with it.) The religious Pew study, recently released, found that younger Jews and Christians are leaving their respective religions in droves. If Norcross gets his way, many more Delaware Valley residents will become heethen-like obama lovers.

    • Misspelled

      Heethen is misspelled. It must have been written by grad of ASCTemple

      • Erin

        Maybe Senator Sweeney wrote it from New Jersey. He has a GED and is best friends of Norcross. He thinks he is going to be the next Governor of New Jersey. hahaha

        He should be in a federal prison.

        • FRIEND of Ripoff Ripa

          Sweeney is a close pal of Joe ripoff Ripa, now Camden County Treasurer, who stole plenty when he was Public Service/NJT bus driver on routes that had NO fare box, and when he was prez of Local 880 bus driver union.

  • Former Editor

    Norcross has a history of firing people and using media to defame and embarrass those who don’t do what the South Jersey political Bull Dogs want. Norcross controls the people by controlling municipal, county and State Jobs. He’s found a way to use social media and the newspaper to link up and destroy people who speak independently against corruption and wrong doing. Norcross wants to corrupt philly.com and link it to an unethical, reckless social media site named Patch that is being dumped by AOL. 500 sites remain open and are up for grabs

    Patch should be under federal investigation for reporting fabricated stories that are used as a vehicle to defame and produce negative reporting in a false light. Norcross has paid in advertising deals with patch to control news reporting on that social media site

    Norcross and his daughter are up to No good and if investigated you will find that Norcross and Senator Sweeney are behind certain local Patch stories. Aol Patch has already closed 400 sites around the US since they have cost Aol Millions. The SEC should be aware of false profits that could some how point back to Norcross. Investors in AOL lost lots of cash because of Patch. Norcross wants to keep Patch so he can continue using this site as his way to destroy and control people who cross him. 500 Patch sites still remain open and Norcross plans to ensure that certain Patch sites in NJ never close. These are unethical social media sites that he will or already has investments in. Ripa will be part of the plan and so is the inquire digital part. This will all link up to his little dirty community news Patch sites. Norcross controls the Patch reporters.

    Editors who worked for Patch were bought and paid off to write stories the way Norcross wanted them reported.
    Some of them were previous reporters from the Courier Post who were once against Norcross, but have now cut a lucrative deal to do as they are told and write biased stories, restrict certain people from posting and only remove stories that Norcross approves.

    Patch was paid off to report these stories by receiving large amounts of money in advertising. Norcross made sure he invested heavily in Patch advertising but used others to pay for the advertising while he hid behind the scene so the money would not track back to him. Norcross is a Master manipulator and knows exactly how to get others to do his dirty work, just like he ordered Hall to fire Marimow.

    The SEC should be looking into AOL Patch, and Norcross. Norcross should be in prison on a RICO

  • Chris Stigall analysis

    AWARD Winning Conservative Commentator Chris STIGALL WPHT CBS1210 chats with PhillyMag about continuing Inquirer soup opera dibacle weekdays@6o’clock.

    • jared h

      The only award stigall got, was a denner decal when he was cub scout.

    • Jane Yavis

      Did Chris “Chat” with McGrath from Philly Mag, or did he tell McGrath how to run his business and blame the “soup” Opera on Obama???. – Nice promo for Stigall,,,,

      • Chris (Chicago bound) Stigall

        Jane, you are a typical left-wing journalist like all the others on the third floor at 7th & Market. Unfortunately, this is America, like it or not, and I am anxiously waiting for my Wednesday noon flight out of PHL to visit my in-laws in Chicago, so I will deal with you people upon my return! (Wonder what The Chicago Trib tripe is today?)

        • Jane Yavis

          Chris, as your standard Stepford Style Opening Statement confirms, neither of us are Journalists. “You” will deal with “us” later??? Dare I ask, “Who died and left you in charge?”.
          Have a Blessed Thanksgiving and a safe trip.

  • Lois

    We are truly living in Bizarroworld when George Norcross say’s he’s upholding journalistic integrity.

