[This is the sixteenth part of a series on the investigation into the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.]
Centre County District Attorney Michael T. Madeira made one unusual public comment on the investigation of the Gricar case that was not triggered by anything. As has been shown, most of his public statements were triggered by a news story or the anniversary. This one was out of left field and represents a contradiction to much of his public pronouncements on the investigation into the disappearance of Mr. Gricar. The context in which Mr. Madeira raised it had nothing to do with the Gricar investigation, until he injected Mr. Gricar into it.
It was in the context of Mr. Madeira asking the County Commissioners money to fund a county detective in early December of 2008. Now, that idea has some merit and certainly deserves careful consideration. Mr. Madeira deserves no criticism for suggesting the idea, which he had done in the previous year. He however indicated that had the District Attorney’s Office had a detective at the time, it might have helped with the Gricar investigation. Mr. Madeira said:
“If there were a county detective at the time, that might have been the agency, that might have been the position that handled the case. It might not have gone to Bellefonte.
” I’m not suggesting there would have been a different result. I firmly believe that it is past time for us to have a county detective.”1
For much of 2008, Mr. Madeira had made the point that there were only two situations where he can, statutorily, turn the case over to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. First, if there is a conflict of interest in the District Attorney’s Office. Second, if the District Attorney’s Office lacks the resources to investigate.
Mr. Madeira had been running around for months claiming that there were adequate resources to investigate the disappearance of Mr. Gricar; he used it as a justification for not turning the case over to the state Attorney General’s Office. Then he says to spend more money on his office, because if they had more resources before, it might have helped with the Gricar investigation. Does anyone else out there see the contradiction?
Maybe Mr. Madeira was just trying to make some points in a budget debate by invoking the Gricar case; maybe there are adequate resources in his office to investigate the case. If he was, Mr. Madeira should be ashamed of himself for invoking Mr. Gricar’s name, at least a potential murder victim, to try to get more money for his office. He should also be ashamed of himself for implying that, if his office had just had more personnel and more money, it might have been more successful than the Bellefonte Police Department.
Maybe Mr. Madeira was being flat out honest and more resources are needed. Okay, he has had it in his sole power to request that the Attorney General’s Office take over the case, since the very first day he took office, nearly three years before he made the comment. On top of that, he would have the support of the Gricar family, and fellow district attorneys to do so.
This, one of the few times during his tenure Mr. Madeira has commented on the Gricar case without responding to an anniversary or to a negative news story, is his strange and contradictory comment.
[This is the last blog on the investigation directly, though there will be three more in the series, a wrap up, which will be next, and two entries on my conclusions]