    • Editors Friend

      Norcross is a nightmare. He should have been prosecuted years ago. For some ungodly reason, he control NJ and not one Governor in the state has done anything about having him prosecuted for criminal activity. He needs to be exposed for everything. Norcross should be making headline news with all the wrong he has done. This can not be ignored, but should be exposed to end this Political Dictatorship. Christie is running for President and one of the biggest concerns is that he is associated with George Norcross who should have been bought up on a RICO back in 2005, but Christie did not touch him, instead, he had lunch with him in 2003 to discuss running for Governor. Norcross and HIS bully friend Sweeney love to have people FIRED for not doing what they want. Unfortunately, Christie did what Corzine, McGreevy and Florio did: They allowed it as long as they didn’t go to jail and got what they wanted, meanwhile, they left the people they used and abused in ruins, by lies and concocted stories that were reported in the irresponsible, reckless media that Norcross controls in New Jersey. God help us if he takes over Philadelphia Inquire. I warned everyone of this before. The people have to stand up and expose Norcross and all the others connected to his game. EXPOSE NORCROSS FOR HIS CRIMES.

      The letter below speaks for itself and tells you the history of this game that is being played in New Jersey and if the media doesn’t start uncovering the truth, Norcross will rise and next time he may be successful in ousting Marimow and others:

      MONDAY, AUGUST 08, 2005

      UNTOUCHABLES GROUP SENDS LETTER TO U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL

      August 8, 2005

      Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales
      U.S. Department of Justice
      Office of the Attorney General
      950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
      Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
      Phone: 202-353-1555

      Dear Mr. Attorney General:

      We write as attorneys, elected officials, former elected officials, law professors and former prosecutors to ask that you take specific and critical measures to investigate and prosecute wide-spread criminal political corruption in the State of New Jersey.

      We need not recount the massive violations of federal law that have already occurred in New Jersey. The efforts by lobbyists and contractors to bribe politicians at all levels of New Jersey government in return for government favors — in violation of several federal statutes — have been the subject of numerous investigative series in virtually every publication in the state as well as in national media outlets like the New York Times, Sixty Minutes and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Academic political scientists of national repute routinely opine that New Jersey is the most politically corrupt state in the nation.

      The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey openly admits that when he attends meetings with U.S. Attorneys from around the country, that he is approached by his fellow prosecutors who express disbelief and outrage by what they read occurring in New Jersey. Dozens of low-level New Jersey officials and lobbyists have gone to jail.

      Most incredibly, as detailed below, a United States District Court Judge, sua sponte, after the conviction of executives of the New Jersey-based Commerce bank in a federal trial in Philadelphia, exhorted federal prosecutors to pursue Commerce Bank and other lobbyists for federal racketeering violations.

      Extraordinary corruption requires extraordinary measures. Despite low-level convictions, pay-to-play business-as-usual is still the order of the day in New Jersey. Many of the same actors involved in illegal schemes still participate in New Jersey governance. Only your office can provide the resources and tools needed to end criminal political corruption in New Jersey.

      Therefore, we ask that you take the following measures:

      1.Appoint an Outside Prosecutor to investigate possible criminal political corruption in the state of New Jersey in violation of federal law.

      Since the lapse of the Independent Counsel statute, the Attorney General still retains the right to appoint an Outside Prosecutor or Special Counsel under Justice Department guidelines.

      2. Impanel a Special Grand Jury that will sit and hear evidence regarding a broad pattern of possible criminal conduct in New Jersey politics in violation of the federal Hobbs Act 18 U.S.C. § 1951 and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) (18 USCS §§ 1961 et seq.)

      As provided in 18 U.S.C. § 3331(a) “the district court must also impanel a special grand jury when the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, or a designated Assistant Attorney General certifies in writing to the chief judge of the district that in his/her judgment, a special grand jury is necessary ‘because of criminal activity in the district.’”
      The Special Grand Jury has a duty under 18 U.S.C. § 3332(a) “to inquire into offenses against the criminal laws of the United States alleged to have been committed within that district.”

      There is important precedent for a special grand jury in New Jersey. In the late 1960s a special grand jury was impaneled by Essex County prosecutor Joseph Lordi to investigate allegations of corruption in Newark; working with the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, the criminal activities of Newark Mayor Hugh Adonezio’s ring were ended.

      We are not the first to suggest broad prosecutions for racketeering involving those businesses and politicians that make private deals at the public expense. In May of this year, two Commerce Bank executives were convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 and honest services wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 1346 and honest services mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1346 for their roles in bribing public officials in the City of Philadelphia in return for City contracts.

      After the jury rendered its verdict, on May 9, 2005, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson suggested, sua sponte, that the U.S. Attorneys office bring a RICO case against Commerce Bank and the many other bankers, lawyers and public officials that defraud the public by selling government contracts to the highest bidder. This so called “pay to play” system of criminal corruption is, in fact, more endemic throughout the State of New Jersey than it is in Philadelphia.
      The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in response to Judge Baylson’s suggestion, claimed that a lack of resources would be an obstacle to a RICO case against Commerce Bank and other institutions engaged in plying politicians with bribes. These comments echo those of the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, who told the Newark Star Ledger on January 12, 2003: “I’m sure if I had another FBI squad, I’d have even more cases; so many of these people [New Jersey politicians taking bribes] are just so stupid.”

      The Justice Department ought to make a commitment to end racketeering in New Jersey by taking the steps requested in this letter. We recognize that we, like Judge Baylson, are making serious charges. But we and other whistleblowers have provided crucial information that has allowed the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey to prosecute dozens of local elected officials and lobbyists. It is time to take the advice of whistleblowers and broaden these prosecutions and devote the public resources necessary to stop, once and for all time, these manifest abuses of the public trust.

      3.Take the position that federal Grand Juries may, on their own initiative, and independent of federal prosecutors, deliver indictments and hear testimony from whistleblowers possessing evidence of criminal political corruption.

      This practice, know as “presentment” was prevalent throughout much of the nation’s history and is specifically protected under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The literal meaning and language of the Constitution must be respected and the Justice Department should encourage citizen “presentment” around the country as an important supplementary mechanism for fighting corruption.

      We are submitting to you today evidence of RICO and Hobbs Act violations by Commerce Bank and South Jersey “Boss” George Norcross; the same information is being transmitted to U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler and to the sitting federal Grand Jury in Trenton, New Jersey. In essence, this evidence suggests that Nocross and Commerce Bank sought to bribe and extort the Mayor of Palmyra, New Jersey in a scheme to remove the Town Attorney of Palmyra and appoint another attorney for the financial benefit of Norcross and Commerce Bank. See Exhibit A and Exhibit B.

      4. Instruct the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Southern District of New York to join the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey in his investigation of political corruption in New Jersey and take over the investigation of persons that might pose a conflict for the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.

      While the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Chris Christie, has done an admirable job of prosecuting lower-level elected officials, we have direct and indirect evidence that some of the most influential politicians and corporations in New Jersey may have committed federal crimes and U.S. Attorney Christie may have conflicts regarding some of these actors.

      Our immediate concern is that the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey admitted, after widespread reports in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Newark Star Ledger in 2003, that he had a private lunch with George Norcross in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 2003. The lunch occurred while Mr. Christie was said to be exploring a run for Governor of the State; Mr. Norcross himself has bragged in conversations recorded on tape by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office, that his support is critical for anyone seeking statewide office in New Jersey. Furthermore, in 2003, companies affiliated with George Norcross were under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the FBI.

      Mr. Christie has made no secret of his intense involvement in partisan politics. He was listed as a Pioneer in the Bush campaign of 2000: one of only 241 Pioneers in the country that raised over $100,000 for the President. As late as June of 2003, Mr. Christie, while serving as U.S. Attorney, contributed to the 2004 Bush re-election campaign .

      Since Mr. Christie became U.S. Attorney, Mr. Christie’s brother has undergone scrutiny because he has contributed over $400,000 to various New Jersey state GOP coffers; in comparison, he gave less than $12,000 prior to the time that his brother applied to become U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. Many of these state and county organizations also receive contributions from Commerce Bank.

      While we suggest nothing untoward involving U.S. Attorney Christie or his brother, even the appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest would be avoided if the Attorney General were to appoint an Outside Prosecutor and if the U.S. Attorneys for the Southern District of New York and Eastern District of Pennsylvania would be charged with broadening the investigation of criminal political corruption in New Jersey.

      5. Commit to a policy of no more deals for those who violate federal law in the process of committing criminal political corruption in New Jersey.

      6. Bring in for questioning the dozen so-called “bosses” that all major media outlets, judges, prosecutors and the public now recognize control the daily machinery of New Jersey politics.

      The contention that these men have no knowledge of the criminal activity that so many have been prosecuted for over the last ten years strains credulity. One of those “bosses” is George Norcross.

      The notion that a quid pro quo is commonplace in political transactions in New Jersey is now received wisdom. Consider New Jersey lobbyist Alan Marcus’ recent description of political business in this state, as told to New York magazine: “In New Jersey, you contribute money not for access but results. Anybody who doesn’t admit that is lying.” Numerous convicted politicians and business contributors in this state have made similar admissions in entering pleas in New Jersey. A quid pro quo is the essence of bribery, Hobbs Act and RICO crimes and these admissions should play a prominent role in investigations and convictions.

      Now is not the time to stop at individual low-level convictions. Only by taking the measures outlined in this letter, can those who are running by all accounts the most criminally corrupt political system in the country be brought to justice.

      We hereby request a meeting with you to discuss these issues.

      Sincerely,

      Hon. Carl J. Mayer, Esq., Former Committeeman, Princeton Township
      Hon. John Gural, Mayor, Palmyra Borough
      Ted Rosenberg, Esq., Solicitor, Palmyra Borough

      cc:

      Patrick L. Meehan
      U.S. Attorney
      Eastern District of Pennsylvania
      615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250.
      Philadelphia, PA 19106-4476.

      David Kelley
      U.S. Attorney
      Southern District of New York
      1 St. Andrews Plaza
      New York City, NY 10007

      Christopher Christie
      United States Attorney, District of New Jersey
      970 Broad Street, 7th Floor
      Newark, NJ 07102

      Honorable Stanley R.Chesler
      United States Courthouse
      402 E. State St.
      Trenton, NJ 08608

  • Jane Yavis

    As we confirm there is little difference between how the Private (getting Billions from Government Grants to operate) and the Public Sector operates. Anything with George Norcross’ name on it is heavily subsidized by taxpayer monies.

    The question remains. “Is the Inquirer being run like the Federal Government or is the Federal Government being run like the Inquirer?”

  • Erin

    Chernoff is a criminal defense attorney. Guess he was there advising Norcross not to speak on the stand so he doesn’t incriminate certain people who are seeking higher aspirations.

  • Man of the Year

    CBS Philadelphia is proud to announce Mr. George Norcross will be named Man of the Year during our WPHT Talk Radio 1210 Health/Wealth Fair at Cooper Hospital in Camden on the morning of January 28, hosted by 1210 host and Cooper staffer Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli, Esq. and finacial advisor Steven Cordasco. Sponsored in-part by affordably-priced Res-Q products and Cordasco Financial Services and Philly.Com.

    • Res-Q CHEATS old people

      Res-Q is W A Y overpriced. A bottle of its fish oil tablets is $80, that Walgreens sells for about 5 bucks!!!!!!!!!

    • CBS Philadelphia

      CORRECTION: January 25, 2014

    • Jane Yavis

      Don’t forget the Buy Gold, My Attorney Got me Justice and Male enhancement Sponsors. As CBS radio makes their partnership with Fox News Official, I hear Management has assigned Dom G as MC. Chris Stigall has been assigned to tutor Dom on correct pronunciation of surnames and Dick Morris will again be hawking his latest “autographed” Book,.

      Wouldn’t miss it for the world

    • Aaron

      Thanks to George Norcoss and his leadership CAMDEN is the Poorest City in America and he’s being honored man of the year? No wonder New Jersey is SO corrupt

  • Chris Stigall needs audience

    I CAN help the struggling Inquirer and my struggling station WPHT at the same time. I propose having me write a daily column on the front page of paper about

    • Kal Rudman FMQB

      WPHT Arbitron ratings are in the tank

  • Steve(I hate Inquirer)Cordasco

    Even the Pa Supreme Court and Steve honestly Cordasco is wise sleazy that Double Cross Norcross

  • Nancy Phillips

    Norcross poisoned Lew Katz’s wife